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Archive for December 2013

New year could bring a boon for annuities

{December 31st, 2013} by N/A

Higher taxes may drive interest in variable and indexed annuities; potential of rising rates could inspire new products Next year could be a big one for variable and indexed annuities, both in terms of sales and product development, as new tax and interest rate realities sink in. This year set what appeared to be a […]

Register Exclusive: Des Moines to host insurance symposium

{December 31st, 2013} by Matthew Patane

Organizers want experts, executives to discuss issues facing industry Insurance and economic development leaders are building on Iowa’s reputation as an insurance industry hub to attract the world’s leading insurance officials to Des Moines for a two-day event next year. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart will announce today the inaugural Global Insurance Symposium. The symposium […]

Iowa to Host Global Insurance Symposium in 2014

{December 31st, 2013} by 2013 Associated Press

Iowa officials say a new insurance symposium set for next year in Des Moines is aimed at bringing top industry experts to the area. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said the two-day Global Insurance Symposium will attract industry experts and regulatory authorities from around the world, The Des Moines Register reported. Gerhart said the symposium […]

How financial advisers should focus their core values

{December 30th, 2013} by Scott Hanson

The most important stake that you’ll drive into the ground in support of your company’s foundation should be comprised of your core values. But what exactly are these core values, and when it comes to developing them, who precisely should they be created for? Rather than thinking of them as a client-facing marketing tool, your […]

Annuities: 4 predictions for 2014

{December 30th, 2013} by Maria Wood

Will annuity sales continue their upward track in 2014? How will an uptick in interest rates impact insurers? What’s brewing on the regulatory front? Click here to view…

Lessons in Caring

{December 30th, 2013} by NAIC

Singer Amy Grant to baby boomers Singer-songwriter Amy Grant knows firsthand the complex and emotional decisions facing today’s baby boomers. In 2011, Grant moved her ailing mother into her home to surround her with family during her final days battling dementia. Today, Grant and her sisters are caring for their dad as he suffers from […]

Insurance regulators step up activity

{December 29th, 2013} by IFAwebnews Staff

Five years after the financial crisis, insurance regulators in the U.S. and abroad are stepping up efforts to show progress toward group level supervision and capital standards, according to a new report from Fitch, “Group Capital Standards for U.S. Insurers.” The year 2013 saw several large global insurance groups designated as “systemically important” and subject […]

Resolution For Advisors In 2014: Think About Your Business Model

{December 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

With a new year around the corner, financial advisors may want to think about tweaking their business models. Could $250 be the new $2,500? Maybe, according to one consumer financial trends expert. At the very least, the idea is worth exploring. “Consumers do see value in having a conversation with another human about finances but […]

The Producers Group Announces The Women’s Professional Group

{December 27th, 2013} by Eric Freundt

The WPG will exist as a distinctive group to specifically address the needs of women producers. San Diego, CA – The Producers Group, a leader in Life Insurance Brokerage, seeks to expand its level of expertise by introducing the Women’s Professional Group (WPG) to its repertoire. The WPG will largely be made up of financial […]

Financial professionals underestimate appeal of annuities

{December 27th, 2013} by IFAwebnews Staff

Consumers perceive annuities more positively than financial professionals give them credit for, according to The Future of Retirement Income, a new study released by Genworth. The study, a culmination of in-depth interviews, focus groups and quantitative surveys with financial professionals, annuity owners and non-annuity owners, revealed that 68% of non-annuity owners have a neutral to […]

When Being ‘All Business’ Is A Turn-Off

{December 27th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Amy Florian was having dinner one evening at the home of a financial advisor. During the course of conversation, the advisor mentioned that he didn’t always know what to say to clients who had just suffered the loss of a loved one. He felt awkward and wanted her to coach him. She was working in […]

A New Year Brings A New Chance To Talk About Financial Security

{December 27th, 2013} by Todd A. Silverhart

Reprinted from the January 2014 issue of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine. The arrival of 2014 brings with it the fresh anticipation of everything we hope to achieve while working with a brand-new calendar. For those in the business of providing financial security, it’s the perfect time to meet with clients to set them on a positive course […]

InsurMark Expands Exclusive GameChangerAcademy.com

{December 27th, 2013} by PRWeb

“Members Only Subsite” Where Financial Advisors Share Secrets of Success Houston, TX (PRWEB) December 18, 2013 In preparation for highly anticipated business growth in 2014, members of Game Changer Academy (GCA), InsurMark’s exclusive club where one of the industry’s top annuity and life insurance producer shares his success strategies, now have game-changing sales tools at […]

Americans Enter 2014 With False Sense Of Financial Security.

{December 26th, 2013} by Close-Up Media

The 5th annual New Year’s Resolution Survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) revealed that although only five years have passed since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, many Americans seem to have forgotten the trauma it caused to their portfolios and may now have a false sense of security about their current […]


2 biggest arguments in favor of annuities

{December 26th, 2013} by John L. Olsen and Michael E. Kitces

Annuities have, for many years, been the subject of considerable debate among financial planners, insurance agents, financial journalists and academics. While some of this discussion is dispassionate, a surprising amount of it is not. Much of what is written on the subject — especially by those opposed to annuities — is outright polemic. The debate […]

World Finance Insurance Awards 2013

{December 26th, 2013} by World Finance

With insurance markets going through a prolonged period of change, firms have had to become more and more impressive, efficient and client-friendly in order to stay ahead of the competition. In the World Finance Insurance Awards 2013, we celebrate these organizations that are carrying the torch for the industry, creating new options, and providing the […]

Is Pinterest useful for financial advisers?

{December 26th, 2013} by Caitlin Zucal

For every financial planner that has finally started blogging, Pinterest’ s new enhanced pin feature is something to get excited about. Before, Pinterest was believed to be the social network to use if you had photographs, recipes and retail products to promote. But, with new “article” pins, Pinterest is now making an appeal to content […]

Finra seeks new monitoring system for customer accounts

{December 26th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Says it would more quickly identify potential red flags signaling misconduct Finra is proposing an automated data collection system that will allow it to gather information from brokerage firm customer accounts that could more quickly and efficiently identify harmful sales practices. On Monday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. released a request for comment on […]

Our 7 favorite celebrity insurance spokespeople

{December 26th, 2013} by Juliahna Green

The American population is woefully underinsured and uninsured. Can celebrity spokespeople bridge the gap? Maybe, maybe not, but some of them sure seem to be enjoying themselves while trying. Click here to view

Life industry to grow through 2015

{December 26th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Top-line growth for the life insurance industry will vary between three and four percent in 2014 and 2015, new research shows. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reveal this forecast in a report detailing the outlook for life insurers in 2014. Underpinning the growth forecast, the study indicates, are “solid investment flows” and fees derived from “strong […]

Athene’s financial strength rating affirmed (Fitch Ratings Inc.)

{December 26th, 2013} by Insurance Networking News

Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:21 AM   Fitch Ratings Inc. has affirmed the insurer financial strength rating of Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Co. at BBB+ (Good) and removed it from rating watch negative, with a stable rating outlook, Insurance Networking News reported. Fitch placed Athene on rating watch negative on Dec. 21, 2012, following the company’s […]


A Life Insurance Producer’s Guide to 2014

{December 26th, 2013} by Kenneth A. Shapiro

Ushering in the new with a firm grip on the old by Kenneth A. Shapiro Mr. Shapiro is president of First American Insurance Underwriters, Inc., a national life insurance brokerage firm based in Needham, Mass. and specializing in coaching growth-oriented producers. He began his career with Northwestern Mutual Life and later worked for The Guardian […]

Making the most of the holiday season

{December 26th, 2013} by Joe Duran

The holiday season is in full swing. As year-end rolls in, it is an opportune time to reflect on how much we appreciate our family, staff, friends and clients. As I think about appreciation, I’m fine with admitting that it feels a lot nicer when it’s a two-way street. It seems like an appropriate time […]

True Life

{December 23rd, 2013} by Mitch Anthony

“…one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” —Luke 12:15 After my friend sold his beautiful, spacious boat, he told me that there’s no better place to learn about one’s inclination toward covetousness than on a harbor dock. He also informed me of the boater’s maxim, “Comparison is the killer of contentment.” He continued, “On […]

Women in the advice business

{December 23rd, 2013} by IN Special Reports

Are women on the rise or dropping out of the career track before the next promotion? A snapshot from the 2013 InvestmentNews/Moss Adams Adviser Compensation and Staffing Study capturing gender breakdown of pay and work in the advisory industry.    

Fixed-Rate MVA Annuities Make A Big Splash

{December 23rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

Fixed-rate market value adjusted (MVA) annuities made a big splash in third quarter, with sales jumping 88.1 percent over the previous quarter and 131.5 percent over third quarter last year, according to Beacon Research. The products represented 11 percent of total fixed annuity sales in third quarter, up from 7.7 percent in second quarter, Beacon […]

Survey Finds Advice Has Biggest Impact On Gen Y

{December 23rd, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Members of Generation Y have fewer assets than those who belong to Generation X and the baby boom generation, but Gen Y is more likely to heed advisors and alter their savings habits, a survey from the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) has found. Gen Y, Americans born between the late […]

GAO Eyes Income Options — Including Annuities

{December 23rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

One of the challenges that agents and advisors face when presenting income annuities to clients is how to help customers understand what factors impact retirement income outcomes. That is especially difficult for annuity producers who have previously focused on helping people accumulate assets through annuities or other products.  How do they flip over to the […]

AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof, File

Instagram and Pinterest are getting big likes from business owners

{December 23rd, 2013} by Joyce M. Rosenberg, Associated Press

Small businesses are using social media to promote their businesses and lure shoppers this holiday season — and they’re not just on Facebook. Or Twitter. Pinterest and Instagram are getting big “likes” from business owners. Facebook and Twitter may have a broader reach, but some owners are finding that Pinterest and Instagram help them connect […]

NAIC Elects 2014 Officers

{December 23rd, 2013} by NAIC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 18, 2013) —Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) today elected its 2014 officers: President: North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm President-Elect: Montana State Auditor and Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen Vice President: Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine Secretary-Treasurer: Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark The […]

Life 2014 Revenue Growth Outlook Projected At 2.9%

{December 23rd, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Financial analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods project estimated median operating revenue growth for a group of 14 life carriers at 2.9 percent for 2014 due to stock market performance, rising interest rates, and higher sales of fixed annuities and basic life insurance. Estimated median operating revenue growth in 2014 is down slightly from revised […]

How To Work Better With Couple Clients

{December 23rd, 2013} by Ann Marsh

Only 42% of couples who have advisors work with them jointly, according to a new Fidelity study — and that’s a problem, according to experts at the custodial operation. In the remaining 58% of couples, male partners manage the advisor relationship while their significant others don’t participate. “If wives don’t have that relationship, one on […]

Hefty tax bills could lurk in failed life insurance policies

{December 23rd, 2013} by Darla Mercado

Investors who surrender or let policies lapse risk big tax bills for so-called phantom income The failure of a life insurance policy is bad enough. But the situation instantly goes from bad to worse if there are loans against the policy — a hefty tax bill could be waiting in the wings. In-force life insurance […]

Harbinger Group Makes Another Annuity Move

{December 23rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

Harbinger Group has made still another foray into the annuity business. The publicly held company’s latest deal is an annuity reinsurance treaty closed with Bankers Life. According to the treaty, Bankers Life will cede approximately $160 million of its annuity business to Front Street Re (Cayman) Ltd., a Harbinger subsidiary that focuses on life and […]

National Life Group Expands Presence In Retirement Market

{December 23rd, 2013} by N/A

Montpelier, Vermont – National Life Group today announced that it will increase emphasis on marketing 457(b) plan solutions. For decades, National Life Group, through its member companies, has had a proven track record in providing retirement solutions in the 403(b) and 457(b) markets. This new initiative will leverage their broad experience and expertise to serve […]


5 tax breaks for charitable giving

{December 23rd, 2013} by Christina Nelson

As the year wraps up, some tax breaks for charitable giving will cease as well. These tips, complements of the Internal Revenue Service, will help keep your clients’ year-end donations in proper shape for a smooth tax season ahead. Click here to read…


The 5 biggest social media lessons from 2013

{December 23rd, 2013} by Bloomberg News

2013 was an important year for social media, and via BloombergNews, here are five of the biggest lessons the financial community learned from social media in the past year. Click here to read… (Source: Bloomberg News) 


In 2014, carrot and stick for advisers at Wells Fargo

{December 23rd, 2013} by Trevor Hunnicutt

Wirehouse will require more revenue, set new targets but give advisers more ways to top the hurdle Wells Fargo & Co.’s largest group of financial advisers will have to generate more revenue or meet new performance targets in 2014 in order to pocket the same cut of revenue they earned this year. But the third-largest […]


O&M launches annuity comparison tool

{December 23rd, 2013} by Emma Ann Hughes

O&M adds annuity comparison tool to both Pensions Profiler and O&M Profiler. The comparisons are included free of charge to users running the latest version of those systems in conjunction with their Assureweb account. O&M Profiler makes multiple requests via Assureweb for different annuity shapes. As the results are delivered, they are plotted graphically to […]

Financial planning not among most New Year’s resolutions

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

Only 16 percent of Americans say they intend to include financial planning in their New Year’s resolutions for 2014. That’s less than half of the 33 percent who said they would make financial planning a high priority when making resolutions in 2009, according to a new survey from Allianz Life. Nearly half (49 percent) of […]

4 tech gifts for insurance agents. And one not-so-techie

{December 20th, 2013} by Sam Melton

GeekTechMarketing.com recently revealed that 35.8 percent of people surveyed put electronic gifts atop their wish lists. That’s better than jewelry, home décor and sporting goods ranked. It can’t be just any tech gift. Click here to read…

Life insurance: 6 things to expect in 2014

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

For life insurance professionals who have long had difficulty selling interest rate-sensitive insurance products because of abysmally low yields, 2014 should bring welcome relief. Interest rates are due to rise — and stay on an upward path through 2018. Click here to read…

Annuities: 5 things to expect in 2014

{December 20th, 2013} by Maria Wood

Will fixed indexed annuities continue to be the rock stars of the annuity world? Has private equity’s appetite for fixed annuities waned? Will the Glenn Neasham case ever be over? Click here to read…

2013 annuity sales: Year in review

{December 20th, 2013} by Nichole Morford

There’s no denying that it’s been an impressive year for annuity sales. Industry-wide, the product is at its highest sales peak in two years, with especially notable growth seen in fixed annuities and deferred income annuities. Cathy Weatherford, president and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute, said this after reviewing Q3 figures: “Strong sales were […]

ING U.S., Harbinger trumpet reinsurance deals

{December 20th, 2013} by Maria Wood

With so much light being beamed on captive reinsurers – the so-called shadow insurance industry – of late, perhaps it was not too surprising that ING U.S. and Harbinger Group Inc. (HGI) announced major reinsurance deals yesterday that captured headlines. In the case of ING U.S., it involves shifting their offshore reinsurance subsidiary, Security Life […]


Are you dedicated to promoting the understanding of fixed annuities through the education? Director wanted.

{December 20th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Submitted by: Kim O’Brien, President & CEO kim@nafa.com JOB DESCRIPTION – Education CONSULTANT TITLE:  Director of Education LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona at an office site to be determined TYPE: Contracted Consultant GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The position is responsible for strengthening relationships with current NAFA members through educational initiatives: including constructing and maintaining the NAFA web content and presence; directing the […]

NAIC’s new leader welcomes major issues, won’t look back

{December 20th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm of North Dakota will be leading the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2014 with a focus on what’s in front of him, he says, not what’s in the “rear-view mirror.” Joining Hamm in leadership will be Commissioner Sharon Clark of Kentucky as secretary-treasurer. Julie Mix McPeak of Tennessee and Wayne […]

Falcone Reinsurer to Take on $160 Million of Annuities

{December 19th, 2013} by Zachary Tracer

Front Street Re, the reinsurer controlled by Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Group (HRG) Inc., is expanding in annuities with its first transaction that doesn’t involve an affiliated company. Front Street is taking on $160 million of the retirement contracts from Bankers Life Insurance Co., according to a statement today from New York-based Harbinger Group. The transaction […]

NAIC Panel Considers Defining Some Captives as Multistate Insurers

{December 19th, 2013} by Thomas Harmon

WASHINGTON – A National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ panel is considering the possibility of treating a small segment of the captive and special purpose vehicle market used by some life insurers in the same manner as multistate insurers for accreditation purposes. The action has created concern among captives insurance officials in Delaware, one of the […]

Feds, workers agree: Guaranteed income vital in retirement

{December 19th, 2013} by Maria Wood

At least American workers and the federal government can agree on one thing: Having guaranteed income in retirement is vital. A recent survey by LIMRA and a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concur on that point. When polled by LIMRA, eight in 10 U.S. workers favor employers providing direction on how to covert […]

Annuity Industry Report Sees More Favorable Environment Ahead

{December 18th, 2013} by Annuity News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released its state of the industry report identifying opportunities ahead in 2014. While interest rates remain historically low, IRI sees macroeconomic headwinds easing after rates bounced in 2013.  As a result, annuity sales stabilized during the past year, and with continued product innovation and ongoing consumer […]

Commissioners Back Leonardi Corporate Governance Idea, While Opponents Cite Flawed Process

{December 18th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – Commissioners watching the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ executive committee’s controversial vote rejecting having a consultant examine the NAIC’s corporate governance practices said they may still support the idea, while one who voted against it said he agreed with the motion in principle but differed on the process. The panel’s vote rejecting the […]

Men 58 Percent More Likely to Drive Financial Advisor Relationships

{December 18th, 2013} by Business Wire

Fidelity unveils “Financial Compatibility Quiz” to help advisors facilitate conversations and create more balanced involvement for couples in their financial planning December 18, 2013- BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fidelity Investments® has released new insights from its 2013 Couples Retirement Study on the retirement expectations and preparedness of couples who work with financial advisors. The study uncovered a dynamic […]

Industry, NAIC Official Criticize IAIS Time Line for Testing Global Capital Standard

{December 17th, 2013} by Jeff Jeffrey

WASHINGTON – Insurance industry representatives and experts for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners were united in their opposition to the time line laid out by international regulators for the creation of a global capital standard, as well as the one for proposed changes to the way insurance contracts are accounted for, during a committee […]

Industry, Regulators at Odds Over NAIC Corporate Governance Model Law

{December 17th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – Insurance industry trade groups stand firmly against state regulators’ plans for a new corporate governance model law, saying that a guidance manual regulators seek as a basis for making adjustments to regulations is completely unacceptable. The discussions took place in a corporate governance working group at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Fall […]

NAIC Panel Battles over Interim Plan to Keep Triple-X, AXXX Life Reserves Intact

{December 17th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – The ultimate fate of whether two reserving tools used by some life insurers should be eliminated from use continues to be the subject of vigorous debate among some state regulators who are pushing the concept and life insurers — as well as some state regulators — who believe the controversial tools can still […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Aegon N.V.’s U.S. and Canadian Subsidiaries

{December 17th, 2013} by Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the U.S. life/health subsidiaries of Aegon N.V. (Aegon) (Netherlands) (NYSE:AEG). Aegon’s U.S. life/health companies are collectively referred to as Aegon USA Group (Aegon USA). In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the debt […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of CUNA Mutual Financial Group, Inc.’s Life Subsidiaries

{December 17th, 2013} by Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength ratings (FSR)  of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of CMFG  Life Insurance Company (CMFG Life) and MEMBERS Life  Insurance Company (MLIC), a life/annuity subsidiary, as well as the  following property/casualty subsidiaries: CUMIS Insurance Society,  Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, CUMIS […]

Charges of NAIC corporate governance problems erupt

{December 17th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

[Washington] — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Executive Committee meeting erupted into a biting referendum on the NAIC itself Monday, with Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Tom Leonardi motioning to hire an outside firm to conduct a corporate governance review. Leonardi would like the review to address a variety of so-called poor decisions, some by […]

The absolute end-of-year retirement advisor checklist

{December 17th, 2013} by Dan Berman

There are so many to-do lists as the year comes to a close that it might be easy to overlook the steps you need to take to make sure your client’s retirement plans are on track. Making mistakes could cost them thousands of dollars and you, their future business. From deciding when it’s best for […]

Rising debt keeps older Americans working longer

{December 17th, 2013} by Maria Wood

Older Americans now shoulder a heavier debt burden, and it’s forcing them to stay in the labor force longer and delay claiming of Social Security. So found a research paper released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The impetus of the study, written by Barbara A. Butrica and Nadia S. Karamcheva, was […]

Protective Life Exec Criticizes Industry’s Commoditization

{December 17th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

The chief executive officer of one of the nation’s most respected life insurance companies decried the state of the industry. John D. Johns, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Protective Life, said the industry had become commoditized and made it difficult for many consumers to buy life insurance and related products. The comments, coming […]

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance launches IPO

{December 16th, 2013} by Victor Epstein

  Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company began its life Friday as a publicly traded company under the FGL ticker. The Des Moines-based firm, which relocated its headquarters from Baltimore last month, priced an initial public offering of 9.75 million shares Thursday at $17 each. They began trading this morning on the New York Stock […]

Almost half of financial advisors don’t have retirement plans

{December 16th, 2013} by Paula Aven Gladych

Financial advisors spend their time helping others prepare for retirement, but they are notorious about not planning for their own futures, according to a study of 2,400 financial professionals by the Financial Planning Association Research & Practice Institute. The study found that half of financial advisors don’t have a written business plan and 46 percent […]

Relax, clients don’t want to hear from you via Twitter

{December 16th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

New report finds the high-net-worth clients would rather communicate the old-fashioned way. All the proclamations that financial advisers have to master social media so that they can communicate with clients and prospects appear to have been wrong, or at least premature. Investors — whether they have $100,000 to invest or more than $2 million — […]