Tom Cochrane's Blog

Lack of Dividends Make Equity Indexed Annuities a Tough Sell

Dividends contributed five percent of the 7.9 percent total return from stocks over the 200 year period from 1802 through 2002.

Dividend paying stocks in the S&P 500 produced an average return of 8.92 percent since 1972.  Over that same roughly 40 year period, non-dividend paying stocks in the same index returned 1.83 percent.

Most equity indexed annuities only count market price gains in their reference index when crediting...

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Maddy Dychtwald on How Women are Driving a Transformation of the Market for Financial Advice and Products

Maddy Dychtwald is a nationally recognized author, co-founder of Age Wave, and a leading expert on the changing demographic trends shaping the marketplace, the workplace and our lives.

Having spent twenty-five years exploring and forecasting lifestyle, marketing and retirement implications of the age wave, she has recently emerged as a renowned authority on the economic ascent of women, including its impact on the financial services industry.

Age Wave’s breakthrough research on women and money includes the recent research study A New Era of Women and...

Mark Warshawsky on the Retirement Income Market

Mark J. Warshawsky is Director of Retirement Research at Towers Watson.

Dr. Warshawsky served as assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department from 2004-2006 and he has held senior level economic research positions at the Federal Reserve Board, the Internal Revenue Service and...

Why Fixed Annuities Could Prove Toxic in an Era of Financial Repression

In a recent and highly recommended Bloomberg op-ed, Carmen Reinhart discusses the options available to governments and central banks when attempting to deal with the burden of enormous amounts of public and private debt.

Reinhart suggests that the preferred policy option for many governments--including the United States--is a form of stealth taxation that amounts to...

Yield-Starved and Losing Patience

It seemed obvious several years ago that retirees would shoulder much of the burden of the financial crisis and its residual effects.

While events have generally played-out in line with this projection, the backlash from seniors has been surprisingly subdued.  The lack of pitchforks seems odd given the fact that the number of retirement age voters is increasing by 10,000 each day in the United States.

That said, the capital versus retirees story has been trending-up lately. This may have something to do with the...

Short-Term Focus has Adverse Impact on Retirement Income Product Development

Warren Buffett’s most recent shareholder letter focuses on the merits of productive assets such as equities in light of the current low interest rate environment and the potential for future inflation.

Buffett’s view is that although productive assets are variable and volatile, they are more likely to preserve future purchasing power than the fixed or currency-based alternatives.

Buffett’s advice would seem to provide a...

Why Warren Buffett's Prescription Will Not Work for Retirees

In a Fortune article titled “Why Stocks Beat Gold and Bonds,” Warren Buffett provides a glimpse of his upcoming shareholder letter.

While Buffett’s advice is perfect for investors who have a long-term perspective, anyone near or in retirement may want to think twice about acting on the prescription.

The core of Buffett’s advice is as follows:

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