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Is cyber insurance worth the cost?

January 15, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has suggested that delivering messages via courier is the only way to protect data from hackers. But cybersecurity experts have a more practical solution for financial advisers: Craft plans for preventing, detecting...

Time to talk with clients about life insurance policy costs

January 13, 2017

Last year, many life insurers issued forward guidance for continued downgrades to policy earnings expectations. When declining policy earnings cannot cover internal policy costs, then clients must either pay more premium to get expected benefits...

Health savings accounts front and center amid Obamacare repeal efforts

January 12, 2017

With Republicans in Congress moving aggressively toward replacing all or major parts of Obamacare, health savings accounts are expected to become a centerpiece of managing health care-related expenses going forward. As part of the campaign to...

DOL fiduciary rule hastening death of L-share variable annuities

January 11, 2017

The specter of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is accelerating the demise of L-share variable annuities. Variable annuities sold in an L-share class had already been reeling prior to the DOL issuing the final version of its conflict-of-interest...

Office of Management and Budget reviewing proposed exemption under DOL fiduciary rule for some indexed annuity distributors

January 4, 2017

The Labor Department has submitted for review a proposal that would seemingly ease the compliance process for some distributors selling fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule. The Department of Labor sent its proposal, titled “Exemption...

Obama administration shows more support for annuities in 401(k) plans

January 3, 2017

In its most recent show of support for lifetime income products in defined-contribution plans, the Obama administration has said it may be “prudent” in particular circumstances to default participants into target date funds that bundle in...

Have indexed annuities become too complicated?

December 16, 2016

Fixed indexed annuities are becoming more complex. To a certain degree, the product evolution driving that complexity is inevitable, as insurance companies seek to stand out and grab a bigger piece of a market whose annual sales have been growing...

Elizabeth Warren investigating sales of Prudential insurance policies by Wells Fargo

December 14, 2016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the chief executive of Prudential Financial Inc. seeking information on sales of life insurance policies through Wells Fargo's retail bank channels, in a continuation of the ongoing investigation into the...

Prudential halts some insurance sales through Wells Fargo after ex-employees' whistleblower lawsuit

December 12, 2016

Prudential Financial Inc. announced Monday that it would halt distribution of some term life insurance policies through Wells Fargo's retail bank, following a lawsuit filed by Prudential employees alleging they were fired for blowing the whistle...

Trump's policies could be tough on emerging markets — and ignite a trade war with China

December 2, 2016

The election has clearly given the U.S. stock market a big boost, but how will a Trump presidency play out in China and other emerging markets? The effects of the election ripple out from the U.S. “The biggest effect in the U.S. will be monetary:...

Clients don't need income, they need money, planners say

November 28, 2016

If you've got a client looking for income, you've got a problem: Most investments don't yield enough to buy a flea an itty-bitty trampoline. And, while it's worthwhile looking for income, your best bet in today's market might be looking at a...

Indexed annuity sales on pace for record year, as variable annuities take another big hit

November 22, 2016

Fixed indexed annuity sales are on pace for a record year in 2016 as low interest rates and product features drive their popularity among broker-dealers, and despite headwinds from a new Labor Department investment-advice regulation that will...

John Hancock ceases sales of traditional long-term-care insurance policies

November 10, 2016

John Hancock Life Insurance Co. announced Thursday that it will discontinue the sale of individual long-term-care insurance policies starting next year, in yet the most recent blow to an industry that's struggled to overcome the barriers of...

Where will Medicare costs go in 2017?

November 7, 2016

People are asking me where Medicare costs, specifically Part B premiums and Part B and D high-income surcharges, are going in 2017. While the final numbers have not yet been released, we know that Medicare costs have been going up dramatically....

How financial advisers get it wrong when discussing insurance with clients

November 7, 2016

Imagine this. A (prospective) client has a significant investment in a particular asset. You receive notice that the costs being charged inside this product are being increased. In addition, this notice includes forward guidance downgrading...

Federal court rejects NAFA attempt to kill DOL fiduciary rule

November 4, 2016

In a victory for the Department of Labor, a federal judge Friday rejected an attempt by an insurance trade group to strike down its new fiduciary rule for retirement advice. In the first court decision involving a legal challenge to the DOL...

Finra fines eight broker-dealers $6.2 million for selling customers unsuitable variable annuity products

November 2, 2016

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has fined eight firms a total of $6.2 million and ordered five of them them to pay another $6.3 million in restitution for failing to supervise the sales of variable annuities. As part of the...

China Oceanwide agrees to buy Genworth for $2.7 billion in cash

October 24, 2016

China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. agreed to buy Genworth Financial Inc. for $2.7 billion in cash, pledging to help the U.S. firm manage its debt and strengthen life insurance units after it was hurt by higher-than-expected losses tied to long-term...

Stars aligning for use of annuities in 401(k) plans

October 19, 2016

In recent years, policymakers have increasingly paid attention to annuities as one way to help investors solve the retirement puzzle. A recently released government report reviews the current barriers to annuities on the 401(k) plan menu and...

Some firms opting to sell fixed annuities under best-interest contract exemption to keep trips, bonuses intact

October 17, 2016

Some financial institutions are opting to sell certain types of fixed annuities under a stricter compliance regime of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule than is necessary, in order to continue to offer incentives such as bonuses and trips....

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