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  • Economic Impact: 2020 Forecast Looks Better Than It Did A Year Ago

    {January 8th, 2020} by Christine Chmura

    What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time there was talk of recession, in part, because the stock market and yield curve were signaling warning signs. At the end of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst year since 2008. If the stock market is falling, then investors must think […]

    Thomas H. Lee Group Agrees to Buy a Majority Stake in AmeriLife

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    An investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P., a private equity firm, has agreed to buy a majority stake in AmeriLife Group LLC from another private equity firm, J.C. Flowers & Company LLC, AmeriLife announced today. AmeriLife is a Clearwater, Florida-based life, health and annuity distributor that has relationships with about 140,000 insurance […]

    It’s the Hottest Thing in Life Insurance. Are Buyers Aware of the Risks?

    {January 8th, 2020} by Leslie Scism

    Sales of a life-insurance policy tied to the longest bull market in U.S. history are soaring. Regulators worry that buyers are unprepared for a crash. Indexed universal life is one of the insurance industry’s hottest products. It accounted for a quarter of all individual life sales as measured by premium for the first nine months […]

    Gallagher starts the year with insurance agency acquisition in NY

    {January 8th, 2020} by Lyle Adriano

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Walsdorf Agency in Huntington, NY. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Walsdorf Agency, founded in 1926, is a third generation, family-owned commercial and personal lines insurance agency; a release noted that the agency has “strong real estate niche expertise.” Following the acquisition, David L. Walsdorf, Louis J. […]

    Fixed Index Annuities: The Pros And Cons

    {January 8th, 2020} by William Hinds

    The older and closer to retirement you get, the less risk you should be taking in your portfolio, generally speaking. The old rule of thumb was to take your age and place that much in bonds and the rest into an equity portfolio. And over the last 30 years or so, bonds have done well […]

    Join in the conversation!

    {January 8th, 2020} by Wink's RockStars

    Get social with Wink and our Chief Storyteller, Sheryl J. Moore:  Sheryl J. Moore via LinkedIn for breaking news and thought-provoking discussion in the life insurance and annuity industries. Wink’s company updates via LinkedIn, Instagram, and/or Facebook to connect with us and get to know our team! Also, be sure to visit Sheryl’s profile on Facebook. […]

    7 Things To Remember When Doing A 1035 Annuity Exchange

    {January 8th, 2020} by Matt Carey

    The process of using funds from an existing annuity to purchase another annuity is commonly referred to as an annuity exchange. If the funds being used are non-qualified (i.e. not held in something like an IRA), then the exchange would be a 1035 exchange (so named for Section 1035 of the IRS Code, which governs […]

    You can buy steady retirement income. Experts are divided on whether it’s a good idea

    {January 8th, 2020} by Lorie Konish

    If you think that Republicans and Democrats can’t see eye to eye these days, try sitting in a room with financial professionals who are for and against annuities. The inability to agree is real. And both sides hold steadfast to their positions. Annuities are insurance or investment contracts that give investors regular payments in exchange […]

    My Life Insurance Buying Journey

    {January 8th, 2020} by Jeff Piotrowski

    As someone who works with life insurance marketers on a daily basis, I am keenly aware of the interest that carriers and agents have in meeting their customers in the market, when they are actively interested and most receptive to a conversation. This not only improves productivity for the insurer; it also offers a great […]

    The 2020 Life, Health and Annuity Planner

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The new year has arrived. Here are some in-person events you could attend… Jan. 13-15: Society of Actuaries (SOA), 2020 Living to 100 Symposium, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Jan. 16: Council for Affordable Health Coverage, The Price of Good Health (What the 2020 Election Means for Health Costs), in Washington. Jan. 25: Chinese New Year. Jan. 29-30: Inter-Company Marketing Group, annual […]

    5 Things to Know About 707 Years of Interest Rate Data

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The Bank of England has published a breath-taking thriller for people involved with creating and selling safe saving and investment vehicles: a comprehensive look at what happened to inflation-adjusted interest rates from 1311 through 2018. Paul Schmelzing, a Harvard University economic history grad student who’s a visiting scholar at the bank, wrote the paper in response to […]

    Brokerage industry opposes Massachusetts fiduciary rule proposal at hearing

    {January 8th, 2020} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    Brokerage and insurance industry representatives on Tuesday criticized a Massachusetts proposal that would impose fiduciary duty on all financial advisers in the state, but investor-protection advocates are confident the state won’t back down under industry pressure.   Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    State insurance commissioners poised to approve annuity sales best interest rule

    {January 8th, 2020} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    State insurance commissioners are expected to approve in the next few weeks a model regulation designed to strengthen investor protections related to annuity sales, but consumer advocates say it falls far short of improving safeguards surrounding the often-complex products. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    New Nationwide Survey Finds that Debt Weighs Heavy on the Minds of Americans

    {January 8th, 2020} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dealing with debt is foremost on the minds of many Americans and understandably so. In December, the New York Federal Reserve announced that Americans have a record $14 trillion in debt, including mortgages, credit cards, and student loans. The situation can cause a great deal of anxiety. According to a recent survey conducted by Nationwide […]

    Kuvare Closes on Lincoln Benefit Life

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    A young company that says it wants to become a real life and annuity player, not just manage old blocks of business, now owns Lincoln Benefit Life Company — a life insurer that once helped power Allstate Corp.’s annuity operations. Kuvare US Holdings Inc. said Monday that it completed the purchase of Lincoln Benefit Life, and […]

    New York Asks Insurers What They’ll Do When Libor Goes Away

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    New York state regulators want insurers and other financial services companies to explain what they’ll do if and when a major interest rate benchmark — the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) — goes away. New York State Financial Superintendent Linda Lacewell has told the companies to send her detailed life-after-Libor plans by Feb. 7. The same […]

    Alicia Munnell’s Social Security Bridge v. Annuities Income Planning Smackdown

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    More U.S. retirement savers should probably buy ordinary annuities before they retire, but they don’t, and policymakers need to come up with an alternative, according to Alicia Munnell, a top academic retirement policy researcher. Munnell — director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College — says she thinks promoting use of “Social Security bridge” arrangements may be […]

    Symetra Financial Corporation Launches Investment Management Company

    {January 8th, 2020} by Symetra Financial Corporation

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Financial Corporation today announced that it has established an investment subsidiary, Symetra Investment Management Company (SIM). The standalone entity will initially focus on facilitating the ability of Symetra’s Japan-based parent, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, to invest in U.S.-based assets utilizing the expertise of the SIM team. Sumitomo completed its first investment of […]

    Voices: My predictions for regulations to watch in 2020

    {January 7th, 2020} by Todd Cipperman

    Below I offer my regulatory predictions for 2020, addressing Regulation Best Interest, closed-end funds, private equity and compliance, among others. One caveat: my crystal ball is always cloudier during a presidential election year. For example, if Jay Clayton or Dalia Blass decide to resign (not predictions, although possible based on history), all bets are off […]

    A year in review: Most-Read Stories from 2019

    {January 7th, 2020} by Jamie Johnson

      IUL illustrations,  Ken Fisher, annuity illustrations, life lessons, and the Secure Act– view 2019’s most-read news stories from each quarter, according to Wink’s weekly newsletter.    4th Quarter, 2019:  WHAT MIGHT THE SECURE ACT MEAN FOR LIFETIME INCOME? VOYA FINANCIAL TO SELL INDIVIDUAL LIFE BUSINESS AND OTHER CLOSED BLOCKS LIFE LESSONS SECURITY BENEFIT INDEXED […]

    National Holdings Corporation Announces Closing of Acquisition of Full-Service Investment Firm Winslow, Evans & Crocker, Inc.

    {January 7th, 2020} by National Holdings Corporation

    NEW YORK, Jan. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — National Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: NHLD) (“National” or the “Company”), a leading full service independent brokerage, investment banking and asset management firm providing a wide array of services, announced the closing, on December 31, 2019, of the acquisition of Winslow, Evans & Crocker, Inc., an employee-owned full-service investment […]

    Opinion: Now that annuities can be part of your 401(k), here’s how to make them more palatable

    {January 7th, 2020} by Andrew G. Biggs

    The Secure Act passed by Congress at the end of 2019 is the biggest change in U.S. retirement savings policy since the Pension Protection Act in 2006. The Secure Act aims to expand retirement savings opportunities, give retirees more freedom on when to withdraw their retirement savings from IRA plans, and expand access to annuities […]

    A Roth IRA Refresher

    {January 7th, 2020} by Jeremy Hus

    We celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the Roth IRA in 2018 for we tax geeks who like to celebrate that type of thing. However, even though these accounts have been around for that long, there is still so much confusion about them. The benefits of a Roth IRA are clear — the potential for tax-free […]

    Insurers Can Offer Biometric Wearables Without ‘Rebating’: Connecticut

    {January 7th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Life and health insurers can give consumers Apple Watch devices and Fitbit devices for use in health tracking programs  without getting into trouble with Connecticut insurance regulators, even if the insurers have failed to mention the devices in the policies. Andrew Mais, the Connecticut insurance commissioner, has given that interpretation of Connecticut’s insurance rules in a […]

    The stretch IRA is dead

    {January 6th, 2020} by Ed Slott

    The SECURE Act is the law for 2020 and beyond. Advisers are already scurrying to explain the retirement rule changes to clients, especially those with large IRAs who had planned on a stretch IRA for their heirs. We are receiving an avalanche of questions on exactly how and when this major change will be applied. Click […]

    Kitces Is Confident That Lawsuits Will Squash Reg BI

    {January 6th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    Popular advisor and Nerd’s Eye View blogger Michael Kitces says he remains “as confident as ever” that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit will affirm XY Planning Network’s lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest and delay the rule’s June 30 compliance date. Both XYPN, which Kitces co-founded, and […]

    Why retiring at 65 could become a thing of the past

    {January 4th, 2020} by Paola Peralta

    Welcome to Retirement Scan, our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be talking about. Why retiring at 65 could become a thing of the past As much as 54% of Americans will either stop working after age 65 or never retire at all, according to a study in this CNBC article. Just 24% […]

    Former Ladenburg chairman files suit to stop Advisor Group merger

    {January 4th, 2020} by Bruce Kelly

    A year after cutting ties with Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., Dr. Phillip Frost, formerly its chairman and largest shareholder, has filed a suit against his old firm as it is poised to merge with Advisor Group. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    SEC Asset Management Committee to Meet Jan. 14

    {January 4th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    The SEC’s newly formed Asset Management Advisory Committee plans to hold its first meeting at the agency’s Washington headquarters on Jan. 14. The meeting will include a discussion of “various aspects of the asset management industry,” according to the meeting notice. The committee, made up of diverse industry professionals, was formed to help direct the […]

    Happy New Year!

    {January 1st, 2020} by Wink's RockStars

    The Wink offices are closed today, January 1st, 2020 to celebrate the holiday with our families.     

    Is the World Functional Enough to Support Life Insurance?

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Thousands of years ago, annuities looked like a much better than life insurance because… the world was chaotic. Life was short. Counting on customers to die soon was a safe bet. Political stability, a growing middle class, advances in medical knowledge, and improving public sanitation efforts began making the United States a good market for life […]

    Yes, Virginia, Whole Life Insurance Is Worth It

    {January 1st, 2020} by David Lewis

    In an article titled, “Four Reasons Whole Life Insurance Is Not Worth It,” Holly Johnson, writing in The Simple Dollar, confidently tells readers: “Instead of pouring money into a whole life insurance policy and hoping it pays off, I would much rather keep more of my money in my own hands. That way, I can […]

    Life Reinsurer Gets Its Wish to Intervene

    {January 1st, 2020} by Larry P. Schiffer

    Life insurance policies issued in the past are often transferred in blocks to reinsurers on a 100% indemnity reinsurance basis.  These transfers often include servicing agreements, where the assuming reinsurer takes responsibility for all policy services, including determining the cost-of-insurance.  In the past several years, policyholders have brought putative class actions against life insurance companies […]

    Why Clients Need Advisors’ Help With Annuities

    {January 1st, 2020} by Karen Demasters

    Financial advisors have an obligation to educate their clients about the ins and outs of annuities they own or want to purchase, according to portfolio managers at Ashfield Capital Partners, a financial services firm in San Francisco with $1.2 billion in AUM. Portfolio managers Adrian Fadrhonc and Lyman Howard said people buying and holding annuities […]

    INN’s Top 5 Life Insurance Stories Of 2019: IUL Tops The List

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    Regulatory concerns about the marketing and long-term viability of indexed universal life insurance policies made plenty of news in 2019. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners continues to debate tougher regulations on IUL sales. Coverage of this issue produced some of our most-read stories of the year. Click Here for the top five life insurance […]

    Top 5 Stories Of 2019: Annuities And Lawsuits: INN

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    Once again, the regulation of annuities made for popular reading in every month of 2019. It’s not surprising that lawsuits and regulation were the most-read annuity topics on InsuranceNewsNet. Otherwise, readers were naturally interested in annuity sales rankings, among other topics. Click Here for the five most-read annuity stories of 2019  

    NAIC Annuity Sales Model Law Teed Up For Dec. 30 Adoption

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    State insurance regulators plan to use all their available time before officially adopting a strengthened annuity sales model law by the new year. The Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee will hold a conference call Dec. 30 to adopt revisions to the suitability in annuity transactions (#275) model law. All final comments are due by […]

    NAIC Committee Passes Best Interest Annuity Rules

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners moved one step closer today to sending a best-interest annuity model law to the states for adoption in 2020. The Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee voted 11-1 to pass the annuity sales standard on to the NAIC Executive Committee and Plenary. The executive committee could ta Click HERE […]

    Don’t Forget: Your Clients’ Social Security Benefits Are Taxed

    {January 1st, 2020} by Bernice Napach

    Helping clients avoid the taxation of Social Security benefits is a tall order for any financial advisor because the income thresholds that subject clients to such taxation are set low. They were never indexed to inflation as are Social Security benefits, with their cost of living adjustments, or the incomes of high earners subject to the Medicare surcharge, or […]

    What the ‘Father of 401(k)s’ Thinks of the Secure Act

    {January 1st, 2020} by Ginger Szala

    In what has been called the most comprehensive retirement security legislation in a decade, President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a spending bill that includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure”) Act. This means changes to retirement plans going into the new year. Key changes include: It will be easier for small businesses to […]

    Your 401(k) could soon include new types of investments

    {January 1st, 2020} by CBS/AP

    Major changes could be coming to your retirement plan. The Senate on Thursday passed the Secure Act as part of its massive spending package. The House passed it earlier this week and it now heads to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law. The Secure Act — which stands for Setting […]

    Survey: Role of Sales Representatives Growing in Relevance to Brokers

    {January 1st, 2020} by OneAmerica

    INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The relationship between an insurance carrier’s sales representative and an employee benefits broker continues to gain more importance and relevance, according to a recently completed industry survey commissioned on behalf of OneAmerica®. The data comes from the survey OneAmerica Worksite Producer: 2019, a custom research project conducted by LIMRA. “Sales representative relationship” tied for third out […]

    The Past, for Agents

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Today is the start of 2020, and the start of the 2020s. It’s also 100 years after the start of New Year’s Day in 1920 — a year that’s much different from our own, yet hauntingly similar, and which is well-represented in various online digital archives, such as the Google Books and Newspapers.com databases. Here’s a […]

    Voices: From 401(k)s to stretch IRAs, what the Secure Act means for clients

    {January 1st, 2020} by Dan Collins

    The recently passed Secure Act is groundbreaking retirement legislation — just like its predecessors, the 1974 ERISA (the bedrock law of employee benefit plans) and the 2006 Pension Protection Act. It will substantially alter the landscape for employer-sponsored retirement plans and individual retirement savers. So, what does this mean for plan sponsors, participants, and clients? […]

    Annuity Issuers Roll Out New Videos

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company launched a new advertising campaign Saturday. The Milwaukee-based company is promoting the Northwestern Mutual brand with four ads based on the company’s 3-year-old “Spend Your Life Living” slogan. Northwestern Mutual began using the Spend Your Life Living slogan in December 2017. The company is delivering the new ads through digital media and social […]

    10 Young Life, Health and Annuity Stars: 2019 Generational Lists

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    This is an important time for professionals who help clients manage life, health and financial risk. The old ways are fading. The future is in a haze. Insurance agents, actuaries, underwriters, claims administrators and others are doing their best to create financial forts that can give the users some protection against the storms, and some […]

    12 Seasoned Life, Health and Annuity Stars: 2019 Generational Lists

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Here’s the second batch of entries for our 2019 Generational Lists recognition program. We developed this approach to succeed our 30 Under 30 program, to give ourselves a way to cast a spotlight on interesting industry professionals of all ages. We listed 10 industry professionals under 30 Tuesday, and we’ll list 10 industry professionals over […]

    10 Titanium Life, Health and Annuity Stars: 2019 Generations Lists

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Here’s the third batch of entries for our 2019 Generational Lists recognition program. We developed this approach to succeed our 30 Under 30 program, to give ourselves a way to cast a spotlight on interesting industry professionals of all ages. We listed 10 industry professionals under 30 Tuesday, and we listed 12 mid-career industry professionals […]

    What SECURE Act’s Annuity, Open MEP Provisions Mean for Advisors

    {January 1st, 2020} by Brian Anderson

    Big changes are coming to 401k plans in 2020 thanks to last week’s whirlwind passage of the SECURE Act as part of the broader federal government spending bill. Among the most significant changes are provisions focused on making it easier to include annuities in 401k plans and opening up multiple employer plans (MEPs) to small companies that […]

    Top-Level NAIC Committee OKs Annuity Sales Standard Proposal

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is getting closer to a final showdown over an annuity sales standards proposal that could help state insurance regulators create a defense against federal sales standards proposals. Members of the NAIC’s Life Insurance and Annuities Committee today approved proposed revisions to the NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, […]

    Life Insurers Increased Currency Swap Exposure in 2018: NAIC

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Capital Markets Bureau has published a new report on U.S. life insurers’ use of a complicated investment risk management tool: derivatives. U.S. life insurers ended 2018 with $2.3 trillion in exposure to derivatives, up 8.8% from the 2017 total, according to the bureau. Interest rate swap exposure increased 7.4%, […]

    Annuity transactions that cause tax-paying headaches: Tax Strategy Scan

    {January 1st, 2020} by Andrew Shilling

    Financial Planning’s weekly roundup of tax-related investment strategies and news your clients may be thinking about. The ‘gotchas’ in annuity taxation While income from an annuity is tax deferred, taxation on this financial product can be more complicated than what most clients think, writes a Forbes contributor. Among the misconceptions: companies sometimes assume they will […]

    NAIC Sales Standard Proposal Includes Reg BI Safe Harbor: IRI

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) says state insurance regulators’ sales standard proposal includes a great feature for financial professionals:  a provision that may protect annuity producers from having to comply with multiple sets of sales standards. Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance and Annuities Committee endorsed the proposal — an update of […]

    Finding Lost Life Insurance Policies

    {January 1st, 2020} by Holland & Hart - Fiduciary Law Blog

    As a probate paralegal, I often assist personal representatives, trustees and family members in collecting information about their loved one’s assets.  Life insurance proceeds can be a blessing to the family to pay for expenses and in relieving the financial burden after a death.  However, while the client may think they remember the deceased person […]

    FINRA Fines 5 Big Firms for ‘Know Your Customer’ Failures

    {January 1st, 2020} by Jeff Berman and Janet Levaux

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sanctioned Citigroup Global Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities, LPL Financial, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch for failing to reasonably supervise compliance with FINRA Rule 2090, its “Know Your Customer” rule, when dealing with custodial accounts, FINRA said Thursday. FINRA Rule 2090 requires member firms and their associated representatives to use reasonable […]

    Secure Act, Fiduciary Rules Set Up a Doozy of a Compliance Year

    {January 1st, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    Along with new sweeping retirement planning rules ushered in under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act, advisors and broker-dealers will have new fiduciary-related rules to comply with in the new year. President Donald Trump signed the Secure Act into law on Dec. 20 as part of the year-end spending bill, the […]

    The Year 2020, for Agents

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Forecasters at organizations of all kinds have been getting out their 2020 crystal balls. Here’s a distillation of some of the forecasts pouring into our inboxes. (We’ve included links to the forecast documents only when we could find copies of the documents in front of paywalls.) 1. The Overall Business Climate Morgan Stanley securities analysts talked […]

    Will the Secure Act Help You Sell Annuities to Small Employers?

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Financial services organizations have been providing annuities since the Egyptian pyramids since the pyramids had that new pyramid smell. U.S. life insurers have been telling consumers about all of the things annuities can do from the beginning. On New Year’s Day 100 years ago, for example, Pacific Life was advertising that an annuity can help […]

    Here are the Most Read Stories of 2019: Financial Advisor IQ

    {January 1st, 2020} by FA-IQ Staff

    The last year of the decade was a year of big stories for RIAs and broker-dealers. And the biggest story of 2019 was RIA heavyweight Ken Fisher being accused of ‘horrible’ comments at an exclusive industry conference. Over 11,000 readers heard about this marketing faux pas from reporters Mrinalini Krishna and Rita Raagas De Ramos. And when Fisher apologized, another 8,000 readers […]

    Oregon, West Virginia and Maine have the highest rates of depression

    {January 1st, 2020} by QuoteWizard

    SEATTLE, Dec. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — QuoteWizard®, a LendingTree company, and one of the nation’s leading online insurance marketplaces, released a report on depression rates among all 50 states, and the impact of mental health care access on decreasing numbers. QuoteWizard found that states which rated highly for mental health care access also saw significant decreases in depression from 2014 […]

    Top 5 Stories Of 2019: Fashion To Fiduciary: Advisor News

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    The top Advisor News stories of 2019 crossed a lot of boundaries, from fashion to fiduciary. It was a very busy year and our readership reflected the frenetic time for financial services.   Click Here are the top five most-read stories on Advisor News  

    Alliance Group and Living Benefits Awareness Month

    {January 1st, 2020} by Alliance Group

    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Dec. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alliance Group announced plans for their third annual Living Benefits Awareness Month, to be observed throughout the month of January 2020. The industry-wide campaign, which takes place each January, aims to educate consumers on the importance of owning Living Benefits life insurance and the role it plays in protecting families’ financial […]

    Alliance Group Announces 2020 Living Benefits Ambassadors Team

    {January 1st, 2020} by Alliance Group

    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Dec. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alliance Group announced the inaugural Living Benefits Ambassadors team as part of their third annual Living Benefits Awareness Month campaign. The Ambassadors will head up local grassroots campaigns to spread education and awareness for Living Benefits Awareness Month in January 2020. The chosen Living Benefits Ambassadors are as follows:   Alliance Group […]

    New Spots from Northwestern Mutual Explore the Realities and Dreams of Americans Today

    {January 1st, 2020} by https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-spots-from-northwestern-mutual-explore-the-realities-and-dreams-of-americans-today-300979334.html

    MILWAUKEE, Dec. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Mutual, a leading financial services company, is building on the success of its brand campaign “Spend Your Life Living” with new ads that showcase powerful, diverse and emotive stories that reflect the realities and dreams of many Americans today. The new integrated campaign will launch across TV, digital and social on December […]

    Millennials Feeling Less Financially Secure in 2019

    {January 1st, 2020} by Country Financial

    BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – As 2019 comes to an end, Millennials are continuing to feel financially stressed. The 2019 COUNTRY Financial Security Index revealed that half (50%) of Millennials rate their level of financial security as fair or poor, compared to 44 percent of Americans overall. More than 1,000 Americans were asked about their confidence levels in a variety of personal finance […]

    A paramedic allegedly killed his wife for the insurance payout. The method? Eye drops.

    {January 1st, 2020} by Lateshia Beachum

    Stacy Robinson Hunsucker’s husband told several different versions of events in recounting how he found his wife dying. Joshua Lee Hunsucker, 35, told police on Sept. 23, 2018, that he was outside making sure his car was locked, according to ABC News’s review of the affidavit. He told a friend that he was out on a […]

    Big Growth Forecast For Independent Advisor Channels: Tiburon

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    Financial advisor channels face unrelenting pressure moving forward from discount brokerages and robo-advisor options, a leading analyst said. But there is plenty of good news in the forecast as well, added Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. In particular, the independent advisor channels should continue to see its assets grow at a strong […]

    The ‘Gotchas’ In Annuity Taxation

    {January 1st, 2020} by Steve Parrish

    How are annuity taxation and attorneys alike? For both, the answer is “it depends.”  Contrary to popular wisdom, there is no simple answer to how annuities are taxed. Yes, they are generally income tax deferred, but there is more to it than that. Taxation depends on how the annuity is owned, and how distributions are made from the […]

    Does student loan debt die when you do?

    {January 1st, 2020} by Tom Anderson

    More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt totaling $1.5 trillion, and it continues to grow at a rapid clip. Student debt comes in two primary forms: federal loans and private loans. Federal student loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Education, and private student loans are provided by banks and other private lenders. […]

    What Might the SECURE Act Mean for Lifetime Income?

    {December 31st, 2019} by John Manganaro

    Among the many important provisions included in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is the establishment of legal protections for plan sponsors offering lifetime income products on their defined contribution (DC) plan menus. Click HERE to read the full story via PLANADVISER     ………………………………………………………………………………………….     Annuity Misconceptions Are Hard […]

    Merry Christmas

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Wink's RockStars

        “Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas everyday.”     Wishing many Christmas blessings for you! -The Wink, Inc. family   Sheryl, Victoria, Andrew, Emily, Jamie, Lawrence, Peter, Rita, Talia, Vince

    10 Annuity Tax Facts You Should Know

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes

    There are many types of commercial annuities, all of which are designed to do different jobs. For this reason, any statement that begins “Annuities are …” is probably misleading or outright false, precisely because the term covers so many different types of contracts. Even more complex is the taxation of these products, which varies based […]

    Genworth and Its Suitor Put Off Wedding 3 More Months

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. have agreed to yet another extension of their deal completion deadline — and, this time, they’re showing some impatience with all of the delays. The company’s 13th waiver and agreement will push the deadline back to March 31, 2020, from Dec. 31. Genworth recently sold a […]

    MetLife Cleans Up SEC Financial Statement Problems

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    MetLife Inc. has agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve concerns about problems the company discovered with some of its financial filings, SEC officials announced Wednesday. The SEC concluded in an order that MetLife improperly freed up reserves for annuity benefits owed to pension plan participants […]

    Life and Annuity Players Prepare to Pop Secure Act Champagne Bottle Corks

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

      President Donald Trump has said he’ll sign the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (CAA 2020) bill today. The spending bill will give the federal government the spending capacity it needs to keep from shutting down. For life, health and annuity professionals, and their clients, provisions built into the package will also: Acknowledge that Congress was […]

    Senate Passes Secure Act With Spending Bill

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    The full Senate passed by a 71-23 vote Thursday the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act as part of the year-end spending bill. The spending package is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday as the current continuing resolution funding the government expires. Andy Friedman, founder and […]

    ‘Be Wary of Bond Ratings’: NASAA

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    The North American Securities Administrators Association is warning investors to “be wary of bond ratings” because inflated ratings, which were a key factor in the 2008 financial crisis, remain a concern today. Investors “should look beyond” a credit rating “when considering investing in a specific bond of bond fund portfolio,” according to the NASAA advisory. […]

    Reg BI Continues To Tantalize And Frustrate Advisors And Regulators Alike

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Contributor

    (JDSupra) My young boys will sometimes chase me around the house, catch me, and yell “gotcha” as they drag me off to their pretend jail. No matter how much I plead that I’ve done nothing wrong, I always end up in jail, despite having no knowledge of any rules that I’ve broken – because they […]

    15 Funky, Expensive Gifts for the Wealthy

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Marlene Satter

    While lots of folks struggle with a gift list that’s actually affordable, those in the higher income echelons have other issues: what won’t their recipient already have simply gotten for themselves? We looked around to find some of the most luxurious gifts for those at the high end of the income scale, and have come […]

    Advisor who touts his holiday giving faces SEC fraud charges

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Ann Marsh

    “Springer turkey challenge feeds over 25,000!” advisor Keith Springer says in a blog posted on his website, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his fundraising effort for which he thanks his clients for their “generous donations.” The SEC offers a different picture of Springer’s relationship to clients in a complaint dated the same day as the post. […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” for the life insurance subsidiaries of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (WSFG). WSFG’s subsidiaries are The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company (WSLIC), Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Columbus Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, National Integrity Life Insurance […]

    AM Best Comments on Credit Ratings of Members of ReliaStar Life Insurance Group Following Announcement of Sale of Voya Financial, Inc.’s Life Business

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has commented that the Credit Ratings (ratings) of ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN), collectively known as ReliaStar Life Insurance Group (ReliaStar), remain unchanged following the Dec. 18, 2019, announcement of the sale by its parent, Voya Financial, Inc. (Voya), of the […]

    AM Best Takes Various Credit Rating Actions on AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. and Its Life Subsidiaries

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of MONY Life Insurance Company of America (MLOA) (Phoenix, AZ). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+” of AXA Equitable […]

    DALBAR Announces 2019 Annuity Service Award Winners

    {December 23rd, 2019} by DALBAR

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Service matters. This is a maxim that is true across all industries and for every product. Of course for some products the stakes are higher than for others. Annuities are certainly one such product, considering the length of time people own them for and the importance of the product to their […]

    Congress just made retirement planning easier for small business owners and American workers

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Congress just made it easier for small businesses to offer a workplace retirement plan to their millions of employees. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act’s provisions included in Congress’ appropriations package were today approved with the passage of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. Nationwide […]

    The ‘Gotchas’ In Annuity Taxation

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Steve Parrish

    How are annuity taxation and attorneys alike? For both, the answer is “it depends.”  Contrary to popular wisdom, there is no simple answer to how annuities are taxed. Yes, they are generally income tax deferred, but there is more to it than that. Taxation depends on how the annuity is owned, and how distributions are made from the […]

    The Secure Act Has Passed. 2 Life Insurance Stocks That Could Benefit.

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Al Root

    The Secure Act is has passed. The new retirement law, known fully as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, has a lot of implications for retirees. Whole life insurance policies, for instance, will become a relatively more useful estate planning tool under the coming regulatory regime. That’s interesting for aging workers, but also […]

    Significant Changes Are Coming to Retirement Plans: What You Need to Know

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Anne Tergesen

    The spending bill the Senate passed on Thursday includes a variety of changes for people with retirement accounts. Here are answers to questions Wall Street Journal readers have raised about the retirement provisions of the bill, which President Trump is expected to sign into law, and its effect on 401(k) and individual retirement accounts. Q: I turned […]

    MetLife to pay $10M for ‘longstanding’ accounting errors

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Jaclyn Jaeger

    MetLife will pay a civil penalty of $10 million to resolve charges the insurance company violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of federal securities laws relating to two errors in its accounting for reserves associated with its annuities businesses. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission order, MetLife improperly released reserves for […]

    Transamerica Celebrates Passage of SECURE Act

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Transamerica

    BALTIMORE, Dec. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Transamerica applauds the passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, included in the year-end government spending bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 20, 2019. The SECURE Act is a bipartisan package of provisions intended to encourage retirement savings. The Act initially passed the U.S. House […]

    BLOG: What the SECURE Act means for annuities

    {December 23rd, 2019} by aahrens

    The SECURE Act, which was approved by the House Tuesday, would impact annuities in a number of ways, but I want to focus on two, starting with a provision that changes how annuities would be treated, which can be found in Sec. 204 of the act. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    The 2010s: A Look Back

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Rich Blake

    For retirement investors, saying goodbye to the 2010s is bittersweet. They’re closing the books on one of the most bullish decades in history. For the advisors helping to oversee those accounts, the past decade will be remembered as one of the most disruptive in terms of the forces, mainly technology-driven but also regulatory in nature, […]

    Annuity Use Is Expanding, But Knowledge Is Limited, Advisor Says

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Karen DeMasters

    Annuities are becoming mainstream even though knowledge about them among investors is still limited, said Len Hayduchok, president of Dedicated Financial Services and Dedicated Senior Advisors in Trenton, N.J. “Annuities used to be a limited product with only a small market penetration, but the addition of riders for income, death benefits and long-term-care benefits to […]

    NEW YORK LIFE TO ACQUIRE CIGNA’S GROUP LIFE AND DISABILITY INSURANCE BUSINESS

    {December 23rd, 2019} by New York Life

    NEW YORK and BLOOMFIELD, Conn., December 18, 2019 – New York Life, America’s largest mutual life insurer, and Cigna, a leading global health service company, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby New York Life will acquire Cigna’s group life and disability insurance business for $6.3 billion. The acquisition is expected to […]

    Insurance Salesman Charged With Allegedly Bilking $4 Million From Seniors in ‘Free Lunch’ Scam

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    BOSTON – An insurance salesman is accused of bilking $4 million from retirees and seniors he invited to “free lunch” seminars during which he allegedly advised them to cash out their savings to buy insurance policies through his company, authorities said. Ryan Skinner, of Summit Financial Partners and Summit Financial Ptrs Inc., has been charged […]

    JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Slams Elizabeth Warren: ‘She Vilifies Successful People’

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Contributor

    (The Federalist) JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had some harsh words for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. “She uses some pretty harsh words, you know, some would say vilifies successful people,” Dimon said during an interview with CNBC published Tuesday. “I don’t like vilifying anybody. I think we should applaud […]

    Opinion: 5 steps to unwinding the ghosts of your investment mistakes

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Chris Mamula

    “I told you these were shadows of the things that have been.That they are what they are, do not blame me!” — The Ghost of Christmas Past from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. I frequently hear from readers haunted by past investments. Many of you are trying to build an investment portfolio that meets your […]

    ‘Free Lunch’ Annuity Scheme by Unregistered Advisor Targeted Seniors: Galvin

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    An insurance salesman and his firm in Massachusetts have been charged with persuading seniors to liquidate their assets to buy an annuity that paid the salesman commissions, according to William F. Galvin, Massachusetts’ top securities regulator. Ryan P. Skinner and his company, Summit Financial Partners, made millions of dollars in the scheme, Galvin’s complaint states. […]

    Lincoln Starts to Clear Another Barrier to Annuity Advisory Fee Payments

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Lincoln Financial is making an annuity payment feature change that could boost the power of the  new Internal Revenue Service affection for fee-based annuities. The Radnor, Pennsylvania-based company says it plans to let the holders of many of its annuities use to assets to pay annual advisory fees equal to up to 1.25% of the contract […]

    MetLife Cleans Up SEC Financial Statement Problems

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    MetLife Inc. has agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve concerns about problems the company discovered with some of its financial filings, SEC officials announced Wednesday. The SEC concluded in an order that MetLife improperly freed up reserves for annuity benefits owed to pension plan participants […]

    Resolution Life Agrees to Pay $902 Million for Voya’s Individual Life Business

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A company that hauls away life insurers’ unwanted blocks of business has agreed to buy Voya Financial Inc.’s remaining blocks of individual life, individual annuity and pension risk transfer business. Resolution Life Group Holdings Ltd. plans to pay Voya $902 million in cash up front for the unwanted blocks of business, Resolution Life announced today. […]

    The SECURE Act Set To Pass (Finally)

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    After years of lobbying by large firms in the retirement industry, the Setting Every American Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 appears headed for enactment as part of Congress’ $1.4 trillion appropriations bill, whose passage averts an otherwise imminent government shutdown. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ

    SEC Orders MetLife To Pay $10M For Internal Control Failures On Annuities

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Targeted News Service

    The Securities and Exchange Commission charged MetLife, Inc. with violating the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the federal securities laws relating to two errors in its accounting for reserves associated with its annuities businesses. MetLife has agreed to pay $10 million to settle the charges. According to the SEC’s order, MetLife […]

    Crafting Annuity Confidence and Clarity Is Hard Work

    {December 23rd, 2019} by John Manganaro

    One passionate analyst says the highly nuanced annuity marketplace does not receive sufficiently careful attention from either the financial services media or potential consumers.     In response to an American Benefits Council (ABC) survey fielded last year, of the 93 large companies polled by the Council, only 13 (14%) indicated that their organization offers a lifetime […]

    With annuity sales rising, Congress provides a ‘safe harbor’ in 401(k)s

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Tobia Salinger

    Congress has passed a bill expected to lead to rosier annuity sales in the future — just as structured products are picking up on the macroeconomic slack dragging down fixed products. Issuers and brokerages are cheering the inclusion of a bipartisan federal retirement bill called the Secure Act in a giant budgetary measure. The legislation […]

    Nine Financial Factors To Consider Before Buying Your First House

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Expert Panel

    Purchasing a house is one of the most — if not the most — impactful financial investments that most of us make in our lives. The mortgage, financing and associated costs of maintenance have the potential to impact a homeowner’s income well into the future. Deciding to buy a house today could have a major […]

    Sen. Warren: DOL Fiduciary Rule That Copies Reg BI Is a ‘Costly Mistake’

    {December 22nd, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is warning Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia to not propose a “weak” fiduciary rule that would allow financial advisors “to put their own interests above the interests of working families saving for retirement.” In a letter to Scalia on Wednesday, Warren cited the anticipated Labor conflict-of-interest rule to replace the Labor rule that was […]

    SEC Votes to Move Forward with Expanding Accredited Investor Definition

    {December 18th, 2019} by Rita Raagas De Ramos

    The SEC has voted 3-to-2 in favor of proposing rule amendments to the definition of “accredited investor” to enable more qualified individuals and institutions to participate in private markets. For brokers and advisors, having more flexible accredited investor rules would mean having a bigger pool of investment products and strategies to offer retail investors who could […]

    New York Life Makes $6.3 Billion Deal for Cigna Group Life and Disability Unit

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    New Life Insurance Company today announced plans to pay $6.3 billion, in cash, for Cigna Corp.’s group life and disability businesses. New York Life would get Cigna’s Life Insurance Company of North America and CIGNA Life Insurance Company of New York’s subsidiaries, according to a deal analysis from analysts at Fitch Ratings. New York Life […]

    Blair DuQuesnay: ‘The Future of Finance Should Be Female’

    {December 18th, 2019} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    “Consider Firing Your Male Broker.” That was the bold headline The New York Times gave a candid opinion piece penned by Blair DuQuesnay, investment advisor with Ritholtz Wealth Management, in January of this year. She argued that since an abundance of research found that women’s investment accounts outperform those of men, “the future of finance […]

    Slow Gains for Female Board Membership: Report

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    Keep this year in mind: 2044. That’s when MSCI projects there could be a 50/50 gender split on company boards globally. Although that date seems far away (and no doubt some of us won’t be around to witness it), the MSCI’s Women on Boards 2019 Progress Report has found some positive trends. For companies that make up […]

    How RBC’s Kimmell ‘Bulldozed’ Through the Glass Ceiling

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    Kristen Kimmell, the new head of Advisor Recruiting and Field Marketing of RBC Wealth Management, recently received a compliment that first unnerved her.  “Someone told me I was ‘like a bulldozer,’” which made her wonder if she really had received a compliment, Kimmell said in an interview.  “Once [the person] explained that a trailblazer was someone who ran down […]

    Pacific Life Also Has an Advisory Fee Letter Ruling

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Internal Revenue Services has now issued a total of 18 private letter rulings concerning payment of asset-based fees for fee-based annuities, and Pacific Life has one of the letter rulings. The IRS letter rulings will give the 18 recipients, and only those companies, use annuity assets to pay fees to the annuity holders’ advisors […]

    U.S. Adults Prefer Playing It Safe Rather Than Taking Risks With Their Money, Careers and Social Lives

    {December 18th, 2019} by Northwestern Mutual

    MILWAUKEE, Dec. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Americans are far from daredevils when it comes to how they manage their finances, careers, social lives and more. In fact, the latest findings from Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning & Progress Study suggest that when U.S. adults face choices about how much risk to take on, most prefer to play things safe. For example, […]

    Whole Life Insurance Critics Aren’t Serious

    {December 18th, 2019} by David Lewis

    Norman Dacey. “Art” Williams. Suze Orman. Dave Ramsey. What do they have in common? Other than being famous and controversial figures, they also happen to be some of the fiercest critics of whole life insurance. What they promise to consumers is a comprehensive education on life insurance, but what they deliver instead is inauthentic sophomoric […]

    Fidelity’s 11th Millionaire Outlook Study Finds Health Concerns Are Top Stressors for All Investors

    {December 18th, 2019} by Fidelity Investments

    BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fidelity Investments® today released the results of its 11th Millionaire Outlook Study, an in-depth survey analyzing the investing attitudes and behaviors of more than 2,000 households, including 1,100+ millionaires. The study revealed that concerns about their health are the leading causes of stress for millionaires and non-millionaires alike, demonstrating that having more financial resources doesn’t […]

    Voya Financial to Sell Individual Life Business and Other Closed Blocks

    {December 18th, 2019} by Voya

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Resolution Life Group Holdings (Resolution Life) whereby Voya will divest its Individual Life and other legacy non-retirement annuities businesses. The blocks of business being divested include those that Voya had previously closed to new sales and include […]

    7 (Polite) Life and Annuity Player Whoops of Joy for the Return of the Secure Act

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Members of Congress could approve a mammoth spending bill that includes a Secure Act section this week — and life and annuity groups are rejoicing. The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019″ legislation could do everything from creating new and better tax credits for small employers that set up retirement plans, to […]

    Amerilife Acquires Agent Support Group

    {December 18th, 2019} by AmeriLife Group, LLC

    Clearwater, Fla. – AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”) – the national leader in marketing and distributing life, health and retirement solutions – has acquired a majority interest in Agent Support Group (ASG), a leading multi-company life insurance brokerage agency group in the New York metropolitan area.   Agent Support Group, founded in 1973, is a LIBRA […]

    7 Possible Obstacles to Secure Act Bliss

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Some life and annuity groups’ lobbyists may be starting to think about which brand of champagne they ought to try when the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (Secure Act) becomes law. Congressional leaders have put the Secure Act in Division O of House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to House Resolution […]

    Survey: Investors Struggle To Grasp Basics Of Fixed Income

    {December 18th, 2019} by Christopher Robbins

    Given the increasing efficiency of equity markets, most do-it-yourself investors can find low-cost access to U.S. stocks – but fixed income is another matter. In fact, DIY investors are at a significant disadvantage to their professionally advised peers when it comes to investing in bonds and other fixed-income instruments, according to recent research from BNY […]

    Pivotal questions follow Ladenburg’s four-month sprint to Advisor Group deal

    {December 18th, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    It only took four months — and some haggling the day before the agreement — to negotiate one of the largest deals of the year in wealth management. Despite hitting a speed bump when Advisor Group and Ladenburg Thalmann were closing in on an agreement, they cruised to a billion-dollar deal. Five days before the […]

    America the risk-averse

    {December 18th, 2019} by Emily (Recker) Holbrook

    Americans are generally risk-averse and tend to play it safe, especially when it comes to their finances. According to the latest findings from our Planning & Progress Study, three-quarters of Americans (72%) report they are more comfortable reducing risk to ensure the safety and stability of their savings and investments, even if it means the potential […]

    Quiz: How Well Do You Know Annuities?

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell and Ronald Pechtimaldjian

    Annuities have been around a long time but their complexity has generated a lot confusion. Many investors love the income stream they can get but don’t like or understand the surrender charges and other triggers that can muddle their usage. So let’s see who how much you know about some general themes surrounding annuities. Good […]

    Symetra Pledges $250,000 to GSBA Scholarship Fund

    {December 18th, 2019} by Symetra

    SEATTLE & BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra, a national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, has committed $250,000 to the GSBA Scholarship Fund, one of the oldest and most active LGBTQ scholarship programs in the country. The multi-year pledge will also help launch a new “Symetra Empowers Scholarships” program. “Our GSBA relationship is grounded in […]

    My dad’s life insurance completely changed my life, and when I saw the impact it made I immediately bought a policy of my own

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kelly McClure

    On Halloween morning 2013, I received the first in a series of three calls that would change my life forever. It was early, around 7 AM, and receiving calls from family members at that hour is never good news, unless it’s your birthday. This wasn’t my birthday. This was the morning I found out my […]

    How A Life Policy Can Send A Grandchild To College

    {December 18th, 2019} by Jason Wellmann

    Leaving a legacy is a top priority for many people. The death benefit proceeds from a life insurance policy can be an important financial resource for your clients’ loved ones, allowing them to address a number of needs, including debt, college funding or other financial obligations. But what if your clients could provide their beneficiaries […]

    Pershing adds fee-based annuities to its managed accounts system ​

    {December 18th, 2019} by InvestmentNews

    Clearing and custodial giant Pershing has integrated its managed accounts platform with its annuity order-entry system, making it easier for advisers to incorporate fee-based annuities into their clients’ portfolios. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    Pacific Life Receives Favorable Private Letter Ruling for Nonqualified Annuity Contracts

    {December 18th, 2019} by Pacific Life

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Life has received a favorable private letter ruling (PLR) from the IRS allowing for advisory fees to be withdrawn from a non-qualified annuity contract without prompting a taxable event. According to the PLR, advisory fees taken from non-qualified fee-based annuities, such as Pacific Odyssey®, will not result in a taxable event […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Symetra Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 18th, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Symetra Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary, First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY), together referred to as Symetra Life Group. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb+” and […]

    TIAA Applauds Passage of the SECURE Act

    {December 18th, 2019} by TIAA

    WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TIAA issued the following statement from Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO, upon U.S. House passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act: “TIAA commends Congress for prioritizing passage of the SECURE Act, the first comprehensive retirement reform in the U.S. in over a decade. This much-needed bill stands to […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 18th, 2019} by Brighthouse Financial

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE), the largest operating entity for the Brighthouse group of companies, New England Life Insurance Company (Boston, MA) and Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY (New […]

    NAIC Conduct Model For Annuity Sales Agents Moves Forward

    {December 18th, 2019} by Tracey Longo

    A new conduct model governing annuity transactions moved closer to reality after winning the approval of a key National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) committee. The NAIC Life Insurance and Annuities Committee adopted a model that the NAIC says requires agents to make annuity recommendations with their customers’ best interest in mind. That claim has […]

    In Defense of ‘Buffered’ Annuities

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    A Wall Street Journal’s article last weekend (‘An Imperfect Solution to a Calamity’) could have put structured variable annuities (aka registered index-linked annuities) in a much more positive light.   As the annuity industry celebrated record sales of structured, or “buffered,” index annuities last week ($12.5 billion in the first three-quarters of 2019, according to […]

    A Few of Our Best Income Strategies

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    Bill Sharpe, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, once described retirement income planning as the most complicated financial problem he’s ever faced. There are “up to 100, 200 parameters that you’ve got to nail down before you can find an optimum strategy,” he said in a 2014 interview. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ

    Life Groups Back Quick Adoption of State Regulators’ Sales Standards Proposal

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A sales standard fight at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) could create a Regulation Best Interest rival. Two consumer groups that oppose the latest NAIC proposal — the Center for Economic Justice and the Consumer Federation of America — say the NAIC’s current draft standard would be much weaker than the Reg BI standard. The […]

    Americans Resolve to Prioritize Health and Wellness in 2020; May Leave Financial Fitness Behind

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allianz Life

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Americans are more focused on improving their health and wellness than their finances in 2020, with only 14% of people including financial planning as a resolution in 2020 – down from 18% last year. In addition, when asked about their top focus areas for the New Year, more than half (51%) of Americans said […]

    Sproutt Launches; Uses Data and AI to Finally Reward Life Insurance Customers Who Live Healthy

    {December 18th, 2019} by Sproutt Insurance

    NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Sproutt Insurance, the next evolution of life insurance, announced today that it has launched and secured $12 million in Series A funding from State of Mind Ventures (SMOV), Moneta Capital, and Guardian Life. Sproutt sets out to do what many of today’s players in life insurance do not: celebrate life. Sproutt’s mission […]

    RIAs Getting Bigger Slice Of $7 Trillion Pie

    {December 18th, 2019} by John Hilton

    Assets under management are growing at twice the rate for registered investment advisors than independent broker-dealers, according to a leading analyst. That is one trend line not likely to change anytime soon, said Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. Roame hosted a Thursday conference call that AUM held by RIAs grew 11.3% annually over […]

    Surveyed Americans Working with Financial Advisors Have Greater Fixed Income Understanding and Exposure

    {December 18th, 2019} by BNY Mellon

    NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2019 — A major research study from BNY Mellon Investment Management, one of the largest asset managers in the world with $1.9 trillion in AUM as of September 30, 20191, and the world’s third-largest fixed income manager by assets2, revealed a dramatic difference in levels of sophistication about fixed income investing between those surveyed who have worked […]

    Who Buys Annuities, And Why

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ben Mattlin

    Annuities are often recommended as a solution for the risk of outliving your money. But if you die young, you might not realize that full value. So should clients consider their life expectancy before considering an annuity? “A person in poor health and with a limited life expectancy may not see much of a need […]

    Ladder To Launch in New York via Relationship with Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ladder Insurance Services, LLC

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ladder Insurance Services, LLC, (Ladder) announced that the LadderLife™ term life insurance product issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (Allianz Life® of NY) has cleared regulatory approvals and will be offered to New York residents as early as January, marking the completion of its nationwide rollout. New York residents will now be able to […]

    DALBAR Announces 2019 Insurance Service Award Winners

    {December 18th, 2019} by DALBAR

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today DALBAR announced the 2019 winners of the Insurance Service Award which recognizes leading providers of life, long-term care, and disability insurance for delivering outstanding telephone support to policyholders. In order to earn this prestigious DALBAR award, companies must undergo a thorough and independent year-long audit looking at the quality of contact center […]

    CNO Financial Group Celebrates the Holidays with ‘Wintry Wishes’ and Charitable Donations

    {December 18th, 2019} by CNO Financial Group

    CARMEL, Ind., Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group recently unveiled the winner of its first corporate holiday and New Year’s card contest. Chloe Foks (13), daughter of David Foks, branch sales manager in Salt Lake City, Utah for Bankers Life, an insurance brand of CNO. The winning artwork, titled Wintry Wishes, will be used as the image on CNO’s official 2019 […]

    BNY Mellon’s Pershing Launches Fee-Based Annuities in Its Managed Accounts Solution

    {December 18th, 2019} by BNY Mellon

    JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — BNY Mellon’s Pershing (“Pershing”) today announced that it has completed the integration of its managed accounts technology with its annuity order entry platform, Subscribe®, delivering advisors streamlined annuity purchasing and servicing capabilities within its managed accounts solution. The integrated solution supports over 70 fee-based annuity products from 18 carriers and […]

    Envestnet | MoneyGuide Empowers Advisors at Buckingham Wealth Partners to Deliver New Levels of Financial Wellness to Their Clients with its Advanced Planning Solution – MoneyGuideElite

    {December 18th, 2019} by Envestnet | MoneyGuide

    POWHATAN, Va., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Envestnet | MoneyGuide, the creator of leading financial planning software, MoneyGuidePro®, today announced a partnership with Buckingham Wealth Partners, providing access to the MoneyGuide Elite planning software to advisors under their umbrella. Elite, MoneyGuide’s more advanced planning product, has the ability to address the complexities of clients’ financial needs by identifying income […]

    Nationwide opens “The CoOperative”

    {December 18th, 2019} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As innovation becomes more of a focus for businesses all across the country, the need for creative spaces to foster the collaboration needed to identify customer needs and develop solutions to address them is growing. For that reason, Nationwide has opened a new innovation center, The CoOperative, at the site of the […]

    Brookstone Capital Management Expands Darryl Ronconi’s Role, Naming Him President and Chief Operating Officer

    {December 18th, 2019} by Brookstone Capital

    CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Brookstone Capital Management (“Brookstone”), a leading SEC-registered investment advisory (RIA) firm providing fee-based asset management services, announces Darryl Ronconi as the company’s new president. Ronconi will retain his chief operating officer (COO) position and expand his role in managing the company’s day-to-day operations while strategically working alongside Brookstone founder and CEO, Dean Zayed, on […]

    10 Most Searched Financial Topics of 2019: Investopedia

    {December 18th, 2019} by Michael S. Fischer

    Investopedia, an online financial content provider, reported this month that some 22 million monthly readers peruse the more than 30,000 articles on its site. So, what are these visitors interested in? Each year, Investopedia’s data science team looks at historical data to identify which topics had the biggest influx of visitors over the past 12 […]

    Ex-NFL, Ohio State Players Tackle New Advisor Roles

    {December 18th, 2019} by Janet Levaux

    Two advisory firms say they recently hired former college and professional football players to join their teams. Integrated Partners, an RIA affiliated with LPL Financial that works with financial advisors and CPAs, has recruited Harrison Till from Merrill Lynch, where he worked with about $100 million in assets.  Till played football at Ohio State and […]

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