“What Investors Really Want”

That’s the name of behavioral economist Meir Statman’s new book. We all yearn for upside potential and downside protection—and maybe a weekly Lotto ticket, he says.

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.

Financial Engines’ Secret Income Plan

Financial Engines CEO Jeff Maggioncalda expects his firm to roll out an in-plan income option to DC participants in late 2010 or early 2011. He won't reveal details, but there are clues to his intentions. Photo by Robyn Basso.

Which Are the Hottest VA Brands?

Who do advisors think of first when asked to name a variable annuity provider? The just-published 2010 Advisor Brandscape from Cogent Research reveals that and much more.

By Another Name, Annuities Would Smell Sweeter

Some 80% of 3,200 people surveyed preferred a product with four percent return and a principal guarantee over a product with an 8% return subject to market risk. But they balk at the word, “annuity.”

Fitch Deems Life Insurers “Stable”

Fitch expects the industry's large in-force variable annuity business to hurt profitability over the near term, however, and could damage industry earnings and capital in an unexpected, but still possible, severe stress scenario.

SIFMA Urges Uniform Standard for Advisors, Brokers

Broker-dealers and investment advisers should appropriately manage conflict of interest by providing individual investors with full disclosure that is simple and clear and allows them to make informed investment decisions, SIFMA said.

Jefferson National Offers DFA Funds

Jefferson National’s Monument Advisor VA contract offers more than 250 investment options, or five times the number offered by most VAs, the company said.

The Big Red Stag’s Mistake

In ordinary times, The Hartford's letter-gate problem might vanish quickly. But investors are nervous, a big election is coming up, and the reputation of the financial services industry is fragile. A cap-gun could set off a panic.