Investors wondering about the direction of interest rates saw a clear picture emerge at the global meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Concerns over the labor markets and low inflation factored into  Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s announcement about interest rates for the coming months. Market forecasts for the remainder of 2014 are trending upwards. The report from the Conference Board is out, and the leading economic indicators continue to rise. Alternative investments often get a bad rap from investors and the media, but is this fair? Walter Davis of Invesco offers a different perspective. The new federal tax rules issued in July allow individuals to purchase “longevity” policies in their 401(k) plans. Designed to protect you from running out of money late in life, they may be a good investment. Or not. The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch looks into the pros and cons of these annuities.

Jackson Hole Theme: Labor Markets Can’t Take Higher Rates–  Global central bankers led by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said labor markets still have further to heal before their economies can weather higher interest rates.

Leading Economic Indicators In U.S. Rise By Most In Four Months– The Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading indicators rose in July by the most in four months, as stronger job growth helps power the world’s largest economy.  “The economy is gaining traction and growth should continue at a strong pace for the remainder of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist at the Conference Board.

Correcting A Common Misconception About Alternative Investments–  The performance of alternative investments in general, and alternative mutual funds in particular should not be compared to those of the S&P. They are designed to achieve returns that are more consistent and less volatile than those of the stock market on a long-term basis across multiple market cycles. Walter Davis of Invesco explains why in this article.

Is It Worth It To Buy A ‘Longevity Annuity’? – Would-be retirees will soon be able to buy “longevity annuities” for their savings plans. These products can help guard against running out of money in later life – as long as you recognize their shortcomings.

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John R. Day, Bill Ennis, Stephanie Davidson and Matt Heller

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