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Archive for February 2013


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  • How To Tell If A Senior Needs Help Managing Finances

    {February 28th, 2013} by Christy Desmith, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

    Alzheimer’s isn’t always the culprit. According toSteve Finkelstein, president and founder of Sterling Retirement, even healthy retirees can struggle with taxes, investments and other personal money matters. A financial planner for 25 years, Finkelstein has helped many a sharp-minded client recover from the common pitfalls: disorganized estate planning, overspending in proportion to savings, even holding […]

    Sagicor Life Names New President, COO to Oversee Company's US Operations

    {February 28th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    TAMPA, Fla. – Sagicor Life Insurance Co. has promoted Bart Catmull to president and chief operating officer, starting April 1. In his new role, Catmull will oversee Sagicor Life’s operations in the United States. Over the past 14 years, Catmull has worked in various positions at the company, including COO, chief financial officer and treasurer. […]

    The road ahead for estate planning

    {February 28th, 2013} by John McManus

    In the early hours of Jan. 1, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff. Nearly 20 hours later, the House followed suit. Several surprising outcomes regarding estate planning emerged as part of the deal. The new tax rates and exemption amounts are set. Click here to read…

    Florida Might Give Annuity Sales Law Even Sharper Teeth

    {February 28th, 2013} by Karen DeMasters

    Florida already has some of the strictest suitability standards in the nation for annuity sales to senior citizens. Now the Florida Legislature is considering a bill that would extend most of those protections to annuity buyers of all ages. A bill is being studied in committees in both houses of the Legislature that, if passed, […]

    Lew confirmation could clear FIO report release

    {February 28th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa and Arthur D. Postal

    The confirmation of Jacob Lew as secretary of the Treasury late Wednesday clears the way for action on several issues critical to the insurance industry, including release of the long-delayed report on administration proposals for modernization of industry regulation. At a hearing Wednesday, Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, […]

    Hispanics Optimistic About Their Families' Financial Future

    {February 28th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    NEW YORK,Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Eight in 10 Hispanics expect their family’s financial situation to improve over the next four years compared to only 68 percent of the general public. These results are among the findings from a new national survey conducted by New York Life Insurance Company and Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading […]

    25 best business movies: 21-25

    {February 28th, 2013} by Daniel Williams

    By Daniel Williams:   Movies are big business, and, sometimes, they actually are about business. Over the next five days, I’ll review what I believe are 25 of the best business movies ever made. Some of them I studied in business school and others I’ve grown to love on their own accord. Click here to […]

    When your firm costs you clients, Part 1

    {February 28th, 2013} by Danny Sarch

    Advisers can’t stand to lose accounts. When I meet with Advisers around the country, virtually all of them are able to tell me with surgical precision how many accounts they have lost over the course of a year. More specifically, they can tell me the circumstances behind the losses. Some of these reasons are benign; […]

    Agents To Descend On Nation’s Capital

    {February 28th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    On Feb. 28, some 140 insurance agents from across the U.S. will descend on the nation’s capital for the second industry-wide fly-in, according to Americans to Protect Family Security. The group is a coalition of six insurance industry trade groups that conducted its first fly-in in 2010, according to Jack Dolan, spokesman for the American […]

    Genworth Preps Units For Possible Sale

    {February 28th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    Genworth Financial has placed Chief Financial Officer Martin Klein in charge of overseeing two business units the company has targeted for possible sale, the insurance firm announced on Feb. 25. Separately, Genworth announced that Klein was given the additional title of executive vice president and will be in charge of operations for the company’s international […]

    MassMutual Announces Record 2012 Financial Results

    {February 28th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) today announced strong consolidated statutory financial results1 for 2012, including double digit growth and record sales in its key businesses, increased earnings that support an increased policyowner dividend payout, and unprecedented levels of statutory surplus and total adjusted capital. These highlights reflect […]

    2 Sentenced For Life Insurance Fraud That Netted $1M

    {February 28th, 2013} by Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

    Feb. 28–TwoMinneapolis women were sentenced to prison Wednesday for fraudulently cashing in more than$1 million worth of life insurance policies at a company one of them worked for. Angela Madison andTracy Jackson, both 42, were sentenced inU.S. District Court inSt. Paul to one count each of aiding and abetting mail fraud. Madison was sentenced to […]

    AIG To Rebuild Non-U.S. Life After Asset Sales

    {February 28th, 2013} by Zachary Tracer Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. plans to rebuild life-insurance sales outside the U.S. after divesting operations inAsia andEurope to help repay a taxpayer bailout, Chief Executive OfficerRobert Benmosche said. “We’re going to put a concerted effort to start re-establishing AIG throughout the world with our life-insurance products,” Benmosche told Bloomberg Television’sBetty Liu on the […]

    Reversal of fortunes

    {February 28th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Only a few years ago, many within the advisor community viewed fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) as troubled products. Hybrid solutions that incorporate features of both traditional fixed and variable annuities (VAs), FIAs were shunned by financial professionals who desired the greater growth potential of VAs and other equity-based vehicles. Many, too, were critical of the […]

    Ignoring Gen Y prospects a generation gaffe

    {February 28th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    You might want to think twice about turning away those Gen Y financial planning prospects. It could be a bad business move. Sure enough, it happened to me. My husband and I decided we would search for an adviser, ideally someone who specialized in plain-vanilla financial planning and taxes. Late last month, we thought we […]

    Young Richmond Financial Advisor Receives John Hancock Financial Network’s Industry Recognition

    {February 27th, 2013} by N/A

    PRLog (Press Release) – Feb. 26, 2013 – Trevor Ikwild, CRPC®, a Financial Advisor with Capitol Financial Solutions, a member of John Hancock Financial Network (JHFN), has qualified for the 2012 Best in Class – Financed ACE Award, one of the highest honors that JHFN bestows on a financial representative. JHFN honors the leading financial […]

    The life insurance college savings bank

    {February 27th, 2013} by Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes

    The cost of post-secondary education has soared in recent years and, much like health-related expenses, shows no sign of dropping anytime soon. Though your clients may be well aware of the many benefits associated with investing in life insurance policies, they may not be aware of the possibility of using life insurance as a college […]

    Just Over Half Have More Savings Than Credit Card Debt

    {February 27th, 2013} by N/A

    NEW YORK,Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Only 55% of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt, according to research published today by Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE). Last year, Bankrate found that 54% of Americans had more emergency savings than credit card debt; the figure was 52% in 2011. “Consumers may be deleveraging, but the proportion […]

    Americans Express Mixed Feelings About Jobs, Economy

    {February 27th, 2013} by N/A

    NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Over the past few months the stock market has soared, with the Dow Jones Index hitting some of the best numbers in over five years. But housing stats have been up and down and consumer confidence has also been shaky. Add to this mix the impending sequester and […]

    Broken Trusts: The Man Who Married His Wife Six Times

    {February 27th, 2013} by Joyce Hanson, AdvisorOne

    There once was a wealthy man who married and divorced his wife six times because he loved to throw lavish parties and travel to exotic locales—and because the family trust that named him as beneficiary didn’t stipulate against multiple marriage, says Tom Rogerson, Boston-based senior managing director and family wealth strategist with Wilmington Trust. The […]

    401(K) Plan Fees Decline In 2012

    {February 26th, 2013} by Margarida Correia

    Retirement plan costs fell for both small and large plans alike, according to the 13th edition of the 401(k) Averages Book. In 2012, small retirement plans with 50 participants and$2.5 million in assets had an average total plan cost of 1.46%, down from 1.47% in 2011. Large retirement plans with 1,000 participants and$50 million in […]

    What top producers want from the home office

    {February 26th, 2013} by Brian Anderson

    I attended a breakout session at last week’s LIMRA Distribution Conference in Orlando featuring a pair of top independent producers talking about what they value most from home offices, above and beyond product payout. Both said producers who are at the top of their game don’t make decisions based on product and payout but want […]

    MetLife changing U.S. strategy

    {February 26th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

    MetLife is shifting its U.S. business to focus on more profitable products during a period of low interest rates, its chairman said last week. One of the effects is to roll out products in the torrid living benefit market that reduces the guaranteed payout promised annuitants, MetLife chairman and CEO Steve Kandarian said. He also […]

    A victor, not a victim

    {February 26th, 2013} by Corey Dahl

    Most of Patrick Ireland’s clients got to know him long before they set foot in the financial advisor’s Broomfield, Colo., office. As “The Boy in the Window” at the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, Ireland was the bleeding student pulled by SWAT team officers from a second-story library window. The scene played out on […]

    The Skyping of the industry

    {February 26th, 2013} by Daniel Williams

    When I visit financial advisor Lee Davis in his secret desert lair, a second home he maintains in a gated golf community in Scottsdale, Ariz., I’m not sure what to expect. Davis uses the space as a fortress of solitude as well as a virtual office, and snowbirds down there to retreat from Colorado’s cold […]

    Census: Older Workers On The Rise

    {February 26th, 2013} by Gerry Weiss, Erie Times-News, Pa.

    Feb. 26–Delores Butler spent Wednesday night serving steaks, pasta dinners and bottles of Yuengling beer to customers atRicardo’s Restaurant. The 76-year-old waitress has worked at theErie landmark at2112 East Lake Road for nearly 40 years. Perry Duncan on Thursday morning began on-site construction of a concrete water fountain being built near the Music Express, a […]

    Why The Life Settlement Industry Is Here To Stay

    {February 26th, 2013} by Stephen Terrell

    A 2012 study from insurance industry research firm Conning states, “life settlements continue to offer a value added benefit to policyholders as long as insurers are unable to provide cash surrender amounts that reflect a policy’s mortality-adjusted economic value.” This benefit to policyholders became amplified as fallout from the Great Recession continued to affect policyholders. […]

    When Boomers Divorce, Retirement Suffers

    {February 26th, 2013} by Rodney Brooks, USA TODAY

    Baby Boomers are divorcing at a surprising rate, and that will have huge implications for their lives in retirement. The number of divorces among people 50 or older doubled from 1990 to 2010. And in that year, one in four U.S. divorces was in that age group. And while the experts say it’s a product […]

    ING Group Announces New CEO

    {February 26th, 2013} by Irene Park

    ING Group has announced its new CEO. CEO of ING Belgium Ralph Hamers will take over the helm ofING as ofOct. 1 of this year, replacingJan Hommen, who will step down as of that date. Meanwhile, decisions regarding the composition of the board of directors ofING U.S. are pending in light of the company’s planned […]

    A.M. Best Revises ICR Outlook to Positive for Great American Financial Resources, Inc.’s Key Annuity Subsidiaries

    {February 25th, 2013} by N/A

    CONTACTS: Tom Zitelli Senior Financial Analyst (908) 439-2200, ext. 5412 tom.zitelli@ambest.com Tom Rosendale Assistant Vice President (908) 439-2200, ext. 5201 thomas.rosendale@ambest.com Rachelle Morrow Senior Manager, Public Relations (908) 439-2200, ext. 5378 rachelle.morrow@ambest.com Jim Peavy Assistant Vice President, Public Relations (908) 439-2200, ext. 5644 james.peavy@ambest.com     OLDWICK, N.J., FEBRUARY 22, 2013 A.M. Best Co. has […]

    Hamers to Replace Hommen as ING's Chief Executive

    {February 25th, 2013} by David Pilla

    AMSTERDAM – Jan Hommen will step down as chief executive of ING Group NV on Oct. 1, 2013, and will be succeeded Ralph Hamers, who is currently CEO of ING Belgium. Hommen’s current four-year term on the executive board will expire after the annual general meeting on May 13, ING said. The supervisory board will […]

    Policy Lets Owner Decide How To Pay Death Benefits

    {February 25th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    A new insurance policy unveiled by Minnesota Life includes a unique Income Protection Agreement (IPA) that lets the policyholder decide when and how death benefits will be paid. In a conventional life insurance scenario, beneficiaries named in the policy receive the full death benefit. How the benefit is paid is determined by the beneficiary. Minnesota […]

    Training Veterans For Insurance Careers

    {February 25th, 2013} by The National Alliance

    AUSTIN, TX, February 21, 2013 – The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is leading an effort to present insurance and risk management career opportunities to those individuals and their families who have served our country. This unique initiative, Careers for Life, involves The National Alliance, thirty-eight of the leading insurance agents associations in […]

    Benmosche: AIG comfortable with federal regulation

    {February 25th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal and Elizabeth Festa

    AIG CEO Robert Benmosche put himself at odds with most of the financial services industry and many members of Congress Thursday when he said that higher capital standards are justified for financial institutions given what happened in the 2008 financial crisis. He implied that AIG will be regulated going forward under the Basel III capital […]

    Getting people from your seminar into your office, Pt. 2

    {February 25th, 2013} by Katherine Vessenes

    In part one of this installment (to read click here), I articulated the first four steps for getting more derrières in your chairs. The most crucial step of any sales process is getting seminar attendees to commit to coming to your office. Here are the last four steps for motivating your audience to meet with […]

    Alleged S.C. Life Insurance Scam Devastated Dozens

    {February 25th, 2013} by David Wren

    Feb. 23–AYNOR —Peggy Allen was born and raised across the street from the house where she now lives — a house that her grandfather built by hand, using timber he cut from his own land, more than 100 years ago. Bakers Chapel Road was a dirt road when Allen was a child, and Allen said […]

    Annuity Sales See 8% Drop In 2012

    {February 25th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    Annuity sales declined 8 percent in 2012, according to LIMRA’s fourth quarter “2012 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales” survey, which represents data from 95 percent of the market. Fourth quarter sales were also down 8 percent, suggesting the downward trend continues. Total annuity sales were $52.6 billion in the fourth quarter. For the full year, annuity […]

    A.M. Best to Sponsor ACLI ReFocus 2013 Conference

    {February 25th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. is a sponsor of the American Council of Life Insurers ReFocus 2013 Conference, to be held March 3-6 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. A.M. Best is the leading credit rating organization dedicated to serving the global insurance industry. Policyholders, regulators, insurance executives and brokers worldwide refer to […]

    Thriving In An Era Of ‘Stable Instability’

    {February 25th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    How are insurance companies preparing to survive—and maybe thrive—in this era of “stable instability?” In its 16th annual survey of global insurance executives, accounting and consulting firm PwC (formerly PriceWaterhouseCoopers) examined what companies are doing to deal with today’s chaotic business landscape. The industry overview, “Dealing with Disruption: Adapting to Survive and Thrive,” found insurance […]

    Annuities droop at Allianz Life

    {February 25th, 2013} by Jennifer Bjorhus

    Profit at Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America jumped 37 percent to $586 million for 2012 — but not on annuity sales. Sales of the company’s popular investment vehicles continue falling as ultra-low interest rates rock the life and annuity industries. Golden Valley-based Allianz Life, a unit of German insurance giant Allianz, said Thursday […]

    FIAs sole annuity category to enjoy sales growth in 2012

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Sales of fixed indexed annuities edged up 5 percent in 2012, the only annuity category to enjoy positive revenue growth in 2012, according to a new report. LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., discloses this finding in a report that reveals fourth quarter and year-to-date annuity sales for 2012. The data is based on sales reported by 57 […]

    Allianz Life’s operating profit up 37 percent in 2012

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America reported on Thursday a 37 percent year-over-year increase in its operating profit. Allianz Life, Minneapolis, discloses in 2012 financial results an operating profit of $586 million for the financial year, an increase of 37% from the $428 million posted 2011. These figures include earnings from recurring business operations. […]

    1 In 5 Seniors Outspend Their Income By 50% Or More

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Margarida Correia

    Almost one in five elderly American households outspent their income by more than 50% in 2009 and some (14.3%) outspent their income by more than 175%, according to a new report from theEmployee Benefit Research Institute. The most vulnerable groups were singles, households with no pensions, African-Americans and Hispanics. “Those with an income shortfall are […]

    Uncovering value in 'vintage' VAs

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    With variable annuities (VAs) falling out of favor with carriers and consumers alike due to their vulnerability to market volatility and their guaranteed living benefits which cause carriers to come up with ever-more exotic hedging strategies to insulate themselves from market declines, both parties seem to be looking at the once go-to retirement products with […]

    Life insurers fight hedge fund legislation

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

    Life insurers are beating back legislative attempts in various states by hedge funds who invest in the life settlement industry and settlement providers to keep premiums on resold life insurance policies once they have been deemed to have been fraudulently obtained. Such a situation, called a STOLI – stranger-originated life insurance – or a policy […]

    MetLife To Sell U.K. Annuities Business?

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    MetLife is preparing to sell its U.K. bulk annuities business, according to news reports. On Feb. 20, Reuters reported that MetLife has hired investment bankers at Citicorp to sell the business unit. MetLife has not responded, saying it “does not comment on market rumors or speculation.” The company is reportedly speaking to several prospective buyers […]

    SEC Announces 2013 Examination Priorities

    {February 22nd, 2013} by N.A

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 — The Securities & Exchange Commission issued the following news release: The Securities Exchange Commission today published its examination priorities for 2013, which cover a wide range of issues at financial institutions, including broker-dealers, clearing agencies, exchanges and self-regulatory organizations, investment companies, hedge funds and private equity funds, and transfer agents. Additional Materials . Examination Priorities (http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/ocie/national-examination-program-priorities-2013.pdf) […]

    Ohio Lists Top Insurance Fraud And Enforcement Cases For 2012

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Targeted News Service

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 21 — The Ohio Department of Insurance issued the following news release: Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylorannounced the Department’s top fraud and enforcement cases for 2012. During the calendar year, the Department processed 7,274 allegations of agent misconduct and insurance fraud, initiated 2,310 investigations, identified more than 700 civil and criminal violations of Ohio insurance law, […]

    2012 Annuity Sales: A Mixed Bag

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Carrie Burns

    While a number of annuity markets experienced record sales in 2012, total annuity sales dropped 8 percent, tallying $219.4 billion, according to LIMRA’s fourth quarter 2012 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey. For the fourth quarter, total annuity sales were $52.6 billion, a decline of 8 percent from the previous year. Indexed annuity sales hit a […]

    Debt Levels Double for Elderly Americans

    {February 22nd, 2013} by MARGARIDA CORREIA

    While debt is a huge drain on most American families, it is stabilizing and in some cases falling for many households, except those headed by individuals over the age of 75, according to new research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The number of families headed by seniors older than 75 that had debt increased, […]

    Schwab wins 'huge' ruling on class-action waivers

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

    In a potentially far-reaching decision, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. hearing panel has dismissed two of three counts Finra brought against the Charles Schwab Corp. a year ago in a case involving Schwab’s pre-dispute arbitration agreements. The panel concluded that the “language used in Schwab’s customer agreements to prohibit participation in judicial class actions […]

    Mike Tyson sues financial advisory firm and ex-adviser

    {February 22nd, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    Famed boxer and actor Mike Tyson has sued a financial advisory firm claiming that his adviser misappropriated more than $300,000, causing him to suffer millions in damages from lost income. Mr. Tyson and his wife, Lakiha Tyson, yesterday sued Live Nation Entertainment Inc., one of its subsidiaries, SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprises Inc., ex-adviser Brian Ourand […]

    NAFA Announces Annuity Education Toolbox for Members

    {February 22nd, 2013} by N/A

    (PRWEB) February 21, 2013 The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) unveiled its new Annuity Education Toolbox. The resource gives NAFA members access to valuable educational resources to help consumers better understand the benefits of fixed annuities. The NAFA Annuity Education Toolbox gives corporate and producer members access to articles, videos, guides and publications specifically […]

    Midland National Introduces an Innovative Annuity Product Solution Focused on Retirement Income

    {February 22nd, 2013} by N/A

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MIDLAND NATIONAL INTRODUCES AN INNOVATIVE ANNUITY PRODUCT SOLUTION FOCUSED ON RETIREMENT INCOME   WEST DES MOINES, IA – February 21, 2013 — Midland National Life Insurance Company has introduced an innovative annuity product solution which is focused on retirement income. The MNL IncomeVantageSM is the first fixed index annuity from Midland National […]

    Mass Affluent Open To Learning About Annuities

    {February 21st, 2013} by Margarida Correia

    Mass affluent investors are concerned about the impact of increased taxes on their investments and are open to learning more about annuities and other tax-advantaged products, according to a recent poll by Nationwide Financial. Investors with$150,000 – $249,000 in income are especially receptive to learning about annuities. Half of the investors in this income bracket […]

    NAPFA Names New Chair

    {February 21st, 2013} by Rachel F. Elson

    NAPFA has named its next chairwoman. The organization announced Tuesday thatLinda Leitz, a fee-only planner based inColorado Springs, Colo., is set to become its chairwoman in September, and will serve as chair-elect until that time. The founder and co-owner of It’s Not Just Money, Leitz specializes in working with newly divorced clients and young adults. […]

    Ultra-Wealthy Wary Of Trusting A Single Advisor

    {February 21st, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

    The good news: ultra-wealthy individuals tend to put their trust in wealth managers. The bad news: most, still cautious after the Financial Crisis, tend to use multiple advisors. “Wealthy investors typically have many advisors, including accountants and attorneys,”Michael Farrell, managing director for SEI Private Wealth Management, told Financial Planning. “Financial advisors can add value by […]

    DC Insurance Commissioner White: New Solvency Assessments Set for 'Field Tests'

    {February 21st, 2013} by N/A

    WASHINGTON – U.S. insurance regulators hope to “field test” new comprehensive solvency assessments later this year to help advance international negotiations over how to properly regulate large, multi-national companies, Washington, D.C. Insurance, Securities and Banking Commissioner William White told Best’s News Service. White said the field tests aim to see how solvency assessments developed after […]

    States Continue Push For Annuity Commission Disclosure

    {February 21st, 2013} by Linda Koco

    A few state insurance regulators are continuing to push for increased disclosure of annuity agent commissions. That became clear during a very brief exchange at a phone conference of state insurance regulators and industry experts last week. So did awareness that commission disclosure remains a dicey topic to broach. The session had been called to […]

    More Boomer Couples Should Work With An Advisor

    {February 21st, 2013} by N/A

    WASHINGTON,Feb. 11 –The Insured Retirement Institute issued the following news release: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new factsheet highlighting research findings that provide a profile of the retirement planning and savings behaviors of Baby Boomer couples compared to their single cohorts. While married Boomers appear to be more likely to save, exhibit […]

    Find the “Nagging Concern” and Become Your Client’s Trusted Advisor

    {February 21st, 2013} by Mark Stone

    Breaking down the trust barrier is an issue you probably face on a daily basis. It is the reason why insurance agents, advisors, lawyers and others in consultative roles are not often at the top of the trust surveys. It is fundamentally your biggest growth challenge and inhibitor to greater success. Even after a dazzling […]

    Lincoln Financial Offers 2013 Trends Impacting Life/Annuity Markets

    {February 21st, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    RADNOR, Pa.,Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Financial security with flexibility, an evolving combination/Long Term Care (LTC) product market, risk managed strategies, and tax deferrals are some of the trends thatMark Konen, President ofLincoln Financial Group’s Insurance and Retirement Solutions business, sees driving the individual life and annuities industries in 2013. “With the realities of today’s […]

    Retention headache: ING settles charges it failed to archive email

    {February 20th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    Five ING Groep N.V. affiliates agreed to pay $1.2 million to Finra to settle allegations they failed for six years to retain — and in some cases, review — millions of emails to and from brokers. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. said electronic messages sent to hundreds of employees and associated persons weren’t kept […]

    Nationwide ends 2012 with nearly $1B in earnings

    {February 20th, 2013} by Warren Hersch

    Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company ended 2012 with close to $1 billion in earnings, reversing the company’s net loss in 2011. The Columbus, Ohio-based multiline insurer discloses in its year-2012 financial results, ended December 31, net income for the year of $940 million, a substantial turn-around from the $677 million loss posted in 2011. Net income […]

    Women Business Owners Optimistic About 2013

    {February 20th, 2013} by N/A

    A national survey of women business owners (WBOs) conducted byWeb.com Group, Inc. and theNational Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) found a pervasive sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by most WBOs (85 percent) that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in past years. WBOs also plan to invest more (38 percent) […]

    More Seniors Cash In Life Insurance Policies

    {February 20th, 2013} by Rich Cholodofsky, Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.

    Feb. 18–Mt. Lebanon insurance brokerHoward Stern sees a bright future in the life settlement market as more senior citizens cash in life insurance policies. Sellers earn a small percentage of the face value of a policy. Buyers, usually through large investment funds, continue to pay the premiums and collect the settlement when the seller dies. […]

    NAFA appoints development and education VP

    {February 20th, 2013} by Noah Guillaume

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announced Jeff Mose has been appointed as the association’s vice president for development and education. Mose earned his insurance license in 2002 and has been a fixed annuity professional since that time. He launched his own insurance agency in 2009 and was consistently nominated to the Million Dollar […]

    The Year of the Fixed Indexed Annuity

    {February 20th, 2013} by N/A

    With volatility in the markets and low and declining interest rates on traditional savings vehicles, fixed indexed annuities are seeing their popularity grow.  According to a recent LIMRA report, indexed annuity sales were at 8.6 billion in just the first half of 2012.  Part of what is making this product so attractive to consumers is […]

    Leitz tapped as next NAPFA chair

    {February 20th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Linda Leitz has been named chairwoman of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors for a term that will begin Sept. 1. Ms. Leitz, founder and co-owner of It’s Not Just Money Inc., a financial planning firm in Colorado Springs, Colo., will serve as chairman-elect until her appointment begins this fall. The organization, which has […]

    Advisors Growing (But Don't Know Why)

    {February 20th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

    Advisors expect revenue growth this year, according to an SEI poll, and 53% expect increases of more than 15%. However, only 15% said they have a growth plan that they follow and monitor. SEI concluded that advisors should more formal processes and strategies for achieving and maintaining growth in these competitive times. Following up, SEI […]

    2013: The year of fear?

    {February 20th, 2013} by Steve Lewit

    In light of the unpredictable environment in which we live, I believe it would be useful to dig a little deeper into the elements of fear and how to successfully work with it. I believe 2013 will be the year of fear. Does that make our job as financial professionals easier or harder? The first […]

    McGraw-Hill Credit Rating Cut by Moody’s After U.S. Sues S&P

    {February 19th, 2013} by Mary Childs

    McGraw-Hill Cos., the owner of the world’s largest ratings company, was downgraded by its biggest rival after the U.S. government filed a lawsuit that seeks as much as $5 billion in damages. Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt rating on the New York-based parent of Standard & Poor’s by two levels to Baa2 from A3, […]

    Are Gen X, Y Uninformed About Investments?

    {February 19th, 2013} by Teck Lim

    What do you get when you mix trillions of dollars in assets and a quasi-ignorant understanding of finance? Enter the Generation X and Generation Y consumers. More than half of Gen X and Gen Y consumers in the U.S. admit having little or no knowledge about investments and financial products, according to a recent LIMRA […]

    Life insurance a lifesaver for college?

    {February 15th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    Parents worried about how they’ll afford the soaring cost of college for their children increasingly are being steered by financial advisers in a surprising direction — life insurance. Life insurance that carries a cash balance that can be pulled out and used to pay for higher education offers tax advantages over the popular 529 college […]

    Changes Coming To NAIC Annuity Buyer’s Guide

    {February 15th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    An updated buyer’s guide for deferred annuities appears to be close to completion. Is this a case of someone reinventing the wheel, or does the re-do have merit? Iowa’s First Deputy Commissioner Jim Mumford contends the new document will be a lot easier to read than the one currently in use which was last updated […]

    Adviser issues fly under the radar in Congress

    {February 15th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Investment adviser issues in Congress are like the helicopters used to deliver the Navy SEAL teams that raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. They fly under the radar. On Friday, the House Financial Services Committee approved an oversight agenda for the new Congress. It includes a paragraph about policy toward advisers and broker-dealers on […]

    Survey: More Employers To Offer Lump-Sum Payouts In 2013

    {February 14th, 2013} by N/A

    LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Last year marked a watershed moment in retirement benefits as numerous companies decreased their pension risk exposure by offering participants a one-time lump-sum pension payout. A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals more employers plan to follow suit […]

    SEC Needs Additional Funds to Implement Dodd-Frank: Chairman

    {February 14th, 2013} by Sarah N. Lynch

    The top U.S. securities regulator will urge lawmakers on Thursday to boost its funding, saying a failure to increase the budget could hamper its ability to enforce new rules of the road for Wall Street. The Securities and Exchange Commission “does not yet have all the resources necessary to fully implement” the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall […]

    MetLife says it's no longer bank holding company

    {February 14th, 2013} by Associated Press

    NEW YORK — InsurerMetLife Inc., which sold its bank deposits in January, says it is no longer a bank holding company. MetLife says it received approval for theFederal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the board of governors of the Federal Reserve. It had been a bank holding company since 2001, and as a result it faced […]

    3 Non-Romantic but Vital Things to Do on Valentine's Day

    {February 14th, 2013} by Liz Davidson

    With Valentine’s Day approaching, many of us are looking forward to flowers, chocolates, and candlelit dinners. But if you really love the significant other in your life, here are some vital but not-so-romantic things to do on Valentine’s Day: Make sure you have enough life insurance. If the worst were to happen to you, what […]

    For one senior, working past retirement age is a workout

    {February 14th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    As part of its ongoing series that profiles older adults who are still in the work force, NPR takes a look at fitness instructor John David, who at 73 is enjoying a second career as a fitness instructor for fellow seniors. David had been a television producer for years and in his 50s, noticed that […]

    Boomers never got their $30 trillion inheritance. Will Millennials?

    {February 14th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    At one time, Boomers expected to be the beneficiaries of a $41 billion wealth transfer from their parents’ generation, but it has not really happened, as the stock market crashed, folks lost their jobs, and the financial priorities of a senior generation turned from wealth transfer to self-preservation. Now the Millennials are coming into their […]

    Are annuities the solution to the old 4% retirement rule

    {February 14th, 2013} by William H. Byrnes, Esq., Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M.

    For years, the so-called 4 percent rule provided the baseline from which advisors launched strategies for retirement account withdrawals. The rule is simple, well-trusted, and relatively unlikely to fail — or at least it used to be. In today’s low-interest rate environment, the strategies that worked for the past 20 years are simply not cutting […]

    The Hispanic market: A huge (and growing) opportunity

    {February 14th, 2013} by John T. Harmeling

    With the U.S. economy still in recovery, life insurance agents and brokers are looking for ways to maximize their earning potential with new sources of revenue. One way for savvy agents to increase success during these difficult times is by reaching out to the U.S. Hispanic market. This powerful group makes up 16.3 percent of […]

    Top regulators to testify on Dodd-Frank progress

    {February 14th, 2013} by Melanie Waddell

    The nation’s top financial regulators will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday regarding the progress of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The hearing, titled “Wall Street Reform: Oversight of Financial Stability and Consumer and Investor Protections,” will include testimony from interim Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Elisse Walter; Richard […]

    ‘Perfect storm’ drives fixed indexed annuity sales

    {February 14th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    The recent severe weather in the Northeast notwithstanding, sometimes a “storm” can be a positive force. Take, for instance, the forces that have converged to propel fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) to the top of the annuity world. While sales of variable annuities and fixed-rate annuities have slumped in recent quarters, FIAs have increased in sales […]

    Primerica Added To S&P MidCap 400 Index

    {February 14th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    Primerica has replaced The Shaw Group in the Standard & Poor’s MidCap Index. The change became effective after the close of trading on Feb. 12, according to S&P. Companies included in the S&P MidCap 400 must have a total market capitalization between $750 million and $3 billion.  Click here to read…

    Miss Mardi Gras? Get Your New Orleans Fix at the 2013 Life Insurance Conference

    {February 14th, 2013} by Targeted News Service

    WINDSOR, Conn.,Feb. 13 — LIMRA issued the following news release: LIMRA and theLIFE Foundation announced they will release the findings from their third annual Insurance Barometer Study at the 2013Life Insurance Conference onApril 15-17, 2013, inNew Orleans, La. “This study has provided unique insight into the minds of consumers during particularly challenging economic times, surveying […]

    Moody's: Cigna deal with Berkshire a credit positive

    {February 14th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s) views the recent announcement by Cigna Corporation (Cigna) to reinsure its variable annuity business as a credit positive for the company. Last week, Cigna announced that they had arrived at a definitive agreement with Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire), to reinsure its guaranteed minimum […]

    Pru's VA price hike too much for Raymond James

    {February 13th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    Prudential Financial Inc.’s decision to raise the fees on its Premier Retirement variable annuity is causing some broker-dealers to think twice about offering it. The insurer has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission updates for Premier Retirement, including a 15-basis-point increase in the mortality-and-expenses fee for the B-share version of the product. That brings […]

    86% Of Insurance CEOs Plan To Increase Tech Investment

    {February 13th, 2013} by Carrie Burns

    Anticipating a more customer-centric strategy, insurers will look to new data sources and analytical techniques to sharpen risk understanding and customer profiling, according to a new report. While global insurance CEOs are optimistic about revenue growth over the next year, they anticipate new challenges and a shift in consumer spending on insurance products, according to […]

    House FSC to FIO: Would like to see overdue reports soon

    {February 13th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    The House Financial Services Committee (HSFC), in a portion of its oversight plan for the 113th Congress, is urging the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to submit several “long overdue reports without further delay.” The plan also said the HSFC will conduct “significant oversight over the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC),“ monitoring the extent to which […]

    U.S. life expectancy continues to lag other developed nations

    {February 13th, 2013} by KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States suffers far more violent deaths than any other wealthy nation, due in part to the widespread possession of firearms and the practice of storing them at home in a place that is often unlocked, according to a report released recently by two of the nation’s leading health research institutions. […]

    ING 4Q Profits Up, Plans 2,400 Job Cuts In Europe

    {February 13th, 2013} by The Associated Press

    AMSTERDAM –ING Group NV, the Dutch bank and insurance company, says net profit rose in the fourth quarter due to larger gains from asset sales, and it plans to shed an additional 2,400 jobs inBelgium andthe Netherlands through 2015. Net profit was (EURO)1.43 billion ($1.99 billion), up from (EURO)1.19 billion, as sales of assets this […]

    Small-Business Owner Confidence Barely Budges

    {February 13th, 2013} by N/A

    WASHINGTON,Feb. 12 — TheNational Federation of Independent Business issued the following news release: Small-business owner confidence continues to drag, according to theNational Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index. The Index gained 0.9 points, rising to 88.9, failing to regain the losses caused by last month’s “fiscal cliff” scare. Expectations for improved business […]

    Americans Struggle To Save Despite Optimism

    {February 13th, 2013} by N/A

    NORTHBROOK, Ill.,Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Just half (50 percent) of Americans say they have enough money left over at the end of the month after paying for essentials according to the new, second installment of Allstate Financial’s “Life Tracks” poll. More than four in 10 (41 percent) are living paycheck-to-paycheck while another 8 percent say […]

    Oklahoma Governor Rejects Request for Insurance Department Audit

    {February 13th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has rejected a state senator’s request for a performance audit of the state insurance department. Sen. Harry Coates, a Republican, told Best’s News Service that given the rejection, his remaining option is to pursue two bills designed to reduce what he sees as excessive department spending. “I was […]

    Government confiscation: The final assault on retirees' financial independence and peace of mind?

    {February 13th, 2013} by John Bellinger

    Retirees do not want to start over in life and are, therefore, typically risk-averse. Their priority, even above increasing their wealth, is to hold on to what they have.   ​Webster defines opportunity as “a combination of circumstances favorable for the purpose.” Today, a retiree’s number one documented fear (greater than death or public speaking) […]

    Cigna Exiting Run-Off Variable Annuity Business

    {February 13th, 2013} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    A Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company has agreed to reinsure Cigna’s Corp.’s variable annuity guaranteed minimum death benefits and guaranteed minimum income benefits in which Berkshire will reinsure 100% ofCigna’s exposure up to$4 billion on future claims on these businesses, which have been in run-off since 2000. Under the agreement with Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company […]

    3 reasons to consider indexed annuities as an alternative in qualified plans

    {February 13th, 2013} by Kevin Startt

    Winston Churchill, know for his many memorable quotes, once said, “If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes (John Maynard Keynes), in which case you get three opinions.” The world’s economists are printing money faster than Lindsey Lohan probation violations and are under the […]

    IRI: To Boost Confidence, More Boomer Couples Should Work With An Advisor

    {February 13th, 2013} by Catherine Weatherford

    Washington, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new factsheet highlighting research findings that provide a profile of the retirement planning and savings behaviors of Baby Boomer couples compared to their single cohorts. While married Boomers appear to be more likely to save, exhibit better planning habits, and have a more positive […]

    Insurers Named Tops For Female Executives

    {February 13th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    Insurance companies and financial services firms with insurance components, make up more than 10 percent of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women named by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) on Feb. 12. Prudential Financial and State Farm Insurance Co. are among the top 10 firms on the list. A number of broad […]

    Investors Follow Buffett’s Lead On Annuities

    {February 13th, 2013} by N/A

    It has become one of the most common strategies in investing: follow Warren Buffett’s lead. And why not? Buffett’s financial acumen, after all, has made him one of the richest men in the world, and his recent bets in a tumultuous market have continued to pay off. Big investors are backing variable annuities after Warren […]

    Insurance Industry Faces Challenges And Constraints

    {February 12th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    LONDON,Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, proposed tough new regulatory regimes and risk of contagion are the biggest long-term challenges facing insurers around the world, according to a newEconomist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study sponsored byBNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services. As a result insurers are rethinking business processes […]

    Life Insurance Largest Segment Of Industry

    {February 12th, 2013} by N/A

    Life insurance was the largest segment in the overall U.S. insurance industry in terms of gross written premium from 2007 through 2011 but the industry’s book of business shrank during that time, according to a new report from market research firm Timetric. The report, “Life Insurance in the U.S., Key Trends and Opportunities to 2016″ […]

    SEC Nominee's Disclosure Report Shows Possible Conflicts

    {February 12th, 2013} by Dave Michaels

    Bloomberg) –Mary Jo White, PresidentBarack Obama’s nominee to lead theU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said she will avoid some matters involving firms includingJPMorgan Chase & Co.,General Electric Co. andDeloitte & Touche LLP if confirmed by theSenate. White, a former U.S. prosecutor who is retiring as a partner in the law firmDebevoise & Plimpton LLP, outlined […]

    The only two annuity sales you will make in a volatile market

    {February 12th, 2013} by Jonathan Musgrave

    In today’s marketplace, there are only two suitable FIA sales. The first is obviously the income sale. But the second sale to make is often overlooked.  Click here to read…

    Life Insurance Industry Making Strategic Investments in IT, says SMA Survey with LOMA

    {February 12th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    ATLANTA, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Life and annuity companies are increasing IT (Information Technology) investments by an average of two percent in 2013, according to a recent survey of insurers in North America conducted by Strategy Meets Action (SMA) in partnership with LOMA. The top business drivers for IT spending are expense reduction and […]

    Retirement confidence greater among men than women

    {February 12th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Men are significantly more likely to report being confident or very confident about being able to maintain their current lifestyle after retirement than women, new research shows. OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., Indianapolis, discloses this finding in a summary of results from a retirement plan survey of 6,360 individuals, among them more than 2,100 baby boomers […]

    New York Calls Attention To Unclaimed Funds

    {February 12th, 2013} by N/A

    The recent announcement that the state of New York discovered – and has since paid out — some $665.7 million in unclaimed life insurance benefits, has set tongues wagging about how much more might be going unclaimed across the nation. Television personality and financial columnist Melody Hobson reported that as much as $1 billion is […]

    Advisors struggle to serve aging boomers: report

    {February 12th, 2013} by John Sullivan

    Baby boomers are becoming their parents — that is, difficult. Despite serving a growing number of retirement income clients, financial advisors are challenged with how to effectively attract and engage with investors nearing or in retirement. Advisors also remain divided as to the best way to generate sustainable income.  Click here to read…

    Retirement planning varies among married, single boomers

    {February 12th, 2013} by Michael Stanley

    Close to 82 percent of married boomers reported that they had “some level of retirement savings,” compared to 66.6 percent of singles.   The recent economic milieu has caused many people from varying generations, relationship status and socioeconomic backgrounds to cease or lower their contribution to their retirement accounts, whether employer-sponsored or private. The IRI […]

    Annuity myths you must dispel: separating truth from fiction, Pt. 2

    {February 12th, 2013} by Ryan Parker

    In the conclusion of this series, we’ll take a look at three more popular annuity myths your clients and prospects could buy into unless you make an open and honest effort to dispel them. Do so effectively, and you’ll always make plenty of annuity sales.   In the first part of this article, we discussed […]

    Stone to appeal dismissal of ELNY suit

    {February 12th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    New York plaintiffs lawyer Edward S. Stone said that he plans to appeal his loss this week in the Executive Life Insurance Company of New York (ELNY) case. Stone said he wuld file a motion to the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany to fight the Feb. 6 dismissal by the state Appellate […]

    Buffett’s Son Says He’s Prepared Whole Life for Berkshire Role

    {February 12th, 2013} by Noah Buhayar

    Howard Buffett said following his billionaire father, Warren, as chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will require upholding practices that have been prized for decades as the company grew to $240 billion in market value. Protecting Berkshire’s culture “means that I need to make sure that people feel that they’ve been treated fairly, that whatever my […]

    Three Insurance Policies That Could Help Pay for Retirement

    {February 12th, 2013} by Jennifer Nelson

    Most people who are planning for retirement fund their 401Ks and use  financial vehicles like mutual funds, bonds and securities to save money. But  you may have overlooked life insurance in your planning efforts. Although there are some caveats, certain forms of life insurance can  provide funds in your senior years. “In most cases life […]

    NAFA Leads the Way – NJ Suitability Requirement Clarified

    {February 12th, 2013} by N/A

    Last year the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance – Insurance Division announced plans to repeal the suitability rule it had adopted in June 2011, which did not include the insurance producer training requirements set forth in the NAIC Model Regulation, and replace it with a new rule which would include the training requirements […]

    Belesis firm drops suit against ex-reps claiming 'pump and dump' scheme

    {February 11th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

    John Thomas Financial Inc. has withdrawn from a lawsuit it filed in January against five ex-brokers, according to the ex-brokers’ attorney. In January, John Thomas, which is run by chief executive and owner Anastasios “Tommy” Belesis, sued the five ex-brokers, along with National Securities Corp., the firm they joined. The brokers named in the suit, […]

    Nelson invokes 10th amendment in NAIC message

    {February 11th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    For those not able to hear views shared by new NAIC CEO Ben Nelson before insurance executives in Washington this week at a private industry conference where he was scheduled to speak, the NAIC’s homepage has now expanded to include four video segments a presentation by Nelson on issues and priorities. Most strikingly, Nelson positions […]

    Agent Charged With Defrauding Crime Stoppers

    {February 11th, 2013} by Deanna Boyd

    Feb. 10–FORT WORTH — The mission of Crime Stoppers programs is to help law enforcement catch criminals. But 32 such programs acrossthe United States are alleging that they are victims of aFort Worth insurance agent who misappropriated more than$23,000 worth of premiums for insurance coverage. Don Russell Handley Jr. is accused of not forwarding some […]

    More Agents Are Not The Solution

    {February 11th, 2013} by David M. Greenberg

    Insight: To reach middle-class households with children, the industry will have to embrace another way. Let’s take a fresh look at the problem of the declining life insurance agent population and the increasing number of uninsured consumers. There’s no absence of professionals vying for the business of the wealthy- from life insurance agents, registered reps […]

    Women Business Owners Decidedly Optimistic About 2013

    {February 11th, 2013} by N/A

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A national survey of women business owners (WBOs) conducted by Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:   WWWW) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) found a pervasive sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by most WBOs (85 percent) that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in […]

    U.S., States Weigh Suing Moody’s Over Mortgage Ratings

    {February 11th, 2013} by Aruna Viswanatha and Luciana Lopez

    The U.S. Justice Department and multiple states are discussing also suing Moody’s Corp. for defrauding investors, according to people familiar with the matter, but any such move will likely wait until a similar lawsuit against rival Standard and Poor’s is tested in the courts. Inquiries into Moody’s are in the early stages, largely because state […]

    How to intentionally build trust with prospective clients

    {February 11th, 2013} by Shawn Moran

    It is vital that when we engage with clients for the first time, that our conversation be more about the values that guide them and the dreams that drive them rather than whether their mutual funds are four star funds or five. Ultimately, clients are more likely to work with an advisor who “gets them” […]

    How advisors use technology

    {February 11th, 2013} by Maria Wood, Mary Shaub

    In December 2010, we asked advisors about their favorite tech tool and got a host of negative responses. Fast-forward three years and many are still dragging their heels — 41% work sans smartphone — but others are taking full advantage of the latest tech developments and seeing a spike in business as a result. Check out […]

    Lincoln CEO Says Smart Money in Annuities After Buffett

    {February 8th, 2013} by Zachary Tracer

    Dennis Glass, chief executive officer of life insurer Lincoln National Corp., said intelligent investors are backing variable annuities after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bet on retirement products this week. “We’ve seen some acquisitions of blocks, and some reinsurance transactions,” Glass said today on a conference call with analysts. “It’s very encouraging to see smart […]

    A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to New Senior Notes of ING U.S., Inc.

    {February 8th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has assigned a debt rating of “bbb” to the recent issuance of $1.0 billion 2.90% five-year senior unsecured notes of ING U.S., Inc. (ING U.S.) (headquartered in New York, NY). ING U.S. is currently the holding company for the U.S. operations of ING Groep N.V. (ING Group) (Netherlands) [NYSE: […]

    How long will you live?

    {February 8th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    It could be said that mortality tables are the lifeblood of the life and annuity business. First and foremost, without them, insurers — and the state regulators that oversee them — would be unable to get an estimate of how much they should have in reserves. But where do those tables actually come from? Click […]

    FINRA quietly shifts SRO efforts to Senate

    {February 8th, 2013} by Melanie Waddell

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has now set its sights on the Senate to push a bill that would give FINRA the authority to become the self-regulatory organization (SRO) for advisors, as the House Financial Services Committee is unlikely to pursue an SRO bill this year. “FINRA has been trying for several months to quietly […]

    ELNY appeal dismissed

    {February 8th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    The comprehensive Executive Life of New York (ELNY) liquidation plan involving the capacity a majority state guaranty funds, top regulators in multiple states, millions upon millions in life insurance company coffers, and thousands of waiting policyholders has cleared a major obstacle with the dismissal of the appeal by a group of annuitants claiming the liquidation […]

    Learn from the experts

    {February 8th, 2013} by Van Mueller

    The Chinese symbol for danger also represents opportunity. This is a dangerous time for Americans with concerns about taxes, investing, planning for retirement and insuring their futures. Are you ready to help them turn it into an opportunity? Click here to read…    

    Prudential Takes 4Q Loss

    {February 8th, 2013} by Associated Press

    NEWARK, N.J. — Life insurer Prudential Financial Inc. on Wednesday posted a loss for the fourth quarter after absorbing hefty charges related to the declining value of the Japanese yen. Prudential lost $214 million, or 48 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31. A year ago it reported profit of $522 million, […]

    Keep Tax Incentives For Retirement Savings, Americans Say

    {February 8th, 2013} by N/A

    WASHINGTON,Feb. 7 — The Investment Company Institute issued the following news release: As Congress is expected to consider tax and budget reforms in the coming weeks, new 2012/2013 (http://www.ici.org/pdf/ppr_13_retir_sec_update.pdf) data show U.S. households strongly believe that lawmakers should maintain current tax incentives for retirement savings. The study, America’s Commitment to Retirement Security: Investor Attitudes and […]

    Executive Life Lawsuit Drags On

    {February 8th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    For more than two decades, insurance attorney Edward S. Stone’s clients have been battling to collect on structured settlement annuities purchased from the now-defunct Executive Life Insurance Co. of New York. Despite promises made years ago by officials of the quasi-governmental New York Liquidation Bureau, those clients received letters recently telling them that benefits were […]

    $22 Trillion Retirement Opportunity Seen By LIMRA

    {February 8th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    The baby boomer generation has rippled across the past half-century, creating increased interest in and demand for products and services that fit the generation’s lifestyle. For insurance agents that means a bubble of unprecedented opportunity over the next few years, according to Jafor Iqbal, associate managing director of LIMRA Retirement Research. Iqbal spoke to Insurance […]

    Banks face 'massive' damages from states' Libor probe

    {February 7th, 2013} by Bloomberg News

    A multistate probe of alleged manipulation of interest rates threatens to leave banks liable for billions of dollars in estimated state and local losses from the scandal, even as they settle with national regulators. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is helping lead a probe into claims that banks rigged global benchmarks for borrowing, adding […]

    The magic withdrawal number in retirement: 2.8% with low rates

    {February 7th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    If you’re planning for low interest rates to last, you might want to take a second look at your clients’ withdrawal rates in retirement. It seems that a 2.8% withdrawal rate over a retirement period of 30 years, with a 40% allocation to stocks, is the recipe for a 90% success rate — if interest […]

    More Employers Likely To Add Roth Features To Plans

    {February 7th, 2013} by MacKenzie Lucas and Maurissa Kanter

    LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.,Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey by http://www.aon.com/human-capital-consulting/default.jsp, the global human resources solutions business of http://www.aon.com/default.jsp (NYSE: AON), reveals an increasing number of U.S. employers are planning to add Roth features to their defined contribution (DC) plans in 2013. This comes on the heels of new legislation that makes it easier for […]

    Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reinsures variable annuity risks, bets against longevity

    {February 7th, 2013} by Admin

    Making the news today is another large and interesting reinsurance transaction involving Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. which sees the firm taking on variable annuity risks and as a result assume some exposure to mortality and longevity risks. In a reinsurance deal worth $2.2 billion, Berkshire Hathaway will reinsure the risks associated with $4 billion […]

    A social-media-sharing guide for financial advisers

    {February 7th, 2013} by Stephanie Sammons

    In my work with financial advisers and firms, I have learned that one of the biggest obstacles to engaging in social media is knowing what to share on social networks. An adviser has built social-media profiles, and they look fantastic. Now what? Here is how to get unstuck and what to do next. It is […]

    Finra stands down on RIA oversight

    {February 7th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Investment advisers remain wary of attempts in Washington to shift oversight of the sector from the Securities and Exchange Commission to an industry-run group, even as the brokerage regulator indicates that it is no longer focusing on legislation that would establish an adviser self-regulatory organization. In an interview with Reuters published on Thursday, Financial Industry […]

    A.M. Best Requests Comments on Draft Criteria: Insurance Holding Company & Debt Ratings

    {February 7th, 2013} by Best News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. is requesting comments from market participants in the insurance industry and other interested parties on the draft criteria report, “Insurance Holding Company & Debt Ratings” (updates version dated April 5, 2012). The draft contains edits that reflect A.M. Best’s view that rating enhancement can come from any part of […]

    Will concerns hamper guaranteed annuity use in retirement plans?

    {February 7th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    A new study embraces guaranteed lifetime income annuities within employer-provided plans as a way to fortify with retirement security, but acknowledges severe regulatory impediments, which both the life insurance industry and the NAIC are striving to overcome with regulatory and legislative action. The report, released by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) this week, found that […]

    Poor Standards at S&P, U.S. Alleges

    {February 7th, 2013} by Editorial Staff

    In a civil suit that reopens the wounds of the 2008 financial crisis and tests the potentially conflicted business model that major U.S. crediting rating agencies use, the Justice Department Tuesday charged Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services with fraud. The government—whose own debt was downgraded in S&P in 2011, helping to trigger an equity market […]

    Justice sues S&P: Is it time to rethink the role of ratings agencies?

    {February 7th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    In light of the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s for its failure to rate credit mortgage operations properly – thereby contributing directly to the Great Recession – the question arises whether rating agencies themselves have run their course. At the heart of the suit against S&P is the complaint that by charging those […]

    The proven truths of quality IMOs: myths debunked … debunked

    {February 7th, 2013} by Russ Wagner

    I’ve read several articles recently bashing the need for and value of working with IMOs, and warning agents and advisors of the oncoming “extinction” of said IMOs. And while I agree that there are undeniably a number of marketing organizations who may not practice what they preach, I don’t believe that as a whole, a […]

    Need an Rx for retirement? The doctor is in.

    {February 7th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    It took me a long time to get my “doctorate in lifetime income.” The journey commenced once I reviewed my retirement account statement after the dot-com bubble burst. I felt absolutely nauseous. Click here to read…

    Obama calls on Congress to avert sequestration, avoid big cuts

    {February 7th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    President Barack Obama called on Congress on Tuesday to delay substantial automatic spending reductions slated to go into effect March 1, including cuts that could dent the Securities and Exchange Commission’s budget by an estimated $117 million. Last September, the Office of Management and Budget reported that the budgets of the SEC and other federal […]

    LPL Cutting Jobs To Bolster

    {February 7th, 2013} by Financial Planning Staff

    The country’s largest independent broker-dealer is set to begin reducing its labor force this year. LPL Financial announced the news along with its announcement of fourth-quarter and 2012earnings, whichshowed modest revenue growth but also a decline in profits. Net revenue for the fourth quarter endedDecember 31, 2012 climbed nearly 14% to$944.2 million, but profits slipped […]

    ING U.S. Announces $1 Billion Senior Notes Offering

    {February 7th, 2013} by N/A

    NEW YORK,Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — ING U.S., Inc. (ING U.S.) announced a private offering of$1 billion principal amount of its 2.9% Senior Notes due 2018. The offering is expected to close onFebruary 11, 2013. ING U.S. intends to use the proceeds from the financing primarily for the repayment of commercial paper and other shorter […]