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  • Teresa Ghilarducci is a 51 year old economist who directs the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School in New York. Why was Ghilarducci--who sure looks like a nice person in her picture--labeled the most dangerous woman in America in a recent US News & World Report column? The short answer is that she thinks 401k plans stink and she is not afraid to let the world know. Ghilarducci is the author of a recent book titled: When I'm 64: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them. Ghilarducci uses the book to lay-out the case against the 401k plan and to advocate...Read more
  • There is in fact a study from Professor David Babbel that compares the performance of fixed indexed annuities to portfolios of stocks and bonds and it is fascinating.Read more
  • This is the first part of an interview with Wharton Professor David Babbel. Professor Babbel led the fixed indexed annuity study that is discussed in several previous posts on Annuity Digest. These posts can be accessed by clicking here . Part 2 of this interview will be posted later this week. Annuity Digest would like to thank Professor Babbel for spending time with us for the interview. Annuity Digest : If you had a friend who knew very little about annuities or investing , how would you communicate the gist of this study and its results to that person? In other words, the study was...Read more
  • This is a follow-up on two previous entries that discuss the fixed indexed annuity study from Wharton Professor David Babbel. The previous and related posts can be found here and here . Proper attribution, disclaimers and context for the study are discussed in these previous posts. It is worth noting again that the study and its slides are not intended to be used with any sales presentations. This first set of slides looks at the performance of two fixed indexed annuities compared to a portfolio of stocks and bonds since 1995. Some context and assumptions are as follows: The first set of...Read more
  • What are the cons or downsides of a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit ( GLWB ) from the annuitant 's perspective?Read more
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed Rule 151A would change the securities status of indexed annuities from fixed insurance products to registered, securities products. The proposed rule would have a significant impact on their entire industry landscape. SEC 151A would affect the way in which insurance companies develop fixed indexed annuity (FIA) products, how distributors sell the products, and ultimately the manner in which consumers purchase FIA products. Sheryl Moore is the President and CEO of a company called is the premier...Read more
  • While it might be an unusual time to provide an explanation of Swiss annuities given what has been taking place of late with the Swiss franc and related decisions made by the Swiss National Bank, it still makes sense for any financial services consumer to understand potential benefits of these products. A Swiss annuity is an annuity provided or “issued” by a Swiss insurance company . Swiss annuities come in several forms such as fixed immediate, fixed deferred and a form that allows the owner to direct independent investments. Swiss annuities are often—although not always...Read more
  • Jerry Golden--often referred to as the father of variable life insurance and variable annuities--has had a distinguished career as an innovator and entrepreneur in both the insurance and personal retirement businesses. Jerry most recently spent four years as president of the Income Management Strategies Division at MassMutual after selling his business to the company in June, 2005. Since leaving MassMutual in May, 2009, Jerry has been actively developing a new venture which will deliver yet another set of innovations to the personal retirement marketplace. Jerry was kind enough to spend some...Read more
  • Interest rates are the raw material used in manufacturing annuities. Rates are currently very low--the 10 year treasury note is hovering around 3.4 percent and 30 year mortgage rates are now less than 5 percent. The financial crisis has led to an upsurge in the sale of fixed annuities. Fed-up with volatility in the capital markets, many people have sought the apparent safety and stability of fixed payments that are guaranteed. There are clear dangers, however, to locking-in fixed annuity payments when interest rates are so low. First, fixed annuity payments are based on prevailing interest...Read more
  • Sheryl Garrett is the founder of the Garrett Planning Network. The Garrett Network consists of approximately 300 financial advisors who provide services on a fee-only basis and act as fiduciaries. Read on to understand how and why the Garrett Network seeks to make objective, competent financial planning services widely available. Annuity Digest : Why would your everyday consumer of financial services be interested in The Garrett Network—what is the basic value proposition? Sheryl Garrett : The Garrett Planning Network is an international organization of fee-only financial advisors who are...Read more