The Investments 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.

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.

DOL Fiduciary Compliance Part II: The most comprehensive solutions for RIA firms

Let’s look at a couple of new tools that give you an integrated solution to DOL fiduciary compliance. Are you recommending a superior asset allocation? Are you recommending better investments in the IRA than the client previously owned? Is the IRA’s all-in cost lower than the plan sponsor’s offering, and if not, are you offering more services than the plan sponsor was offering?

How Financial Advisor Marketing Will Be Different in a Post-DOL World

While it’s well-known that the DOL’s fiduciary ruling requires all financial advisors to put their clients’ interests first, financial services professionals are still unable to know how broad of an impact the ruling will have on other aspects of their practice, including marketing.

B.I.C.E.: Financial Advisors Beware

I question why any financial advisor would want to use B.I.C.E., given the likelihood of significant reputational damage that would result for the advisor.

The Top 10 Great Articles You Probably Missed

Great articles don’t always get the readership they deserve. Earlier this week we published the top 10 most-read investing and financial planning articles and a similar top 10 practice management articles. Below are another 10 that you might have missed, but I believe merit reading.

Combining SPIAs and Smoothing to Improve Retirement Outcomes

I’ve previously written articles about two separate techniques for improving retirement outcomes: the use of SPIAs and smoothing of year-to-year withdrawals. In this article I investigate ways to combine SPIAs and smoothing to produce even better outcomes. I’ll then broaden the discussion and briefly explain how SPIAs and smoothing fit into the wider context of ways to improve retirement outcomes.

The Latest News for Insurance and Annuities

The rising cost of health insurance makes choosing the right insurance plan a big financial decision. Taking time to review the plan options, whether on a marketplace or employer-sponsored, can save money for the enrollee. With the new administration coming in January, policy changes are expected and could affect pension plans and other retirement benefits. Understanding what benefits are available and what changes are expected to come next year will help make sure your retirement decisions are sustainable long-term.

Donald Trump and the “F” Word

If there’s one belief that enjoys broad, bipartisan support, it is that the U.S. faces a debt crisis. Democrats and Republicans routinely bemoan America’s irresponsibility and immorality by claiming it is borrowing from the “bank of China” and leaving that debt for our children and grandchildren to repay. Donald Trump threatens to challenge that paradigm by aggressively using the “f” word.

Five More Reasons the Asset-Based Fee Model Won’t Survive

In my article last week, I gave five reasons why the asset-based fee model is unlikely to survive. Here are five more.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for Some Clarity?

The possible election results are not binary. There is a wide range of possible outcomes, listed below from bearish to bullish. Please note that I am not opining about who I want to win or how you should vote. I am reporting how the market will probably react under differing circumstances, with some references for you to start your own research.

Changing an Industry through Regulation: The Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Rule

We all know that our government and its agencies are very good at reacting to a real or perceived crisis with new laws and regulations designed to reduce the chances of another similar event occurring. The most recent example of this concerns the cost and availability of health care.

How to Use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement

When comparing strategies for coordinating home equity with portfolio distributions to generate retirement income, the tenure option fairs well. As a way to fund retirement efficiency improvements, using the tenure payment option from the line of credit as an alternative to purchasing a SPIA or DIA is worth exploring further.

How to Confront HNW Prospects Who Choose Robos

My coaching clients tell me they are losing wealthy clients to robo-advisors. They want advice on how to better articulate their value proposition.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Look Past the Gloom?

We have a huge week for economic data. The Fed is now on hold until after the election. The election can still go either way. It is easy to find something to worry about. That said, the fourth quarter is usually good for stocks.