Integrity Life Insurance charges 0.69% to 0.77% of assets for its ETF-based annuities, plus 0.60% for fees associated with the annuity, like the mortality and expense risk charge -- making it cheaper than your average offering at 2.3%. Other players, such as Jackson National Life Insurance (PUK
), have been looking at ETFs as well.
But beware: Not all ETF-based products are cheaper than your average annuity. MetLife (MET
), which has teamed up with brokerage A.G. Edwards (AGE
) for its new asset-allocation product that can invest in fixed-income, stock, and real estate ETFs, charges 1.10% to 1.15% for the underlying assets and around 1.3% for the bells and whistles of the annuity. Most people know the benefits of diversifying their portfolio with commodities. But did you realize that it's better to invest in the actual commodities than in the stocks of commodity producers? That's one finding of a new study by Gary Gorton of the Wharton School and K. Geert Rouwenhorst at Yale School of Management. Looking at returns since 1962, the pair found that commodity stocks had a 0.57 correlation with the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, larger than the 0.4 correlation between the commodity stocks and commodities. When the stock market had its worst month out of 100, losing 14% on average, commodities rose more than 2%. Luckily for investors, a growing number of mutual and exchange-traded funds give direct exposure to commodity prices. So don't forget the pork bellies and crude. Pining for the new Bentley Continental GTC, the convertible version of the Continental GT coupe? Then no doubt you've heard about the top speed of 195 mph, the 12-cylinder engine, and the special rear suspension. Well, there are 1,500 orders for the luxury soft top, and it could take up to nine months to get to the top of the list.
But you have a way to get into the fast lane: Bid on the first model to arrive in North America. Sotheby's (BID
) will auction it off at the East Side House Settlement Gala, to be held at the Jacob Javits Center on Apr. 13. The gala includes a sneak peak of the New York International Auto Show, which opens on Apr. 15.
Bentley bidders can buy tickets to the cocktail party for $150, or dinner for $1,000. You can also place a phone bid by calling 248 754-4531 by Apr. 10. The sticker price hasn't been announced, but you can bet it will be in the $100,000-to-$200,000 range.