In the ‘Green Zone’ with Jim Otar

The Toronto engineer-turned-advisor has self-published an exhaustive new book and launched a refined version of his Retirement Optimizer software.

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

Zone Therapy

"Everything you have read in this book so far guides you in one direction: ignore the popular wisdom and hype. Design your own 'personal' pension for your retirement." So begins Chapter 41 of Jim Otar's book, which is reprinted here.
News

AIG and ING Sell Units to Raise Cash

Both firms are divesting major subsidiaries to pay back billions extended to them by the U.S. and Dutch governments, respectively.

Sun Life VA Sales Up 35% At Mid-Year

Sun Life was the fifteenth largest seller of variable annuities in the U.S. in the first half of 2009, with $1.4 billion in sales and a 2.3% share of the VA market.

The Abnormal Is the Norm

Does anyone really coast smoothly into retirement? Not guys like my friend Mark, the brilliant engineer. He married at 40, was laid off at 55, and now, at 62, is scrambling to put two kids through elite private colleges. The abnormal is the new norm.