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Lincoln Financial Group unveils the 1 Year S&P 500® Dual Trigger (Dual Trigger) account option for its fixed indexed annuities, offering growth potential in all market conditions with 100% downside protection. 


Consumer concerns about inflation, investment losses, and market volatility have driven demand for such products, with 61% of consumers seeking investments balancing growth and protection. With industry projections expecting fixed indexed annuity sales to reach nearly $100 billion in 2025, Lincoln Financials’ enhancements aim to simplify strategies, providing growth opportunities while safeguarding against volatility. 


Additionally, Lincoln introduces the 1 Year S&P 500® 10% Daily Risk Control Trigger for its OptiBlend® fixed indexed annuity, offering potential for higher trigger crediting rates in certain markets. With a commitment to helping investors protect their savings, Lincoln Financial expands its annuity product portfolio to offer clients more choices for building wealth and confidence in retirement, working with over 22,000 financial professionals in 2023 to provide new annuity contracts.

Finsum: The recent uptick in annuity products appears to be driven by demographic shifts and boosted demand. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 07:08

Is Money Moving from Gold into Bitcoin?

Many have speculated that one of the catalysts for the rally in bitcoin is due to precious metals investors shifting allocations. Both assets offer protection against inflation and appeal to investors concerned about long-term monetary and economic instability. Gold and bitcoin have also enjoyed strong performances in recent months and are trading at or close to all-time highs.

However, this conjecture is not correct, according to JPMorgan. It doesn’t see outflows from gold ETFs into bitcoin ETFs. Instead, the bank notes that institutional investors, retail investors, and hedge funds have been buyers of futures of both assets since February. Since February, about $7 billion of bitcoin and $30 billion of gold futures have been bought. It also notes that both assets are extended over a short-term timeframe, leading to the risk of a pullback.

JPMorgan also believes that MicroStrategy’s recent purchase of $1 billion in bitcoin in 2024, in addition to its $1 billion purchase in Q4 of last year, has also contributed to upward pressure for bitcoin. According to the bank, this does lead to more risk in crypto as “bitcoin purchases by MicroStrategy add leverage and froth to the current crypto rally and raise the risk of more severe deleveraging in a potential downturn in the future.”

Finsum: Many believe that one of the catalysts for the rally in bitcoin is that precious metals investors are shifting allocations. However, this is not correct, according to JPMorgan. 

Last month, Innovator launched the Innovator Nasdaq 100 Managed Floor ETF (QFLR). The ETF is designed to offer investors exposure to the performance of the Nasdaq 100 while capping losses at 10% over a 12-month period with an expense ratio of 0.89%.

Innovator achieves this by using a laddered put option strategy managed by Parametric, a Morgan Stanley affiliate, in concert with investing in the securities held by the Nasdaq 100. With these put options, the fund hedges against downside risk while reducing volatility in exchange for upside performance. 

According to Graham Day, Chief Investment Officer at Innovator, “Historically, in positive years, the Nasdaq-100 has averaged returns of 29%, but in negative years it has averaged losses of -30%. Most investors are unable to stomach this type of volatility, and QFLR is a solution to allow investors to remain fully invested in the Nasdaq-100 with built-in risk management.” 

2022 and 2023 illustrate the value of QFLR as double-digit losses in the Nasdaq led many investors to reduce equity exposure and miss out on the big rally in the following year. Previously, Innovator launched the Innovator Equity Managed Floor ETF, which has $132 million in assets. The fund tracks an index of large-cap US stocks and limits losses to 10%. According to Innovator, it essentially captures about 80% of upside while limiting volatility to 70%. In the press release for QFLR, SFLR investors saw about 80% of the equity portfolio’s upside but only 70% of the volatility.


Finsum: The private credit market has boomed over the last couple of years due to anemic public markets and hesitant banks. Now, banks are once again competing for business and offering more favorable terms.

As interest rates remain higher for longer, borrowers are increasingly turning to an alternative source of funding: private credit. These arrangements benefit both sides of the transaction; lenders receive higher returns than traditional loans, and their clients get a source of financing with the flexibility to meet their unique needs.


With alternative asset managers packaging their private credit investments to accommodate smaller account sizes, this asset class is showing up more in investors' portfolios.


This product proliferation gives investors key advantages that are hard to find elsewhere. Private credit typically has a low correlation to stocks and bonds, which are often the mainstay of an investor's portfolio. It also provides an opportunity for higher returns than more traditional debt instruments.


Private credit's advantages, diversification and higher returns, come at a cost. These funds can be less liquid than traditional investments, and the return, as with most investments, is not guaranteed.


However, private credit may be an asset class to consider for investors with a time horizon that allows them to put a portion of their account in less liquid investments and who desire a chance at higher returns.

Finsum: Read how private credit offers investors the opportunity for greater diversification and higher returns than more traditional forms of debt investments.


2024 has seen the stock market make 17 closing, all-time highs. Despite this strength, many are noting some reasons to be cautious about equities due to some concerning developments under the surface.


In essence, the strong performance of the indexes and mega-cap technology stocks is masking hidden weakness. This is reflected in the Dow Jones Transportation Average failing to confirm the new highs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average which is a ‘non-conformation’ according to Dow Theory. Dow Theory warns that a new high by the Industrials but not by transportation stocks is prone to failure. Similarly, riskier parts of the market like high-yield bonds and high-beta stocks are also underperforming Treasuries and low volatility stocks, respectively. 


The leader of this bull market has been technology due to excitement around AI and strong earnings growth from leading tech companies. However, there are signs of exhaustion as the relative ratio of the S&P 500 tech sector has failed to confirm the breakout in the S&P 500. According to David Rosenberg, the founder and President of Rosenberg Research, “These were the most important stocks for the market, and no longer look to be in control.” He believes that the longer these measures fail to confirm the new highs in the S&P 500, the larger the risk of a reversal. 

Finsum: 2024 has been a strong year for the stock market with the S&P 500 making new highs. Yet, there are some signs that the rally may be nearing exhaustion. 


Category: Eq: Total Market 

Keywords: #S&P 500; #bull market; #tech; #equities; #risk; 

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