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Archive for January 2013

The long tomorrow

{January 31st, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Americans are bombarded with potential risks to their well being and, for the most part it sinks in. Smoking cigarettes has dropped to record-low levels, it is no longer considered trendy not to wear your seat belt and exercising and striving to eat healthily has become a voguish staple of modern society. There are however, […]

Moody's 2013 global outlook for insurers a negative

{January 31st, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s) outlook for life insurers in 2013 is negative due to the continuous low interest rate environment and anemic economic growth. Interest rates — both in the U.S. and around the world — will remain historically low for near future. Life insurers have, for the most part, been able to insulate themselves from […]

Life insurance fares well under new tax laws

{January 31st, 2013} by Julius Giarmarco

Following are some of the ways that permanent life insurance will play an important role under the new tax laws. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 permanently increases the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for unmarried taxpayers with income over $400,000 and married taxpayers with income over $450,000; permanently […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

{January 31st, 2013} by N/A

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings of “a-” of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company (American Equity Life) and its subsidiaries, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York and Eagle Life Insurance Company .   Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of […]

Allianz Life Launches New FIA: Allianz 222 Annuity

{January 31st, 2013} by N/A

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life), a leading provider of fixed index annuities (FIAs), today announced the launch of the Allianz 222^SM Annuity, a new FIA available exclusively to field marketing organizations, broker/dealers, and agents associated with the Allianz Preferred^SM platform. Available today in 44 states, the newest FIA to the Allianz […]

Economists Growing More Upbeat About 2013

{January 31st, 2013} by N/A

NEW YORK — Economists are increasingly, but still cautiously, optimistic about growth in the year ahead with the hiring expected to pick up in coming months. A quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economists released Monday shows half of the economists polled now expect real gross domestic product _ the value of all […]

When advisers become therapists

{January 31st, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Financial adviser Rick Kahler was perplexed by a young female client who seemed to have a passion for starting small businesses that went beyond what might be considered merely entrepreneurial.   In one of their early meetings at his Rapid City, S.D., office, he asked many questions about her youth and upbringing as he collected […]

Finra proposes a link to BrokerCheck on firm websites

{January 31st, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Investors would be able to access information about a financial adviser’s business and disciplinary history directly from the firm’s web page under a new rule proposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.   In a regulatory notice filed in the Jan. 25 edition of the Federal Register, Finra said the rule would require its […]

Women underrepresented in leadership roles

{January 31st, 2013} by Amanda McGrory-Dixon

Although management and executive roles are the most difficult to fill, only one in five senior management positions are held by women, according to a survey by ManpowerGroup, a provider of work force solutions. To improve this situation, ManpowerGroup recommends that companies offer greater flexibility in an effort to empower women leaders. This is important […]

Annuity myths you must dispel: separating truth from fiction, Pt. 1

{January 30th, 2013} by Ryan Parker

Thanks to efforts put forth by the industry and its dedicated professionals, not to mention the stark retirement reality underpinned by a mistrust of the stock market, annuity products are garnering more investor attention almost every day. Yet despite industry-wide attempts to educate consumers on the appropriate use and benefits of annuity products in a […]

Life, annuity acquisitions by AIMs hit $138B

{January 30th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersh

Acquisitions of annuity blocks of business by alternative investment managers now total $138 billion in value, new research shows. Moody’s Investor’s Service, New York, published this finding today in a “Special Comment” that explores the growing number of “unwanted” annuity/life insurance businesses, credit implications of alternative investment manager firms entering the life/annuity space and AIMs’ […]

Private-equity jumping into annuities could be bad news for insurers

{January 30th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

Companies like Guggenheim Partners LLC, Athene Holding Ltd. and Harbinger Capital Partners have consumed a veritable buffet of annuity businesses, snapping up bits and pieces as life insurers back away from fixed and variable annuities.   The buyers are finding discounts as skittish carriers back away from costly hedging amid low interest rates and struggle […]

Most Advisors Use Social Networking To Boost Business

{January 30th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

Fifty-eight percent of financial advisors use social networking as part of their business, according to a survey by Phoenix Marketing International of Rhinebeck, N.Y.   Facebook, which is used by 85% of advisors that are using social media, is far and away the most widely-used application, followed by LinkedIn (56%), Twitter (44%), Google (34%) and […]

Top 10 trends in the retirement income industry

{January 29th, 2013} by Cathy Weatherford

With 2013 off and running, we at the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) have compiled a comprehensive outlook for the insured retirement industry covering all aspects of the business — from public policy to product changes to the financial health of the industry itself. IRI forecasts that many of the trends and dynamics that marked 2012 […]

Private Equity Increasingly Tapping Into the Potential of US Fixed, Indexed Annuity Market

{January 29th, 2013} by Fran Matso Lysiak

OLDWICK, N.J. – Private equity firms are increasingly tapping into what they view as a potentially lucrative financial opportunity in fixed annuities, including indexed, in the United States. In December, the U.K.-based Aviva plc agreed to sell its U.S. life and annuity business, Aviva USA Corp., to the Bermuda-based Athene Holding Ltd. for $1.8 billion […]

MIB Life Index up 1.4% in 2012

{January 29th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

U.S. application activity for individual underwritten life insurance was up 1.4 percent year-to-date (YTD) as compared with 2011 numbers, all ages combined. MIB Group Inc. published the findings in its MIB Life Index, a measure of life insurance application activity in the U.S. The index, which is released monthly, is based on the number of […]

Outlook 2013: Expect more tax-wise advanced markets sales

{January 29th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, legislation signed by President Obama on January 2 to avert the fiscal cliff, drew fire aplenty for supposed shortcomings from commentators on both the left and right of the political spectrum. But for insurance and financial service professionals, the new law has one indisputable plus in its favor: […]

Find the prospecting fountain of youth

{January 29th, 2013} by Kim Magdalein

A young man wrote an article recently with advice that fits well here today: “Many people forget that the simple statement, ‘I’d love to learn from you,’ opens more doors than anything you can imagine. It’s the ultimate statement of humility, respect, understanding and curiosity.” So says Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, a […]

Retirement Hopes Dim For Baby Boomers

{January 29th, 2013} by Rodney Brooks, USA TODAY

Baby Boomers, forget about retirement. We’ll be working for the rest of our lives.   OK, that may be an exaggeration, but not by much.   We have not saved enough money. And worse, many of us will still be up to our eyeballs in debt when we do retire. We’re just one medical emergency […]

LIMRA: 47% Of Small Businesses Offer Benefits

{January 29th, 2013} by N/A

WINDSOR, Conn., Jan. 28, 2013 — Only 47 percent of small businesses (2-99 employees) in the United States offer benefits to their employees, the lowest level in two decades of LIMRA research. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 98 percent of businesses in the U.S. have fewer than 100 employees, accounting for approximately 35 percent […]

What would the best advisor do? Think and act like you're the finest in your field

{January 29th, 2013} by Sandy Schussel

How are you showing up? Before you do anything with a client or a prospect, ask yourself the question: What would the best advisor do in this situation?   Most of us know how to meet prospective clients, talk to them and have them retain us. But the “what we do” is not a problem. […]

Mary Jo White: The next SEC chief’s skeleton in the closet

{January 29th, 2013} by Larry Doyle

News breaks this morning that President Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to be the next head of the SEC.   Who is Ms. White? A highly decorated attorney at the prestigious law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. I would expect she might win a very easy approval to be our nation’s next top financial […]

Wall Street executives fret about talent drain

{January 29th, 2013} by Lauren Tara LaCapra

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – As the titans of Wall Street banks gathered to network, gossip and consider the future of their beleaguered industry in Davos over the past week, one common worry emerged: who is going to take over when we leave? Some of the most ambitious minds in finance are leaving the industry after […]

LPL beefing up its compliance in wake of Massachusetts suit

{January 28th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

In today’s tough regulatory climate for broker-dealers, with watchdogs routinely whacking firms with large fines, broker-dealer executives may be imagining a securities regulator or two under their beds when they nod off at night.   Recent decisions by LPL Financial LLC would hint that compliance pros at the biggest independent broker-dealers are seeing a gaggle […]

Tough-as-nails White faces hammering at SEC

{January 28th, 2013} by N/A

In nominating former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White to run the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, President Barack Obama said he was sending a signal that the regulator would be tough on Wall Street.   “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo,” Obama said as he introduced her at the White House.   Political […]

Life insurers must adapt quickly to meet equity analysts’ expectations

{January 28th, 2013} by Daniele Presutti, Patrick M. Lyons

Life insurers are operating in a challenging and fast-changing environment, with their businesses under enormous pressure from a range of external forces. To gain insight into the factors driving the ratings of insurance companies, as well as the strategies that insurance CEOs should adopt to improve valuations of their companies, we at Accenture commissioned a […]

Nelson sticks to NAIC preservation of state system

{January 28th, 2013} by Liz Festa

Former Nebraska governor and senator Ben Nelson echoed the sentiments of the NAIC leadership in his first public press conference as new CEO of the organization by casting the desired  relationship with the federal government as one of a “partnership,” not one allowing incursion, pre-emption or even dual regulation. Nelson, a moderate, plains-state Democrat flanked […]

AIG sees low chance of Greenberg lawsuit success

{January 28th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

Starr International and Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, its controlling shareholder, have “no more than a 20 percent” chance of winning damages from the government in its lawsuit claiming that that the government acted punitively against its shareholders when it acted to bail out American International Group starting in September 2008, AIG’s lawyers have told its board. […]

Demand grows for business succession planning

{January 28th, 2013} by Michael S. Fischer

The vast majority of financial planning professionals expect retiring baby boomers to accelerate the demand for business succession planning, according to a new survey. The sixth annual Industry Trends Survey, released Monday by WealthCounsel and Trusts & Estates magazine, found 37 percent of respondents predicting a significant increase and 57 percent expecting at least some […]

What are your prospects really saying?

{January 28th, 2013} by Jill Konrath

Five minutes. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to misconstrue those two simple words. However, after many years of marriage, I can assure you that it has two entirely different meanings for my husband and me. Click here to read…

LIMRA's 2013 Distribution Conference Features Executive Panel

{January 28th, 2013} by N/A

WINDSOR, Conn.,Jan. 24 — LIMRA issued the following news release: A panel of senior industry leaders will address more than 400 sales, marketing and distribution professionals at LIMRA’s 2013Distribution Conference onFeb. 20-22, 2013, inOrlando Fla. “The key driver of growth has always been strong distribution,” saidJames Kerley, president of LIMRA Services. “A recent LIMRA/McKinsey study […]

No More 'Empty Nest'

{January 28th, 2013} by N/A

CORVALLIS, Ore., Jan. 25 — Oregon State University issued the following news release:   The “empty nest” of past generations, in which the kids are grown up and middle-aged adults have more time to themselves, has been replaced in the United States by a nest that’s full – kids who can’t leave, can’t find a […]

Life insurance trusts and trustees — 5 reasons why it’s time for an annual review

{January 26th, 2013} by Ron Roth

It is very typical for our clients to have some or all of their life insurance held in a trust. The reasons are numerous (too many for this article) but suffice it to say that this ownership structure is utilized frequently and is part of sound estate planning. Each of these trusts must contain a trustee or […]

Mary Jo White to be new SEC chair

{January 26th, 2013} by LIZ FESTA

As the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Jo White, who earned a reputation as a tough New York prosecutor, will likely not shy from creating a fiduciary standard that has her stamp on it, and from creating a climate where SEC enforcement will vigorously go after industry malfeasance, including suitability of […]

Find Tomorrow's 'Gems' and Bring Them Into Insurance, Webinar Panelists Advise

{January 26th, 2013} by N/A

OLDWICK, N.J. – The talented young stars of tomorrow’s insurance world are waiting to join the industry, but companies need to ramp up their efforts to identify, recruit and train them, and to find better ways to keep them in fulfilling careers. That was the consensus among the five panelists who participated at the Best’s […]

Brookstone Capital Management Changes Structure of its Ownership

{January 25th, 2013} by Lori Peterson

Wheaton, IL – Friday, January 18 2013 –Brookstone Capital Management (BCM), a SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) announces that due to its rapid growth in recent years, it has decided to restructure its ownership to best position the firm for continued growth. Since 2009, BCM had been a wholly owned subsidiary of Producers Equity Group […]

What The New SEC Chair Means For Advisors

{January 25th, 2013} by Kenneth Corbin

Financial advisors could soon have a new regulatory authority in Washington, as President Obama Thursday nominated veteran prosecutor Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. If confirmed by the Senate, White would replace interim Chairman Elisse Walter and assume responsibility for moving ahead with a number of initiatives that would reshape the regulatory […]

NAIC Names 2013 Committee Leadership

{January 25th, 2013} by N/A

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners issued the following news release:   The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has named its 2013 committee chairs and vice chairs, and assigned members to the organization’s standing committees.   “This year’s committee leadership brings invaluable expertise and insight that will be critical to […]

Northwestern Mutual To Pay Over $5B In Dividends

{January 25th, 2013} by Paul Gores

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. said Thursday it had record sales last year and expects to make its biggest dividend payout ever in 2013. Including life, disability income and long-term care, policies purchased were up 13% over 2011, theMilwaukee-based insurer said. In all, new-premium sales topped$1 billion last year. The company said it plans to […]

SEC might be productive despite 2-2 split

{January 25th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Despite its 2-2 split, the agency may be able to finish some work during the chairmanship of Elisse Walter. Ms. Walter, who was elevated from her position as a commissioner when former Chairman Mary Schapiro departed in December, has started her tenure by demonstrating her skill in finding common ground among disparate views.   “I’m […]

25 mind-blowing social media stats for financial advisors

{January 24th, 2013} by Amy McIlwain

Let’s face it: Who doesn’t love a helping of solid statistical data every once in a while? In 2012, financial professionals made significant strides in embracing and harnessing social media — but how effective are their efforts? Better yet, are they reaching the right audiences on social media? The following compilation of data is reflective […]

Why there is no conflict of interest between financial planners and clients

{January 24th, 2013} by David Lewis

If an advisor values his business and his clients, then how do his personal interests clash with those of his clients? Answer: They don’t.   It’s not uncommon for industry organizations to claim that financial planners must balance “conflicts of interest” when working with clients. For example, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards states, […]

New NAIC CEO Nelson: ‘No Need for Dual Regulation’

{January 24th, 2013} by Andrew G. Simpson

The new CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says there is a limited role for the federal government in insurance in partnership with state regulators but there is “no need for dual regulation.” Ben Nelson, former U.S. senator from Nebraska and a former two-term governor and insurance commissioner in his state, presented […]

Allianz on the green

{January 24th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Allianz Life Insurance Company (Allianz) is teeing-up to donate money during their annual Allianz Championship, being held Feb. 4-10 at the Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton, Fla. Allianz will donate $1,000 dollars for every birdie that is made by their sponsored golfer, Tom Lehman. The donations will be split between the Junior […]

Hybrid Advisors Outpace RIAs

{January 24th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

The RIA market continues to grow, but it wound up in second place last year. “The success of the dually registered channel was a highlight in 2012,”Cerulli Associates said in a recent report. While RIA assets under management rose by 14.7%, advisors able to receive both fees and commissions did even better, increasing their assets […]

Stop the bad press about annuities

{January 24th, 2013} by Charles K. Hirsch, CLU

  If you have clients who are feeling confident about their savings and retirement plans right now, chances are they are not really paying attention. Although there are certainly some signs that our economy is starting to get its legs back after the crisis of 2008, we still have a long way to go.   […]

Is Washington endorsing annuities?

{January 24th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

Is Washington endorsing annuities?   In recent weeks, I have been inundated by annuity industry promotional pieces that reference the Government Accounting Office and their supposed endorsement of annuities.   If you haven’t heard this pitch, you will, so it’s important to know exactly what those GAO studies say, why they said it, and what […]

SEC To Hold National Compliance Event For Broker-Dealers

{January 24th, 2013} by N/A

WASHINGTON,Jan. 23 –The Securities & Exchange Commission issued the following news release: The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the opening of registration for itsNational Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers that will take place inWashington D.C. onApril 9. The event is sponsored by theSEC’sOffice of Compliance Inspections and Examinations in coordination with theSEC’sDivision of Trading […]

Ex-Humana employee pleads guilty in bribery case

{January 24th, 2013} by BRETT BARROUQUERE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A former sales manager forHumana pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking more than$2 million in bribes from aSouth Carolina company to steer insurance brokers their way. James Albert Wegner Jr., 48, of New Port Richie, Fla., admitted to a role in a scheme to cut out other insurance brokers and steerMedicare Advantage and […]

New NAIC CEO Wants To Preserve State-Based Regulation

{January 24th, 2013} by Tom Harman

Ben Nelson, the former U.S. senator andNebraska governor appointed as the new chief executive officer of theNational Association of Insurance Commissioners, said he looks to preserve the industry’s state-based regulatory system while crafting partnerships with international regulators and insisting the federal government’s influence over the industry should be limited. NAIC hired Nelson after it conducted […]

Annuity Data: Inflows Slide In 2012

{January 24th, 2013} by Rachel F. Elson

The amount of money flowing into annuities declined last year more than 6% from prior-year levels, according to a report from theDepository Trust & Clearing Corp. Inflows dropped to$84.7 billion from$90.3 billion in 2011, reflecting in part a spike in fourth-quarter outflows. Although the outflows reflect real investor activity, the jump may have been driven […]

Youngest Most Eager To Save For Retirement

{January 24th, 2013} by Margarida Correia

The people most interested in saving for retirement are those furthest away from actually retiring. That’s the most interesting highlight of a survey released Thursday byState Street Global Advisors. The survey polled more than 1,000 participants in workplace 401(k), 403(b), 457 and profit sharing defined contribution retirement plans. The group that emerged as the most […]

Life Premiums Expected To Rise In 2013 And 2014

{January 24th, 2013} by William T. Knight

LONDON, January 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —   StockCall research team has posted free technical analyses on   companies mentioned in this release. These can be accessed at   http://www.stockcall.com/register   Companies in the life insurance industry could be in for a solid 2013,   as life insurance premiums are predicted to rise both this year […]

Choppy waters persist

{January 23rd, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

Small broker-dealers will continue to face strong head winds in 2013, and dozens will shut down, seek a merger partner or abandon the transaction-oriented style used by securities houses to become registered investment advisers that charge fees rather than commissions.   The difficulties such firms face include higher compliance costs, record low interest rates for […]

AIG Executes Plan To Repay U.S. Government

{January 23rd, 2013} by N/A

American International Group Inc. (AIG) announced that it has executed its previously announced recapitalization plan with theU.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department), the Federal Reserve Bank ofNew York (FRBNY), and theAIG Credit Facility Trust (the Trust). They will also repay in full the approximately$21 billion outstanding balance under the credit facility extended by the […]


Opportune statistics!

{January 23rd, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Just read through this month’s InsuranceNewsNet Magazine and came across a couple opportune statistics from a Harris Interactive survey about America’s search for financial peace of mind:   61% percent of American adults age 55+ view saving enough to have “financial peace of mind” as top financial priority. In addition 32% say that they plan to look into ways to […]

Former U.S. Attorney May Be Next SEC Chair

{January 23rd, 2013} by N/A

(Bloomberg) Mary Jo White, the former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, is under consideration to become the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, three people with knowledge of the matter said.   White, now a partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, would succeed Elisse Walter, who took over as […]

Society of Actuaries examines middle market

{January 23rd, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Life insurance ownership in general is at an all-time low and among the highly underserved and underinsured middle market it is even lower. The Society of Actuaries, in conjunction with WZ Research + Consulting and Mathew Greenwald & Associates explored the reasons for this issue by surveying a panel of young families in order to […]

8 estate planning lessons from "Downton Abbey"

{January 23rd, 2013} by Corey Dahl

The Masterpiece Theater hit “Downton Abbey” offers helpful lessons in a lot of things: turn-of-the-century fashion, 1920s table manners, dramatic face slapping. And while viewers might not realize it, in between all the backstabbing, messy relationships and ego-fueled showdowns, the miniseries is also an in-depth tutorial on the prudence of estate planning. Don’t believe it? […]

5 ways financial advisors under-serve their clients and what to do about it

{January 23rd, 2013} by Bill Bachrach

These ideas will improve your business in any economy, under any market conditions, no matter who’s the president, or whether it’s a tax or a penalty. Focus on what you can control and go get clients. The experts on achieving goals say the first very important step to achieving a goal is simply making the […]

FIAs: The cure for sluggish REITs

{January 23rd, 2013} by David Shields

With investors now seeking a more reliable investment vehicle with less risk and better returns, the time is ripe for you to discuss fixed index annuities with your clients.   Real estate investment trusts (REITs) were once considered a safe place to park your cash and watch it flourish. Indeed, real estate seemed like a […]

Who’s Worth What in the Independent Agency System? Find Out Now

{January 22nd, 2013} by Andrea Wells

  Insurance Journal is polling insurance agents and brokers nationwide in its annual search to find out who’s worth what in the independent agency system.   Don’t miss out on your chance to participate. The 2013 Agency Salary Survey results will be compiled for a special report in the Feb. 25 issue of Insurance Journal […]

NAFA Appoints Jeff Mose as VP of Development and Education

{January 22nd, 2013} by Kim O'Brien

Milwaukee, WI – January 22, 2013 — The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announced Jeff Mose has been appointed as the association’s vice president for development and education. Mose earned his insurance license in 2002 and has been a fixed annuity professional since that time. He launched his own insurance agency in 2009 and […]

FIAs: The cure for sluggish REITs

{January 22nd, 2013} by David Shields

With investors now seeking a more reliable investment vehicle with less risk and better returns, the time is ripe for you to discuss fixed index annuities with your clients. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) were once considered a safe place to park your cash and watch it flourish. Indeed, real estate seemed like a logical, […]

Sen. Ben Nelson named new NAIC CEO

{January 22nd, 2013} by Liz Festa

Former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson has been named CEO of the National Association of Insurance (NAIC), the organization announced today in a news release. The move was widely anticipated and welcomed by many in the industry. Nelson has reportedly already met with top lobbyists and Washington insurance officials like Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith […]

Demographic nightmare: boomer retirement disaster looms

{January 22nd, 2013} by Joyce Hanson

Before Tea Party leader Jim DeMint left the U.S. Senate to take a high-paying position as head of the conservative Heritage Foundation, the 61-year-old’s net worth was estimated to total $40,501 in 2010.   That figure was down 54% since 2004, according to a Washington Post report on the personal finances of lawmakers, and it […]

The truth: Your new standard of care in financial services, Pt. 2

{January 22nd, 2013} by Steven McCarty

Hopefully, as more producers commit themselves to selling straight, consumers will learn to distinguish the truth sellers from the cellar-dwellers and reward the former with their business.   Imagine a marketplace where your competitors always tell the truth. OK, you can stop rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL, in Internet speak). But seriously, what would […]

Defending your life: Tax reform and the inside buildup

{January 22nd, 2013} by Robert Lehmert

As a vehicle intended to manage the financial risk of death and the perils of old age, life insurance is unique. With no known exception, our legislators and regulators support the critical role life insurance plays in the financial security of Americans. NAIFA points out that life insurance accounts for 20 percent of the long-term […]

Does your under age 60 client need income? Use a SPIA.

{January 22nd, 2013} by Russell E. Towers, J.D., CLU, ChFC

Individuals under age 59-and-a-half sometimes have a need for a guaranteed stream of income due to unforeseen economic circumstances in their lives. This need can be met with the purchase of a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA), which will guarantee a fixed income for life or for a period-certain-only number of years.   The questions […]

New chairman, same logjam at SEC

{January 21st, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

In her first public appearance as SEC chairman Friday, Elisse Walter indicated that little near-term action would be forthcoming on two major issues: finalizing a rule that allows advertising of private-placement investments to the public and a potential rule that would raise investment advice standards for brokers.   On the private-placement advertising rule, Ms. Walter […]

Regulators to crack down on phony AUM

{January 21st, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

Inflating assets is a real temptation for some firms near the $100 million threshold for registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Brian Hamburger, founder of MarketCounsel LLC, a compliance firm.   Under the Dodd-Frank Act, firms with assets under that amount must register with state securities regulators, who generally conduct examinations more frequently […]

The future of underwriting lies in predictive modeling

{January 21st, 2013} by Daniel Pierson

As an industry, we need to embrace new methods of doing business. Change is inevitable, and this change can make us all more efficient, wealthier and better at protecting families. I love baseball. Not only is it a great American sport, but there are so many comparisons that can be made between baseball and business. […]

Nonprofit Employees Lack Confidence In Retirement Planning

{January 21st, 2013} by N/A

  NEW YORK, Jan. 10 — TIAA-CREF issued the following news release:   According to a study released today by the TIAA-CREF Institute and Independent Sector, about 45 percent of all employees in the nonprofit sector are not confident with their ability to prepare financially for retirement. The findings underscore the need for the nonprofit […]

10 surefire annuity sales strategies

{January 21st, 2013} by David Port

When Gary D. Wendell looks at today’s generation of guarantee-laded annuities and the sales numbers they’re generating, he sees “a great opportunity” for advisors to provide much-needed solutions to their clients, while beefing up their own business in the process. “As an insurance product that gives some amazing guarantees to the client, annuities, I think, […]

Prudential Completes Acquisition Of Hartford's Individual Life Business

{January 20th, 2013} by N/A

Prudential Financial, Inc. announced that The Prudential Insurance Company of America has completed the acquisition of The Hartford’s Individual Life Insurance business through a reinsurance transaction, which was announced on September 27. “This acquisition allows us to broaden our product and distribution capabilities and strengthens our position among the largest life insurance companies in the U.S.,” said Kent Sluyter, incoming chief […]

Chief Marketing Officer Needed in Houston, Texas

{January 19th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

And people say that the good jobs are all taken… I have a wonderful friend that runs a marketing organization in Houston, Texas. He recently expressed to me that he is in need of a Chief Marketing Officer for his firm. Are you interested? You would be leading a staff that specialize in multimedia, graphic […]

Financial security provided by income annuities questioned

{January 18th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

While income annuities are frequently recommended by advisors to increase guaranteed income, the products do not always improve financial security in retirement, new research concludes.   The Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Ill., makes this claim in a January 2013 report, “Measures of Retirement Benefit Adequacy: Which, Why, for Whom and How Much.” Conducted by the […]

Finke Study Warns: 4% Retirement Rule Is Dead, Long Live Annuities

{January 18th, 2013} by Gil Weinreich

Financial advisors relying on the classic “4% rule” for their clients’ retirement income have a better than even chance of failure, according to newly published research. Titled “The 4 Percent Rule is Not Safe in a Low-Yield World,” the study by Michael Finke, Wade Pfau and David Blanchett argues that advisors make a grave mistake […]

LIMRA: 70% Fail To Understand Insurance

{January 18th, 2013} by Catherine Theroux

WINDSOR, Conn., Jan. 17, 2012—Recently,LIMRA provided a life insurance IQ test to 4,000 Americans to gauge their knowledge and understanding of life insurance. Less than a third (1,200) passed the 10-question exam and the majority (55 percent) answered fewer than five questions correctly.   “In addition to identifying the aspects of life insurance that consumers […]

Insurance Broker Pleads Guilty In $1M Fraud

{January 18th, 2013} by N/A

Insurance Broker Defrauds Seniors Out of Annuity Funds Williamsburg’s William Lowder Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Tax Charges U.S. Attorney’s Office January 17, 2013 Western District of Michigan (616) 456-2404   GRAND RAPIDS, MI–William Edward Lowder, age 57, of Williamsburg, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing […]

Raymond James simplifies pay grid, bumps up production levels

{January 18th, 2013} by Andrew Osterland

Call it the anti-wirehouse compensation grid.   Raymond James & Associates Inc. has distributed a new one-page formula for payouts to its employee financial advisers that contrasts sharply with the complicated grids of large Wall Street competitors.   The compensation formulas for advisers at the wirehouses have become increasingly intricate as their companies try to […]

Future Retirees Could See Living Standards Drop

{January 18th, 2013} by Kim McKeown

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Given recent financial challenges, retirement benefit adequacy is more important than ever, especially for those nearing retirement. A recent report from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) studies this issue by measuring retirement benefit adequacy in light of both expected and unexpected expenses in retirement.   By testing several […]

Annuity Opening Salvo For 2013: Auspicious?

{January 17th, 2013} by Linda Koco

There was something for just about every annuity wonk in the beginning of 2013. Forethought is moving forward as a variable annuity player. ING U.S. has snatched up a former Hartford Financial exec to head its fixed annuity business. And, four new products debuted (two deferred income annuities, a new fixed indexed annuity and a […]

Insurance sales: The importance of selling and teaching

{January 17th, 2013} by Ryan Parker

When it comes to selling — whether it’s something as complex as life insurance or annuities, something as common as cars, or something as simple as lemonade — there is one underlying secret to success: People won’t buy something that they don’t understand. No matter how great your sales technique, how phenomenal the quality of […]

AIG seeks to sue mortgage banks

{January 17th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

American International Group and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York are apparently going to war. The new development is spelled out in a lawsuit filed by AIG in New York state court that seeks to confirm that it has authority to sue mortgage banks that sold its subsidiaries virtually worthless mortgages whose failure to […]

The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. Launches Deferred Income Annuity

{January 17th, 2013} by N/A

  NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (www.Guardianlife.com), announced today the introduction of Guardian SecureFuture Income AnnuitySM, a deferred income annuity product designed to provide a future stream of guaranteed lifetime annuity payments.   With a minimum initial premium payment […]

ING U.S. hires Bedard to lead fixed annuities business

{January 17th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

ING U.S., Windsor, Conn., has hired David Bedard as president of its Annuities business segment. Part of ING U.S.’s Retirement Solutions business, the segment focuses on sales of fixed annuities. In his new role, Bedard is responsible for product, financial management and the operating performance of the fixed annuity business.  Click here to read more…

Flu taking advisers — and clients — down 'like soldiers'

{January 17th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Financial advisers are arming their offices with hand sanitizer and turning sick employees and customers away in hopes of preventing this year’s virulent strain of the flu from sidelining them.   But like other U.S. employers that are expected to incur billions in influenza-related losses this winter, some advisers or their staff have fallen ill […]

New Mass. Law Restricts Life Insurance Settlement Contracts, Bars STOLI Policies

{January 17th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

BOSTON, Mass. – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation, H 4296, placing new restrictions on life insurance settlement contracts and prohibiting the use of stranger-originated life insurance policies that have been a source of fraud.   This makes Massachusetts the 42nd state to regulate life settlements. The new law is based on the Life Settlements […]

Business CEOs Call For Raising Retirement Age

{January 17th, 2013} by STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

WASHINGTON — An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans.   The Business Roundtable’s plan would protect those 55 and older from cuts but younger workers would […]

10 issues the life and annuity industry should examine

{January 17th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Carriers need to remain nimble and ready to innovate and adjust in a persistently difficult economic environment that is struggling slowly to regain its footing. Deloitte’s “2013 Life Insurance and Annuity Industry Outlook: Considering new directions in a recovering economy,“ offers senior insurance executives 10 issues that they should contemplate as they navigate through 2013. […]

Genworth to realign corporate structure

{January 17th, 2013} by Allison Bell

Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW) is trying to insulate its wealth and insurance business from the performance of its mortgage insurance business. Genworth — a company that was spun off from GE Financial in 2005 — is now a parent company, or top-level “holding company” that happens to control a group of U.S. mortgage insurance companies, […]

Genworth Plan to Reorganize Struggling US Mortgage Operations Includes a New Holding Company Structure

{January 17th, 2013} by Fran Matso Lysiak

RICHMOND, Va. – Genworth Financial Inc. said it’s planning to revamp its U.S. mortgage insurance business, which includes a legal entity reorganization that would create a new holding company structure. The plan for its U.S. mortgage insurance business would reduce Genworth Mortgage Insurance Co.’s risk-to-capital by up to 15 points, reduce the likelihood the U.S. […]

Ghost of 151A laid to rest in Illinois

{January 17th, 2013} by Maria Wood

Although the proposed SEC Rule 151A that would have classified fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) as securities was defeated quite some time ago, the contentious issue was revived recently in Illinois. A ruling in a case involving Pinnacle Investment Advisors led some annuity issuers to conclude that the state was characterizing FIAs as securities. One insurer, […]

Americans Divided Between Hope, Pessimism On Economy

{January 17th, 2013} by N/A

NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A recent Harris Poll captures American sentiments in the midst of the fiscal cliff battle, showing that even during this period U.S. adults were divided between hope that the economy would improve in the coming year (33%) and pessimism that it would get worse (36%).   These are […]

Moody's withdraws some AIG life ratings

{January 16th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Moody’s Investors Service has withdrawn the A2 long-term insurance financial strength ratings of a group of companies, all members of the American International Group Life & Retirement Group of life insurance companies, which is wholly-owned by American International Group.   The companies are: Western National Life Insurance Company; American General Life & Accident Insurance Company; […]

Commissions don't create conflict of interest

{January 16th, 2013} by Marvin Feldman

Ellen Schultz of the Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article about retirement mistakes people make (“Five Big Retirement Mistakes,” Dec. 29, 2012). These included not paying for financial advice; investing in something you don’t understand; supporting your adult children; lowballing elder-care costs; and underestimating how much you will need for retirement. While I agree […]

MetLife completes sale to GE Capital

{January 16th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

MetLife has completed the sale of its bank to GE Capital, a transaction which removes it at least temporarily from oversight by federal regulators.   MetLife notified depositors at its bank that their deposits would be transferred last Friday, and Steven Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO disclosed the completion of the deal before the stock […]

Selling to women: 2 trends to drive voluntary sales

{January 16th, 2013} by Ron Fields

When selling to women, many agents and brokers start conversations with a standard list of questions regarding marital status, children, income, financial goals, household expenses and other related topics. This type of information is a great start, but it’s more important than ever for producers to pay close attention to their female clients’ lives, as […]

If you thought the dangers for Fixed Annuities ended with the defeat of 151A, you need to read the NAFA Annuity Watch below.

{January 15th, 2013} by N/A

NAFA is pleased to inform our members that clarification has been obtained from the Illinois Securities Department that indexed annuity products and insurance agents who sell them are not subject to securities registration under Illinois law.   This resolves uncertainty over the status of indexed annuities in Illinois arising out of the controversial Pinnacle enforcement action […]

Index-Linked Insurance Products: A Deep Dive Into the Trends Driving Sales and Shaping 2013

{January 15th, 2013} by N/A

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:00 P.M. EST 11 A.M. PST 7:00 P.M. GMT   As rates declined throughout 2012, index-linked products continued to set sales records.  Will that pace hold in 2013?  As agents and advisors prepare for the year ahead, what key trends and market intelligence should they be armed with to educate their […]

Breaking news: Men and women are different!

{January 14th, 2013} by Matt McCann

As we move forward into 2013, I want to share with you some breaking news. Ready? Men and women are different. OK, I see you are thinking to yourself that this isn’t breaking news. In that case, let me ask you why most of us treat men and women the same way? You might say […]

Local regs key reason for severing client relationships

{January 14th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

A new study reveals that 77% of senior managers in the financial services sector would consider ending relationships with clients in a particular jurisdiction because of local regulatory requirements and their global consequences, a new report shows.   Global professional services firm Kinetic Partners, New York, released this finding in “Global Regulatory Outlook.” The study […]

New Year's resolution: Steps to help clients get out of debt and save money

{January 14th, 2013} by Steve Savant

The number one ranked New Year’s resolution is to lose weight by eating right and exercising. But resolutions two and three are securing control of your money by getting out of debt and starting to save money. But we can’t start saving money until we get our debt under control. You know your debt is […]

CNO Financial Group Appoints New SVP, Corporate Actuarial and Enterprise Risk Management [Professional Services Close – Up]

{January 11th, 2013} by N/A

CNO Financial Group, Inc. announced that Tim Bischof has been named Senior Vice President, Corporate Actuarial & Enterprise Risk Management.   He will report to Fred Crawford, Chief Financial Officer.   “Tim is a seasoned professional who has been deeply involved in virtually all aspects of actuarial and risk management practices at CNO,” said Crawford. […]

“Safe Money” Television Ad Campaign Airs as Annuity.com Springs into Lead Services

{January 11th, 2013} by N/A

NEW YORK, NY, January 7, 2013 — Annuity.com, the go-to source since 1992, for accurate tips and valuable information on understanding and investing in “annuities” announces its new TV promotional.   Annuity.com’s mission has always been focused on:   •Educating the consumer about the “guaranteed income” retirement options annuities provide •Simplifying comprehensive concepts like “fixed […]

Social Security’s Old Forecasting Method Hides New Time Bomb, Researchers Say

{January 11th, 2013} by GIL WEINREICH

Washington’s restoration of the employee’s portion of the payroll tax that funds Social Security may be good news or bad news, depending on your perspective. But what seems definitely to fall into the latter category is new research indicating that Social Security, even with the fresh funding boost, is on shakier ground than generally thought. […]

5 advisors discuss working with boomer clients

{January 11th, 2013} by Daniel Williams

With the oldest boomers now becoming seniors, it’s having a big impact on some financial advisors and their business. We recently surveyed the advisors to get their thoughts on the boomer invasion. If you have a tip on how to work with boomer clients leave a comment below or email me at dwilliams@sbmedia.com. Click here […]

FIA could boost chances of sustaining lifetime income

{January 11th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

New research shows that combining a fixed indexed annuity with traditional retirement portfolio strategies significantly improves the chances of creating sustainable income throughout retirement.   Security Benefit Corp., a Topeka, Kan.-based Guggenheim Partners company, released this finding in a series of papers, “Planning With Certainty: A New Strategy For Retirement Income.” The papers describe the […]

“Complex” products risky to insurers, too

{January 11th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

Risks abound—even for insurers—in not fully understanding annuity products.   The General Accounting Office (GAO) agrees new annuity designs with guarantees can be helpful to helping consumers looking for a steady stream of income but used a variety of input from state and federal regulators as well as insurers to conclude that consumers should proceed […]

A.M. Best Withdraws Ratings of PEMCO Life Insurance Company Due to Legal Merger [Manufacturing Close – Up]

{January 11th, 2013} by N/A

A.M. Best Co. has withdrawn the financial strength rating (FSR) of B+ (Good) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bbb-” of PEMCO Life Insurance Company (PLIC) (Seattle, WA) following its legal merger into its affiliate, Sagicor Life Insurance Company (Sagicor) (Austin, TX).   This transaction closed on December 31, at which time all assets and […]

Estate Tax Cliff: The Implications For Annuities

{January 11th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Annuities appear nowhere in the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, but the legislation does have at least three indirect implications for annuity advisors and clients.   The implications include:   The measure makes federal estate taxes permanent.   The certainty this injects into the estate tax area could help lay the groundwork for teachable […]

Low interest rates concern execs in 2013

{January 11th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Low interest rates will stymie growth in 2013 according to life insurance executives surveyed by LOMA for its 2013 forecast. Modest growth of around three percent is expected. It has been noted that the life insurance industry must teach itself to adroitly navigate the changes that are on its plate for 2013, many of those […]

Checklist for 2013 client meetings

{January 11th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

  10. Are the kick-ins being left out? See if clients have reviewed their Social Security benefits reports in the last two years since they are no longer sent out automatically. Everyone should make sure the government is crediting them for what they’ve paid into the system. Click here to read more…

Indexed universal life: Answers to the top questions clients and prospects ask

{January 10th, 2013} by Katherine Vessenes

Over the last two years, we have been privileged to assist dozens of clients with setting up part of their income in retirement to be tax-free. For some, we use Roths. For many, we use a combination of Roths and indexed universal life (IUL). Click here to read more…

ING U.S. Hires David Bedard to Lead Fixed Annuities Business

{January 10th, 2013} by N/A

PRESS RELEASE Windsor, Conn., January 10, 2013   ING U.S. Hires David Bedard to Lead Fixed Annuities Business   ING U.S. announced today that it has hired David Bedard as president of its Annuities business segment.  This segment, part of ING U.S.’s Retirement Solutions business, is focused on driving growth and long-term success in the […]

AIG lawsuit decision a boost for its reps

{January 10th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

A decision by the board of directors at American International Group Inc. not to sue the U.S. government for allegedly giving short shrift to the giant insurer in its 2008 bailout is good news for its network of independent broker-dealers.   The insurer issued a statement today stating that it will not join a $25 […]

Financial firms score well in 401(k) plan ranking

{January 10th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

Wellington Management Co. LLP’s 401(k) dominated those from other financial services firms — thanks mostly to the plan’s low costs and rich employer contributions.   The firm’s retirement plan came in fourth place on BrightScope Inc.’s Year-End Top 30 Ratings List, which covered 401(k) plans with more than $1 million in assets.   Of the […]

Mary Beth Franklin: The one thing advisers should know about Social Security

{January 10th, 2013} by Mary Beth Franklin

I want to thank Investment News reader Larry Lindsley, a certified financial planner in Green Bay, Wis., for posing an important question about Social Security benefits for married couples. He asked how claiming reduced retirement benefits early would affect a wife’s subsequent survivor benefit if she outlives her husband.   Here’s the situation: Larry’s clients […]

NAFA Membership Elects 2013 Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting

{January 10th, 2013} by N/A

PRLog (Press Release) – Jan. 9, 2013 – The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) elected its 2013 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in Phoenix, Arizona. Four new members are joining the board: Gayle Allen of North American, Tony Compton of Gradient Financial Group, Jim Maietta of Allianz Life and […]

3 ways clients can benefit from old annuities

{January 10th, 2013} by Adam A. Solano Jr.

Remember those fixed and variable annuity contracts you sold 10, 20, 30 years ago? Well, not only are they out of the contingent deferred sales charge period, but they present a great opportunity for your clients. Here are three ways you can help your clients take advantage of their older annuities. Click here to read […]

AIG Won't Sue Federal Government Over $182.3 Billion Bailout

{January 10th, 2013} by Meg Green

NEW YORK – American International Group Inc. has refused to join shareholder Starr International Co.’s lawsuit against the U.S. government over the federal bailout of AIG in September 2008.   “In considering and ultimately refusing the demand before us, the board…properly and fully executed our fiduciary and legal obligations to AIG and its shareholders,” said […]

Are You A Director of Product Management? Want to Be?

{January 10th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

I have an insurance company home office that is looking to hire a new Director of Product Management. If you are qualified and interested, please shoot me an email at sjm[at]indexedrockstar.com. Thank you! ______________________________________________________________ POSITION DESCRIPTION: Reporting to the AVP,Product Management, this position is responsible for supporting the implementation and ongoing management of [insurance company […]

AIG lawsuit decision a boost for its reps

{January 10th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

A decision by the board of directors at American International Group Inc. not to sue the U.S. government for allegedly giving short shrift to the giant insurer in its 2008 bailout is good news for its network of independent broker-dealers.   The insurer issued a statement today stating that it will not join a $25 […]


Just an update…

{January 9th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Just a heads-up that I do not endorse any company, financial product, OR software package. I endorse Sheryl and nothing more!           sjm

Investors Say They're On Track With Goals

{January 9th, 2013} by N/A

BOSTON, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –As they look forward to a new year, 70 percent of investors feel they are on track with their financial goals, with ten percent reporting they are actually ahead of schedule, according to a recent survey by John Hancock. About thirty percent admit they are behind schedule, but only seven […]

Genworth Financial Shares Fall On Downgrade

{January 9th, 2013} by N/A

BOSTON — Shares of Genworth Financial Inc. fell after a Credit Suisse analyst on Tuesday downgraded the stock, saying a recent rally ignores the risks that Genworth faces in its life insurance businesses, particularly in long-term care insurance.   THE SPARK: Credit Suisse’sThomas Gallagher cut his rating to “Underperform” from “Neutral”.   THE BIG PICTURE: […]

Avoiding Outrage, AIG Rejects Suit Against U.S.

{January 9th, 2013} by N/A

NEW YORK — Facing a certain backlash from Washington and beyond, American International Group won’t be joining a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. government.   AIG was legally obligated to consider joining the lawsuit being brought against the government by former AIG Chief Executive Maurice Greenberg, who claims that the terms of the $182 billion […]

Finra reports dramatic jump in restitution in 2012

{January 9th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Finra, the brokerage industry self-regulator that seeks to have financial advisory firms added to its regulatory domain, said it ordered members to return a record $34 million to harmed clients last year. That’s a 75% increase from the $19.4 million in restitution Finra ordered in 2011.   In its annual assessment of enforcement and other […]

Annuity greed trumps common sense

{January 9th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

Every day I receive calls and emails from people who say things like, “I just bought a 7% annuity” or “the annuity I own gives me all the upside and no downside” or “I bought the annuity because the company gave me a free bonus on my money.” Unfortunately, they usually are calling me with […]

Northwestern Mutual on recruiting drive

{January 9th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Northwestern Mutual announced today that they hope to recruit 5,500 financial professionals in 2013. With a pestering unemployment rate hovering around 7.8 percent in the U.S., job creation has been a hot-button political issue and a slow-healing wound on the nation’s collective psyche which is why Northwestern Mutual’s announcement that an increase in demand for […]

Time is always running out

{January 9th, 2013} by Corey Dahl

After the tragic Newtown shootings last month, gun reform became a hot topic (again!), and all the discussion set off, at least here in Colorado, a rush to arms. The demand was so great that the wait time for required background checks soared from about 15 minutes to more than a week. The mad rush […]

AIG confirms talks with Greenberg

{January 9th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

The board of American International Group will weigh Wednesday whether to join a lawsuit filed by former chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg that argues that the government was unfair to its shareholders through the way it conducted its bailout of AIG. Lawyers for Greenberg at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, in New York, lawyers for the […]

Research Reports From Security Benefit Point To A Different Approach For Retirees Seeking Sustainable Income

{January 9th, 2013} by N/A

Actuarial Studies Suggest Fixed Indexed Annuity Products Increase Potential For Retirement Success TOPEKA, KS — January 8, 2013 — Security Benefit Corporation, a leading provider of retirement savings and income vehicles for America’s pre-and post-retirees, today released a series of research papers confirming that fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) used in combination with traditional retirement portfolio strategies […]

Pacific Life releases "non-traditional" planning tools

{January 8th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

One in every three households in the country is currently considered non-traditional according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. In order to properly ensure that this rapidly growing demographic has its estate planning needs met life insurance producers must adapt to this groups’ specialized needs. Pacific Life has come up with the […]

FINRA advances bonus disclosure plan for brokers

{January 8th, 2013} by Melanie Waddell

FINRA’s proposed rule would require member firms to specifically disclose the financial incentives they give to the representatives they recruit. The recruiting firm would be required to provide the disclosure before the rep’s former customers transfer their accounts to the new firm. Securities lawyer Patrick Burns says that a “number of FINRA member firms, namely […]

A.M. Best Presents Special Industry Webinar on Attracting and Developing Tomorrow’s Insurance Stars

{January 8th, 2013} by N/A

OLDWICK, N.J. – A panel that includes experts on insurance recruiting and development will review how companies are finding new ways to identify and attract incoming insurance talent, what it takes to bring future standouts up to speed, and why some stay and others leave. The one-hour webinar is set for 2 p.m. ET, Wednesday, […]

Meaningful philanthropy, indeed

{January 8th, 2013} by Brian Anderson

I read an interesting editorial recently in The Denver Post, “Meaningful philanthropy can be the legacy you leave,” by Bruce DeBoskey, a Colorado-based philanthropic advisor who helps families, businesses and foundations with philanthropic initiatives. In the column, DeBoskey wonders how many of the 314 million Americans or 7 billion planetarians will be remembered 100 years […]

Hard lessons learned by 7 financial experts

{January 8th, 2013} by N/A

Clark Howard. Who: Consumer finance expert on radio and TV. Mistake: Bought into an apartment complex in Miami in 1985 to take advantage of tax laws that provided $2 in tax benefits for every $1 the investment lost. Result: Tax laws changed in 1986 and he was hit with a massive tax bill known as […]

Mary Beth Franklin: Self-employment a halfway house for retirement

{January 8th, 2013} by Mary Beth Franklin

I spent part of my Christmas holidays estimating my tax liability for 2012. Exciting stuff, huh? But rather than the usual gnashing of teeth that accompanied many of my tax-filing season computations in the past, I was pleased with my initial tally of income and expenses in my first year as an independent contractor.   […]

Five ways to strengthen the 401(k)

{January 8th, 2013} by N/A

As the nation’s retirement population continues to grow, 401(k)s have become a target of critics who contend that the system has failed American workers and that it will never allow participants to accumulate enough money for a secure retirement. Some are calling for the abolishment of 401(k)s without offering any serious alternatives. Others are suggesting […]

Advisers relieved, but wary of what may lie ahead

{January 8th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Financial advisers appreciate that lawmakers may have averted another recession by keeping the economy from falling off the so-called fiscal cliff.   They value the certainties on the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax that were included in the deal, but many advisers are warning clients to curb their enthusiasm. They recognize that the […]

Permanent AMT fix protects millions of middle-class taxpayers

{January 8th, 2013} by Mary Beth Franklin

As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, Congress agreed to boost the level of alternative-minimum-tax exemption retroactively for 2012 and to index future exemption levels to keep pace with inflation.   “We went all through 2012 not knowing whether an additional 26 million taxpayers would be affected by the AMT,” said Mark Luscombe, principal federal […]

Roth 401(k) switch is a good deal for younger taxpayers sitting on cash

{January 8th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

A key to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, buried at the end of the 157-page law that President Barack Obama signed last Wednesday, relaxes restrictions that have kept workers from rolling over traditional 401(k) accounts to Roth 401(k)s.   The idea was that taxes paid by Roth converters would at least help address […]

JPMorgan sees weak returns from life insurers

{January 8th, 2013} by AP Staff Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – The way a JPMorgan analyst sees it, life insurance companies have relatively little debt and prices for insurance are rising, but low interest rates will likely limit investors’ returns.   Analyst Jimmy Bhullar said Thursday in a client note that the interest rate outlook is “considerably worse than it appears,” which […]

Manulife Financial acquires Benesure Canada Inc.

{January 8th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

  Manulife Financial (Manulife) announced last Friday that it had completed its acquisition of third party administrator and distributor of life and disability solutions to the mortgage broker marketplace, Benesure Canada Inc., (Benesure).   With over 170,000 clients, Benesure’s foothold in providing insurance solutions to the Canadian mortgage broker community is solid and with the […]

Creating a unique client experience

{January 8th, 2013} by Jim Brogan

One of my great loves in life is music, and I have spent many years working on the side as a professional singer, director and producer. My music mentor has a perspective on client impressions that I’ll never forget, and it’s simply this: “You only get one chance at a first impression.” How much thought […]

Transamerica Continues To Strengthen Mutual Funds Lineup

{January 8th, 2013} by N/A

DENVER, Jan. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following its commitment to provide unique fund offerings from top-tier managers, Transamerica announced the launch of two innovative funds to its lineup today.   The funds are Transamerica Dividend Focused, sub-advised by Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, LLC (BHMS) and Transamerica International Small Cap Value, sub-advised by Thompson, […]

Nationwide Looking To Reduce $42M Verdict

{January 8th, 2013} by John W. Goodwin Jr., Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio

By John W. Goodwin Jr., Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio McClatchy-Tribune Information Services   Dec. 29–YOUNGSTOWN — In November, Christine Lucarell won one of the largest cash verdicts ever handed down in Mahoning County in her lawsuit against former employer Nationwide Insurance, but now the company is asking that the dollar amount be reduced citing statutory limitations. […]

Indexed GUL: The all-purpose solution

{January 7th, 2013} by Tim Heslin

By Tim Heslin December 24, 2012 There’s a certain long-standing burger chain that encourages customers to have it their way. When it comes to life insurance, clients have a lot more options than typically found on most fast food menus, but still they want it their way — and nowadays, many are seeking policies that […]