LPL Gives Advisors Access To Ramsey’s SmartDollar
Boston-based LPL Financial has announced a partnership with Ramsey Solutions to offer a new financial wellness program to its retirement plan advisors and plan sponsors.

The program, called SmartDollar, provides resources to help participants change their behavior toward money and use their income to save and invest instead of paying consumer debt.

“With access to SmartDollar, we believe our clients will be able to help employees improve their everyday money management to be better positioned to reach their long-term goals,” said David Reich, executive vice president and head of Retirement Partners, LPL Financial.

Developed by radio financial guru Dave Ramsey, the program is designed to educate, inspire and empower employees to take control of their finances.

“With so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, it’s no wonder that employees are not on track for retirement,” said Brian Hamilton, vice president of Financial Wellness for Ramsey Solutions. “SmartDollar is designed to get to the root of the problem and helps employees have a step-by-step plan to get on a budget, build their emergency savings and get out of debt so they free up their largest wealth-building tool: their income.”

American Independence, RiskX,  Offer Funds Managed By Louis Navellier
New York-based RiskX Investments and American Independence are partnering to offer funds managed by Louis Navellier ahead of the companies’ previously announced merger.

The Rx Fundamental Growth Fund utilizes Navellier’s quantitative equity strategy that targets growth stocks, and is unconstrained with regard to equity selection. The fund is designed to reduce equity exposure in deteriorating markets, moving into investment-grade bonds during strong downturns.

The American Independence International Alpha Strategies Fund, which is subadvised by Navellier’s firm, aims to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation. The fund primarily invests in securities of companies outside of the U.S., including emerging markets. Once the merger closes, the union would offer 21 mutual funds and work with a combined $1.1 billion under management. Before then, investors will be able to access Navellier’s strategies through either the American Independence or Rx Fund platforms.

MassMutual Launches Employee Benefits Tool
Springfield, Mass.-based MassMutual has launched a new employee benefits guidance tool, MapMyBenefits, to help workers make better decisions about their financial needs.

MapMyBenefits addresses concerns including health-care coverage, insurance and retirement savings, including benefits offered by employers.
The new tool provides personalized guidance to help employees maximize their savings based on life stage, financial goals and personal financial information—but it is not intended to replace professional financial advice.

MassMutual will make the tool available through advisors, third-party administrators and benefits specialists. The company is making several of its products available through MapMyBenefits, including 401(k), life insurance and other defined contribution retirement plans. Additional insurance products are in the planning stages.

MetLife Opens QLAC Option For Deferred Income Annuity
Charlotte, N.C.-based MetLife has made its Guaranteed Income Builder deferred income annuity available as a qualifying longevity annuity contract (QLAC) for individual clients.

The Guaranteed Income Builder provides a pension-like stream of income for life, helping to address a top concern of today’s retirees: running out of money in retirement.

Buying the Guaranteed Income Builder as a QLAC allows clients the flexibility to defer a portion of their required minimum distributions from a qualified IRA to a chosen start date, which can be as late as age 85. The maximum amount that can be used for a QLAC is the lesser of 25% of an individual’s IRA balance or $125,000.

Hancock Announces Three New Mutual Funds
Gulfport, Miss.-based Hancock Holding Company has launched three new Hancock Horizon Funds to its family of mutual funds.

The Hancock Horizon Microcap Fund focuses on companies ranging from $25 million to $750 million.

The Hancock Horizon International Small Cap Fund extends the $25 million to $750 million asset class internationally.

The Hancock Horizon Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund casts a broad net of about 20 liquid asset classes with a focus on managing both volatility and risk.
Hancock began offering the products in June.

Securities America Advisors To Use Pershing Mobile Deposit
La Vista, Neb.-based Securities America now offers access to the Mobile Check Deposit feature of Pershing’s NetX360 Mobile app at no cost to its advisors.

The feature allows for same-day deposits, allowing advisors to provide clients with quicker access to their funds and to save the time and cost of mailing checks. On-screen tracking permits advisors to review the status of deposits and the ability to split deposits among as many as seven different accounts.