There is no conflict between offering annuities to clients who would benefit from them and fully complying with a fiduciary standard, said Kent Sluyter, president of Prudential Annuities. "Annuities are not the answer for everybody, but they can play an important role in helping many people secure retirement income, which is important," he said.
Investors close to retirement or already retired should consider buying annuities to shelter their savings from losses due to market volatility, says Mark Charnet, CEO of American Prosperity Group. With a living benefit rider, the retiree is guaranteed income for life even if the value of the assets held within the annuity contract declines in value, he says.
Lincoln Financial Group has brought to the retirement market a new indexed variable annuity that offers a variety of indexes and optional protection from index-linked losses ranging from 10% to 100%. Purchasers of the Lincoln Level Advantage indexed annuity have the option of adding an income rider for a guaranteed lifetime income stream.
A podcast can help advisors get exposure and shorten the education cycle of a prospect, writes Brian O'Connell. He contends that the most informative podcasts contribute quality content and guests, have a regular schedule and are professionally produced and edited.
Too often talented professionals allow themselves to be held back by bad habits, writes consultant Michael Goldberg. He suggests five good habits that can help people grow their businesses, including establishing a daily routine and setting an agenda for all meetings.
Ted Benna, considered to be the "father of 401(k)s," says big changes are needed to the system, which he calls "terribly inefficient and ineffective and expensive." The three elements he says have molded the 401(k) business and will continue to do so are legislation and regulation, marketplace pressure and technology.
For clients wondering whether to convert their individual retirement accounts to Roth IRAs, attorney Bruce Steiner says the tax law "may tip the scales in favor of converting substantial amounts now." He notes that a conversion could have particular benefits for middle-income IRA owners under the law.
The number of people who have saved $1 million or more in a 401(k) reached 157,000 at the end of the first quarter, a 45% year-over-year increase, according to recent data. Many benefited from the market's recent gains and also from saving over a long period of time and contributing enough to get the full match.
Financial advisers are usually good at providing clients with wealth-building guidance, but they aren't always good at running their businesses, consultant Stephanie Bogan writes. Mapping a vision for the firm, maintaining a business owner mindset and implementing methods for a seamless client experience will help advisers improve their businesses, she adds.
Americans are saving the highest amount of funds for college since 2013, but less than one-third are relying on 529 savings plans, according to a report by Sallie Mae. The most common tool parents are using to save for college is a general savings account.
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