The Investments Channel

Insurance & Annuities Poll: The Results

Annual Beneficiary Audits: As Important as a Will

Many investors assume a will dictates where their assets will go. But without properly designated beneficiaries, investors may not reach their legacy goals.

Retirement Income Planning Takes a Flexible Approach

If you are like many people, you probably have put plenty of thought into what your ideal retirement would look like. Maybe it involves exotic travel, pursuing a favorite hobby or spending more time with friends and family.

What’s Behind the Anti-Fiduciary Mindset?

In case you missed it, on September 7, APViewpoint hosted one of the best debates ever regarding the fiduciary standard and the DOL rule. It was notable because unlike most of what you’ve been reading, it covered both sides of the topic, and the debaters forced each other to provide deeper rationales for their beliefs. Here are my key insights, particularly those that illustrate the thinking behind the anti-fiduciary mindset.

Coping with Sequence Risk: How Variable Withdrawal and Annuitization Improve Retirement Outcomes

A strategy that combines variable withdrawals with partial annuitization using a single-premium immediate annuity maximizes the cash available for consumption.

Income Opportunities in CEFs and Emerging Markets

Closed-end funds and emerging-market debt offer opportunities for income investors. We also look at Vanguard’s most recent announcement about its bond ETF and what to expect from the FOMC this month.

Masters Series Interview with Richard H. Thaler, PhD

Richard Thaler, PhD, is considered one of the founding fathers of behavioral economics, the nexus of economics and psychology—specifically how people and organizations make decisions that may have negative consequences and how they frequently repeat these mistakes. 

The Five Points that Belong on Every Advisor’s Website

Shouldn’t clients be able to look on a financial planner’s website and see what services they can expect to receive for the fees they expect to pay? Shouldn’t the profession evolve a pricing model where people who do more for the client can charge more, and those who do less will charge less?

What Advisors Need to Know About Annuity Mortality Credits

Although the general concept of mortality credits is widely understood, the underlying math is not. Understanding the math can help with decisions such as the best age to purchase an annuity and which type of annuity to purchase. Such an understanding can debunk some popular beliefs about annuities.

Finding Faith in Value after All These Years

What should one conclude about the persistent sense of despair in the investment business over the flow of funds to passive and quantitative strategies? It may well be that, as Jeremy Grantham wrote, the comfortable margins of safety experienced in the “Ben Graham training period of 1935–1965″ could never return.

A Proven Way to Budget Clients’ Spending

To better serve and retain retired or soon-to-be retired clients, advisors should use the actuarial budget benchmark, an annual spending plan developed using actuarial and financial economic principles.

DOL Throws New Lifeline to Lifetime-Income Solutions

The defined contribution (DC) community has been buzzing about lifetime-income products lately. It’s a topic that’s been dormant for several years, but there are good reasons for renewed interest.

Earn $100 by Participating in an APViewpoint Focus Group

An ETF sponsor is looking for 30 advisors to participate in an online focus group to be hosted on APViewpoint. The purpose of this focus group is to gather advisors’ observations on the ETF marketplace. Click for more info.

Buying Life Insurance with a "Selfie" and Other News about Insurance and Annuities

New technology will allow you to apply for life insurance with a “selfie.” In other news, inflation-protected annuities are becoming more appealing as the economy grows.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Rebuild the Wall of Worry?

As some market worries have been put to rest, there is a growing appetite for new ones. Pundits who say that things look OK are not very exciting. Last week we saw a shift in attention. Despite healthy earnings and good economic data.