Bernanke, Equities and the November Election

In the course of his address, whose meaning was as usual camouflaged in Fed-jargon and stippled with acronyms, Bernanke more or less assured the markets that his motto remains, “Easy does it.”

Annuities Aim for Spot in ‘Starting Lineup’

Annuity issuers want—and need—their products to be included as a matter of course in the model portfolios or asset allocation software tools that more advisors are expected to rely on in the future.

Why Are Stocks So High?

Because corporations have been returning more of their profits over to shareholders and less to workers, especially over the past 30 years, according to authoritative recent research. The implication is that investors' gains have come at the expense of workers, who own little stock.

‘APIs’ and the Future of Annuities

Catching up with the 'application programming interface' technology train is essential for annuity issuers. APIs integrate annuities into advisor platforms, reduce NIGO applications, and give clients a fluid online experience.
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Japan gets younger, but still struggles with longevity risk

“Traditionally children would inherit their parents’ longevity risk. However, family sizes are shrinking, and the economic circumstances of parents and children have reversed. The last bastion has thus disappeared," a report from Japan says.

“Quote” of the Week

“Today’s stock market is a constantly evolving, bewilderingly complex electronic labyrinth. Not even sophisticated traders can say with certainty what happens to their order when they buy or sell shares of stock" -- from The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins (Perseus 2012), by Jeff Connaughton.

The Bucket

Late-breaking item on The Hartford's sale of its retirement plans business to MassMutual. The Hartford’s institutional retirement business includes 33,000 mainly DC plans with $54.9 billion in AUM and over 1.5m participants. Also, items from Symetra and ING Group, which is selling its stake in Capital One, and MetLife, which has changed its income annuity.

“America the Undertaxed”

Compared with 33 other industrialized nations, total tax revenues in the U.S. were the third lowest as a percent of GDP in 2009. But MIT's Andrea Campbell doesn't necessarily think that's something to brag about.