We Believe What We Like to Believe

In another of our occasional Research Roundups, we survey papers that explore how we like to fool ourselves, how debt keeps women working, why it's better to grow up during an economic boom, and other complex phenomena.

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.

Two Definitions of ‘Best Interest’

The gap between what advisors can deliver and what clients feel that the DOL rule promises them is exactly where the plaintiff’s attorneys may focus their litigation efforts.

Student Debt Weighs on All of Us

'If this debt policy additionally discourages risk taking and marriage after education, then all this debt may even reduce investment over time in education, businesses, and homes combined,' writes our guest author, an Urban Institute scholar.