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December 11, 2012
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News covering the insurance and financial advising industry

  Top Story 
  • Fiduciary-definition proposal is coming, Borzi says
    The U.S. Labor Department continues its efforts to redefine "fiduciary" under ERISA, and plans to release a proposal in the next few months, says Phyllis Borzi, assistant labor secretary. The proposal will take account of industry feedback and will address concerns about the previous iteration, Borzi said. "The reproposal will be better, clearer, more targeted and more reasonably balanced," she said. AdvisorOne (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry News 
  • Sales of whole life, indexed universal life rose in Q3, LIMRA says
    LIMRA data show an improvement of overall individual life sales for this year's third quarter, driven largely by sales of whole life and indexed universal life. Whole-life sales were up by 5% for the quarter, while indexed-universal-life sales rose 39%. "Both product lines have consistently performed well under challenging economic conditions because they offer consumers the opportunity for steady growth while protecting their principal from the prolonged market volatility," LIMRA's Ashley Durham said. National Underwriter Life & Health (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advisers counsel clients on possible tax effects of the "fiscal cliff"
    Financial advisers are developing action plans for frustrated clients facing potentially higher tax rates in the new year. Among the courses they're recommending are portfolio "stress tests" to examine assets, fees and taxes, as well as consideration of what to sell if the capital-gains tax rate rises to 20%. "Our role is to take the vast amount of information that's out there and answer two questions for our clients: How does it affect you, and what do we do about it?" adviser Barry Glassman says. The Washington Post (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Downsizing in retirement might not bring savings
    Lower property values mean that baby boomers who downsize their homes may not experience much of a financial win, experts warn. Even when the housing market was booming, seniors who downsized walked away with an average of $26,000 after purchasing a new home, one study found. In addition, some retirees find that their new homes come with costs similar to their old ones, or that they continue spending on leisure activities. The Wall Street Journal (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Investment Trends 
  • Alternatives play growing role in investors' portfolios
    Alternatives can add yield to a portfolio, but these assets also come with risk. Still, many advisers think these investments are worthwhile. More than 75% of institutional investors see alternative investments as essential to diversification, according to studies, with 72% believing that the typical mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds is no longer an efficient way to achieve returns. Myths about alternative investments include the idea that a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio has low volatility, one expert says. In addition, the term "uncorrelated" can be misleading. AdvisorOne (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Feds conditionally OK 6 states for health exchange enrollment
    Six states have conditional approval to start enrolling residents in their health insurance exchanges in October, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The states are Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon and Washington, which all have Democratic governors. Eight additional states have said they will operate their own exchanges, while 22 are ceding that responsibility to the federal government. The remaining states must announce their decisions regarding the exchanges by Friday. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACA fee is catching many employers by surprise, experts say
    Affordable Care Act regulations call for employer-provided and individual health insurance plans to be assessed a temporary $63-per-person fee set to begin in 2014 and end in 2017. The fee is designed to offset the costs of providing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. It has been overlooked by many employers, who could see their plan costs increase by millions of dollars, experts say. The expense is expected to be passed along to consumers, according to this article. Associated Press (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC lets actively managed ETFs use derivatives
    Norm Champ, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investment-management division, says the regulator will drop a blanket prohibition on use of a significant amount of derivatives by actively managed exchange-traded funds. Instead, the SEC will bar derivatives use to increase returns or deliver the inverse performance of an index, he said. Bloomberg (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Business 
  • How to handle expensive employee mistakes
    When an advisory-firm employee makes a costly error, it may be tempting to dock pay, but that approach can be legally risky and isn't especially effective, writes Kirk Hulett of Securities America Financial. Hulett suggests a multi-step approach to figuring out what went wrong and how to correct the problem. AdvisorOne (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NAIFA News 
  • OneAmerica appoints new NAIFA member
    American United Life Insurance Company, a OneAmerica company, has established a new general agency in Richmond, Va., and is announcing the appointment of Ryan Leggett, LUTCF, general agent. Leggett's agency, Anchor Financial, will offer the products and services of the OneAmerica companies, including life insurance, products with long-term-care benefits and retirement services, as well as wealth management and financial guidance to clients throughout Virginia. Read more on the Advisor Today blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered."
--Stanley Kubrick,
American filmmaker

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