Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has defended credit default swaps in a letter to the Vatican after the church criticized them as a "ticking time bomb." "Debate about the role of speculation is likely as old as markets themselves and will not be resolved here," according to the letter.
Hedge funds experienced their first quarterly outflow since the first three months of 2017 as investors withdrew about $3 billion in the second quarter of this year, with macro hedge funds taking the biggest hit, according to a Hedge Fund Research report. The industry's assets under management, meanwhile, have surpassed $3.32 trillion for an eighth straight quarter of increases, the report says.
Morningstar data show US sales of alternative mutual funds declined 90% between 2013 and 2017, with investors still wary in 2018. Sales of alternative UCITS in Europe also have dropped.
Two annuity providers are introducing new annuity products in the US. Sammons Retirement Solutions has launched a variable annuity with a built-in guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit rider, while Athene Annuity and Life has added an indexed annuity contract that automatically includes an income and death benefit rider.
People looking into annuities as they plan for retirement today are finding much more attractive options than they might have a few years ago, according to Karen Hube. "Quite simply, annuities are looking better than they have in years, thanks to rising interest rates," she writes.
When a couple decide one member will retire while the other continues working, they need to prepare and plan for the changes in their lives, suggests Rodney Brooks. "Couples often underestimate the social, psychological and financial impact of having a spouse retire," he writes.
Congress is considering a number of proposals regarding retirement plans. These include a bigger emphasis on annuities in 401(k) plans, repealing the 70 1/2 age limit on individual retirement account contributions and helping smaller companies offer retirement plans.
The Internal Revenue Service has released the final regulations setting definitions of qualified matching contributions and qualified non-elective contributions. The IRS said the final regulations are similar to the proposed regulations made public last year.
Preretirees age 55 and older underestimate the portion of their retirement savings that will go to daily living expenses, according to a survey by Schroders. In the US, preretirees surveyed guessed 32% of their income will go to living expenses in retirement, but that is 54% in reality, the survey showed.
The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 207,000, the smallest number since December 1969, the Labor Department said. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected claims to rise to 220,000.
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