Sales of annuities are soaring with second-quarter sales projected to top $74 billion, according to life insurance industry-funded research firm LIMRA. That figure would top the previous record by more than $5 billion set during the financial crisis in 2008. Sales are being driven by fixed-rate deferred annuities, which offer investors a fixed interest rate on their money over a set period. Sales of fixed-rate deferred annuities are expected to come in between $25 billion and $30 billion, a 75% jump from the first quarter. Fixed-rate annuities are considered the safest annuity that investors can purchase since you can't lose the principal. The volatile market has led investors to seek the safety and guaranteed rates of annuities. Plus, with rates rising, investors can now earn even more.

Finsum: Annuity sales, especially sales of fixed-rate annuities, are expected to reach record levels, driven by rising rates and market volatility.

Emerging market debt could be in trouble according to JPMorgan. With a seemingly never-ending Russia-Ukraine crisis as well as rising borrowing costs low grade emerging market debt could be in trouble. A note said that almost half of the sample of the 52 countries are carrying high repayment risk. Generally speaking, spillover risk is high if Russia defaults and Ukraine has to res-structure. All of this is compounded by rising yields which makes repayment even more difficult.

Finsum: For those looking for solutions to rising volatility be careful chasing emerging market debt as a response.

The ETF sell-off is rampant as a response to the wild and sudden market volatility, but its time to get rid of your fixed income funds? Some experts are saying there is a breakdown in the traditional 60-40 portfolio, but outflows aren’t present yet at the rate in bond funds. This is despite funds like AGG being down over 10% YTD. One possible reason for this is that investors are more worried about macro factors than most other factors. Over a third of advisors are worried about inflation, rates, and geopolitics whereas only one in ten are as concerned with volatility. This is could cause a shifting of flows into more stable macro flavored products like bond funds.

Finsum: We’ve said it once we can say it again, bond fund holders aren’t eyeballing returns like equity ETFs they are holding for security. 

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