The Investments Channel

Income Opportunities in CEFs and Emerging Markets

Closed-end funds and emerging-market debt offer opportunities for income investors. We also look at Vanguard’s most recent announcement about its bond ETF and what to expect from the FOMC this month.

Masters Series Interview with Richard H. Thaler, PhD

Richard Thaler, PhD, is considered one of the founding fathers of behavioral economics, the nexus of economics and psychology—specifically how people and organizations make decisions that may have negative consequences and how they frequently repeat these mistakes. 

The Five Points that Belong on Every Advisor’s Website

Shouldn’t clients be able to look on a financial planner’s website and see what services they can expect to receive for the fees they expect to pay? Shouldn’t the profession evolve a pricing model where people who do more for the client can charge more, and those who do less will charge less?

What Advisors Need to Know About Annuity Mortality Credits

Although the general concept of mortality credits is widely understood, the underlying math is not. Understanding the math can help with decisions such as the best age to purchase an annuity and which type of annuity to purchase. Such an understanding can debunk some popular beliefs about annuities.

Finding Faith in Value after All These Years

What should one conclude about the persistent sense of despair in the investment business over the flow of funds to passive and quantitative strategies? It may well be that, as Jeremy Grantham wrote, the comfortable margins of safety experienced in the “Ben Graham training period of 1935–1965″ could never return.

A Proven Way to Budget Clients’ Spending

To better serve and retain retired or soon-to-be retired clients, advisors should use the actuarial budget benchmark, an annual spending plan developed using actuarial and financial economic principles.

DOL Throws New Lifeline to Lifetime-Income Solutions

The defined contribution (DC) community has been buzzing about lifetime-income products lately. It’s a topic that’s been dormant for several years, but there are good reasons for renewed interest.

Earn $100 by Participating in an APViewpoint Focus Group

An ETF sponsor is looking for 30 advisors to participate in an online focus group to be hosted on APViewpoint. The purpose of this focus group is to gather advisors’ observations on the ETF marketplace. Click for more info.

Buying Life Insurance with a "Selfie" and Other News about Insurance and Annuities

New technology will allow you to apply for life insurance with a “selfie.” In other news, inflation-protected annuities are becoming more appealing as the economy grows.

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.

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.

Can Your Target Date Fund Provide Lifetime Income?

For Target Date Funds (TDFs), the focus has always been on reaching retirement day with little consideration as to what comes next. Now, on the brink of a baby boomer exodus from the workforce, Glenn Dial, Head of Retirement Strategy in the US with Allianz Global Investors, says TDFs should aim way past the target date to focus on retirement income, and lots of it.

Time Segmentation as the Compromise Solution for Retirement Income

Time segmentation is wildly popular in practice and it goes by many different names. But it is also the least studied retirement-income approach. Whether time segmentation is a superior investing approach for retirement income has led to many heated debates.

What’s the Difference between a TAMP and a Robo?

Are “robos” nothing more than the latest version of TAMPs – turn-key asset management platforms?

The Consequences of Overestimating Retirement Expenses

Research has shown that individual and household spending declines in real-dollar terms upon and following retirement. Yet most financial advisors still use traditional retirement planning approaches that target constant real-dollar spending for the client’s planning period.