Displaying items by tag: rates
Rising Rates Pushing Sales of Deferred Annuities Higher
While rising interest rates might make things difficult for life insurance company risk managers, they were great for individual fixed annuity sales in the fourth quarter of 2022. According to new issuer survey data from Wink, overall sales of all types of deferred contracts increased 30% between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2022, to $79 billion. Sales of three types of products classified as fixed, traditional fixed annuities, non-variable indexed annuities, and multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) contracts — climbed 102%, to $58 billion. Sheryl Moore, Wink’s CEO, told ThinkAdvisor that MYGA contracts in particular benefited both from increases in crediting rates and consumers’ fear of market volatility. She noted, “Eighteen percent of insurance companies offering MYGAs experienced at least triple-digit sales increases over the prior quarter.” In fact, MYGA contracts jumped 217% to $36 billion, non-variable indexed annuities rose 28% to $22 billion, and traditional fixed annuities increased 18% to $575 million. Wink based the latest annuity sales figures on data from 18 index-linked variable annuity issuers, 48 variable annuity issuers, 51 traditional fixed annuity issuers, and 85 multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) issuers.
Finsum:According to new issuer survey data from Wink, rising interest rates helped sales of all types of deferred contracts rise 30% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2022, to $79 billion.
Practice – management -- makes perfect
As Yogi Berra likely would say: if it wasn’t a challenge, what kind of challenge would it be?
And if he didn’t say it, one too many fastballs must have ricocheted off his glove and against his noggin.
Point is, what with escalating interest rates, an unpredictable economy and relentless inflation starring you in the kisser, it takes work to manage and grow your financial management business, according to forbes.com.
Well, do abet your efforts, to prepare for the first quarter of the new year, 16 members of Forbes Finance Council dispense advice for business leaders.
A few tips:
- Focus on liquidity
- When calculating the cost base, make space for contingencies
- Build up Your forecast by customer
- Consider your insurance model
- When it comes to resiliency planning, pay attention
Business plans, marketing strategies, operational processes and business technology aside, your company’s financial side calls for considerable effort, according to ceoworld.com. Not only that, your company’s longevity and expansion seemingly leans on a solid system of financial management.
You can incorporate quality financial management practices without a hitch in a few ways, including by leveraging the most effective financial software and tools; regularly managing your accounting records and creating seamless billing processes. What’s more, you can establish financial goals that are clear and monitor business performance.
Investors Expecting More Market Volatility
Investors are bracing for more market volatility as traders buy up hedges at the fastest clip since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Cboe data, call options betting that the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) will rise are the highest on an average day in February than at any time since March 2020. After not much movement for months, the VIX, which is also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose above 23 last week, its highest level since the first few trading days of the year. Readings below 20 usually signify complacency, while readings above 30 signal investors are looking for protection. The increased demand is due to two reasons. First, when stocks rebounded at the start of the year, investors jumped back into the market, restoring a need to hedge their portfolios. In addition, recent economic data increased the likelihood that the Fed will be forced to continue raising interest rates to slow inflation, stalling the stock rally. The S&P 500 saw three consecutive weeks of declines, which was capped by a hotter-than-expected reading on the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation. The CME Group Volatility Index, which tracks volatility in the Treasury market, also recently reached its highest levels in more than a month.
Finsum:Investors are bracing for more volatility in the market as call options betting that the VIX will rise are at their highest mark since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Pension Funds Eyeing $1 Trillion of Bond-Buying
After struggling under deficits for two decades, pension funds are now flooded with cash due to soaring interest rates. The surplus at corporate defined-benefit plans means managers can now reallocate to bonds, which are less volatile than stocks. This is called “derisking” in the industry. Mike Schumacher, head of macro strategy at Wells Fargo, said the following in an interview, “The pensions are in good shape. They can now essentially immunize — take out the equities, move into bonds, and try to have assets match liabilities.” That explains some of the rallying of the bond market over the last three or four weeks.” Last year’s stock and bond market losses actually helped some benefit plans, whose future costs are a function of interest rates. When rates rise, their liabilities shrink and their funded status improves. For instance, the largest 100 US corporate pension plans now have an average funding ratio of about 110%. According to the Milliman 100 Pension Funding index, that’s the highest level in more than two decades and great news for fund managers who had to deal with low-interest rates and were forced to chase returns in the equity market. Now managers can unwind that imbalance with most banks expecting them to use the extra cash on buying bonds and selling stocks to buy more bonds.
Finsum: Due to stock and bond losses and rising rates, pension fund managers now have a surplus of funds that they plan on allocating to bonds.
How Should Advisors Approach Bonds in 2023?
While bonds are generally known for their stability, 2022 marked a deviance from the norm. The question for advisors is, how should they approach 2023? Mariam Kamshad, head of portfolio strategy for Goldman Sachs personal financial management, and Guido Petrelli, CEO, and founder of Merlin Investor spoke to SmartAsset to provide some guidance. First advisors should expect a return to the norm. Kamshad said 2022 was an unusually bad environment for bonds with the Federal Reserve raising rates to a 15-year high. She believes that's unlikely to repeat and expects both yields and capital gains returns to stabilize. Second, advisors should pay attention to inflation and government bonds. Kamshad believes that inflation is still the biggest issue in the economy and expects it to continue slowing in 2023, which would likely slow interest rates. Her team considers duration risk a better bet than credit risk. Kamshad's team also recommends investors consider government bonds. The team expects intermediate Treasurys to outperform cash. They also expect municipal bonds to pick back up. Petrelli recommends following the unemployment rate and the quit rate as they are “good metrics for the strength of the economy overall and a window into where bonds are headed.” He believes a potential recession is one of the biggest questions facing the bond market. In a recession, Petrelli expects investors to favor short-term bonds.
Finsum:According to two portfolio analysts, advisors should expect a return to the norm for bonds, but they should also keep an eye on inflation, government bonds, and the jobs report.