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March 11, 2013
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Financial and wealth management news for the retirement community

  Top News 
 
Reasons to plan: the video your female clients must see.
We asked 10 women to describe their experiences with aging and chronic illness. What they said may surprise you and change the way you help your clients prepare for their future.
Watch our video now at prudential.com/reasons.

  Industry Update 
  • The impact of annuity payments on estate taxes
    No property interest is included in the estate of a deceased straight-life annuity holder, according to this article. The estate-tax impact of annuities with survivor benefits, however, vary based on whether that benefit is paid to the estate or a beneficiary, the article says. Another factor is whether the deceased annuity holder paid all or part of the purchase price. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert: Private-equity firms look to annuity business to diversify
    Private-equity firms have been buying and reinsuring annuity lines for a chance to exercise their investment and asset-management capabilities, says Scott Robinson of Moody's Investors Service. Fixed and fixed-indexed annuities were the main target of alternative-investment managers in 2012, but the trend this year may be variable annuities, Robinson said. "[Private equity] firms are looking for something that is going to meet their returns, and they have fairly high return hurdles. They are looking for businesses that are going to provide some diversification to their other investments," he said. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Is Pricing Low Your Strategy to Success? Think again.
Pricing is the heart of a business. It affects everything you do and is affected by everything you do. Economists talk of supply and demand as key factors behind pricing—successful entrepreneurs manipulate demand by making their products more desirable. These six steps will help you determine the right price for your product or service, read the article and learn how to get pricing right.

  Financial Literacy 
 
  • Commentary: Simple steps can help make the most of 401(k)s
    Investors can make several quick changes to improve the health of a 401(k), writes Stuart Robertson of ShareBuilder Advisors. Among Robertson's tips: Increase the percentage you're contributing when you get a raise, use a formula for allocations of fixed-income-based funds and stock funds to rebalance your portfolio as you age, and shop for lower-priced index funds. Forbes (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Building Workplace Trust 2015
Interaction Associates' 6th annual research study tracking trust on the job, Building Workplace Trust, is out, and more than half of employees surveyed give their organizations low marks for trust and leadership. Yet this year's findings again point to how high trust leads to better outcomes and financial results — and even boosts innovation.

  On the Economy 
 
  • U.S. jobless rate falls to 7.7%, but doubts remain
    The U.S. unemployment rate reported Friday surprised economists, dropping to 7.7% for February from 7.9% in January. However, labor force participation remained unchanged at 58.6%, just 0.4 percentage points above the post-recession low and well below the 20-year average of about 66%. "This shows the depth of the recent employment recession -- worse than any other post-war recession -- and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis," wrote Bill McBride of Calculated Risk. Forbes (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Transformational Journeys: Modern Business Planning
Harvard Business Review explores why CFO's and their finance organizations must adapt to the changing landscape of their markets and how big data, organizational collaboration, and new cloud-based planning and analysis technologies are driving successful change.
Click here to access the report.

  Building Your Practice 
 
  • What to do when a financial plan goes awry
    Long-term financial plans have faced challenges from bear markets, prolonged bouts of high unemployment, family members' financial distress and unforeseen health issues, according to this article. Advisers need to guide clients in readjusting their plans and reducing spending, experts say. Financial Advisor online (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Whitepaper: SDN: How do you get there from here?
Are the growing data needs of mobile, cloud, big data and social threatening today's enterprise networks? Scalable processes, a phased integration approach and the appetite to optimize over time are key components of a modern network. It's how agile organizations prepare for the data needs of tomorrow.
Explore the whitepaper to start down the path toward SDN.

  Financial Products 
  • Scaled-down annuities aim to offer benefits at lower cost
    A few companies have begun to offer lower-cost alternatives to annuities with living benefits, giving investors the chance to pay less if they are willing to accept some tweaks in benefits. Instead of the typical annual fees worth about 3.5% of assets, the new products carry fees of 1.45% to 2.79%, Anne Tergesen writes. The Wall Street Journal (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
Let me listen to me and not to them."
--Gertrude Stein,
American writer and feminist


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