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

FAQs (and Answers) from DOL

The DOL said 'No' to the question: Can advisors rely on the 'streamlined' version of the Best Interest Contract Exemption if the products they recommend to IRA owners generate the same level of revenue-sharing from product manufacturers?

The Inherent Risk of High-Priced Assets

'Within the US, the greatest risk is a sharp decline in asset prices, which would lead to a collapse of aggregate demand... Conditions are becoming more dangerous as asset prices rise further and further from historic norms,' the Harvard economist writes.
News

Eleven firms, and their new DOL-related policies

A quick review of changes at LPL, Great American Life, Edward Jones, Nationwide, State Farm, Jackson National Life, Merrill Lynch, Commonwealth Financial, Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise in response to DOL fiduciary rule.

TIAA survey shows popularity of closed-end funds

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of advisors recommend increasing closed-end fund allocation at retirement to diversify income, according to new research by Nuveen, a unit of TIAA Global Asset Management.