FINRA Talks a Good Game

FINRA's recent report on conflicts of interest at brokerages laid bare some dingy practices. Some say it's a move to burnish FINRA's credentials as a candidate for regulator of all brokers and advisors under a uniform fiduciary rule.

New Research on 401K Plans, from Top Researchers

Boston College, DCIIA and Morningstar provide new research on Britain's 'NEST' experience with auto-enrollment, custom TDFs and why replacing bad 401k investment options is a good idea.

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?
Featured

The Uncertain Future of Central Bank Supremacy

"Comforted by the notion of a “central-bank put,” ...many investors have “looked through” countries’ unbalanced economic policies.The result is financial risk-taking that exceeds what would be warranted strictly by underlying fundamentals," writes PIMCO's CEO.

Which Bubbles Will Burst Worst?

The universe of assets whose price will collapse in the next downturn is considerably better populated than the collection of assets whose price won't collapse. If you asked me to guess, I'd put the collapse's onset in the fourth quarter of 2014, writes this columnist, who calls himself "Prudent Bear."
News

More DB sponsors intend to off-load risk

“Pension plan sponsors remain under tremendous pressure to reduce the financial liabilities of their DB plans,” said Michael Archer, leader of the client solutions group for retirement, North America at Towers Watson.

Vanguard tops mutual fund flow charts in October

Vanguard gathered just over $6 billion in the quarter ($60 billion YTD) to lead all fund companies. American Funds, PIMCO, Columbia and Janus all saw outflows of more than $10 billion each, according to Morningstar data.