Posts belonging to Category Insurance Products

Structured Products Pose Major Risks for Investors


Danger lies ahead for investors in structured products. Structured products were once used only by institutions and sophisticated investors that had the education, training and experience needed to fully understand these complex and opaque alternative investments.  Over the past several years, however, structured products have been sold to individual investors, who do not understand the […]

Deutsche Bank Loses $934,000 in Arbitration


On February 8, 2013, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel ordered Deutsche Bank and its former registered representative, Karl Hahn, to pay $934,000 to a couple who had sought to recover $2,193,931 for losses associated with the improper sale of premium-financed life insurance.  The award included $100,000 in attorney’s fees.  Hahn worked in […]

SEC Sanctions MassMutual for Variable Annuity Abuses


MassMutual failed to disclose risks associated with certain Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit riders (specifically its GMIB 5 and GMIB 6 riders) and must now pay $1.65 million to settle SEC charges that it misled variable annuity investors.

Insurance Companies Raise Red Flags on Certain Alternative Investments


The recent actions of errors and omissions insurance carriers should serve as a major red flag to investors. Many of these carriers are refusing to issue coverage for sales of certain alternative investments. In other words, these carriers have determined that the risk of loss associated with the sale of certain alternative investments is too […]

Investors Urged to be Careful When Considering Variable Annuities


Variable annuities have long been criticized as one of the worst investment choices ever. Complicated, costly, and Illiquid by virtue of surrender penalties, variable annuities offer investors less benefit than traditional investments that can bought without the expensive insurance company wrapper, according to many experts.

Recent Study Encourages Investors to Carefully Check Out Investment Advisers


A recent study on U.S. investment advisory firms is out and it is a shocker. Collectively, such firms manage nearly $50 trillion in assets. The majority of them (54%) have significant regulatory violations or conflicts of interest that should give pause to prudent investors. (“An Ethics Test Your Adviser Might Not Pass ? New research […]

State Regulators are Filing More Claims Against Investment Advisers


Investment advisers and their firms are facing increased scrutiny from state regulators following enactment of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act and the high profile press coverage of the Madoff ponzi scheme and other fraudulent activities. The number of regulatory enforcement actions against investment advisers increased by 100 percent in 2011. Regulators are on the lookout […]

Elder Financial Abuse Continues to Ravage Seniors


Financial exploitation of older Americans is a big problem and it is getting bigger. An article by Wall Street Journal columnist Kelly Greene points out that senior citizens are “very vulnerable” to fraud and refers to a recent study by the Investor Protection Trust. The study polled hundreds of regulators, financial planners, healthcare professionals, social […]

New Scams Threaten Investor Nest Eggs


New types of scams are posing threats to investor well-being. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group of state securities regulators) has identified four new types of fraud to go along with the 6 persistent fraud threats that round out their Top Ten Threats to Investors.

Retirees Urged to Exercise Care When Facing a Bet-The-Future Decision


Many retirees are facing a bet-your-future decision fraught with significant risks as pension plans offer participants a one-time lump sum payout in exchange for giving up their monthly checks for life. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. made headlines recently when they made that offer to their 130,000 nonunion retirees. With pension liabilities at […]