The Insurance & Annuities Channel

As Seen on TV: The Annuity Action Network

In the prior installment on this series, I exposed the deceptive marketing used to sell fixed-index annuities. Today I will look at a firm that purchases annuities from investors – the Annuity Action Network. It is a way for clients to borrow money at a high interest rate, but it may be an appropriate solution under certain circumstances.

Gold Gets a Shot in the Arm from Inflation and China

Inflation just got another jolt, rising as much as 2.5 percent year-over-year in January, the highest such rate since March 2012. Led by higher gasoline, rent and health care costs, consumer prices have now advanced for the sixth straight month. In addition, January is the second straight month for rates to be above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent.

Big Winners in the Neglected Frontier Universe

Frontier markets were mixed in 2016, with most of the Middle East and Africa lagging the rest of the universe and a few mar­kets surging ahead 30-40% on the year.

Conference Board Leading Economic Index Increased Sharply in January

The Latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for January increased to 125.5 from a revised 124.7 in December. The last two months were revised. The latest indicator value beat the month-over-month 0.5 percent increase forecast by

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 5K, Better Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 239K new claims, up 5K from last week's number, was much better than the forecast of 245K.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: A January Slip in Industrial Production

Today's report on Industrial Production for January shows a month-over-month decrease of 0.3 percent (0.25 percent to two decimals), which was below the consensus of a 0.1 percent increase. The previous month was revised downward from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent. Industrial Production peaked in November 2014, only one point higher than its pre-recession peak in November 2007. It has contracted for 16 of the last 25 months. The year-over-year change is 0.01 percent, virtually unchanged after last month's YoY increase after 15 consecutive months of YoY contraction.

Consumer Price Index: Headline CPI Rises to 2.5%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.50%, up from 2.07% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.27%, up from the previous month's 2.20%. This is the second month of Headline CPI above 2% since June 2014, 30 months ago.

The Latest News in Alternative Investing – Finding Pockets of Opportunity

With a diversified portfolio, alternative investments can complement more conservative investments and produce higher returns. This week’s news focuses on pockets of opportunities, such as in multi-asset absolute-return funds, smaller hedge funds and real estate.

What's in Your ETF Portfolio?

ETFs continue to play a highly disruptive role in money management. RBA has embraced this trend by employing what we refer to as Pactive™ Management, which is the active allocation, whether strategic or tactical, of passive investment instruments such as ETFs, stock baskets, and index funds. These Pactive™ portfolios have quickly become the fastest growing part of our business.

The Myth Of The “Passive Indexing” Revolution

There is little argument that Exchange Traded Funds, more commonly referred to as “ETF’s” have and will continue to change the landscape of investing.

Five Linked-In Steps That Will Double Your Business

Here are five steps you can use to turn Linked-In connections into business.

Does Inflation Forecast Future Equity Performance?

Stocks perform poorly when inflation is on the rise. The empirical data is supported by theory. Rising inflation means that interest rates are increasing and the discounted value of future cash flows is driven down, lowering equity prices. Let’s see if we can use the inflation rate to improve equity performance.

Taleb, the Barbell Portfolio and Safety-First Financial Planning

The “barbell” portfolio has long been considered an investment strategy. Since his fame after the 2010 publication of the book The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb has often been associated with the strategy. Recent research illustrates the critical connection between the barbell, core-satellite portfolios and safety-first financial planning – and how advisors can improve on using standard deviation as a measure of risk.

NewsLetter - February 2017

I’m so proud that I’m bursting at the seams, and have to share it far and wide. On March 8, Deena, my partner, wife, best friend, and besherta, will be honored with the Alexandra Armstrong Award that “celebrates pioneers in the field of financial planning.

The Bromance that Turned Economics Upside Down

Who would guess that the modern sciences of behavioral economics and the psychology of decision-making owe their origin to a love affair (no, not sexual) between two men born early in the last century and so different that one could barely imagine them speaking to each other? Yet that is the story chronicled by the extraordinary nonfiction writer Michael Lewis in The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed our Minds, which, despite some quirks, is a compelling and worthwhile read.