Friday, January 29, 2010


Breakfast Briefing Advisor Edition: Compliance Basic Training, MSFT Earnings, Compliance Mistakes, iPad...


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Bernanke, Debt Ceiling, Tax Credits, Freddie Mac...


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: Greek CDS, Yen, Soros, Bank of Japan...


Obama Keeps Retirement Policy Crowd In Suspense

President Obama did not end up promoting annuities during the State of the Union address, but his administration seems to be preparing to support the income planning concept.

Administration officials raised the annuity industry's hopes about the address Monday, when they held a Middle Class Task Force meeting a release a fact sheet calling for the government to promote "the availability of annuities and other forms of guaranteed lifetime income, which transform savings into guaranteed future income."

The fact sheet drafters also proposed creating a new system of automatic individual retirement accounts for workers who do not have employer-sponsored retirement plans, and they recommended steps such as giving employers and plan participants more detailed, easier-to-understand information about 401(k) plan fees...

Life and Health News: Obama Keeps Retirement Policy Crowd In Suspense


Northwestern Mutual to pay $4.7 billion in dividends

While reducing investment risk in last year's uncertain economic environment, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. said Thursday it was able to set aside its second-highest dividend payout ever and increase its total surplus.

The Milwaukee-based insurer said it will pay $4.7 billion in dividends to policy owners this year, which represents a dividend interest rate of 6.15% on unborrowed funds of most life insurance policies. While the total payout is up about $200 million, the dividend interest rate slipped from last year's 6.5%...

JSonline: Northwestern Mutual to pay $4.7 billion in dividends

Thursday, January 28, 2010


One Fee to Bind Them

In 2009, broker-dealer Capital Analysts introduced a new flat-fee business model. So how's it going?

Last fall, Deena Katz, she of Texas Tech and Evensky & Katz, flagged me down at the FPA National Conference and said, "You have to talk to Matt Lynch. He's changing everything and no one really understands." Wow, I thought, who knew that a tweak to advisors' cost structure could change everything? How silly-of course it does. And of course there's more. Because what the pioneering new cost-structure at Lynch's firm, Cincinnati-based Capital Analysts Incorporated (CAI), does is empower advisors to do their best work.

In 2009, while the industry was in shock, CAI introduced a new flat fee program for its affiliated advisors called Wealth Manager Access: one fee, ranging from $40,000 to $120,000 per year, determined by the amount of assets and advisors in the practice. The basic fee covers three advisors, and additional desks cost $24,000 each. And that's it. Advisors can be reps, RIAs or dually registered. There are no extra charges for technology, marketing, compliance, licensing, E&O coverage. No quarreling over payouts or chargebacks. CAI eliminated fees for custodying IRAs, REITs and alternatives...

Financial Planning: One Fee to Bind Them


Variable Annuities Are Down but Not Out

The pricey, complex insurance contracts essentially did their job-paying out a steady stream of income to clients regardless of the plunging markets-but the companies that backed them took a hit.

In response, last year they began to reduce the benefits offered and raise prices. Many have overhauled the structure of their contracts altogether. Some industry observers take a glass-is-half-full attitude and say that the market turmoil gave the industry a gift by forcing it to recognize that its wares were too complicated and pushed it to create simpler products. "Nobody thinks prices up and benefits down is a good thing," says Frank Zafran, director of annuity products at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. "But the industry simplifying its product line is a good thing..."

OnWallStreet: Variable Annuities Are Down but Not Out


Tim Geithner’s Prepared Testimony

...The decision to rescue AIG was exceptionally difficult and enormously consequential. At that time, our economy stood at the brink. The financial institutions that Americans rely on to protect their savings, help finance their children’s education, and help pay their bills were at risk in ways few had ever experienced. The institutions and markets that businesses rely on to make payroll, build inventories, fund new investments, and create new jobs were threatened like at no time since the Great Depression. Across the country, people were rapidly losing confidence in our financial system and in the government’s ability to safeguard their economic future. Action was required. The world was watching. And the government did not have the luxury of time...

WSJ: Tim Geithner’s Prepared Testimony


Breakfast Briefing Advisor Edition: 10 things every adviser should know about social media


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: California NODs, Jobless Rates, AIG Hearing Highlights


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: Euro drops to 6 Month Low, GM Hammers Toyota, Davos and Haiti

Toyota Recall: Unprecedented Recall Hammers Toyota and Partners - cnbc
Euro Drops To 6 Month Low - zerohedge
China's banking regulator urges restraint - marketwatch
Fear And Loathing In Davos - dealbreaker
Executives at Davos urged to invest in Haiti - businessweek

Construction in China's Ghost Towns - creditwritedowns


Celent Assesses Admin Systems

As the technical means to perform a host of core processes, carriers have long relied on their policy administration systems. A new report from Boston-based Celent, “North American Policy Administration Systems 2010: Life, Health, and Annuities ABCD Vendor View,” says given the realities of industry, this choice is an extremely important one.

“Despite the turmoil in financial services generally and among life/annuity insurers in particular, there is still keen interest in renewing and/or replacing policy administration systems,” the report, authored by Craig Weber, SVP of Celent’s Insurance Group, Senior Analyst Jeff Goldberg and Analyst Arin Ray, states. “We believe that these initiatives are necessary to help the industry address service and distribution imperatives.”

Weber says carriers have increasingly capable options from which to choose when selecting a policy administration system... "Since Celent's 2007 report on the subject, all vendors have made considerable progress in modernizing their technology and in increasing product functionality over the past two years," he says. "For example, every vendor we looked at now supports Web services as an integration method, and virtually every user interface includes major elements which are Web-based."

This report was compiled using Celent’s ABCD Vendor View, which grades systems four elements: Advanced technology and technical flexibility, Breadth of functionality, Customer base, and Depth of client services and solutions.

INN: Celent Assesses Admin Systems

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Lunch Linkage: Goldman to leave Fidelity, Oregon's death spiral, New Home Sales


Obama To Highlight Annuities

The Obama administration will promote use of annuities to generate retirement income when it releases proposals for helping stressed middle-income families... The administration’s plans include a proposal to encourage the use of annuities and similar products to transform savings into guaranteed future income, thereby reducing the chance of retirees’ outliving their savings or seeing nest eggs worn down by inflation or investment losses...

National Underwriter: Obama To Highlight Annuities


Breakfast Briefing Advisor Edition: Use of Temp Workers... SEC charges two with improper short selling... Soc Gen...


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Stimulus Tracker... Preposterous "Partial Spending Freeze"... AIG: Collusion Of Epic Proportions...


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: Roubini At Davos: Greece Is Obviously Bankrupt... German Economy Seen Growing... Oil Prices and China...

Roubini At Davos: Greece Is Obviously Bankrupt - businessinsider
China Regulator: Banks Should Reasonably Control New Loans - foxbusiness
Officials say stimulus bill to cost $75B more -
German Economy Seen Growing At 1.4% In 2010 - foxbusiness
Oil Prices and China - calculatedriskblog


Applet Tablet Headlines: How Much Should You Pay? Rewriting Rules of Book Publishing; An Opportunity for Advertisers; iSlate?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Lunch Linkage: New benchmarks for retirement income management, Where the AIG Billions Went, Oil to $40?


Downgrade Risk at 15-Month Low, Greece Sells

The rise in corporate bond yields eased as Greece raised $11.3 billion and Standard & Poor’s said the number of companies and governments at risk of credit-rating downgrades fell to the lowest in 15 months.

Greece’s ministry of finance said it received 25 billion euros ($35 billion) of orders for 8 billion of five-year notes sold late yesterday in Athens. Adobe Systems Inc. raised $1.5 billion in its first bond offering at narrower yield spreads than initially expected. Vietnam sold $1 billion of 10-year notes yielding 6.95 percent, the low end of its proposed range. S&P said the number of global issuers poised for lower ratings fell to 804 this month from 824 in December and 936 a year ago...

Bloomberg: Downgrade Risk at 15-Month Low, Greece Sells


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: States and the Death Tax, Government Spending and Debt, a National Security Exemption for AIG?

Monday, January 25, 2010


Lunch Linkage: Stuyvesant Town turned over to Creditors,,, Goldman's Conern Over The Economy Is Growing,,, Apple Tablet Pricing...


Time to Review Your Life Insurance

When was the last time you looked at your life insurance coverage? Why not do it now? Now is as good a time as any. It’s time to awaken Americans to the need for life insurance, and its remarkable utility as an estate planning and tax-saving tool.

What? You don’t have insurance? You’re not alone. According to LIFE, 68 million adult Americans have no life insurance coverage. (That means about 30% of us.) In September 2008, a LIFE poll found that 27% of adult Americans would be willing to cancel their life insurance coverage to save money in hard times...

Consumer Boomer: Time to Review Your Life Insurance


Financial Planning: Smart steps to help recent widows

Women who have recently lost a spouse may confront many changes in their daily lives and need financial support and advice... Financial planning at this stage involves both a person's emotional and financial states. Many widows are pushed by well-meaning friends and relatives to make decisions that can turn out to be unwise, so financial advisers need to understand how to counsel them...

Investment News: Smart steps to help recent widows


Banks' annuity fee income rose, FA sales fell in "09 3Q

Fee income from annuity sales climbed at bank holding companies during the first three quarters of 2009, but sales of fixed annuities in the bank channel slipped, according to two separate studies released last week.

Fee income from the sale of fixed and variable annuities rose to $2 billion through the first nine months of 2009, a gain of 2.5% from the comparable period in 2009. Commissions from the sale of those annuities also leapt in the third quarter, rising to $669.8 million and reflecting a gain of 4% from the year-ago period...

Investment News: Banks' annuity fee income rose, FA sales fell in "09 3Q


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Bernanke support gains momentum, Peak autos, Stock futures way up...


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: China steps up Internet feud, Avatar nears world box-office record...


The Chess Game of Financial Regulation

The financial crisis that began in the sub-prime mortgage market is at least the third major financial crisis to include a breakdown in the United States housing finance sector. During the Great Depression, banks and balloon mortgages were involved in a collapse. In the 1980's, we experienced the Savings and Loan Crisis. Currently, we are dealing with the aftermath of a boom-bust cycle in house prices that was exacerbated by risky lending practices.

A sobering fact is that the response to each of the first two crises helped to lay the groundwork for the next – and current -- crisis. It turns out that financial regulation is not like a math problem, which can be solved once and stays solved. Instead, financial regulation is like a chess game, in which moves and counter-moves proceed continually, eventually changing the board in ways that players have not anticipated...

FinReg21: The Chess Game of Financial Regulation

Friday, January 22, 2010


Lunch Linkage: Unemployment rises in 43 states, Venture diet is working, Risk is back...


Breakfast Briefing Advisor Edition: Start Speaking Plain English... Bank Overhaul Poses Threat to Stocks, Economy...


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Business Blunders of the Year... Jobless Claims Rise... Wealth Distribution in the U.S... Two Real Estate Bubbles...

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rise -
Is the recession dating committee preparing for a double dip? - creditwritedowns
Wealth Distribution in the United States - businesspundit
Meredith Corporation F2Q10 (Qtr End 12/31/09) Earnings Call Transcript - seekingalpha
Big Banks Have Already Figured Out The Loophole In Obama's New Rules - businessinsider

China and the U.S.: A Tale of Two Real Estate Bubbles - seekingalpha
Banks Paying Property Taxes and more on Short Sale Fraud - calculatedriskblog
Business Blunders of the Year - bnet
GE profit falls, but beats Street - Jan. 22, 2010 - money.cnn
Philly Fed Index Shows Expansion in January - calculatedriskblog

Rents Fall to 3 1/2 Year Low in Orange County - calculatedriskblog
More on Falling Apartment Rents and Rising Vacancy Rates - calculatedriskblog
The Volcker Rule & AIG: It's Not About Prop Trading - zerohedge
Loan modification? Good luck with that Realty Q&A - marketwatch
Are 20.7 Billion Reasons Enough For Goldman To Continue Being A Bank Holding Company? - zerohedge

Obama Proposes new Bank Rules on Size and Trading - calculatedriskblog
Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Update: Week Of January 21 - $2.3 Trillion - Rolling Record Highs - zerohedge
WSJ Jumps the Shark - ritholtz
Barney Frank Backpedals On Why His Proposed Reform Was Thorougly Trampled By Obama - zerohedge
Policy Pivot on Banks Followed Months of Wrangling - online.wsj

Claims data, seasonal distortions but hiring still punk - ritholtz
Goldman Sachs Appears To Have Been Quasi-Worried About Earnings Reactions - dealbreaker
NBER Intrigue - ritholtz
Senator Kaufman Endorses Prop Trading Ban, 99 Other Senators Have No Idea What Prop Trading Is - zerohedge
On Incident Patterns Of Fed MBS Purchases And OpEx Expirations - zerohedge


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: The Costs of China's Currency Policy... Toyota's Massive Recall... China's Shadow of Inflation...


Would You Have Spotted the Fraud?

Pictured below is what’s known as a skimmer, or a device made to be affixed to the mouth of an ATM and secretly swipe credit and debit card information when bank customers slip their cards into the machines to pull out money. Skimmers have been around for years, of course, but thieves are constantly improving them, and the device pictured below is a perfect example of that evolution.

This particular skimmer was found Dec. 6, 2009, attached to the front of a Citibank ATM in Woodland Hills, Calif. Would you have been able to spot this?

Krebs on Security: Would You Have Spotted the Fraud?


Penn Mutual, subsidiary have ratings affirmed by A.M. Best

Noting the company’s diversified business profile, large excess surplus and solid-risk adjusted capitalization, A.M. Best has affirmed the ratings of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. and its Delaware-based subsidiary.

The ratings company announced that it has affirmed the financial strength rating of “A+” (Superior) and issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Horsham, Pa.-based Penn Mutual and its subsidiary, The Penn Insurance and Annuity Co. of Wilmington, Del. The outlook for all ratings is “stable...”

IFA Web News: Penn Mutual, subsidiary have ratings affirmed by A.M. Best


Proposed Bank Restrictions Could Hurt Annuity Sales

Following a difficult couple of years, sales of annuities through banks are set to increase this year, but they could face difficulties if a proposal by President Barack Obama to restrict the size and activities of large commercial banks is enacted... In an effort to reduce the risk posed by banks, the President said Thursday he would ask Congress to bar them from proprietary trading or from owning, investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.

Analysts said these regulations could be bad news for banks that sell wealth management products, including annuities...

Financial Planning: Proposed Bank Restrictions Could Hurt Annuity Sales

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Men and Women Have Different Views of Life After 65, Sun Life Financial Study Finds

The gender gap seems to have extended into Canadians' views of retirement with twice as many men (32 per cent) than women surveyed saying they want to work past age 65, according to the second edition of the Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index.

Men and Women Have Different Views of Life After 65, Sun Life Financial Study Finds
Source: Insurance News Net


U.S. Life Insurers Face More Real Estate Losses, Fitch Says

U.S. life insurers, a group led by MetLife Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc., may face $15 billion in additional losses tied commercial real estate, most of which will be recognized in the next two years, Fitch Ratings said.

U.S. Life Insurers Face More Real Estate Losses, Fitch Says
Source: Business Week


Proposed Bank Restrictions Could Hurt Annuity Sales

Following a difficult couple of years, sales of annuities through banks are set to increase this year, but they could face difficulties if a proposal by President Barack Obama to restrict the size and activities of large commercial banks is enacted.

Proposed Bank Restrictions Could Hurt Annuity Sales


New Pacific Life Kit Highlights How Life Insurance Can Help Women Achieve Their Financial Goals

Women control about half of the $14 trillion of private wealth in the United States and they live nearly five years longer than men. Estimates show that women need approximately $2 trillion in life insurance to help protect their families and reach their financial goals. A new kit from Pacific Life, “Women and Wealth: How Life Insurance Can Help the Growing Group of Financial Decision Makers,” can assist life insurance professionals reach and better serve this specialized market.

New Pacific Life Kit Highlights How Life Insurance Can Help Women Achieve Their Financial Goals
Source: Insurance News Net


MetLife Bets on Restoring Alico's Reputation

John Hancock has launched a new interactive microsite,, to help brokers and consultants explore and establish LTC insurance plans for businesses with up to 1,000 employees.

MetLife Bets on Restoring Alico's Reputation
Source: Yahoo! Finance


Breakfast Briefing Advisor Edition: Putnam unveils online IRA tools, Nearly one out of five insurance producers headed for the exit...


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Subprime Fallout, Bank Tax Is Unconstitutional, Housing Starts, SEC Charges General Re...

Subprime Fallout Hits Home in South Carolina - online.wsj
Democrats To Seek Stunning $1.9 Trillion Increase In Debt Ceiling To $14.3 Trillion - zerohedge
Obama's Bank Tax Is Unconstitutional - businessinsider
Housing Starts Decline in December - calculatedriskblog
Housing Starts, Vacant Units and the Unemployment Rate - calculatedriskblog

Airline revenue in worst plunge on record - money.cnn
Darrell Issa Accuses FRBNY Of Contempt For Selective Document Disclosure - zerohedge
Robert Reich: The Voters Are Firing Obama Because He's Flopped On The Economy - businessinsider
Interpublic to Name Brien CEO of McCann - online.wsj
Big Banks Accused of Short Sale Fraud - ritholtz

Glass-Steagall: Be Careful What You Wish - globaleconomicanalysis
Obama: The Best President For Stocks Since... FDR - businessinsider
What the Backlash Over Bonuses and AIG's Bailout Says About America - ritholtz
States to Obama: Do more to prevent foreclosures - Jan. 20, 2010 - money.cnn
Mad Money: Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad Banks? - cnbc

The Immigrant Connection - forbes
Obama to Go on Offensive Against Big Banks - cnbc
EBay earnings climb in fourth quarter - marketwatch
U.S. stocks end lower; material sector weighs - marketwatch
SEC Charges General Re Corporation for Role in AIG and Prudential Accounting Frauds - zerohedge

One Sign it's Not the Great Depression All Over Again - businesspundit


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: No Way Out for Japan... China's Growth Trend is Believable...


Safer plan for pensions?

The Treasury and Labor Departments are asking for public comment on the idea of encouraging annuities, plain-vanilla investments that pay out a steady stream of pension checks. Unlike 401(k) or IRA accounts loaded with more volatile stocks and mutual funds, the homely annuity is designed to provide sleep-at-night security.

But they aren't perfect. Annuities often come with high sales fees and expenses, according to administrators of mutual funds, which see annuity-peddling insurance companies ready to steal their business. Also, if the annuity plan gets rolling, one of the big winners could be AIG, the bailed-out insurer that's received $182 billion in aid. Why should the firm get any more help? There are also blogosphere fears that the White House plan could lead to a requirement that retirees taking this option buy Treasury bills to ease deficit bills. So far, at least, that is not the table...

SF Gate: Safer plan for pensions?


U.S. life insurance application activity shows slight decrease in 2009

U.S. life insurance application activity was flat for the year, with gains since August 2009 eclipsing the recession-based declines of prior months, according to a monthly analysis... The MIB Life Index reported a 0.2% overall decline in life insurance applications filed for the year... Application activity in December 2009 among all ages rose 2.6%.

Fourth quarter application activity rose 2.9%, compared to the same period in 2008, according to the index...

IFA Web News: U.S. life insurance application activity shows slight decrease in 2009

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Late Links Real Estate: Are The Doomsayers Right About a CRE Crisis?


Late Links International: Greece Considering All Borrowing Options


Late Links Econ: BofA Losses, Angry Mob, Annual Migration Study, Cash4Gold...


Proposed Legislation Should Boost Retirement Annuity Sales

Proposed legislation could help encourage your clients to consider rolling over 401 (k) plans into retirement annuities. The legislation, Senate bill 2832, would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, to focus greater awareness on lifetime income retirement planning... Under the bill, sponsors of 401 (k) plans and other private defined contribution plans would be required to show annually, on one pension benefit statement, how the value of retirement accounts translates into guaranteed monthly payments. The bill, introduced on Dec. 3, would require calculation of payments, based on such factors as age at retirement...

Registered Rep: Proposed Legislation Should Boost Retirement Annuity Sales


Breakfast Briefing Advisor Edition: Brightscope launches 401(k) fee tool... Schwab's latest ETFs... mortgage woes of the wealthy...


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: FHA Loan Requirements Make It Harder To Get Mortgage... Unfinished CRE Projects Weigh on Banks...

FHA loan requirements will make it harder to get mortgage - money.cnn
Democrats Aim to Pass Health Bill in Case of Mass. Seat Loss - online.wsj
Unfinished Real-Estate Projects Weigh on Banks - online.wsj
Not Your Mother's Workforce - forbes
White House Preparing Fiscal Task Force - foxbusiness

New York Fed Told AIG To "Stand Down" On All Counterparty Discussions - zerohedge
FHA To Boost Insurance Premiums to Cushion Defaults - cnbc
Taxes and Business Creation - angrybear
Job anxiety threatens any home-building recovery - marketwatch
More Intentional Media Misdirection (Wall Street) -

Unions ask for "Universal Jobs Guarantee" Guaranteed Employment - globaleconomicanalysis
Gee, More Duplicity (Is Someone's Nomination In Trouble?) -
Is Silver The New Gold? - zerohedge
Steve Keen on Banking Secrets and Fed Transparency - globaleconomicanalysis
AIA: Architecture Billings Index Shows Contraction in December - calculatedriskblog

The Anti-Fed Fact Sheet - ritholtz
The Double Dip In Builder Confidence Is Here - zerohedge
Credit Ignoring Equity Rally - zerohedge
Surprise! S&P Futures Heading South After Scott Brown Victory - businessinsider
Citi: We Lost $7.6 B, But On The Bright Side, We Fired 100,000 People - consumerist

Dick Bove: Bank Tax Is 'Expropriation Venezuela-Style' - dealbreaker
Bill Gross's $200 Billion Fund Flees U.S. Bonds Into Foreign Assets - businessinsider
Screw the Bank? By All Means - minyanville


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: Is Dubai's Debt Twice as Much? China Money Rates Rise...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Tax Help In Caring for an Aging Parent

Millions of adult children find themselves looking after aging parents. Tax laws offer some help, as long as you and your folks meet the criteria.
The key to Internal Revenue Service assistance in caring for an elderly relative is whether you can claim the person as a dependent. Any dependent must meet certain tests. While there is a little flexibility when dealing with children, fewer exceptions are granted when the potential dependent is older.

Tax Help In Caring for an Aging Parent
Source: Bank Rate


Wake Up Hibernating 401(k)s

Join other financial professionals that are creating solid sales opportunities by helping clients awaken old retirement plans and move them away from an ex-employer. For the client, moving these plans out from under the purview of an ex-employer can be a freeing exercise, and it can also open up additional options not currently available, if left snoozing.

Wake Up Hibernating 401(k)s
Source: Producers Web


Funding Your Lifetime Annuity

Some seniors who have most of their equity in their home want the security of a fixed lifetime annuity, and don't care about not leaving any equity behind for their heirs. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM, which is insured by FHA, can fund the purchase of a lifetime annuity in two ways... One way is for the senior to exercise the "tenure" option under the HECM program and receive a fixed annuity payment for as long as he remains in the house. The second way is for him to exercise the credit line option under the HECM program -- drawing the maximum amount permitted -- and use it to purchase an immediate annuity from a life insurance company...

I shopped both options in early December 2009 for a male, age 86, with a house worth $400,000. This senior had a "Net Principal Limit" (NPL) under the HECM program of $288,000. That is the maximum amount of cash available for purchase of either annuity, after deducting HECM origination costs...

Yahoo Finance: Funding Your Lifetime Annuity


Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, insurer Swiss Re make $1.3B deal

When billionaire Warren Buffett takes a risk, it's usually a big one... Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has made a deal with insurer Swiss Re, allowing it to transfer the liabilities of a money-losing U.S. life reinsurance contract for nearly $1.3 billion... The deal makes Berkshire Hathaway's life insurance company liable for up to $1.5 billion in claims. In return, Berkshire Hathaway will be the recipient of premiums...

NY Daily News: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, insurer Swiss Re make $1.3B deal


Nationwide Financial tells its advisers to find new B-Ds

Nationwide Financial Network, the sales and marketing arm of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., is telling its independent financial advisers to find their own broker-dealers rather than continue to trade through its own brokerage arm, Nationwide Securities LLC... All of Nationwide's independent “personal-producing general agents,” who are financial advisers, will have to register with a new broker-dealer by April 30, according to an e-mail sent out to all of its PPGA reps last Thursday...

Furthermore, agents who want to continue to sell Nationwide products will have to do so through a “non-affiliated channel,” rather than go through Nationwide itself, according to an adviser...

Investment News: Nationwide Financial tells its advisers to find new B-Ds


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Message of Massachusetts, Illinois "state of insolvency", Youth rally against Obamacare...


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: China pushes up bill rates, Japan's new money lending law, Kraft offers 840 pence a share for Cadbury...

Monday, January 18, 2010


Swiss Re Transfers U.S. Life Business Risk to Berkshire Hathaway

Swiss Reinsurance Co. said Monday it has set a reinsurance transaction on a block of individual life reinsurance business with Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a move meant to bolster the Swiss firm's capital efficiency.

Swiss Re Transfers U.S. Life Business Risk to Berkshire Hathaway
Source: CNN Money


Optimism Fuels Investments in 2010

Despite the fact investors are more conservative after getting slammed by the recession, advisors and their clients are optimistic about the year ahead, with advisors looking to grow their business and improve their use of technology.

Optimism Fuels Investments in 2010


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Wall Street considers Constitutional Challenge to Responsibility Fee... Learning from Lady Gaga...


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: U.K. Australia Inflation, India and Panasonic...

Friday, January 15, 2010


Lunch Linkage: CPI, Rents and Real Earnings... Big Banks Accused of Short Sale Fraud...


Affluent US retirees regret delay in financial planning

Nearly 55% of 1,000 affluent US retirees having minimum investible assets of $250,000 (€173,708), who were polled by marketing research firm Braun Research on behalf of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, regret not having begun a relationship with a financial adviser earlier, according to a report in Investment News...

Wealth Bulletin: Affluent US retirees regret delay in financial planning


Breakfast Briefing Econ Edition: Bond Funds Big... Record Comp Levels on Wall Street... JPM posts $3.3B profit...


Breakfast Briefing Adviser Edition: TFS's Eric Newman, Morningstar's fund managers of the decade...


Breakfast Briefing International Edition: Haiti, Global Real Estate, Contrarian View Of China

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The Life Insurance Industry Needs To Get With The Times

Let's face it: Nobody gets excited about life insurance. It has been around for hundreds of years, and it's surely one of the most socially useful consumer financial products, yet people don't much care who they buy it from--if they buy it at all.

In the U.S. life insurance is sold, not bought. That is, a salesperson almost always initiates the transaction. People under 40 don't buy enough of it. And even though people don't care who they buy it from, they nonetheless show a remarkably low satisfaction with providers--not just in the U.S., but around the world.

The Life Insurance Industry Needs To Get With The Times


John Hancock Wins Multiple Awards for Web Site and Marketing Communications

John Hancock Funds wrapped up 2009 by winning multiple awards for its web site, advisor communications, and customer service.

"A consistent theme throughout our recent string of awards has been the strength and quality of our web-based, interactive tools," said Keith F. Hartstein, President & CEO of John Hancock Funds. "Financial advisors choose partners to help them meet client needs, and a tool like our Portfolio Insight, which creates custom reports and a transparent view of client holdings, does just that."

John Hancock Wins Multiple Awards for Web Site and Marketing Communications
Source: Yahoo! Finance

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