The $1.1 Trillion Tax Hike

The "Zero Plan" proposed by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform last week calls for the end of $1.1 trillion in tax breaks. The co-chairs would save Social Security through a combination of reduced benefits and higher taxes.

A Closer Look at CLOs (and Other U.S. Credit)

Bond mavens, check this out. A new SEC report describes how most of the $54-trillion dollar U.S. credit market survived last spring's financial crisis. It covers securitized 'leveraged loans,' which provide high-octane fuel for fixed indexed annuity issuers.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.

Searching for Yield? Here’s Where to Look

Bond gurus Anne Mathias of Vanguard and Rick Rieder of BlackRock spoke at the Morningstar Investment Conference last week. Emerging markets, real estate debt, and asset-backed securities are potential sources of yield, as are dividend-paying stocks, they said.
Featured

Fees vs. Commissions in SPIA Sales

When a client incorporates an immediate annuity into a custom financial plan, we shouldn’t ask what revenue method is best for the advisor; we should ask what method is best for the client, writes advisor Curtis Cloke in a Letter to the Editor.
News

An Alternative Deficit Reduction Plan

Similar to the Bowles-Simpson proposals, the Rivlin-Domenici plan would lower income tax rates while eliminating most deductions and credits. It would replace the home mortgage and charitable contribution deductions with 15% refundable credits, and cut health care expenditures by $75 billion a year.

75-Year Financing Plan Would Stabilize Social Security: NASI

Covering the projected long-term shortfall facing Social Security would require revenue increases equal to slightly more than 2% of taxable payroll over the next 75 years, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance.

UK’s National DC Plan Considers Investment Options

“We won't be investing in a single infrastructure fund, though, or a single commodities fund, or a single high-yield fund until we get bigger,” said Mark Fawcett, CEO of the National Employment Savings Trust.

American Funds Is the Top Brand in Large Cap Funds

Virtually all advisors who use mutual funds include large-cap growth or value funds in their lineup; 39% use large-cap American Funds product for the growth portion and 31% for the value.

Quote of the Week

"People tend to overestimate the utility of money and underestimate the utility of not being surprised by financial problems or not having to worry about money.” -- Steven A. Sass of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, author of The Promise of Private Pensions.

The Bucket

Late-breaking items from AnnuitySpecs, Pershing, ING, Jefferson National, Securian, Allianz Life and more...