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Finra report hints at trouble with L-share variable annuities

December 8, 2017

Variable annuities sold in an L share continue to turn up as products plaguing broker-dealers and their compliance departments. Finra, in a recent report detailing its examination findings, called out "multi-share class and complex products"...

Next Financial whacked (once again) by Finra

December 7, 2017

Next Financial Group Inc. is back in hot water with regulators and agreed on Tuesday to pay a $750,000 fine to Finra as part of settlement for a variety of violations, including the failure to catch a broker's excessive trading and poor supervision...

State of the long-term care insurance industry

November 30, 2017

Everyone, it seems, has a caregiving story. That's because the challenges of growing older affect us all. As a son and husband, I experienced this firsthand caring for my own family. My wife is now confronting the challenges of caring for her...

States may strengthen rules for selling annuities

November 30, 2017

State insurance commissioners this weekend will consider a draft proposal to strengthen the rules for selling annuities, an effort to put the marketing of the products more in line with the trend toward heightened investment advice standards....

Have annuity sales bottomed out?

November 29, 2017

Annuity sales have fallen to their lowest point in well over a decade, but industry experts believe a turnaround is at hand. Sales among all annuity products in the third quarter were $46.8 billion, the first time since 2002 that quarterly sales...

Trump boosts tax plan with Obamacare assist

November 28, 2017

President Donald J. Trump told Republican senators on Tuesday he supports an Obamacare market stabilization bill offered by Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Patty Murray, which may help bolster support for the tax-cut legislation headed...

Filial laws put kids on the hook for parents' health-care costs

November 22, 2017

State laws known as filial responsibility laws have the potential to stick unwitting family members with relatives' hefty long-term-care costs. One of the best-known examples comes from a court case in Pennsylvania, in which a man was ordered...

HSAs next cash cow for 401(k) plan advisers: expert

November 16, 2017

Financial advisers who manage a company's retirement plan should try to fill the same role for the firm's health savings accounts — a move that would position them to take part in one of the fastest growing areas of wealth management, an expert...

Finra fines Horner Townsend & Kent $275,000 over VA sales

November 15, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority censured Horner Townsend & Kent and fined the Horsham, Penn.-based firm $275,000 for failure supervise its brokers' sales of variable annuities. Specifically, Finra said that the firm had not adequately...

Schwab execs sound off on Bitcoin, HSAs and Morgan Stanley exit from broker protocol

November 15, 2017

Bitcoin may be quickly gaining popularity as an emerging investment, but it's more likely to be disrupted by governments than to be a disrupter itself, a Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. executive said on Wednesday. Since the beginning of the year,...

TIAA subpoenaed over sales practices

November 10, 2017

The New York attorney general has subpoenaed insurance and pension giant TIAA, seeking information on its sales practices in the wake of a recent story in the New York Times. The TIAA practices drawing scrutiny also are the subject of a whistleblower...

Finra fines Ameritas $180,000 over VA sales

November 9, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has censured and fined Ameritas Investment Corp. $180,000 for lapses in the supervision of variable annuity sales. In a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent, Finra said that between September 2013...

Trump administration seeks to give boost to 401(k) annuities

October 31, 2017

The Trump administration wants to give a shot in the arm to annuities in 401(k) plans by encouraging rules to make it more palatable for plan sponsors to offer such products. The Treasury Department issued a report calling for the Labor Department...

Private placement life insurance: A primer

October 27, 2017

For the past several years some hedge funds have not met the expectations of investors. As a result, RIAs and wealth managers have recommended other investment options such as direct lending, private equity credit and mezzanine funds which in...

Don't forget secondary market for life insurance

October 24, 2017

With many Americans struggling to meet their retirement income needs, it is unfortunate that valuable assets may not be properly utilized in retirement planning. Assets like home equity and life insurance are often neglected in the planning...

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...

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...

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