Imperfect Harmony

Hundreds of riled-up advisors and brokers, including Harold Evensky, have responded to the SEC's RFI on "harmonizing" their standards of conduct. Here's some of what they wrote.

The Alt-Asset Teams that Reinvent Annuity Companies

'Insurance Solutions' groups use private assets to boost the returns of life/annuity company investment portfolios. RIJ talks with Todd Fonner of Investcorp Insurance Solutions about this trend.

One Life Insurer’s Pivot to Private Assets

American Equity Investment Life’s ‘AEL 2.0’ strategy is designed to help it thrive even in a low yield environment. Allocating up to 40% of its money to ‘private assets’ is key to the fixed annuity specialist's plan.

NAIC Eyes ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

A document from the NAIC's Financial Stability Task Force reflects the concerns that the NAIC has heard from a variety of sources about the increased ownership of life insurers by private equity firms. (Image from NAIC document.)
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Why We Need The Fiduciary Standard

It might rid the financial services marketplace of situations where the customer enters into transactions without knowing that there's an adversarial relationship, this well-known columnist believes.

My Tailor, My Fiduciary

The SEC could help investors distinguish between bespoke advice and off-the-rack advice that’s merely “suitable.”
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Quote of the Week

“If we want to study whether a ‘fiduciary duty’ is better for consumers, then we should also study if grass is green, if water is wet, and if deserts are dry.” Luke Dean, professor of finance, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ.

Britain’s Annuity Muddle

Surprisingly few retirees use the ‘open market option,’ which allows them to transfer their money at retirement from the asset management company where they accumulated their savings to another provider with a higher annuity rate.

Response to Last Week’s FIA Article

FIA issuers face the "discipline of the market" when resetting their crediting formulas each year, writes David Babbel of the Wharton School.

Behavioral Economics and Retirement Investing

PIMCO and its Allianz affiliates recently sponsored a new study, “Behavioral Finance and the Post-Retirement Crisis.” PIMCO Retirement Product Manager Tom Streiff explains how the study’s findings can foster the development of successful retirement income products.

Found in Translation

Annuity issuers are reaching out to non-English-speaking investors through websites written in Spanish and Asian languages, according to Corporate Insight.