A New Robo-Advisor Eyes the 401(k) Space

"blooom is like a dietician who doesn’t just give you advice on how to eat. It’s like a dietician who actually drives to your store, does your grocery shopping for you and comes back to your house and cooks all your meals for you,” says blooom co-founder Chris Costello (above).

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

2014: ‘A Year of Cautious Optimism’

"This is one of those time periods where the stuff in the middle has surprised by not performing in-between the stuff on the ends," writes West Coast market philosopher Ron Surz in this assessment of U.S. and global stock performance so far in 2014.

Half a Trillion is Still a Big Deficit

"If the next 20 years are similar to the last five, with very slow growth and median incomes declining, then the budget deficit will grow inexorably larger and Social Security payments after 2033 will be far lower than they are at present," worries our ever-bearish guest columnist.
News

Guaranteed Lifetime Income Appeal Index created

At present, according to a new survey by CANNEX and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, only 16% of consumers score highly on the GLI Appeal Index, which measures the likelihood that consumers will consider a future income annuity purchase.

A.M. Best takes pulse of insurance industry

The ratings agency's recent survey asked companies to identify how they planned to invest new money in 2015, and alternative assets also were viewed in terms of investment perspective and ownership impact.