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.

Envestnet’s Big Annuities Play

Envestnet, with the help of six major annuity issuers, has built a platform where advisors from broker-dealers, banks and RIAs can blend insurance products and investments in the same financial plan. It's a service life insurers can't live without. But will RIAs embrace annuities?

FIAs for Retirement Income (Why Not?)

In this last article in our series on fixed indexed annuities, we consider the potential role of FIAs in providing retirees with guaranteed lifetime income. We find FIAs to be valuable, but underused for that purpose.

The Derivatives that Power Index Annuities

FIA owners can pick from an array of choices as cryptic as those on a roulette table. But if they don't understand options, how can they evaluate these safe but esoteric insurance products?
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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.