MetLife’s VA Sales are Missed

Total annuity sales are down for the quarter and the first nine months of the year, according to LIMRA. If not for MetLife’s pull-back, variable annuity sales would be close to last year’s pace.

Research Roundup

We summarize four recent papers: 'Portfolios for Long-Term Investors,' 'What is the Value of Annuities?,' 'Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature,' and 'Financial and Total Wealth Inequality with Low Interest Rates.'

An Annuity’s ‘Moneyness’? There’s an App for That

How will variable annuity contract owners use their income benefits? That question is vital to annuity issuers and to fiduciary advisers with clients who own VAs. This Texas Dep't of Insurance actuary knows a product that can help them find out.

A Chip Off the Old Rock?

Bloomberg reported this week that Prudential is considering selling its retirement plan recordkeeping business. Prudential didn't confirm the report, but several industry insiders did. Low interest rates, high costs of IT makeovers, and sticky stable value fund guarantees are driving the move, RIJ was told.
Featured

Easy Does It

“We will want to be sure that the recovery is established before we begin to normalize policy,” Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech yesterday.

When rates rise, will bond fund owners bolt?

History shows that intermediate-term bond funds are likely to see less flight than junk bond funds, a Schwab executive writes in the Journal of Financial Planning.
News

Bull run

Equity and fixed income funds appreciated by $1 trillion through October, according to the latest report from Strategic Insight.

Judge rules for participants in ERISA suit

In an ERISA fiduciary suit brought by 401k plan participants, a Minnesota judge has denied most of the motions by the attorneys for the plan sponsor, Ameriprise Financial, to dismiss the complaint.

“Quote” of the Week

"Intelligence is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do"--Anonymous.