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Archive for January 2014

Insurance licensing reforms finally see light

{January 31st, 2014} by Cathy Weatherford

“For the first time ever, the Senate has voted to pass NARAB II legislation to help streamline and improve the insurance licensing process for thousands of financial advisors across the nation. This significant action is an important step toward removing a regulatory barrier that has been impeding broker-dealers’ ability and financial advisors’ willingness to sell […]

What to know about selling life insurance to succeed in 2014

{January 31st, 2014} by Lew Nazon

As you are reading the following information from the Life Insurance Marketing Research Association, you might want to think about the exceptional opportunities you have to be helping middle-income families today, while earning an extraordinary living in this great insurance profession. The opportunity for the “average” life insurance agent to earn in excess of $250,000 […]

Why clients aren’t providing referrals

{January 31st, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

While a large percentage of investors find their advisor through a referral, more than half of those polled in a recently conducted ByAllAccounts survey say they have not provided referrals for their own advisor. As the following chart shows, some indicate they aren’t comfortable with this, while others say their advisor hasn’t asked them to […]

Ash Brokerage Names President

{January 31st, 2014} by Ash Brokerage Corp.

News Release Fort Wayne, Ind. — Ash Brokerage has named Larry Dahl, an accomplished financial industry veteran with more than 27 years experience, as its new president. Dahl will help to create a clearly defined vision and strategy, and will be looking at new ways to enhance the Ash business model and offerings. His goal […]

Insurers Target Pre-Game and Local Ad Time in Super Bowl Marketing Blitz

{January 31st, 2014} by Michael Buck, senior associate editor, BestWeek: Michael.Buck@ambest.com

OLDWICK, N.J. – “Peanuts” characters, private events, professional athletes and military participation are among the marketing tools insurers are deploying in the hopes of capturing the millions of eyes fixed on the NFL’s Super Bowl championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. While marketing plans vary, one similarity among insurers has emerged: making end-runs […]

NAIC Panel Seeking to Attract More Groups, Insurers in Third ORSA Pilot

{January 31st, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – Insurers and groups interested in becoming prepared for Own Risk and Solvency Assessment Act filing requirements that will go into effect in 2015 will have at least one more chance to do so as part of a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ 2014 pilot program. The NAIC in 2012 approved its Own Risk […]

NCOIL Forms Panel Seeking Consistency in Unclaimed Property Rules, Laws

{January 31st, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – The National Conference of Insurance Legislators has formed a new unclaimed property task force in an attempt to improve what lawmakers believe are inconsistent rules and state laws regarding unclaimed life insurance benefits. NCOIL’s new panel will examine and make recommendations to improve the NCOIL’s Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, promote consistency […]

Guardian Exceeds Corporate Recruitment Goal

{January 31st, 2014} by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

NEW YORK, January 30, 2014 — The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced it hired 892 Financial Representatives in 2013, the second highest recruiting year in its 153-year history. This is the fourth consecutive year Guardian exceeded […]

LIMRA: Access Alone Won’t Improve Retirement Savings Behaviors

{January 31st, 2014} by InsuranceNewsNet

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed a retirement savings bond program to reach low- and middle-income workers and others not saving for retirement. The myRA program, which would be run and backed by the federal government, tries to address one of the key issues challenging Americans’ retirement readiness: access to a […]

IRI Sees Drop In Retirement Confidence And Savings Of Generation X

{January 31st, 2014} by Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new research report on the retirement outlook for Generation X (Gen X) that shows a decline in retirement confidence and savings among members of the cohort. GenXers, born between 1962 and 1981, reported that their retirement savings have dropped 15 percent over the last […]

Iowa Senator Introduces New Retirement Savings Program

{January 31st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

A day after President Obama announced a new type of retirement account, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced new legislation to “tackle the retirement crisis” by automatically enrolling workers into a new pension system that would stash 6 percent of a worker’s pay every year. “Our country is facing a growing retirement crisis, and it’s only […]

Americans Saving Too Little, Yet 37% Plan To Retire Early

{January 31st, 2014} by Targeted News Service

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 — TIAA-CREF issued the following news release: A majority of Americans are saving 10 percent or less of their income during their working years, including many who are saving nothing, yet 37 percent plan to retire before age 65, according to a recent survey by TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider. […]

Acquiring A Practice: How To Catapult Your Business To The Next Level

{January 31st, 2014} by Jeffrey Concepcion

Are you considering buying a new book of business? With an aging advisor population, acquiring a new practice might be a great way to help catapult your business to the next level. However, there is often a disconnect between desire and reality; an acquisition requires having proper systems and processes in place well in advance […]

Millennials Present Opportunity & Challenge for Advisors

{January 31st, 2014} by Andrew Welsch

The financial crisis has had an enormous impact on millennials’ attitudes towards investing, saving and success, presenting both opportunities and challenges for financial advisors, a new survey by UBS Investor Watch finds. Members of this young generation are goal-oriented, frugal and likely to seek out advice before making financial decisions. But having been burned by […]

1 In 3 Say Guaranteed Income Is Top Retirement Priority

{January 31st, 2014} by Targeted News Service

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 — TIAA-CREF issued the following news release: A new study by TIAA-CREF shows that more than one-third (34 percent) of Americans who participate in a retirement plan say the primary goal of their plan is to generate guaranteed monthly income. Another 40 percent want to ensure their savings are safe regardless […]

Live! From TD Ameritrade Institutional: How to get and keep female clients:

{January 30th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

Women feel more negatively about the financial industry than they do about car salespeople Financial advisers who want to attract female clients must carefully craft a message designed for that particular woman’s knowledge and interest level. “Women are not a niche market and you need to be deliberate about the type of sub-segment of the […]

Federal Roundup

{January 30th, 2014} by Capcity Associates

Prepared for NAFA by CapCity Advocates Tax Reform The recent two-year bipartisan budget agreement has temporarily paved the way for a revitalized tax reform debate. However, the federal debt ceiling will need to be raised by February 7 (there is a little wiggle room after this date), which might cause a few fireworks in January […]

Senate passes NARAB bill

{January 30th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

Legislation re-establishing the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB) was passed today by the Senate and sent to the House. It was passed as part of S. 1926, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 and National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2014. Officials of the National Association […]

Life Insurance Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

{January 30th, 2014} by Barbara Mannino

Living in the moment might be a good approach to life, but it doesn’t work in the world of financial planning and insurance. Financial planners are constantly stressing the need to plan for the future to determine what we can do today to protect ourselves tomorrow. Experts claim consumers are more inclined to abide by […]

Regulators shine spotlight on IRA rollover suitability

{January 30th, 2014} by William H. Byrnes and Robert Bloink

Threats of heightened regulatory scrutiny have loomed large in the first weeks of 2014, and perhaps no area has received greater attention than the IRA rollover transaction. Both the SEC and FINRA have issued warnings to advisors who provide guidance to clients looking to roll traditional workplace 401(k) accounts into private IRAs, and this focus […]

Wall Street pitches fit after Fed’s tapering announcement

{January 30th, 2014} by Kent Hoover

The tapering continues: The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday afternoon that it would reduce its bond-buying by another $10 billion in February. Even though this decision was expected, stock prices fell in reaction to it. The Fed said it decided to “make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchases” because of “growing […]

How to market annuities to baby boomers

{January 29th, 2014} by Alanna Ritchie

There are approximately 80 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, who are rapidly approaching retirement. This demographic makes up a significant portion of the annuity-buying community. In fact, around half of annuity owners purchase their annuity between the ages of 50 and 64. Click here to read…

Most Americans underestimate needed retirement income

{January 29th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

More than one-third (34 percent) of Americans who participate in a retirement plan say the primary goal of their plan is to generate guaranteed monthly income, new research shows. TIAA-CREF discloses this finding in a nationwide survey of 1,017 adults, age 18 years and older, on their retirement plans. The study was conducted by KRC […]

Women The Fulcrum Of The Hispanic Household

{January 29th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

It has often been said that the way to a woman’s heart is through her children. For financial advisors, the way to the heart of the Hispanic market lies through women, the household’s de facto gatekeepers, according to experts in the Hispanic insurance and retirement market. The best way for advisors to engage Hispanic women […]

And the best job in America is …

{January 28th, 2014} by Dan Cook

If you didn’t go to med or pharmacy school, or receive a technical degree of some sort, then you simply aren’t qualified for the five “best jobs” as defined by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine’s annual survey determined that the single best job available in America today is that of software developer. No. […]

About ‘All Those Annuity Complaints’

{January 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Reported complaint activity involving annuities is down, and not by just a hair. In 2013, it was down in the neighborhood of 20 percent compared to the year before and by even greater percentages when compared to the two years previous to that. The improving data contradicts reports about “all those annuity complaints” that some […]

Athene Moving 200 Jobs To West Des Moines, Iowa

{January 28th, 2014} by Megan Hart

Athene USA will leaveTopeka by the end of the year, relocating most employees and selling its downtown building. Steve Carlson, public relations manager for Athene, on Thursday confirmed the insurance company’sTopeka offices, at555 and 515 S. Kansas Ave., will close and their functions will transfer toWest Des Moines, Iowa. More than 200 people work in […]

Athene USA shifting Topeka jobs to West Des Moines

{January 28th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

Kansas’ loss is going to be Iowa’s gain, according to a spokesman for Athene USA. The West Des Moines-based insurer plans to close its office in Topeka, Kan., by the end of the year and shift the positions there to Iowa, according to Athene USA Spokesman Steven Carlson. It means about 225 new jobs for […]

Identity Crisis

{January 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

When Tony Goebel decided to become an independent life and health producer in early 2013, he had to decide how to present himself to clients. His official title at the agency was clear enough. He had become executive vice president of Goebel Insurance and Financial, a Green Bay, Wis., firm founded by his father. But […]

NARAB bill under White House scrutiny

{January 28th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

The White House has expressed concerns about some technical provisions of legislation that would re-establish the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB). At the same time, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has proposed an amendment to the legislation that would allow states to opt out, a provision that concerns industry officials. Officials of the […]

AIG back on the offensive, chairman says

{January 28th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer and Alexandria Baca

(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. is benefiting from an improved reputation after the insurer finished repaying a $182.3 billion U.S. bailout a year ago, Chairman Steve Miller said. “We were the most disrespected brand name on the planet and now we have come back,” Miller said today in a Bloomberg Television interview with Stephanie […]

Wells Fargo To Sell 42 Insurance Brokerage Offices

{January 28th, 2014} by Noah Buhayar

(Bloomberg) –WellsFargo, the largest U.S. home lender, agreed to sell more than 40% of its insurance brokerage locations to focus bricks-and-mortar operations on higher-growth regions and bigger clients. USI Insurance Services will purchase 42 of WellsFargo’s insurance brokerage and consulting offices, according to a statement today from theSan Francisco-based lender. The remaining 55 locations are […]

Guaranteed Income Is a “Must Have” for Annuity Sales

{January 28th, 2014} by Annuity Outlook Magazine Staff

A Recent Survey Attempts to Forecast Important Annuity Market Trends By Annuity Outlook Staff Several factors are contributing to a positive outlook for our industry. Listen to insights on this topic in this brief audio interview with Mark Fitzgerald, National Sales Manager for Saybrus Partners, a distribution subsidiary of the Phoenix Companies. The link to […]

Indexed Annuities Increase Retirement Success to 97.5%

{January 28th, 2014} by Douglas Wolff

Before 2007, whenever Americans were asked about their retirement goals, the most common responses boiled down to “retiring early” and “accumulating as much wealth as possible.” Pose the same question today, however, and the dominant answers are more likely to be “dealing with health care expenses” and “not outliving my income.” As an industry, we […]

New York Life on hiring spree

{January 28th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

Continuing a favorable tradition, New York Life is planning to add more than 3,600 financial representatives this year, with more than half being women or those who represent the cultural markets. In 2013, 62 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were women or individuals who represent the cultural markets. The company […]

FIO Calls States to Adopt Uniform Annuity Suitability Regulations

{January 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Every state should “adopt and enforce” the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Suitability in Annuities Transaction Model Regulation, according to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO). Reading between the lines, the underlying message is that this is no time for foot-dragging. All states need to adopt and implement the NAIC suitability model ASAP. If all […]

Convincing women to build a stake in their financial future

{January 28th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

Provide timid clients incentives to gain knowledge about money An Ohio adviser is using a formal incentive program to encourage her female clients to boost their financial education. Paula Chesser, an adviser with Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. in Akron, Ohio, created a Savvy Women’s Club that hosts eight workshops or seminars for her […]

Millennials chary of long-term investing

{January 28th, 2014} by Mason Braswell

Shell-shocked by market crises, Gen Y holds onto cash, doesn’t use advisers, survey says The trauma of the financial crisis is still fresh in the minds of the youngest investors and that makes them hold tight to their cash and dubious about long-term investing. Many millennials, which UBS defines as being 21 to 36, are […]

Krawcheck says advisory business still coming up short in reaching out to women

{January 27th, 2014} by Jeff Benjamin

Advisers need to understand distinctions between women and men investors Sallie Krawcheck’s bottom line is getting the advice industry to reach out to more women, both as advisers and clients. “Women don’t say they need a woman adviser, but I don’t think it will hurt if we got beyond 17% of the industry being women,” […]

AIG Taps Former New York Life Executive as SVP of Annuity Distribution

{January 27th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

HOUSTON – American International Group Inc. has tapped a former executive with New York Life Investments to develop and execute annuity sales strategies for its independent brokerage platform and for its newly launched career sales channel — AIG Financial Network. Liza Tyler, with 20 years experience in the industry, was named senior vice president, annuity […]

Life Insurance Carriers Release Competing Hispanic Market Surveys

{January 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Behind the glittering facades of life insurance companies ensconced in corporate offices lies a wickedly competitive industry, with carriers jockeying for media attention in a way that might even make a grizzled Hollywood press agent proud. On Jan. 22, when Prudential Financial unleashed its 2014 Hispanic American Financial Experience Study, MassMutual saw fit to send […]

Phoenix: Progress Toward SEC Settlement

{January 27th, 2014} by Mara Lee, The Hartford Courant

Jan. 24–HARTFORD –The Phoenix Cos. has disclosed a preliminary agreement on a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over its delay in filing quarterly financial reports for several years. The proposed settlement, the company said, would acknowledge that it violated laws on financial disclosure, promise not to do it in the future, and pay […]

Finding Sales Growth in 2014

{January 27th, 2014} by Harry Stout

As we begin 2014, this is the last year for members of the Baby Boomer generation to turn age 50.  Per a recent article in AARP Magazine, over two million Americans will retire during 2014.  The aging population creates a huge opportunity for financial advice and purchase of suitable product solutions.  The key question is […]

Zurich CEO seeks emerging market distribution deals

{January 27th, 2014} by Catherine Bosley and Carolyn Bandel, Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Zurich Insurance Group AG, the biggest Swiss insurer, is seeking more agreements to sell life insurance via banks to help expand in emerging markets. “We will keep looking at new distribution deals, particularly in the geographies that we’re excited about” including Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, Kristof Terryn, CEO of Zurich Insurance’s global […]

Aging Advisor Force Brings Challenges, Opportunities

{January 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Here’s a sobering fact for the future of financial advisors: the average age of all financial advisors is 50.9 years. A Cerulli Associates report also found that 43 percent of financial advisors are older than 55 years old, and nearly 33 percent fall between 55 and 64 years of age. The oldest advisors are found […]

(Interest) rate increase: The life insurance life saver

{January 27th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

Signs that a period of ultra-low interest rates may be coming to an end has stirred optimism that revenues, profitability, employment and stock prices of insurers will skyrocket, with agents – as well as mutual insurance companies – benefitting. In its outlook for the life insurance industry for 2014, released in early January, Standard & […]

Hispanic Prospects Are Driven By Trust

{January 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Financial advisors looking to reach Hispanics and seeking to sell to Latino consumers need to understand that this market is driven by trust. The more consistent and patient advisors are when dealing with Latino clients, the more likely they will find success in a market that is ready for advice, according to experts and a […]

Officials announce details for Global Insurance Symposium

{January 27th, 2014} by N/A

Gov.  Terry Branstad’s office released preliminary details on Friday for the Global  Insurance Symposium that will be held in Des Moines on May 20-22. The privately  funded symposium is the result of collaborative work between the Greater Des  Moines Partnership, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Insurance  Commissioner Nick Gerhart.  Globally recognized keynote speakers […]

What Crises Lie In Wait For Janet Yellen?

{January 26th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

EACH OF THE LAST THREE CHAIRS of the U.S. Federal Reserve faced daunting challenges soon after assuming leadership of the world’s most powerful central bank. It will be no different forJanet Yellen, the highly talented and respected incoming chair. How she reacts to the set of known challenges, let alone the unanticipated ones, will impact […]

An open letter to Next Generation financial advisers… and all who precede them

{January 24th, 2014} by Devin DeStefano

“The times they are a’changing.” So said Bob Dylan in 1964. I am fairly certain he wasn’t talking about the financial services industry, but now, 50 years later, his message most definitely applies to our world. We are caught in a whirlwind of debate and discussion about the Millennials and how they will affect our […]

Newly Independent Creative Marketing Becomes CreativeOne

{January 24th, 2014} by Merrit Strunk

 Company’s new name aligns with its vision of being the Most Trusted Independent Partner to financial services professionals CreativeOne continues its commitment to innovation and introducing new ways of equipping producers to be their best. Creative was the first IMO to design its own fixed indexed annuity products, offer producers a zero-cost deferred compensation plan, […]

Janet Sipes Named Chief Admin Officer: AmeriLife Continues Executive Leadership Expansion

{January 24th, 2014} by Wayne Shelor

As AmeriLife continues to expand its executive leadership team, Janet L. Sipes, a long-time executive and leader in the insurance industry, is AmeriLife’s new Chief Administrative Officer. (PRWEB) January 24, 2014 Janet L. Sipes, a long-time executive and leader in the insurance industry, is AmeriLife’s new Chief Administrative Officer. An insurance authority with 19 years […]

Berkshire is said to face start of SIFI scrutiny

{January 24th, 2014} by Ian Katz, Zachary Tracer, Noah Buhayar

(Bloomberg) — Regulators are starting to scrutinize Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to determine whether it is important enough to the financial system to require Federal Reserve supervision, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council staff’s study of Berkshire doesn’t mean the panel is inclined to designate […]

Why 2014 Will be Good for FIA Sales

{January 24th, 2014} by Jack Marrion

For the first time in three years I am very optimistic about the coming year’s indexed annuity sales. In spite of the shenanigans in Washington, the Fed’s floundering and a bull market that is long in the tooth, I believe 2014 will be a very good year for fixed indexed annuity sales. Reason 1: Annuity […]

Millennials see American dream fading

{January 24th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Half of all Millennials ages 25-32 believe that the American dream — the ability to lead a middle class lifestyle — is disappearing for their generation, according to new research. MassMutual discloses this finding in its “State of the American Family Study,” a biennial survey conducted in 2009, 2011 and 2013 for MassMutual by the […]

Financial adviser job loses a little luster

{January 24th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

Slips further down list of top 100 jobs to No. 41, though profession still a stand-out for opportunity and work-life balance A new ranking of America’s best 100 jobs reveals that the financial advice business is an outstanding profession, even though the sector has slipped down the rankings. “Financial adviser” ranked No. 41 of the […]

How to connect with the fastest-growing client demographic

{January 23rd, 2014} by Carl ODonnell

Show respect for values, explain ‘good’ debt and accept that Hispanics don’t put much emphasis on retirement Financial advisers seeking to build relationships with the fastest growing demographic in America just need to reach out and connect with it. The Hispanic community has a significant unmet need for financial advisory services, has been historically underserved […]

43% of advisors older than 55

{January 23rd, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

Nearly half of the advisor workforce is at or near retirement, which means more firms must recruit younger advisors to accelerate their succession plans, and also puts broker dealerss and custodians at risk of losing assets under management, according to a just-released study by Cerulli Associates. “The average age of financial advisors is 50.9, and […]

73% of online adults now use social networking sites

{January 23rd, 2014} by Maeve Duggan, Aaron Smith

Click here to view original article for larger diagram pictures Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind.1 Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42% of online adults now use […]

New Rules for The New Year

{January 22nd, 2014} by John Pruitt, Cynthia Shoss, Thomas Glassic, Justin Kitchens, Saran Goldner, Meltem Kodaman

Click to read-> NewRulesForTheNewYear

How to Market Your Insurance Services to the Millenial Generation

{January 22nd, 2014} by Joyce Martin

The millennial generation, generally defined as those currently in the 18-30 age-range, are a tech-savvy and suspicious bunch. They grew up with computers and the Great Recession, and Oracle predicts they will generate $2.45 trillion in annual spending by 2015.  This demographic offers plenty of opportunities for lead generation, but you aren’t going to get […]

Outliers And Retirement Income

{January 22nd, 2014} by Jack Marrion

You are age 65 and it’s your first day of retirement. You are about to tap a putt into the ninth hole. Based on your experience, you believe you will sink the putt. Just to make it interesting, let’s make a little bet. If you sink the putt, you are guaranteed that you can take […]

Fixed Annuity Carriers See Mixed Messages in Interest Rates

{January 22nd, 2014} by Linda Koco

he fortunes of the fixed annuity business are so closely tied to the movement of interest rates that fixed annuity professionals follow rate developments closely. Right now, some professionals might be getting cross-eyed due to what seem to be mixed messages in this area. On the one hand, many carriers that issue fixed annuities are […]

How Will More Obesity and Less Smoking Affect Life Expectancy?

{January 22nd, 2014} by Samuel H. Preston,Andrew Stokes,Neil K. Mehta andBochen Cao

The brief’s key findings are: Obesity is on the rise and smoking is on the decline, so a key issue is the net effect of these two trends on future life expectancy. The analysis examines how each behavior currently affects mortality and applies the results to an estimate of the future prevalence of each behavior. […]

Genworth reaches Death Master File agreement

{January 21st, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

State insurance regulators have reached a settlement with the Genworth Life Insurance Company over the insurer’s use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File database. The settlement ensures protection for policyholders and beneficiaries. “I am pleased with the outcome of this agreement as it is another success in our nationwide effort to reform life […]