Out of Commission

Wondering what life under a strict fiduciary standard might be like? Just ask investors in the U.K. (also known as 'the nanny state') where sales commissions were banned from financial services last January.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)

What Advisors Want from Annuity Issuers

This week, RIJ received a press copy of “What Advisors Want from Annuity and Insurer Providers-2019,” a study by Practical Perspectives, a Boxford, MA-based financial services market research firm.
Featured

America’s Bond Market Blues

"For China, the benefits of holding large quantities of US dollars no longer outweigh the risks, so it must begin to reduce the share of US securities in its foreign-exchange reserves," writes a researcher at the China Macroeconomic Research Platform.

Allianz Life Launches an “Indexed Variable Annuity’

The product, Index Advantage, includes variable annuity subaccounts, plus a low-risk index crediting method that returns 4% (annually adjusted) whenever the index is flat or positive, plus a structured multi-index option that offers double-digit caps if the client accepts losses beyond a 10% downside buffer.
News

Britons debate best way to consolidate DC accounts

Some in the U.K. suggest the creation of a nationwide non-profit “pension-pot clearinghouse.” It would keep track of all the plans a person has contributed to and how much has been accumulated, as well as provide an estimate of retirement income.

Big outflows from bond funds persist

While the monthly outflow has been huge, it is still a recent phenomenon. The year-to-date net outflow of $28.4 billion reverses only a tiny fraction of the inflows from 2009 through 2012, which totaled $1.20 trillion.

Advisor headcount to shrink through 2017

Since peaking in 2005, the industry has shrunk by a net 32,000 advisors. Some simply aren’t needed. Competition and “underwhelming” client demand have caused firms to lower the supply of advisors, according to Cerulli.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Cannex and The QWeMA Group, Nationwide Financial, The SPARK Institute and ING U.S.