Annuity News

Buffett Positioning Berkshire Bond Portfolio in Light of Inflation Concerns

Bloomberg reports that Warrenn Buffett is shortening the duration on Berkshire Hathaway's fixed income holdings. Twenty one percent of Berkshire's bond holdings are short duration and due in less than one year. This represents a 3 percent increase from eighteen percent on March 31 of this year, and a 5 percent increase relative to the second quarter of 2009.

The Prevalence of Large Negative Returns on Major Asset Classes

It is natural and tempting to assume that the capital market losses that occurred during the recent financial crisis represent a statistical outlier, a perfect storm, a rare, once in a century event—a black swan. This is not at all the case. An unsettling and eye-opening table in the current issue of the Financial Analysts Journal is reproduced below. The data, provided as part of a guest editorial authored by Laurence B. Siegel, clearly show that large negative returns such as those...

Deflation Concerns Gaining Traction as Economy Stalls

The consumer price index has fallen for two consecutive months: 0.2 percent in May and 0.1 percent in June. The unemployment rate in the United States remains at a persistent 9.5 percent, and in July the U.S. shed 131,000 jobs. Not exactly the type of news that supports a strong recovery or growth story. As discussed in a recent Wall Street Journal article , some large and very prominent investors are conditioning their investors and structuring their portfolios for deflation. PIMCO's Bill...

Annuity Costs May Increase as a Result of Dodd-Frank Act

The financial system reforms imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act will likely result in a broad range of increases in the cost of financial services products. Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley, the regulatory costs of the legislation will ultimately be passed along to the buyers of financial services.

MIT Researchers Have Success Treating Alzheimer's in Mice with SIRT1 Gene

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had recent success treating a model version of Alzheimer's disease in mice. Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects up to 1 in 3 adults who reach the age of 80.
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U.K. Government Considering an End to Compulsory Annuity Purchases

British lawmakers are considering an end to the law that requires many U.K. retirees to purchase an annuity by the time they turn age 75. As an interim step, the U.K Chancellor modified the current law so that the age for compulsory annuitization is increased to 77 from the current level of 75 years of age.

Aegon Modifying U.S. Variable Annuity Products

The Dutch insurance and financial services giant Aegon appears to be rethinking its U.S. based variable annuity business. It is reported that Aegon is making a move to apply a macro equity hedge to its in-force variable annuity contracts. The company is also considering the sale of its life reinsurance business, Transamerica Re.

Saybrus Partners Lands Wells Fargo Advisors as Client

Life insurance consultancy Saybrus Partners recently landed Wells Fargo Advisors as a new client. Saybrus is a relatively new venture that was formed with backing from the Phoenix Companies.

Most Retirees and Near Retirees "Consumed by Fear"

A recent article in Bloomberg discusses the financial challenges faced by most retirees in the United States and the steps that the Obama Administration is taking to address the crisis. The demise of defined benefit pension plans over the past thirty years correlates almost perfectly with the rise of defined contribution plans such as 401ks.