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Archive for May 2013

Allstate Confirms Layoffs In Va.

{May 31st, 2013} by Jeff Sturgeon

May 30–>Allstate Corp. has confirmed that unspecified job fluctuations have recently affected its Roanoke County office, one of the region’s largest private employers with about 900 workers. Adam Polak, a spokesman for the Northbrook, Ill., insurer, said by email that the policy administration department has eliminated “some positions,” while the company has created “other positions” […]

MetLife Has Cut 2,500 Advisor Jobs Since 2012

{May 31st, 2013} by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) —Insurer MetLife Inc. says it has eliminated about a third of its adviser jobs, or approximately 2,500 positions, since early 2012. Treasurer Eric Steigerwalt said the company had 7,500 advisers in February 2012 and now has around 5,000. Steigerwalt said the cuts make MetLife more productive and are saving a significant amount […]

NYLB distributing assets of failed insurers

{May 31st, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

The New York Liquidation Bureau (NYLB) has released its 2012 annual report stating that the Bureau distributed a record $345.6 million in estate assets to insurance policyholders, claimants and creditors, while also significantly reducing the number of outstanding policyholder claims by nearly one-third. “The Bureau is making significant progress in resolving claims so that money […]

Michigan annuity producer sentenced

{May 30th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

A Williamsburg, Mich., insurance agent was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison for defrauding elderly clients. William Edward Lowder, 57, who operated Lowder Insurance, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell. The judge included a 36-month concurrent sentence on a separate charge of filing a false tax return in 2008. Lowder was […]

Which indexed annuity is right for your client?

{May 30th, 2013} by John L. Olsen, Michael E. Kitces

Perhaps the most common question asked by advisors who are considering index annuities for their clients is, “which kind is best?” In our opinion, the only reasonable answer is, “it depends.” Any crediting method can produce the best return for a given period. Click here to read…

Companies misjudging lead response times

{May 30th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Companies are wasting sales leads because their teams aren’t responding to online contacts as quickly as they think, new research shows. Published by sales automation and analytics provider InsideSales.com, the report reveals that companies often grossly underestimate response times and overestimate response attempts. The study is based on InsideSales.com’s ResponseAudit, a standardized and automated research […]

Insurers Finding Beneficiaries Of Forgotten Life Policies

{May 30th, 2013} by Mark Williams

By Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio May 26–At first, Carol Cheatham thought the telephone call she received in March from Nationwide could be a scam. A stranger was telling her that she might be entitled to the proceeds of a life-insurance policy that had been bought decades ago. But he knew intimate facts about […]

Lincoln Financial Study Finds Optimism On The Rise

{May 30th, 2013} by PRNewswire

RADNOR, Pa.,May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today results of a survey that show that four in five Americans (80%) are optimistic about the future. According to the study, which Lincoln Financial refers to as Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America, the percentage of people who exhibit optimism is […]

Carriers Warm To The Cloud

{May 30th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Over the past 12 to 18 months, two major life and annuity carriers have adopted cloud-based e-mail systems, a sign that the Internet cloud finally has begun its slow penetration of mammoth legacy systems. One carrier has moved to Google’s Gmail system for its sales and distribution organization, and another is in the process of […]

A.M. Best Comments on the Ratings of The Allstate Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

{May 30th, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has commented that the financial strength, issuer credit and debt ratings of The Allstate Corporation (Allcorp) (Northbrook, IL) [NYSE: ALL] and its subsidiaries are unchanged following Allcorp’s recently announced capital restructuring plan. The outlook for all ratings is stable. Allcorp’s restructuring plan includes cash tenders and proposed new issuances […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Sammons Financial Group Members

{May 30th, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Midland National Life Insurance Company (Midland National) and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American) (both domiciled in Des Moines, IA). Midland National and North American are the key life/health […]

Study Shows Limited Social Media Interaction Between Auto Insurers, Customers

{May 30th, 2013} by Mark Sutin

Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB)May 29, 2013 Phoenix Marketing International, a leading market research company, recently surveyed almost 2,000 consumers about their social media habits and how these consumers interact with their auto insurance provider via social media. The vast majority indicated they do use social media (84%) in some capacity, but only 7% of them have […]

FINRA to SEC: Act on fiduciary, or we’ll make our own disclosure rules

{May 30th, 2013} by Melanie Waddell

CEO Ketchum says FINRA will also review the impact its rules have on BD firms—and will be asking for firms’ input on which ones to review Richard Ketchum, CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, called on the SEC Tuesday to “act quickly” to finalize its rule to put brokers and advisors under a uniform […]

Nasdaq to pay $10 million to settle SEC Facebook case

{May 30th, 2013} by Bloomberg News

IPO debacle of social media darling led to losses of almost $500 million Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. agreed to pay $10 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that its mishandling of Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering last year was a violation of securities laws. Regulators cited the second-largest operator of U.S. equity markets […]

Auction of lunch with Warren Buffett starts Sunday

{May 30th, 2013} by Josh Funk

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Warren Buffett has already helped raise nearly $15 million over the years for a San Francisco homeless charity, and the group hopes someone will again be willing to pay more than $2 million for a private lunch with the Omaha, Neb., investor. There are no guarantees someone will pay that much […]

Who Will Win The Next Annuity Iditarod?

{May 29th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Annuity carriers with first quarter sales drops don’t need to feel like the last musher on the Iditarod Trail. They have plenty of company. In first quarter 2013, a majority of the top 20 fixed annuity carriers reported sales declines compared to a year ago, and nearly half of the of the top 20 variable […]


Buy term and “invest” the rest with indexed universal life

{May 29th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

For as long as I’ve been handling my own finances, I’ve been hearing that people should “buy term and invest the difference.” I have never really taken stock in the concept. I mean, I am a financial services professional that cut her teeth on whole life, but who would adopt this theory centered around buying […]

A risk worth taking?

{May 29th, 2013} by Carsten Quitter

Recent comments from Benjamin Lawsky, New York Superintendent of Financial Services, shined a spotlight on concerns about private equity firms investing in the life insurance industry, particularly the annuity business. “Private equity firms follow a model of aggressive risk taking, high leverage, typically making high-risk investments,” Lawsky noted during remarks at the recent 22nd Annual […]

Insurers embrace bill to tailor proposed Fed capital rules

{May 29th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

The insurance industry has been helping birth new legislation that would address one of the most vexing issues for insurers in the Federal Reserve’s stable of supervision. H.R. 2140, Insurance Capital and Accounting Standards Act of 2013, introduced in the House by Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., and Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., would offer relief from […]

The future of commission-based compensation

{May 29th, 2013} by Charles K. Hirsch

There are a number of threats to the life insurance business that hover over us and never seem to go away. One that’s been around for many, many years is the threat of taxation on the inside buildup of values within an insurance policy. Another more recent concern is the very real potential of the business having […]

NAPFA Appoints New CEO Geoffrey Brown

{May 29th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Geoffrey Brown, an expert in managing nonprofit groups and trade associations, has been appointed chief executive officer of National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), effective July 1. He succeeds long-time CEO Ellen Turf, who led the 2,500-member organization for more than 20 years. Brown, who will be charged with growing NAPFA membership, will work […]

The annuity sales opportunity

{May 29th, 2013} by Nichole Morford, Mary Shaub

Any way you slice it, $650 billion is a pretty impressive number. And for advisors who sell annuities, it’s also a big-picture sales target; the precise number of assets available — from pre-retirees and post- — for conversion to an annuity. Explore our infographic below for the breakdown of who owns these assets and how interested […]

Finra going all out to control e-mail

{May 29th, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

The $7.5 million fine against LPL Financial LLC last week for e-mail violations is noteworthy for its size — it is the largest ever brought by Finra exclusively for e-mail violations — but a review by InvestmentNews shows that it is just the latest example of the regulator’s stepped-up enforcement effort in this area. Furthermore, […]

A Rush to Recruit Young Analysts, Only Months on the Job

{May 28th, 2013} by MICHAEL KAPLAN

For Wall Street’s top young analysts, landing at a prestigious investment bank out of college was the easy part. Now comes the fierce competition to line up a high-paying job at a prominent buyout fund, just months into their first professional jobs. When private equity recruiting season began in early April, junior analysts at banks […]

Allianz Employee Sentenced To 27 Months For Fraud

{May 28th, 2013} by Jennifer Mann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 23–ST. LOUIS — A former claims adjuster for Allianz insurance company in O’Fallon was sentenced Thursday to 27 months in federal prison for defrauding the company of more than$400,000 that he diverted to himself. Brian Behl pleaded guilty in February to mail fraud. After he serves his time, he will be under three years […]

Top 50 Annuities

{May 28th, 2013} by KAREN HUBE

Armand Baughman, 71, a retired Continental Airlines pilot of Valley View, Texas, has always viewed annuities as too complex, illiquid, and expensive to warrant his consideration. But last year, he socked $200,000 into a tax-deferred variable annuity, calling it “the best thing since Cracker Jacks.” What changed? As part of an effort to lift sagging […]


First Quarter 2013 Indexed Insurance Sales

{May 27th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 1st Quarter 2013 shows first quarter 2013 indexed annuity sales were $7846 million, compared with sales of $8071 million for the first quarter of 2012. First quarter indexed annuity sales were down more than 8.00% when compared to the previous quarter, and down nearly 3.00% when compared with […]

The History of Memorial Day

{May 27th, 2013} by N/A

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration […]

Best source of referrals? Not clients

{May 24th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

The lion’s share of financial advisers say other professionals — not clients — are their best source for bringing in new accounts. And those who take a deliberate approach to seeking such referrals are seeing even more business walk through their doors. Michael Fischer, founder and principal Sequoia Financial Advisors Inc., said the firm is […]

The 2013 NUL top 100

{May 24th, 2013} by Bill Coffin

This is an industry of numbers. While life and health insurance is a deeply personal business, requiring human interaction to address serious familial needs, those things are all driven by clear financial realities, the true engine of the modern life and health industry. What follows are 10 graphs charting some of the biggest indicators of […]

Jackson National takes top spot in annuity sales

{May 24th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Jackson National Life Insurance Company was the top seller of individual annuities in the U.S. in the first quarter, new research shows. LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., publishes this finding in its top 20 rankings of total, variable and fixed annuity writers for the first quarter of 2013. The rankings peg Jackson National Life’s sales in the […]

Insurers eye alternative strategies

{May 24th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Eight in ten insurers say they are actively considering increasing their allocation to alternative strategies as they look for sources of additional yield, according to new research. Sponsored by State Street’s study and conducted jointly with The Economist Intelligence Unit, the study—“Facing the Future: Blueprint for Growth”—surveyed more than 300 insurance executives globally and focused […]

The New Retirement: Forget Being Rich, All We Want Is Peace of Mind

{May 24th, 2013} by Dan Kadlec

We may never tire of discussing lessons from the Great Recession,  which hit two groups especially hard: teens who saw parents lose a home or job,  and boomers who saw their savings depleted at precisely the wrong moment in  life. The kids’ scars are mostly emotional. Financially, they had little to lose;  indeed they stand […]

Allianz Life Hires Tim Armbrustmacher as Finance Director, Sales Distribution

{May 24th, 2013} by N/A

MINNEAPOLIS — Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) hires Tim Armbrustmacher as finance director for Sales Distribution. He will serve as the key finance resource and strategic business partner providing financial decision advocacy and analysis. His role supports the distribution areas that are responsible for variable annuity, fixed annuity and life insurance […]

In Finance Profession, Executive-Level Salaries Rise Most

{May 24th, 2013} by N/A

WASHINGTON, May 22 — The Association for Financial Professionals issued the following news release: North American finance professionals continue to see pay raises, but percentage increases fell last year for all but the executive tier, according to a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). Average salaries for professionals in finance departments of corporations […]

The Leading Edge Of The Boomer Generation Is Retiring

{May 24th, 2013} by Diane Stafford, The Kansas City Star

May 24–“Healthy, retiring rapidly and collecting Social Security”: The heading on theMetLife Mature Market Institute report, released Thursday, says it all. The nation’s oldest baby boomers — now turning 67 — are not hanging on to their jobs at the rate expected. Fifty-two percent are fully retired. Fourteen percent are working part time. Only 21 […]

Selling to Boomer Women

{May 24th, 2013} by Michael Sullivan

Women live longer than men by an average of seven years. Yet, studies indicate they are much less prepared for making financial decisions after their spouse dies. Women and men are divorcing at a faster pace than at any other time in U.S. history – 50% for this generation. And women are likely to experience […]

How to annoy your audience

{May 24th, 2013} by Michael Goldberg

Article added by Michael Goldberg on May 24, 2013 I recently attended a Saturday morning business meeting. I went to the meeting (did I mention it was a Saturday morning?) for the sole purpose of supporting the speaker, whom I met at a past conference. Seemed harmless enough… The presentation started off in a very […]

A.M. Best Withdraws Ratings of Presidential Life Insurance Company – USA

{May 23rd, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has withdrawn the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb” of Presidential Life Insurance Company – USA (formerly Great American Life Assurance Company) (Wilmington, DE). The withdrawal of the ratings was due to the change in business strategy following Athene Holding Ltd.’s (Athene) […]

MetLife CFO: Merger of Three Life Companies, One Foreign Reinsurer to Create 'Larger, Well-Capitalized' Company

{May 23rd, 2013} by Best's News Service

NEW YORK – MetLife Inc.’s plan to merge three life companies and one foreign reinsurer is aimed at creating a larger, well-capitalized U.S. life insurance company, according to the company’s chief financial officer. The move also addresses recent regulatory concerns about the use of captive reinsurers, according to John Hele. The company will merge its […]

LIMRA: Q1 a wipeout for annuity sales

{May 23rd, 2013} by Maria Wood

Annuity sales took a steep tumble in the first quarter, according to LIMRA. Even indexed annuities, which have shown strength while other categories sagged, didn’t escape the slump. When the numbers from 58 companies representing 94 percent of the market were tallied up for the first quarter, total sales reached $51.7 billion, a 6 percent […]

ING U.S. Announces 1Q 2013 Results

{May 23rd, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

NEW YORK, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –ING U.S., Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) today reported first quarter 2013 operating earnings after income taxes[3] of$167 million, or$0.73 per share, compared to$156 million, or$0.68 per share, for first quarter 2012. First quarter 2013 net loss to the common shareholder was$212 million, or$0.92 per share, compared to a first quarter […]

LIMRA: Annuity Sales Decline In 1Q

{May 23rd, 2013} by N/A

WINDSOR, Conn., May 22, 2013 — Total annuity sales fell six percent in the first quarter of 2013, totaling $51.7 billion, according to LIMRA’s first quarter 2013 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey, which represents data from 94 percent of the market. Variable annuity sales were down four percent in the first quarter to $35.5 billion […]

Survey Finds Life Insurance Ranks High With African-Americans

{May 23rd, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

The level of life insurance protection accumulated by an African-American household is twice as important an indicator of financial confidence as in the general U.S. population, a new Prudential study of the financial habits of African-Americans has found. African-Americans also are less likely to rely on a professional financial advisor compared with the rest of […]

Will MetLife join VA buyback movement?

{May 23rd, 2013} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood Much of the discussion at yesterday’s MetLife Investor Day conference took a deep dive into the company’s variable annuity line and how it’s managing those currently troublesome products. Though stressing it was a business the company is committed to, MetLife executives detailed the various strategies it now employs and others it may […]

More compliance officers allowing LinkedIn

{May 23rd, 2013} by Davis D. Janowski

Compliance and archiving application provider Smarsh shares results of third annual survey. I am often critical and suspicious of small-scale surveys conducted by companies that sell related products, but when they are specialized, I perk up and give them a read. In this case, I perused the third annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey conducted by […]

Most advisors view regulations in negative light

{May 22nd, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

More than 7 in 10 financial service sales professionals identify rigid legal, regulatory or oversight rules as the two top negative elements of their job, according to a new report. HNW Inc. published this finding in a nationwide survey of more than 200 sales professionals. Unveiled at a media breakfast in New York on Tuesday […]

LPL hit with largest Finra fine ever for e-mail case

{May 22nd, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

Brokerage agrees to pay $7.5M to settle charges it failed to adequately oversee 28 million e-mails over a four-year period Finra said today that it has fined LPL $7.5 million for 35 separate significant e-mail system failures. What’s more, LPL Financial LLC made misstatements to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. during its investigation of […]

Indexed and Income Annuities Set Sales Records in 2012

{May 22nd, 2013} by Judith Alexander

Allianz #1 for the Year; Security Benefit Life Takes the Lead in the Fourth Quarter Indexed and income annuity sales rose to record highs in 2012, according to the Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study. Indexed annuity results increased 3.7% to $34.2 billion. In the third straight year of growth, income annuity sales advanced from […]

Private Equity Deals Draw Subpoenas, Questions

{May 22nd, 2013} by Linda Koco

Uncertainty may follow this week’s news that New York officials have subpoenaed several private equity firms that have interests in buying fixed annuity companies or businesses. The top question: Does this mean that there something wrong with those deals? Part of the uncertainty has to do with the lack of definitive information about the subpoenas. […]

MetLife Avoids Buffett Reinsurer as CEO Confronts Annuities

{May 22nd, 2013} by Zachary Tracer and Noah Buhayar

MetLife Inc. (MET), the largest U.S. life insurer, is looking beyond Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A) as Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian seeks ways to limit risk from retirement products known as variable annuities. “To our knowledge, there’s only one major player who has a balance sheet large enough to offer variable annuity reinsurance, […]

Bernanke warns against hitting the brakes too soon

{May 22nd, 2013} by Annalyn Kurtz @AnnalynKurtz

The U.S. economy is on stronger footing than a year ago, but Ben Bernanke wants to be careful not to squelch the recovery now. “A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily, but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to […]

Dave Ramsey is making me a wealthy man

{May 22nd, 2013} by Rodney Ballance

Article added by Rodney Ballance on May 22, 2013 I ran into an old friend this week whom I haven’t seen in about six years. We grew up in the insurance business together. We were trained by the same company, promoted within a year of one another to management positions, and even used to have […]

Mining LinkedIn for rollover assets

{May 21st, 2013} by Kristen Andee

Online resources provide window into your clients’ work lives, especially when they change jobs There are very few financial advisers who aren’t looking to capture additional assets. One of the quickest ways to identify some of these assets is, quite literally, at your fingertips. Employees don’t tend to stay in one place as they did […]

Advisors Can Net Big Business from $21 Trillion Protection Gap

{May 21st, 2013} by Linda Koco

Consumers may say they need annuity products to fund their retirement, but the numbers indicate they are reluctant to act upon that need. Click here to read…

On Retirement: Fewer, better retirement income designations needed

{May 21st, 2013} by Mary Beth Franklin

I applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent report warning that the proliferation of sometimes-questionable senior certifications and designations can put older adults at serious risk. But I hope that it won’t dampen the enthusiasm of financial advisers who want to develop their expertise in retirement income planning, because it is sorely needed. As the […]

Structured products gain favor

{May 21st, 2013} by Darla Mercado

More insurers are turning to structured products to protect themselves from market risk while staying in the annuity game. Last week, for example, MetLife Inc. released its Shield Level Selector, a single-premium deferred annuity that combines aspects of an indexed annuity and a structured product. Axa Equitable Life Insurance Co. has had its Structured Capital […]

Minnesota Adopts Suitability Model Regulations

{May 21st, 2013} by NAFA Staff

Minnesota has become the 31st State to adopt the 2010 NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275).  MN HF 791 – Second Engrossment was filed on May 14, 2013 by the Minnesota Secretary of State after the time for Governor Dayton to sign or veto the legislation had expired.  Having elected to do neither, […]

Commerce Committe Holds Meeting on “Fraud and the Elderly”

{May 21st, 2013} by NAFA Staff

On May 16th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled “Fraud on the Elderly: A Growing Concern for a Growing Population.” Witnesses included the GAO, FTC, FBI, CFPB and Vermont AG.  Excerpts from written statements from the GAO and CFPB follow:GAO   Exploitation by financial services professionals: Older adults may consult with […]

Making their way in a man's world

{May 21st, 2013} by Liz Skinner

  Demand for female financial advisers is strong, but the job’s attraction undeniably is weak. “There is a very high demand for female advisers because a lot of female clients want to work with female financial advisers and feel more comfortable in many ways with another woman,” said Felix Malitsky, managing director of MetLife Financial […]

MetLife removes alien status from captive

{May 21st, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal, Elizabeth D. Festa

Under pressure from various regulators, including New York, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Federal Insurance Office, MetLife disclosed today it is removing the alien tag from its reinsurance captive. MetLife officials said they are merging three U.S. life insurers and a Delaware-based captive reinsurer “to create a larger, well capitalized U.S. life […]

Advisers in storm-ravaged Oklahoma struggle to find clients, neighbors

{May 21st, 2013} by Darla Mercado

Deadly tornado knocks out phone lines, cell towers; ‘completely without everything’ Advisers and their clients in the Oklahoma City area are reeling after the massive tornado that leveled a local suburb Monday afternoon. The twister that hit Moore, Okla., about 10 miles due south of Oklahoma City, reportedly tore a path of destruction that was […]

Younger prospects getting cold shoulder from advisers: Poll

{May 21st, 2013} by N/A

Financial firms may be coming up short in reaching the next generation of investors. In fact, two-thirds of executives at broker-dealer and registered investment adviser firms acknowledged they might be missing the mark, according to an informal survey of 104 of Fidelity Investments’ business clients late last month. These execs said they are still focused […]

Crump Life Forms New Brokerage Partnership With MetLife

{May 21st, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

Insurance brokerage Crump Life Insurance Services has formed a new partnership with MetLife. Under the partnership, Crump will provide brokerage services, underwriting and sales support to MetLife’s financial sales professionals. Representatives from MetLife and its affiliates can access a portfolio of non-proprietary products for their clients by using Crump’s services and technology. MetLife is “one […]

Boomers more financially satisfied than Gen X, Y

{May 21st, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

More than two–thirds of baby boomers are satisfied with their financial situation, a significantly higher proportion of this demographic cohort than the percentages recorded among younger generations surveyed in new research. New York Life, New York, released this finding in “Keep Good Going Report,” a survey of more than 2,000 Americans exploring attitudes and expectations […]

New Genworth Chief Outlines Plan For 2013 At Annual Meeting

{May 21st, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Future growth opportunities for Genworth Financial, the life, mortgage and long-term care insurer, lie in selling life insurance to the middle market, long-term care insurance and the recovery of the housing market, according to president and chief executive officer Thomas J. McInerney. McInerney, who spoke at his first annual shareholder meeting since he stepped into […]

How to use old-fashioned selling methods in a new media age

{May 20th, 2013} by Dave Murphy, Holly Bonds

Many financial professionals shy away from social media because of compliance concerns. However, having a Facebook page doesn’t mean you have to talk about financial products. In fact, a more valuable approach could be to start by knowing your audience and offering information your clients can use in their daily lives. Click here to read…

Reaching Retirement Success

{May 20th, 2013} by Mark Stern

The stock market is at an all time high and only going higher. This time is different and there is no chance of any bubbles. Meanwhile, over on Main Street, the number of Americans failing to adequately prepare for retirement is also going higher. So naturally, talk is beginning about a national mandatory 401k like […]

Advisors find retirement income planning a challenge

{May 20th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Four in 10 financial advisors say having retirement income discussions with clients is very or somewhat challenging, according to a speaker at the Insured Retirement Institute’s IRI Marketing Forum, held in New York City on Thursday. Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives, delivered that message as moderator of an afternoon workshop, “Strategies for Advisor Engagement. Participating […]

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Update: Spring 2013 Meeting

{May 20th, 2013} by Daniel W. Krane James C. McMeen Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

The National Association of  Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its Spring 2013 National Meeting from April 6 to 9 in Houston, Texas.  This update provides a brief  overview of  the activities of  certain NAIC working groups that focus on issues affecting retirement income products and their providers. Contingent Deferred Annuity (A) Working Group As discussed in […]

Financial insecurity awaits Gen Xers in retirement

{May 20th, 2013} by Mary Beth Franklin

When the Great Recession hit in 2007, it affected the entire economy, and its pain was felt across the generations. But in the years since, recovery of personal wealth has been uneven. Early boomers — those born from 1946 to 1955 — are on track for a secure retirement that will surpass that of earlier […]

Time to act on credit ratings agencies

{May 20th, 2013} by Editorial

Editorial May 19, 2013   THE FINANCIAL CRISIS struck in 2008. Two years later, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Now, nearly three full years after that, the Securities and Exchange Commission finally has gotten around to holding a hearing on the mess that is the credit ratings system. Better late than never, but […]


The Tsunami of Indexed Annuity Sales

{May 17th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

In the indexed annuity capital of the world (also known as Des Moines, Iowa), we’re not subject to many natural disasters. Given that Iowa is smack-dab in the center of the United States, we don’t experience many earthquakes. We have never gone through the devastation of a cyclone, although tornados do show up at times. […]


How much life insurance do I need? 6 steps that will help your clients decide

{May 17th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Now, I’ve never gone through the process of a needs assessment with a prospect, despite my position as a licensed life insurance agent. I’ve never sold a case in the nearly 15 years that I’ve worked in the life insurance industry. In order to maintain my credibility as a third-party expert in this industry, I […]

Allianz Life’s Q1 earnings dip 38%

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

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America posted an operating profit in the first quarter, but earnings were down 38 percent from the year-ago period, the company disclosed in financial results released on Wednesday. The Minneapolis-based life insurer’s first quarter operating profit totaled $134 million, a 38 percent decline from the $217 million recorded in […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Subsidiaries

{May 17th, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A++ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aaa” of National Indemnity Company (Omaha, NE) (National Indemnity) and its affiliates. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb-” and debt rating of “bbb-” of Finial Holdings Inc. (Delaware) as well […]

Aviva Trims First-Quarter Expenses 9%, Plans to Cut 2,000 Positions

{May 17th, 2013} by Best's News Service

LONDON – Aviva plc cut its overall expenses in the first quarter, while reporting flat results for operating capital generation and general insurance combined ratio. Expenses were down 9% from the prior-year period to 887 million pounds (US$1.4 billion). The only segment to report an expense increase was Canada, which increased 2% to 97 million […]

S&P downgrades Berkshire Hathaway rating

{May 17th, 2013} by The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut a major rating for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, in part because of the company’s focus on the insurance industry. The ratings agency dropped its counterparty credit rating for the Omaha-based company by one notch to AA, from AA plus. Like the old rating, the new […]

Will Americans work forever?

{May 17th, 2013} by Maria Wood

Has the U.S. become the work forever society? According to a recent survey by Northwestern Mutual, a majority of Americans said they plan to work into their 60s and 70s, and some even into their 80s. Yet at the same time they indicate they intend to work longer, Americans are also unsure of their financial […]

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents

{May 16th, 2013} by Young Ha, Don Jergler and Andrea Wells

Mobility technology is changing the way the insurance industry operates. But when it comes to working on the go, nothing is as important as mobile device applications. But what apps do independent agents use most? What apps are the most useful in business and personal life? Insurance Journal asked these questions to several industry experts […]

Market Value Annuities Hit The Sales Radar

{May 16th, 2013} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco AnnuityNews A little-discussed annuity sales trend is lurking in the fixed annuity sales numbers for 2012. This is the subtle advantage that market value adjusted annuities appears to have gained over fixed annuities that do not have a market value adjustment feature. Specifically, in 2012, sales of market value adjusted (MVA) annuities […]

ELNY liquidation expected in 3Q

{May 16th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

News added by National Underwriter on May 15, 2013 The Executive Life of New York (ELNY) liquidation plan approved in New York is now expected to be implemented in the third quarter of this year, perhaps as early as August, but the plaintiffs’ lawyer says he is not giving up the case, at least on […]

Are retirement plans in the Fed's crosshairs next?

{May 16th, 2013} by Kevin Startt

Before you or your client gets “whacked” in a bad retirement plan, it may be a great time to consider an annuity or life insurance alternative that provides diversification outside the possible federal takeover or cutback in benefits. Recently, I was reminded of the old proverb, “Half a loaf is better than none.” That was […]

Florida Senate extends annuity law to all ages

{May 16th, 2013} by Maria Wood

The Florida State Senate has unanimously passed a law that would extend annuity suitability requirements to all ages, not just seniors age 65 and older. The bill also seeks to amend the law as it pertains to the unconditional refund period and impose stricter criteria when an agent recommends the exchange or replacement of an […]

Insurers address income annuity liquidity concerns

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

Insurance companies that offer income annuities are tweaking the features and designs of the products in order to allay long-standing concerns about liquidity. A recent study conducted by LIMRA and CANNEX, a private, independent company that facilitates the sale of financial products, found that nine of the top 10 companies offering income annuities have employed […]

Some secrets of social networking pros

{May 15th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Financial advisers need to integrate social media into their work flow so that posting an article on LinkedIn about the upside of foreign equities, for example, becomes a routine part of the day, right along with calls to clients, investment analysis and prospecting. One way time-starved advisers can work in the recommended 30 minutes to […]

IUL: One solution for two big problems

{May 15th, 2013} by Brian Bulakites

In today’s perfect storm of low interest rates, diminishing pension plans and doubts surrounding the future of Social Security, many Main Street Americans are faced with two competing financial priorities: gaps in life insurance coverage and gaps in retirement income. The gap in life insurance coverage is significant. About 53 million Americans with household incomes […]

Calif. sues Texas insurer over escheat records

{May 15th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

A Texas insurance company is being sued by California’s controller for allegedly stonewalling requests needed to determine whether the insurance company is complying with California’ unclaimed property laws. The core of the issue, according to the complaint, is that American National Insurance Company (ANICO), Galveston, Texas, is arguing that currently “in-force policies” are not subject […]

Retirement Income Summit 2013: Why the 4 percent rule shouldn't be a rule

{May 15th, 2013} by Jeff Benjamin

  In the debate over whether it is better to base a retirement income withdrawal rate on predictable historical returns or one that focuses on basic retirement needs, it appears that the jury is still out.   “Do you want to focus on the probability of failure or the magnitude of failure?” said Wade Pfau, […]

Life insurance as income tool

{May 15th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

Among today’s retirement income strategies, what’s old is new again. It wasn’t too long ago that cash-value life insurance — policies that provide a death benefit and a pot of cash that grows tax-deferred, such as whole and universal life — were marketed for their potential to provide income tax-free. Now, amid today’s stringent income […]

California Controller's Office Sues American National Insurance for Access to Financial Records

{May 15th, 2013} by Best's News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – American National Insurance Co., a Texas-based life insurance company, is facing a lawsuit from the California State Controller’s Office that accuses the company of failing to turn over records needed for an audit of the company. American National is suspected of failing to pay life insurance benefits to the heirs of deceased […]

ING U.S. Appoints Key Executive In Wake Of IPO

{May 15th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Dave Wilken has been appointed head of individual life distribution for the Insurance Solutions division of ING U.S. Wilken will oversee individual life sales distribution channels with a focus on growth in the accumulation and indexed market segments, the company said. His appointment comes at a critical time for ING U.S., which was spun off […]

Retirement Woes Expected To Worsen With Each Generation

{May 14th, 2013} by Justin Stephani

There are four significant and costly life events that cost the average worker$117,000, according to a survey fromTransamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Globally, many younger employees expect that it will be necessary during their own retirement to also provide financial support to aging family members, according to a new study, titled “The Changing Face of […]

Finra charges B-D chief with using investor funds for home remodeling

{May 14th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

The head of a broker-dealer that packages and distributes illiquid equipment-leasing funds is the target of a complaint by securities regulators that alleges persistent misuse of investor money over a three-year period to pay for personal expenses including home remodeling, trips, meals and home Christmas decorations and tools. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. filed […]

Stock market signs and predictions: déjà vu all over again?

{May 13th, 2013} by Jason Kestler

Short version This may be the best window of opportunity you have ever had to sell your clients a fixed index annuity (FIA). Long version: If you are still reading, you are probably saying to yourself, “OK, tell me why.” Whether you are an insurance agent, a registered rep or a financial advisor, the vast […]

Helping Retirees Prepare To Dodge ‘Curve Balls’

{May 13th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Financial advisors need to help pre-retirees and retirees secure peace of mind by preparing them for the “curve balls” that life after work is likely to throw their way, according to a trio of retirement and wealth management experts. In particular, financial advisors can help clarify much of the confusion surrounding Social Security, health care […]

Client advocates

{May 13th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Getting a jump on the effects of aging by preparing future decision makers J. David Lewis knows from interacting with his own mother that people with mental impairment can still pull themselves together quite well for an hour-long meeting with their financial adviser. That is one reason it can be such a challenge for advisers […]

No Plain Vanilla Annuities Here

{May 13th, 2013} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco AnnuityNews Following insurance company mergers or acquisitions of business capabilities, the new products that roll out from the buying companies tend to have certain unmistakable characteristics. Or so the industry lore goes. In particular, the first issues of a now larger company tend to be serviceable, even contemporary, designs. But no one […]

Death is scary (but we need to get over it)

{May 13th, 2013} by Paul Wilson

Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. — Hamlet Act I, Scene 2Selling insurance can be tough. Really tough. In addition to the hurdles faced by anyone who sells for a living — prospecting, marketing, referrals, rejection, competition — there’s also the fact that selling insurance involves talking […]

7 habits of effective insurance agents

{May 13th, 2013} by Justin Brown

Whether you’re new to the job or a veteran salesperson at an insurance agency, one thing’s for sure: You never can have enough tools  in the toolbox. Sales is a tough business. First and foremost, it requires you to know your industry and company backward and forward. But you must also know how to convince […]

Adviser numbers will continue to slide: Cerulli

{May 13th, 2013} by Andrew Osterland

Wirehouse training not enough to keep up with drain of talent but RIA numbers OK   The decline in the ranks of financial advisers shows no signs of abating, as too few recruits are joining the industry. The number of financial advisers in the United States fell by 1.3% — or approximately 4,000, in 2011, […]

What is your exit strategy? Optimizing the asset value of your business

{May 13th, 2013} by Susanne Radek

Bottom line, optimizing the asset value of your business requires thoughtful planing. It requires financial, managerial and marketing acumen, and it is never too early to start. “When you’re dying of thirst, it’s too late to think about digging a well.” — Japanese Proverb This quote is particularly appropriate for business owners who may at […]

Clients tell it like it is, and that's a good thing

{May 13th, 2013} by Andrew Osterland

At the first meeting of his firm’s advisory council, retirement planning specialist Kyle Schiffler was surprised by what he heard from his best clients. “I thought they might say they were upset at having to work with some of my assistants, but instead they told me I needed to get more staff,” said Mr. Schiffler, […]

Brokers, advisers facing uphill battle in finding new recruits

{May 13th, 2013} by Andrew Osterland and Bruce Kelly

With the decline in the ranks of financial advisers showing no signs of abating, large broker-dealers and individual investment advisers are faced with the stark challenge of figuring out how to bring fresh blood into the investment advice business. The numbers paint a fairly bleak picture. The ranks of financial advisers in the United States […]

'Orphaned' 401(k) accounts stacking up

{May 10th, 2013} by Paula Aven Gladych

If you let enough time go by, you give up gains or incur losses because you didn’t allocate your money properly,” Henderson said. “A lot of people use the default investment options, which is usually a money market fund, and they just never make changes to it. “ Henderson, for one, recommends consolidating those accounts […]

Hiring an Advisor? Woo the Spouse, Study Finds

{May 10th, 2013} by Paula Ann Gladych

Firms looking to recruit hesitant advisors need to start wooing their families, a new Fidelity survey suggests. “If you have an eye on top producers, you should take the advisor and the spouse out to dinner,” Sanjiv Mirchandani, the president of Fidelity’s clearing division National Financial, said in an interview. Spouses, he adds, “are going […]

Ending Annuity Tax Deferrals Would Worsen Retirement Savings 'Crisis'

{May 10th, 2013} by Jeff Jeffrey

If the U.S. Senate does away with tax deferrals for annuities, it would exacerbate the “crisis” the country is already facing when it comes to retirement savings, said Lee Covington, senior vice president general counsel at the Insured Retirement Institute. Covington told BestWeek that IRI is leading an aggressive lobbying effort to convince members of […]

Most advisers suffering from PTSD following 2008 crisis: Paper

{May 10th, 2013} by Christina Nelson

If you were a financial adviser in 2008, odds are, you experienced post-traumatic stress following the market collapse and succeeding crisis. According to a paper by Bradley Klontz and Sonya Britt of Kansas State University, 93% of the 56 planners they surveyed bore psychological symptoms consistent with medium to high levels of post-traumatic stress, and […]

Ben Lawsky Weighs Crackdown On Private-Equity Firms

{May 9th, 2013} by Shahien Nasiripour

Posted: 05/07/2013 5:24 pm EDT  |  Updated: 05/07/2013 5:39 pm EDT New York’s top financial regulator is drafting new regulations designed to crack down on private-equity firms that own insurance companies, a move that threatens firms such as Apollo Global Management LLC with restrictions that could curb earnings. Benjamin Lawsky, Department of Financial Services superintendent, said Tuesday […]

Protective Life Sees Dip In 1Q Income

{May 9th, 2013} by Stan Diel sdiel@al.com

Protective Life Corp. this week reported$78.3 million in net income available to common shareholders, or97 cents per share, down from the$99 million, or$1.18 per share, reported in the first quarter last year. Operating income totaled$71.4 million in the quarter,89 cents per share. In the same period last year the company reported$99.1 million, or$1.18 per share, […]

LOMA meets multiple challenges of supporting retirement market

{May 9th, 2013} by Staff Writer

Almost any time you pick up a newspaper, log in to your computer or turn on your television, chances are you will be exposed to some message or commentary about the impending worldwide retirement “crisis.” There’s a common theme: many people are retiring; they haven’t saved nearly enough money; their quality of life will surely […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

{May 9th, 2013} by A..M. Best

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of American United Life Insurance Company (AUL) and its affiliates, The State Life Insurance Company and Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Company (Fargo, ND), all of which comprise the OneAmerica Group (OneAmerica). Concurrently, […]

ING Chief Executive: Company Eyes 2014 IPO for European Insurance Business

{May 9th, 2013} by Best's News Service

AMSTERDAM – ING Group, fresh from raising $1.3 billion from the initial public offering of its U.S. insurance business, is planning an IPO of its European insurance operations next year, Jan Hommen, chief executive officer of ING, said in a conference call. “We are focusing our attention on the European insurance business and getting them […]

Americans Prepared To Work Longer, But Not Live Longer

{May 9th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

MILWAUKEE, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Just over half (56%) of Americans say they’re financially prepared to live to the age of 75, yet 10% expect to work into their 80s, according to new research from Northwestern Mutual’s 2013 Planning & Progress Study. “The incredible contrast between how long people expect to work, and how financially […]

Nationwide Reports Profitable First Quarter

{May 9th, 2013} by Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

May 07–Nationwide today said strength across its insurance and financial services businesses helped drive its first quarter operating profit 34 percent higher compared with a year ago. The Columbus-based insurer said it made $417 million for the period that ended March 31 compared with $274 million in the same period a year ago. The company’s […]

Training flagged as key to recruiting more female advisors

{May 9th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Women are more likely to pursue careers as financial advisors if on-the-job training is offered, new research shows. The Insured Retirement Institute, Washington, released this finding in a new report, “Women and Financial Advising Careers: Perspectives and Priorities.” The report provides findings from a recent IRI survey of college-educated women and their desire to enter […]

Men, women in sync when it comes to retirement

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

Men and women have similar expectations and attitudes toward retirement, according to a recent Employee Benefit Research Institute survey. The 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey found that the differences between how the sexes view retirement are negligible with a few notable exceptions. Women are more likely than men to view Social Security as a serious source […]

5 prime annuity prospects

{May 9th, 2013} by John L. Olsen, Michael E. Kitces

Annuities are tools. They are acquired because the purchaser has a particular job to be done and is willing to exchange his money for a tool to do that job. In many ways, this exchange transaction is like the purchase of a hammer. Click here to read…

A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company and its Subsidiaries

{May 9th, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to B (Fair) from B- (Fair) and issuer credit rating to “bb” from “bb-“ of Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company (Liberty Bankers) (Oklahoma City, OK), and its wholly owned life insurance subsidiaries, The Capitol Life Insurance Company (Dallas, TX) and American Benefit […]

6 retirement truths your boomer clients need to know

{May 9th, 2013} by Maria Wood

The baby boomers are here, all 76 million of them. They have either retired or are planning to retire. But unlike previous generations, their needs and desires are much different as they enter their golden years. Click here to read…

Berkshire Hathaway Posts 33% Jump in 1Q Net on Strength of Insurance Operations

{May 9th, 2013} by Jeff Jeffrey

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. saw its first-quarter profit increase 33%, driven by a strong showing in its insurance and investment income, the company said in a statement. The company earned $4.9 billion. Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance underwriting gain made a dramatic jump to $901 million, from $54 million in 2012. The company’s first-quarter earnings filing said its […]

AALU to Congress: Life insurance is not a tax expenditure

{May 9th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

In preparation for the coming debate on tax reform, the industry is now marshaling arguments to defend the long-standing tax-favored treatment of its products. High among its talking points is this one: that life insurance does not belong on Congress’ list of tax expenditures because the product does not meet the definition of one. This […]

Allianz Sees Broad-Based 1Q Gains

{May 9th, 2013} by Associated Press

BERLIN — German insurance company Allianz SE says preliminary figures show a strong increase in first quarter profits as a result of improvement across all of its business segments. The company said Tuesday net income attributable to shareholders rose 24 percent to1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion), from1.4 billion euros in the same quarter last year. […]

SEC Promotes Compliance Veteran To Lead Exam Programs

{May 9th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Andrew J. Bowden, a legal, compliance and examination expert with significant oversight of financial advisors and broker-dealers, has been promoted to director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced. Bowden, who joined the SEC in 2011 as a national associate director of the office, will be in […]

Aegon First Quarter Profits Drop

{May 9th, 2013} by Associated Press

AMSTERDAM –Aegon NV, the Dutch insurer that does most of its business inthe United States under the Transamerica brand, says first quarter profits fell sharply due to stock market losses. Net profit was204 million euros ($267 million), down from525 million euros in the same period a year ago.Aegon said Wednesday that it lost286 million euros […]

Blizzard Of Designations Leaves Seniors Certifiably Confused

{May 9th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Judging by all the certified expert financial advisors working today, retirees would seem to have nothing to worry about, even those without quite enough put away to last them until the day they die. Platoons of certified advisors serving the retirement segment stand ready to help make assets last: over here, an advisor who is […]

Twitter chat recap: Sheryl J. Moore overcomes your IUL objections

{May 8th, 2013} by Vanessa De La Rosa

Indexed universal life is the fastest-growing segment of the life insurance business, yet you still aren’t selling it. Why not? Sheryl J. Moore addresses some objections and misconceptions common to both consumers and advisors.  Click here for the Twitter chat recap

Mom's Value Dips Below $60,000 this Year, According to Insure.com's 2013 Mother's Day Index

{May 8th, 2013} by Amy Danise

Foster City, Calif. (PRWEB) May 06, 2013 Mother’s Day cards won’t mention this: Mom’s value is down again this year. Insure.com’s annual Mother’s Day Index puts the 2013 value of Mom at $59,862, down from $60,182 in 2012, and dropping from $61,436 in 2011. The Mother’s Day Index uses a list of common household tasks […]

Athene to Sell Aviva USA’s Life Insurance Business; Deal Contingent on Its Pending Acquisition of Aviva USA

{May 8th, 2013} by Fran Matso Lysiak

Best’s News Service – May 06, 2013 12:27 PM   PEMBROKE, Bermuda – Athene Holding Ltd. and its subsidiaries have agreed to sell Aviva USA’s life insurance business to Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Global Atlantic Financial Group. The transaction, structured as a reinsurance arrangement, is contingent on its pending acquisition […]

Primerica Planning To Expand Its Retirement Lineup With Additional Lincoln Financial Solutions

{May 8th, 2013} by PRNewswire

PHILADELPHIA, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD), the wholesale distribution arm of Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:  LNC), and Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:   PRI), the largest independent financial services marketing company in North America, announced today that they will be incorporating additional Lincoln annuity products into Primerica’s retirement lineup. These new products will help […]

Moody's: ING U.S. IPO a credit positive

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

ING U.S., upon completion of their initial public offering and their subsequent transformation into Voya Financial, has received $600 million in new capital and a greater ability to access additional funds. Although the IPO fell short of the 1.4 billion the company forecasted, it was the second largest IPO in the U.S. this year and […]

Dow closes above 15,000 for first time

{May 7th, 2013} by Tribune report

Tribune report 3:16 p.m. CDT, May 7, 2013 The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday, hitting a new all-time high on strong economic news overseas. The average finished at 15,056.20, up about 87 points or 0.6 percent. The Dow first climbed above the psychologically significant 15,000 level last week, […]

Moms Lead Way In Discussing Family Finance

{May 7th, 2013} by Mark Jewell

BOSTON — Who’s better at getting a family to talk about money matters, mom or dad? Taking sides probably won’t make for a harmonious Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday. Yet a survey by a financial services company found that mothers clearly have the upper hand over fathers in getting the discussion started with their adult […]

Show your true colors

{May 6th, 2013} by Kim O'Brien

One of the problems we have inside our annuity industry (and one of the biggest problems the regulators have with us) is how we represent ourselves to consumers and the buying public. Personally, I believe every annuity professional should be comfortable saying, “I’m an insurance agent and I’d like to talk about fixed annuities.” Instead, […]

NAFA Responds to Christine Benz at Yahoo! Finance

{May 6th, 2013} by NAFA President & CEO

NAFA Responds to Christine Benz at Yahoo! Finance April 30, 2013 Letter to the Editor of Yahoo! Finance Morningstar Re:       “5 Key Questions to Ask Before Purchasing an Equity-Indexed Annuity” by Christine Benz, 4/25/2013 Dear Editor, We appreciate Ms. Benz’s effort to educate readers about indexed annuities. We can all agree that the public should […]

National Western Life Announces 1Q Earnings

{May 6th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association

AUSTIN, Texas,May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Ross R. Moody, President ofNational Western Life Insurance Company (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today first quarter 2013 consolidated net earnings of$16.6 million, or$4.70 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $19.7 million, or $5.58 per diluted Class A common share, for the first quarter of 2012. […]

Forget the nest egg, savers expect to be in hock for $25K at retirement

{May 6th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

Investors are facing yet another obstacle on their way to a safe and happy retirement: big loads of debt. Mortgages, credit card balances, and auto and educational loans are creating a drag on pre-retirees’ retirement savings, and things have only worsened since the 2008 recession, according to a recent survey by Securian Financial Group. The […]

Commonwealth And First Allmerica Placed Under Review

{May 6th, 2013} by BUSINESS WIRE

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best Co. has placed under review with negative implications the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company (Commonwealth) and its subsidiary, First Allmerica Financial Life Insurance Company (FAFLIC) (both domiciled in Southborough, MA), both ultimately owned by The […]

LIMRA Shows Why People Really Buy Annuities

{May 6th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Here is a good one for annuity buffs. What is the top reason that adults aged 40-plus buy deferred annuities? Growth potential, perhaps? Maybe tax deferral? How about tax deferral plus liquidity? What about the product guarantees? Was the information from the online calculator the tipping point? Or, was it perhaps the influence of that […]

Advisors See Value In High-Touch, Social Approach

{May 6th, 2013} by Kenneth Corbin

WASHINGTON — Success in financial planning hinges on developing a rapport with clients and building confidence and trust, according to a panel of advisors speaking here at theInvestment Company Institute’s general membership meeting. The panelists suggested that the human side of the practice has been somewhat overlooked among some advisors who have tended to limit […]

Source of funds still a gray area for insurance-only agents

{May 6th, 2013} by Maria Wood

For an industry many think is already over-regulated, there is one area where insurance-only agents could use a bit more regulatory guidance and clarity, and that’s when a client wants to liquidate securities to purchase a fixed annuity. For a registered investment advisor (RIA) or registered rep, it’s not a dilemma. They are permitted, under […]

Who's next?

{May 6th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

New graduates envision clear career paths as they enter the advisory industry.   Routes that the nation’s financial advisers have traveled to arrive at their careers vary widely and in many cases seem random, with professionals coming over from other fields as the advice industry has grown up over the past 30 years. The next […]

Buffett Debuts on Twitter, Gains 1,000 Followers a Minute

{May 6th, 2013} by Reuters

Warren Buffett accumulates Twitter followers even faster than he makes money. The 82-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” joined the service and sent his first tweet on Thursday, picking up more than 45,000 followers in just under 45 minutes. “Warren is in the house,” Buffett said under the handle “@WarrenBuffett.” The handle was not officially verified by […]

S&P Affirms Allianz Life's AA Rating with Stable Outlook

{May 6th, 2013} by Sara Thurin Rollin

Financial Strength Recognized with “Very Strong” Rating; Americans’  Focus on Guarantees, Protection as they Near Retirement   MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today announced that the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) recently affirmed the company’s rating as AA (very strong) and changed the outlook to stable. S&P’s AA rating […]

Fitch Maintains Rating Watch Negative on Athene's IFS Rating

{May 6th, 2013} by Fitch Ratings

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) CHICAGO, May 02 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has maintained the Rating Watch Negative for the ‘BBB+’ insurer financial strength (IFS) rating of Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company (Athene) on. KEY RATING DRIVERS Fitch placed Athene on Rating Watch Negative on Dec. 21, 2012 following the company’s […]


Haters are going to hate on commission disclosure

{May 5th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Ever since I can recall, there has been controversy surrounding commission payments to sales professionals in the insurance industry. A few years ago, one state even went so far as to propose that commission payments to sales professionals be disclosed to their clients! Being a consumer of life insurance and annuity products, and never having […]

The American Annuity Shuffle Begins

{May 3rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

Year-end individual annuity sales results provide plenty for annuity aficionados to ponder. There were some sorry-looking numbers, for sure, but also a few intriguing surprises. Some would say the carriers were doing a dance, or a least  a shuffle. Click here to read…

American Equity Appears on Net Worth TV

{May 3rd, 2013} by Jessica Kilker, Assistant Vice President - Marketing Services

American Equity is excited to announce that we will appear on an upcoming episode of Net Worth TV. American Equity has partnered with Net Worth to create an informative television segment covering annuities, the industry, and American Equity. The Net Worth TV Segment features: Celebrity Spokesperson Terry Bradshaw American Equity’s Founder Dave Noble American Equity’s President Ron […]

Ebix to be acquired by Goldman affiliate

{May 3rd, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

Ebix Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. The transaction is valued at around $820 million including the assumption of any outstanding debt. In order to facilitate Ebix’s shift into a private company, Ebix shareholders will receive $20 per share […]

Profits take the day as fewer employers match kick-ins to 401(k)s

{May 3rd, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Retirement benefits that American companies provide for employees continue to take a hit as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. The number of firms offering workers a matching contribution in their corporate 401(k) retirement plans fell by about 5% in 2010 and another 2% in 2011, according to a survey released by American Investment […]