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Good luck picking the "best" insurance product

October 19, 2017

The question I get asked more than any other is: "Which insurer offers the best products?" However, this question is just as silly as: "Which mutual fund company offers the best mutual funds?" In fact, while there's no general agreement about...

Building Blocks of Special Needs Financial Planning

October 16, 2017

Long-term special needs financial planning can be challenging, especially with the complex legal and governmental issues surrounding disability. The wrong decision might create a tax burden or render a child with special needs ineligible for...

Fill the Gaps of Special Needs Financial Planning

October 16, 2017

Across the United States, one in five children and adults — 65 million people — will experience a special need or disability during their lifetimes.1 Without assistance from government programs, non-profit organizations or employers, caregivers...

IRS alerts tax pros to insurance form scam

October 13, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service has alerted tax professionals and their clients to a scam where cybercriminals gain access to annuity and life insurance accounts. In one variation of the scheme, the IRS warned in a release, a cybercriminal impersonates...

Trump moves to undermine Obamacare

October 12, 2017

President Donald J. Trump began his own effort to undo major parts of the Affordable Care Act after Republican leaders in Congress failed to repeal and replace his predecessor's signature legislative accomplishment. Mr. Trump's directive, signed...

DOL fiduciary rule delay boosts prospects for annuity sales

October 12, 2017

A proposed delay to the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is leading to big increases in annuity sales projections next year. The regulation, which raises investment-advice standards in retirement accounts, was expected to put a severe dent...

Finra orders Morgan Stanley to return $200,000 in variable annuity sale

October 11, 2017

In a continuing focus on improper sales of variable annuities, a Finra arbitrator has ordered Morgan Stanley to rescind a client's variable annuity and return her $200,000 investment. While the arbitrator denied the request of client Jacqueline...

Finra cracks down on faulty variable annuity exchanges

October 10, 2017

Finra is continuing its crackdown on variable annuity misconduct this year, following a blistering year of fines related to VA sales in 2016. Two recent enforcement actions from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. demonstrate the...

It's time for the life insurance industry to ditch illustration comparisons

October 9, 2017

The life insurance industry is "married" to illustration comparisons. This is not to say policy reviews aren't needed. Life insurance is the last, largest, most-neglected asset on the client's balance sheet. As is often the case, neglect breeds...

How to pay for long-term care? Several funding options exist

October 9, 2017

Roughly half of Americans turning 65 today will require long-term care. As life expectancy continues to rise and the cost of care creeps up, there's a growing need for financial advisers to be knowledgeable about long-term-care funding mechanisms...

How We're Investing in the Search for a Cancer Cure

October 6, 2017

I hate cancer. I've lost one too many friends to this insidious disease and I've made it a priority to be part of the effort to find a cure for it. Every day, I draw motivation from the people I've lost in my work as Portfolio Manager of Oppenheimer...

DOL fiduciary rule has enforcement gaps — and they could widen

September 11, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, as it's currently written, has some enforcement gaps. And they could widen, especially for annuity products, depending on how the Trump administration's review of the rule shakes out. The primary enforcement...

MetLife cutting annuity pay to some of its former advisers

September 5, 2017

MetLife Inc. is cutting compensation on annuities sold by former advisers who moved to other broker-dealers after MetLife sold its Premier Client Group last year to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. And the cut in pay is drastic. According...

Retiree health care costs up 6%, new study finds

August 24, 2017

In a perfect world, the largest expenses in retirement would be for fun things like travel and entertainment. In the real world, retiree health-care costs can take an unconscionably big bite out of savings. A 65-year-old couple retiring this...

DOL fiduciary rule driving fundamental shift in variable annuity market

August 24, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is shaking things up in the variable annuity market. While the regulation has accelerated the downward trend in overall variable annuity sales for the past several quarters, only recently has the rule's...

Despite misleading ads, annuities can be critical for lifetime income planning

August 23, 2017

If you're in the annuity industry, a client has probably walked into your office with preconceived notions about annuities for retirement planning, partly due to some critics' opinions on annuities that may not consider the needs of everyone....

Thrivent Financial quietly expands beyond Christians

August 23, 2017

Thrivent Financial doesn't do anything necessarily fast, so it might have been easy to miss the evolution over the past several years of the world's largest fraternal organization, which has a history dating back 115 years. But the Appleton,...

Allstate sues Ameriprise for allegedly stealing client information

August 22, 2017

Allstate Insurance Co. is suing Ameriprise Financial in a spat alleging Ameriprise is stealing Allstate's confidential information by recruiting the giant insurance company's salespeople, known as "exclusive financial specialists." Ameriprise...

Manulife cites 'challenging' businesses amid spinoff talk

August 10, 2017

Manulife Financial Corp., Canada's largest life insurer, acknowledged that it has poorly performing books of business amid speculation that the company is seeking to exit its John Hancock operation in the U.S. "We have some challenging blocks...

DOL fiduciary rule: Indexed, variable annuities big winners of a proposed delay

August 10, 2017

Indexed and variable annuities are the biggest winners of the Department of Labor's recently telegraphed fiduciary rule delay. Sales of the products, especially indexed annuities, would arguably have been the most adversely impacted under the...

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