Posted by William Byrnes on August 16, 2013
Today’s media coverage of the variable annuity market has focused on company buybacks and modifications to existing clients’ product guarantees—a prospect that has many clients feeling more wary than ever about annuity purchases.
Despite this, insurance companies have used the negative experiences of recent months as motivation to effect positive change in their annuity product offerings by offering clients real flexibility and risk management options.
read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s full analysis regarding annuities at > ThinkAdvisor <
Posted in Retirement Planning | Tagged: annuities, Business, Financial services, insurance, Investment, Life annuity, Mutual fund, risk management | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 17, 2011
We are all aware that annuities have a bad reputation in the media: High fees, high-pressure sales, and unsuitability are the predominating themes.
A recent Securities Litigation & Consulting Group white paper summarizes the sentiments of the anti-annuity press, commenting that, “[a]nnuities stand out as the investment are most likely to be unsuitable since in virtually every instance, the investor would have been better served by mutual fund or a portfolio of individual stocks.”
Annuities are neither inherently “good” nor “bad.” It follows that rational evaluation of annuities can’t be conducted in a bubble—it must focus on their application. Herein lays their value and the coup de grâce the industry and individual producers have been awaiting.
Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).
For previous coverage of annuities in Advisor’s Journal, see How Much to Allocate to Annuities: A Critical Analysis (CC 11-109).
For in-depth analysis of the income taxation of annuities, see Advisor’s Main Library: Section 19.2 Income Taxation of Annuities.
Posted in Wealth Management | Tagged: annuities, Business, Financial services, insurance, Investing, Life annuity, Mutual fund, White paper | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on May 6, 2011
Not according to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which found that annualized returns on a variety of funds with the same target date vary wildly—some with gains as high as 28% and others with losses of up to 31%. Target date funds, which “are designed to provide an age-appropriate asset allocation for plan participants over time,” are essentially an investment advisor substitute. But, unlike a personal financial advisor, target date funds can’t take into consideration the individualized needs of investors and don’t offer investors the level of disclosure that’s mandated of registered investment advisors. Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).
For previous coverage of target date funds in Advisor’s Journal, see Are Target-Date Funds Failing (CC 09-35), Missing the Target? (CC 07-59), & The Automatic IRA Act of 2010: Boon for Advisors? (CC 10-56).
Posted in Wealth Management | Tagged: Asset allocation, Boon, Business, Exchange-traded fund, Funds, Investing, Mutual fund, Target date fund | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on January 25, 2011
Although overshadowed by the fight over the Obama tax agreement, mutual fund legislation passed the House on December 15. The Registered investment Company Modernization Act of 2010 (RICM Act), H.R. 4337, was originally passed by the House on September 28, but the Senate amended the bill, forcing a second vote in the House. The President signed it into law December 22 – Public Law 111-325.
Tax Code provisions governing mutual funds have not had a substantial update since 1986, with some components of the Code relating to mutual funds sitting untouched for sixty or more years. The tax and regulatory landscape has changed significantly in the intervening years, which has left the tax rules for mutual funds sorely in need of updating.
The RICM Act brings the Tax Code’s treatment of mutual funds and other registered investment companies (RICs) up to date by introducing the following provisions to the Tax Code, among others: Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).
For previous coverage of mutual fund investment in Adviso’rs Journal, see Can Term Life Coupled with a Mutual Fund Investment Replace a Variable Universal Life Policy? (CC 10-77).
Posted in Tax Policy | Tagged: Business, Business and Economy, Financial services, Funds, Investing, Investment, Mutual fund, tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on December 1, 2010
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The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 created new laws requiring most regulated securities transactions occurring after December 31, 2010 to be subject to cost basis reporting by securities brokers to the IRS.  Currently, brokers are required to report the gross proceeds from the sale of a security on Form 1099.  The new law will add reporting of client’s adjusted basis of the security, and whether the gain is a short or long-term.  Mutual fund cost basis reporting is to start a year after regulated securities reporting, and options and debt contracts are to follow a year after mutual funds. The reports are to be filed on a Form 1099-B, Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange. 
Why is it important to know that the IRS will be receiving information about the values of securities of clients? Read the entire article at AdvisorFYI.
Posted in Taxation | Tagged: Broker, Cost basis reporting, Form 1099, Internal Revenue Service, IRS tax forms, Mutual fund, Public Law 110-343, Security (finance) | Leave a Comment »