Despite Corporate America’s interest in diversity, equity and inclusion, the workforces, board rooms and C-suites of many financial services companies are not representative of the communities they serve. Members of a conference panel gave their thoughts on how to turn that situation around.
Many in the insurance industry are holding their collective breath as things get back to normal. A major worry is that deferred care will come crashing through the system by this summer, representing a flood of claims once people are willing to see a doctor again.
Think about clients who have money in IRAs, annuities or other brokerage accounts that they are using for emergency funds. Instead of leaving the money in a taxable account, consider repositioning those tax-inefficient dollars into a tax-free solution that offers additional leverage.
A huge shift is underway within the stock market, one that might roil 401(k)s in the short term, but one that many professional investors also see leading to longer-lasting gains. A surge of optimism that the pandemic is on the way out has convinced investors to revamp their playbooks for where to put money.
For the past year, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has expressed a wish for more rescue spending from Congress, better control of the viral pandemic and clear evidence of an improving economy. Behind that fear is the belief that as vaccines are more widely administered and stimulus money arrives, growth will occur too fast.
The study reveals that U.S. millionaire investors – households with $1 million to $5 million in net worth, not including the value of their primary residence (NIPR) – increased by 600,000 to 11.6 million in 2020, a 5.5 percent increase over the previous year.
A once-in-a-century pandemic has ground on for a year, throwing millions out of work and upending wide swathes of the American economy. Delivery services thrived while restaurants suffered. Home offices replaced downtown offices. Travel and entertainment spending dried up.
Ali F. Elmezayen, 45, was found guilty of four counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and five counts of money laundering. District Judge John Walter sentenced him to 212 years in prison and denounced what he called the “vicious and callous nature of his crimes.”
The employer sponsored insurance system “has been popular and resilient” and is here to stay, a policy think tank expert told attendees at America’s Health Insurance Plans’ virtual National Health Policy Conference on Thursday. But he added that it needs to be improved to ensure preservation.
Final congressional approval of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill Wednesday represents an undeniable victory for President Joe Biden– and one the White House knows it needs to sell to the public. The White House is poised to begin an ambitious campaign that will showcase the bill’ s contents to people while looking to build momentum.
President Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package has cleared Congress and is on the way to his desk for signing on Friday. That means $1,400 stimulus checks could soon be out the door for most Americans, along with increases to child tax credits, extensions of unemployment benefits and billions in dollars of aid for municipalities and schools.
With Democrats holding a razor thin majority in Congress, and with some Democrats having misgivings on expanding the government’s role in health care, there is not enough support in Congress for a public option or Medicare buy-in, a consultant said during America’s Health Insurance Plans’ virtual National Health Policy Conference.
Gensler was chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014, and since November has led Biden’s transition planning for financial industry oversight. At the CFTC, Gensler implemented dramatic new swaps trading rules mandated by Congress.
GOP senators reintroduced the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2021 Tuesday, while Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Republicans have persistently introduced legislation to repeal the estate tax, without success.
—Congress is poised to approve a landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, placing President Joe Biden on the cusp of an early triumph that advances Democratic priorities and showcases the unity his party will need to forge future victories. The House is expected to give final congressional approval Wednesday to the package.
Although no insurance professional should provide legal advice to clients, they often can provide a nudge to clue the client in on issues that may require legal representation or, at minimum, some legal advice.
Major business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are pushing Congress to extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of the year amid concerns that small businesses need help beyond the measures included in President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
—Several million people stand to save hundreds of dollars in health insurance costs, or more, under the Democratic coronavirus relief legislation on track to pass Congress. With the bill, they’d be entitled to a $1,250 tax credit, or 20% off their premiums, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The House is expected to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan this week, which means the Internal Revenue Service will likely begin sending out a third direct stimulus payment to many Americans. The Senate narrowly approved Biden’s wide-ranging relief package on Saturday and sent it back to the House.
Every American knows how critical video meeting platforms like Zoom have been holding our families and workplaces together in the past year. For many agents, learning how to use such programs was the push they needed to catch up with a key technological trend.
On Monday, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a new bill called the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act. The legislation would implement a 2% annual wealth tax on Americans that have at least $50 million in wealth and a 3% tax on those with at least $1 billion in wealth.
Biden said eligible households may receive the $1,400 stimulus checks as soon as this month. The COVID-19 relief will also help with resources for schools to reopen, and it will also help people struggling with hunger, paying rent, and getting unemployment insurance and health care, he said.
There are benefits to controlling an index’s volatility for purposes of index-linked annuities and life insurance.
—America's employers likely stepped up their hiring in February as confirmed viral cases declined, consumers spent big chunks of their government aid checks and the economy appeared to be sustaining a tentative recovery. And nearly all of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue package looks likely to win approval in Congress.
COVID-19 shed light on several overlooked aspects of health care, such as employee well-being benefits and telemedicine services. In turn, workers started paying closer attention to their health care benefits and asking, “Do I have the coverage I need?”
The ruling, in a lawsuit brought by Genworth Financial, concluded that setting the LTCi caps exceeds the insurance commissioner’s rulemaking authority. The fallout could be felt throughout an industry struggling to accommodate insurers’ requests for repeated rate hikes to stabilize LTCi blocks.
The recent stock market mania over the video game company GameStop, which this week was scrutinized by Congress, has provided a teachable moment for kids. “The best way to get kids interested in investing is to speak their language,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president at Charles Schwab & Co.
The $1.9 trillion relief bill working its way through Congress allocates extra money to larger, mostly Democratic-run states with higher unemployment rates, while rural Midwestern and Southern states that tend to have Republican governors and better jobless numbers would benefit less.
Some Senate Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to overhaul the nation’s approach to handing out stimulus payments, the direct financial relief deployed by Congress to help millions of Americans affected by the economic collapse that followed the coronavirus pandemic.
Gary Gensler, who was a chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, testified by video for his confirmation hearing by the Senate Banking Committee. He was asked about the roiling stock-trading drama involving GameStop shares that has spurred clamor for tighter regulation of Wall Street.
In our evolving digital world, there is a growing demand from consumers to meet them where they want – and increasingly they want to meet in the social space.
—President Joe Biden’s choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission is coming before a Senate panel for his confirmation hearing at a moment when a roiling stock-trading drama has spurred clamor for tighter regulation of Wall Street.
–A new report by Vertafore on the state of the independent insurance channel workforce brings into sharp relief how the pandemic changed the nature of work in the industry, what insurance professionals value about their work and what independent agencies can do to support their people now and attract new talent in the future.
Biden and his team have begun discussions on the possible outlines of an infrastructure package with members of Congress, particularly mindful that Texas’ recent struggles with power outages and water shortages after a brutal winter storm present an opportunity for agreement on sustained spending on infrastructure.
The Clintons couldn't enact reforms they campaigned on. Who can forget John McCain's thumbs-down vote to save the Affordable Care Act? Among Joe Biden's top priorities is rejuvenating this program after its kneecapping under the Trump administration. Tennessee has a special relationship with the federal government regarding health care.
—On a cold, gray February afternoon, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped out of the West Wing wrapped in a puffy black parka and clutching a folder of documents, seemingly oblivious to the Washington custom of having an aide schlep the paperwork. Yellen, entourage in tow, had been at the White House to strategize about how to push through Biden’s stimulus.
“An analysis of Mr.[Darrin] Lopez’s cell phone, seized after his arrest on Jan. 11, revealed that Ms. [Jennifer] Faith and Mr. Lopez were intimately involved. Ms. Faith used her cell phone to update Mr. Lopez on her efforts to collect on Mr. Faith’s life insurance policy and to coach Mr. Lopez on how to respond to potential police questioning.”
COVID-19 forced insurance companies to take a new approach in how they deal with diversity and inclusion in their workforce, a panel said during a NAILBA discussion.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell underscored the U.S. economy’s ongoing weakness Tuesday in remarks that suggested that the Fed sees no need to alter its ultra-low interest rate policies anytime soon. “The economic recovery remains uneven and far from complete, and the path ahead is highly uncertain,” Powell said.
A week into the tax season, the IRS says all Covid-related stimulus payments have been issued. If you are entitled to stimulus funds and haven’t received them, chances are good that the IRS doesn’t know you are entitled to the relief. The only way to get your money now is to file a 2020 tax return.
Lauren Crawford Shaver, executive director of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, said she believes it is less likely that an expansion of government-run health care will happen this year, given the focus on pandemic relief in Washington.
Democrats on Tuesday brushed aside Republicans’ concerns about overheating the economy with the Biden administration’ s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that the central bank won’ t pull back anytime soon on its own aggressive actions to aid the recovery.
When it comes to health care, it’s possible that the U.S. can have it all: a system in which universal coverage is affordable in a free market where carriers and brokers compete for business.
Frustration with the current health care system is opening the door for a gradual broadening of our current public programs, NAHU’s CEO said at the association’s virtual Capitol Conference on Monday.
Of the major health care issues in Washington, lowering the cost of prescription drugs is the issue that enjoys the most bipartisan support, at least ideologically, a political consultant said.
Money from the American Rescue Plan will go toward the national vaccination program by setting up community vaccination sites, help reopen schools, fund testing programs, and provide aid to state and local governments. The House of Representatives Budget Committee on Monday marked up the plan and advanced it on a 19-16 vote.
The public option “would destabilize current insurance markets by creating an unlevel playing field,” says Chris Hartmann, NAHU vice president of congressional affairs. “This would have the devastating effect of closing hospitals.”
One month into the job, President Joe Biden is on the cusp of securing a bigger economic rescue package than during the 2009 financial crisis. He has wiped out his predecessor Donald Trump’s policies from climate change to travel bans, while the U.S. daily COVID-19 vaccine distribution rate grew 55%.
To the surprise of many, the Department of Labor allowed the previous administration’s final fiduciary advice regulation to take effect. Financial professionals should consult with their compliance officers or legal advisors for specifics, but here are some key items to address.
—President Joe Biden is targeting federal pandemic assistance to the nation’s smallest businesses and taking steps to further equity in what is known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Biden’s team is also carving out $1 billion to direct toward sole proprietors, such as home contractors and beauticians.
The recent GameStop frenzy provided what parents and educators call a teachable moment— an opportunity that presents itself to lend a little insight. So what is the best way for parents to teach kids about investing, particularly when the market behaves oddly?
A 130-year-old industry association is looking ahead to the next five years by looking at ways to increase its diversity, foster the growth of the next generation of advisors and raising awareness of financial services as an appealing career among students.
Keith Gill went from YouTube and Reddit fame as the investor who helped inspire the runup in GameStop stock to a star witness in a congressional hearing this morning. And he did it all from his big, red gamer chair.
Compensation rose between 8% and 14% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020. This was higher than the 3% increase in total revenue for these companies during that same period.
The Saver’s Credit is a non-refundable tax credit that may be applied up to the first $2,000 of voluntary contributions an eligible worker makes to a 401(k), 403(b) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, a traditional or Roth IRA, or an ABLE account.
The Fed has signaled that it does not plan to begin raising interest rates until after 2023. In addition to low rates, the Fed is buying $80 billion in Treasury securities and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month and analysts expect those purchases to continue for some time to come.
“My sense is that the regulation has evolved to such an extent that many people think it should be part of the portfolio,” says Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of global fixed income at BlackRock.
Consumer priorities have changed significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly half (45%) of consumers surveyed planning to save more and those most impacted financially seeking to mitigate future financial uncertainty.
The outlook for the year ahead is on the upswing. With the Federal Reserve continuing to maintain short-term interest rates near zero and vaccinations increasing in number and availability, the prospect for reopening the economy and returning to normalized growth seems likely.