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.

Turn 401(k)s into Bond Ladders

Franklin Templeton SVP Drew Carrington says his firm's Defined Maturity Funds, which work like bond ladders, could provide retirement income for 401(k) participants, and could be paired with qualified longevity annuity contracts.

An Actuary Assesses COVID-19

A mortality and longevity expert at Willis Towers Watson writes that 'the variability of the mortality impact by age makes the impact highly variable by type of insurer.'

At These Rates, Why Bother to Save?

Negative real interest rates have become a disincentive to personal savings, especially among lower-income Americans who will rely heavily on Social Security and Medicaid anyway, this team of economists from Stanford suggests.
Featured

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.”
News

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.