The Insurance & Annuities Channel

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up Another 14K, Worse Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 257K new claims, up 14K from last week's revised number, was worse than the forecast of 245K.

My Journey toward a Better, Simpler Fiduciary Rule

I have no problem whatsoever with the intent of the DOL fiduciary rule (may it rest in peace). But I was dismayed with the rule’s final form. In fact, I believe that the DOL’s voluminous tome can be distilled to a single sentence.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Rebuild the Wall of Worry?

As some market worries have been put to rest, there is a growing appetite for new ones. Pundits who say that things look OK are not very exciting. Last week we saw a shift in attention. Despite healthy earnings and good economic data.

Don’t be Misled by Studies on the Value Advisors Add

A recently released report assessed the value of an advisor to be approximately 4.08% a year. This should have been encouraging news to beleaguered advisors coping with a rapidly changing competitive environment. It had the opposite effect on me.

Nearly 100 Days In, Is Trump Any Closer to Fiscal Reform?

Trump’s 100th day arrives next Sunday, April 29, and it would be disingenuous to describe his tenure so far as smooth sailing. He’s faced a number of significant setbacks and distractions, including federal judges’ smackdown of his two travel bans, a failure to repeal and replace Obamacare and an ongoing investigation into his administration’s possible collusion with the Russian government in the months leading up to the November election.

Bonds Are Different: The Active Advantage

Ask an investor if most active bond funds outperform their passive counterparts and the response is likely to be "no."

Conference Board Leading Economic Index: "Continued Economic Growth"

The Latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for March increased to 126.7 from 126.2 in February. The 0.4 percent month-over-month gain beat the 0.2 percent increase forecast by

The Federal Budget Outlook

It’s a long-standing adage in Washington that the federal debt is a problem only when the other party is in charge. Republicans label Democrats as the party of “tax and spend,” while Republicans are deemed the party of “borrow and spend.”

The Big Four Economic Indicators: March Industrial Production Shows Improvement

Today's report on Industrial Production for March shows a 0.5% change month-over-month (0.55% to two decimal points), which was at the consensus. The previous month was revised upward from 0.01 percent to 0.06 percent and annual revisions were made. Industrial Production peaked in November 2014, only one point higher than its pre-recession peak in November 2007. The year-over-year change is 1.53 percent, up from last month's fractional YoY increase.

Plan Sponsors: What Might You Learn from the $20B Club?

Are you using the whole pension toolbox? See what large plan sponsors are up to in this latest blog post from Bob Collie.

Rising Rates and the Impact on Investment Advice

Since the early 1980s, bond investors have benefitted from declining interest rates. But we may be turning to a future of rising rates and clients suffering bond losses. Advisors need to be prepared both in terms of investment strategy recommendations and communication with clients.

Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions

Today, in what will be the first of at least two and possibly more letters focusing on pensions, we’ll begin to examine that angst in more detail. The mounting problems of US and European pension systems are massive on a scale that is nearly incomprehensible.

Consumer Price Index: Headline CPI At 2.4%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.38%, down from 2.74% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.00%, down from the previous month's 2.22%.

Market overview Q117: The calm before the storm?

The persistence of exceptionally low volatility has created a perception that it will be “smooth sailing” for stocks. Evidence suggests just the opposite, however; now is the time to focus on protection.

Own Meritorious Businesses—Not Stock Markets

The current circumstance in the U.S. stock market reminds us of the mid-1960s. We thought it would be helpful to review what was going on back then and what took place in the following 16 years. It makes us believe that you want to own wonderful businesses and de-emphasize trust in the stock market’s ability to meet the financial goals of long-duration investors.