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Wealth Management

(New York)

The press has a complicated relationship with annuities. On the one hand, some investors love them and the relative predictability they offer, while on the other, there are loads of stories of abuse. That said, they still have utility for investors, and with that in mind, here is a list of some of the best across six different categories. For immediate income, Minnesota Life has some well rated products with good payouts. Penn Mutual Life and Lincoln National Life also have strong offerings. For deferred income annuities there are some other providers to check out, including Symetra Life, CUNA Mutual, Principal Financial, and Guardian Life.

FINSUM: Guaranteed income at certain life thresholds is a valuable proposition for clients, it is the irresponsible way in which they have sometimes been sold that raises issues. This article lists some good candidates.

(New York)

The fiduciary rule’s journey has been a seemingly endless saga. Opponents of the rule thought they had finally defeated it when the fifth circuit court ruled against it last year. However, its path is far from over and is showing an interesting parallel: marijuana. Fierce proponents of cannabis legalization have taken a different tact after a federal level push failed—they have gone to the state level. As most will have noticed, marijuana has been legalized in many states as part of a grassroots push for cannabis. The fiduciary rule is now playing out the same way, as new state-level rules have been popping up all over the country, threatening to bring patch work regulation.

FINSUM: One would not naturally think to compare the fiduciary rule and marijuana, but the regulatory path for both is looking quite similar. This would not be a good outcome for broker-dealers.


The fiduciary rule saga has been long and confusing. Firs the DOL Rule fell flat, then the SEC proposed its own rule, only to face harsh criticism from everyone but the brokerage industry. Now there is a new piece of news that we find encouraging: the SEC is apparently working directly with states as part of an effort to craft a new framework that will eliminate any conflicts with state-level fiduciary rules. The SEC is consulting with states like Maryland, Connecticut, Nevada, and New Jersey to make sure there aren’t grey areas or loopholes that create nightmares for advisors and their clients.

FINSUM: There are two positive developments here. On the one hand, it is great that the SEC is trying to iron out any conflicts with state-level rules, but on the other, it is even better that this consultation might actually lead to the dissolution of those state rules.

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