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How to compete for personal lines with the direct writers
Insurance Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Let's face facts. It's unlikely that any individual independent agency will ever "beat" the direct writers. They have massive marketing budgets, a strong online presence, great name recognition and enjoy a reputation for being low in cost. Still, you can compete against direct writers on an account-by-account basis. The path to successfully compete with the direct writers requires a basic understanding of their marketing prowess, including when to emulate it and when to differentiate from it. More

Life insurance buyers want to meet agent, see needs analysis
IFAwebnews.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Life insurance buyers who meet face to face and receive a recommendation on how much life insurance to buy are more apt to buy policies, according to new research. Fewer than half of the U.S. households saying they need more life insurance have seriously shopped for coverage in 2011, according to a new LIMRA survey. Of those that shopped for life insurance, 54 percent bought policies. Just 22 percent of U.S. households shopped for life insurance. More

Expert: Advisors, beware of sharp tax increase in 2013
AdvisorOne    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Government affairs expert Andrew Friedman offered a warning to financial advisors to prepare for a steep rise in taxes likely to take effect just one year from now. In a new white paper, Friedman outlined a number of scenarios that could take place following the congressional supercommittee's failure to meet its deficit-cutting deadline. Friedman also offered financial planning ideas that advisors and investors could undertake to prepare for rising taxes. More

A year that calls for unusual year-end client activities
InvestmentNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Europe teeters on financial disintegration and U.S. equity markets end a volatile 2011 having gone nowhere, financial advisors are trying new end-of-year tactics to show client appreciation, cement ties and take care of traditional December business. More

Business model Darwinism
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like most industries here in the waning days of the baby boomers' dominance and stewardship of our economy, the investment business is undergoing a tectonic shift right now, some aspects of which are unseen by the public. One of these transformations, cloistered from the public view for the most part, is the move from a transactional or commission-based model to an assets-under-management or fee-based model for financial advisor compensation. Most investors still say "my broker" when they are dealing with a fee-based fiduciary and many Americans are still barely aware that there is any difference whatsoever, according to a recent poll. More

Gen Y, boomers share similar asset allocations, investment styles
AdvisorOne    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gen Y workers in higher education retirement plans tend to be as conservative as their older counterparts, a Fidelity survey found. Fidelity surveyed approximately 600 higher education employees and found that Gen Y, Gen X and baby boomer workers share similar asset allocation strategies. John Ragnoni, executive vice president for Fidelity's tax-exempt business, cautioned against such conservative strategies for young investors. More

November US consumer confidence jumps 15.1 points to 56
Dow Jones via Morningstar    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. consumers seemed to have shrugged off all the angst from Washington's debt-ceiling fight of the summer. Their spirits soared in November to the highest reading since July, according to a new report. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence jumped to 56 in November, from a revised 40.9 in October, first reported as 39.8. More

States, banks hashing out mortgage settlements
Portfolio.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
States are crafting a scaled-back mortgage abuses settlement with top U.S. banks that would exclude California, one of the states hardest hit by foreclosures and falling home prices. The smaller settlement would mean that the big banks would pay less in fines. The proposed $25 billion deal could come down by as much as a quarter without California, according to people familiar with the discussions. But it would also keep the banks exposed to legal claims in that state's large, distressed market. More
 

 
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