The Insurance & Annuities Channel

With Rollback, Dodd-Frank Is Now Officially a Dud

You can be forgiven, for missing what I believe is the most significant development of the past few days. On Wednesday, the Senate, in a bipartisan vote, quietly approved plans to roll back key banking rules in 2010’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank).

Further Thoughts On Trade Policy

We’ve written about the American steel tariffs in each of the last two weeks. But there remain some important points to make on the topic of trade.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Industrial Production Up 1.1% in February

Today's report on Industrial Production for February shows a 1.1% increase month-over-month, which was much better than the consensus of 0.3%. The year-over-year change is 4.35%, up from last month's YoY increase.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 4K

This morning's seasonally adjusted 226K new claims, down 4K from the previous week's revised figure, was below the forecast of 230K. From the release: "The claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal."

The Civilian Labor Force, Unemployment Claims and the Business Cycle

What does the ratio of unemployment claims tell us about where we are in the business cycle and our current recession risk? At present, the ratio for Continued Claims has been trending down. Excluding the 1981 recession, the Initial Claims trough lead time for a recession has ranged from 7 to 22 months with an average of 12 months if we include the 1981 recession and 14 months if we exclude it. Admittedly, the last recession is an extreme example, but the Initial Claims trough preceded its December 2007 onset by a whopping 22 months.

Income + Tariffs + Inflation = Underperformance

Many income-oriented investors may not be appropriately positioned for the current market environment, with increasing inflation and looming tariffs poised to lead to significant underperformance.

U.S. Core CPI Moderates in February, With Few Surprises in the Readings

We saw little to surprise in February’s U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation print: Core CPI (excluding food and energy prices) gained 0.18% month-over-month, a moderation from January’s 0.34% gain, and held steady at 1.8% year-over-year.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: February Nonfarm Employment

This commentary has been updated to include Friday morning's release of Nonfarm Employment. February's 313K increase in total nonfarm payrolls was accompanied by upward revisions of 54K . The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%. The consensus was for 200K new jobs and the unemployment rate to tick down to 4.0%.

The Laws of Economics Still Apply to Amazon

A big part of Amazon’s success came from not being taken seriously by its competition. But now, fear of Amazon has reached paranoia levels. The laws of economics, however, still apply to Amazon’s announced health care venture.

Consumer Price Index: FebrauryHeadline at 2.2%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the February Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.21%, up from 2.07% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 1.85%, up from the previous month's 1.82%.

NFIB Small Business Survey: "Heating Up After Years on the Sideline"

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for February came in at 107.6, up 0.7 from the previous month, and its second all-time highest. The index is at the 99th percentile in this series. Today's number came in above the forecast of 107.1.

A New Platform that Offers Insurance Products to Fee-Only Advisors

David Lau is the founder and CEO of DPL Financial Partners, a firm focused on the distribution of commission-free insurance products geared toward the RIA and fee-based advisor channel. In this interview, he discusses his suite of products and related services.

Trying Tariffs

The White House has announced a new set of broad tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The measure is surprising in its scope, its targets and its break from the long-prevailing trends of international trade.

Trying Tariffs

The White House has announced a new set of broad tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The measure is surprising in its scope, its targets and its break from the long-prevailing trends of international trade.

Muhlenkamp Market Commentary 1st Quarter 2018

Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp explain that recent tax cuts and deregulation should help keep the economy moving. Asset markets, on the other hand, could be affected by monetary tightening as the Federal Reserve and other central banks reduce or reverse their easy money policies.