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Not Quite Snowed Under

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I hope everyone’s year has started off well. Up here in New Hampshire we’ve gotten two pretty good bouts of snow. I was expecting a mild winter, but such has not been the case thus far. Last year I did all the shoveling myself but this year I have already enlisted some help to clear the parking spots in front of my place.

The photo here is of a decorative garden thermometer I received as a Christmas gift. When I first assembled it and set it up in the yard I had no idea what the numbers and hash marks going up the pole were for; clueless me! Now the reason for them is perfectly clear. I’ll be able to tell just how many inches we get each time.

So to continue on the theme of measurement, I have already started to evaluate how I’m doing with my New Year’s resolutions and such. I did not make good on some of my goals last year, one of which was to post on this blog once per month without fail. This time around I plan to make good on that.

This will be a very interesting year: we have the election, a new DOL fiduciary rule is in play, the market has been volatile and we’re coming off another record year for industry sales.

It may be hackneyed at this point – the quote by Wayne Gretsky – but the whole concept of looking at “where the puck is headed” is one I have tried to take to heart.

And I see signs that folks in the business are looking at (one might better say revisiting) ideas that might not bear fruit immediately but may do so someday. Lately there’s been much discussion around contingent deferred annuities (CDAs), in-plan annuities and solutions for fee-based advisors; all of these have been around for a while but have not yet garnered significant sales.

Not all of us might be blanketed in snow, but no matter: winter is a great time to hunker down and strategize (dare I say innovate?) and I imagine that insurers are doing just that. I expect novel ideas they are working on now to emerge in the spring.

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