Editor's picks from around the Web: 9/9-9/13

By Vanessa De La Rosa


This week's picks include using retirement savings for start-up dreams, a warning on funding retirement with life insurance, a look into the annuities owned by Ben Bernanke, how one advisor landed a $70 million account through LinkedIn, an examination of the wastefulness in the American health care system, a look at the nuances of disability contracts, and more.

Financial advisors: it’s year-end planning season (CNBC)

"’Getting started in September is perfect,’ said Sheryl Garrett, founder of Garrett Planning Network. ‘Some of the more sophisticated or involved things to do require advanced planning to make sure all the pieces come together.’”

Annuities to buy now and collect on later, maybe much later (The New York Times)

“Annuities have a long rap sheet. They are expensive. They can tie up investors’ money. They can shackle buyers to current interest rates. They are confusing. And maybe a little boring. But many investors have become enamored lately with versions called deferred-income annuities, which seem to ease the concerns about cost and interest rates.”

Funding retirement with life insurance? Be wary (Market Watch)

“Using life insurance for tax-free retirement income? Yes, it is legal, but it is unlikely to be a good deal. In this week's Q&A I explain the basics of this questionable approach.”

Estate planning for the rest of us (Forbes)

"As you can see, estate planning is for more than the elderly and ultra-rich. It applies to anyone who owns property and has heirs or who may become incapacitated someday. In other words, it applies to all of us."

Reasons to be bullish on Chinese banks (The Economist)

"In hindsight, I would argue that the new "equity" the government put in the banks did more harm than good. It gave the banks a false confidence that they had suddenly become clean banks, and that they could count on another rescue operation if their bad loans piled up again."

Should you care that Bernanke owns annuities? (Market Watch)

“Every year or so when Ben Bernanke has to publicly reveal all of his investment holdings, it sets off a predictable argument on both sides of the ledger on whether annuities are good or bad.”

Waste vs. value in American health care (The New York Times)

“Give economists a drink – or not – and with a straight face they will tell you that the American health-care systems is one of the highest value-added sectors in the economy. Give economists another drink – or not — and with the same straight face they will tell you that our system is alarmingly wasteful.”

How Morgan Stanley advisor used LinkedIn to land a $70 million account (ThinkAdvisor)

“Financial advisor Mitchell Rock cast a wide net on LinkedIn and landed himself a whopper: Within three weeks of connecting with a North Carolina prospect, the New York City-based advisor had won the retired retailer’s $70 million account.”

Checking the box isn’t enough with disability insurance (Financial Advisor)

“At the outset of an advisory relationship, clients are often asked to provide detailed information related to personal insurance coverage and employee benefit programs. Assuming information is gathered as part of this process on personal Disability Insurance and group Long Term Disability coverage, what should the savvy advisor do with it?”

Financing start-up dreams with retirement savings (The New York Times)

“They had three very different dreams, but these women had one thing in common: they all lost jobs and decided to use sizable retirement accounts to start their own businesses in very different fields. They did so by converting traditional 401(k) accounts into new retirement plans.”