A Case of Low Book Yields

“Even if rates were to slowly rise, they would still be historically low. There would be less pressure on companies, but the overall portfolio rate of return could continue to go down,” said Mary Pat Campbell, a life insurance investment analyst at Conning.

Tell Us What You Really Think

At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)
Featured

How the Economic Machine Works

In this informative and entertaining video, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio explains the U.S. economy as he sees it, in terms that anyone can understand, if not agree with. The video is also available at www.economicprinciples.org.

Retirement Savings in a Co-Ed Dorm?

The investment industry wants to benefit from the tax-deferral subsidy and charge whatever it likes on the subsidized money in rollover IRAs. That’s asking for a lot. More important, it invites Uncle Sam to think about taking the subsidy away.
News

Annuity cash flows perk up in 3Q 2013: DTCC

Net flows into annuity products nearly doubled in the third quarter, to $4.4 billion from $2.3 billion in the second quarter. Outflows fell to 20.6 billion from $21.1 billion, a decline of over 2%, according to Analytic Reporting for Annuities, a service of DTCC.

Low COLA: The pause that doesn’t refresh

Since 2000, Social Security benefits have lost 31% of their buying power, according to The Senior Citizen League's 2013 Survey of Senior Costs. During that period, benefits rose 38% but typical expenses for the elderly rose an estimated 81%.

American General launches ‘Power Index Plus’ FIA

The new fixed indexed annuity offers three interest-crediting strategies, a one-year fixed interest account and two that are pegged to the S&P500 (excluding dividends): an annual point-to-point index interest account, and a monthly point-to-point additive index interest account.

Quote of the Week

“Never let the perfume of the premium distract you from the stench of the risk”—a maxim expressed by a reinsurance company executive at the American Council of Life Insurers’ annual conference in New Orleans this week.