Introducing the Virtual RIA

Internet start-up Personal Capital is out to prove that mutual funds and face-to-face financial advice are obsolete. (At center, CEO Bill Harris, with Jim Del Favero, VP, product management (seated) and Ehsan Lavassani, engineering director.

The Five Most Important Retirement Income Decisions

'Many of the decisions presented here are beyond the skills of most pre-retirees and retirees,' writes the author, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. 'They’re going to need help.'

A Closer Look at CLOs (and Other U.S. Credit)

Bond mavens, check this out. A new SEC report describes how most of the $54-trillion dollar U.S. credit market survived last spring's financial crisis. It covers securitized 'leveraged loans,' which provide high-octane fuel for fixed indexed annuity issuers.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.
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The Four Most Common Questions about VAs

Investors have been asking Moody's if variable annuity issuers have made their products safer, and how Moody's evaluates the safety of VA guarantees. For answers, Moody's turned to the issuers themselves.
News

Advisor loyalty to fund firms is in flux: Cogent

'Last year, DFA and BlackRock were the only Stars in our mutual fund company commitment ranking,' said Cogent principal John Meunier. 'This year, a total of four firms made it into the top tier.'

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from DST, New York Life, CEIBA, and Putnam.

401(k) Reforms: More Enviable Than Viable

Proponents of 401(k) reform met defenders of the status quo in a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Sept. 15. The reforms have some justification, but they could hurt the very people who decide whether to sponsor a plan or not.