By Staff | May 6, 2010 | Last updated on May 6, 2010
2 min read
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American consumer sentiment is on the rise, but don’t expect an increase in conspicuous consumption; they’re still cautious in their attitudes toward spending and investing, according to the latest reading for the RBC Consumer Outlook Index.

This index climbed 8.1 points in early May, to 72.7, largely thanks to improved outlook on local economies. Even that improvement needs context, however: 52% of reposondents said their local economy was “very weak”, down from 55% in April. Only 22% expect their local economy to grow stronger in the next six months.

“This month’s RBC Consumer Outlook Index shows that consumers’ negative attitudes are moving towards neutral, but not yet into positives — they are not yet ready to say that things have gotten better, especially when it comes to the national economy,” said Marc Harris, co-head of Global Research at RBC Capital Markets. “Few Americans are ready to say they are enjoying good times.”

Unemployment worries have a little, with 42% saying it was unlikely that someone they know will lose their job in the next six months, compared to 36% in April. But at the same time, 49% said someone in their immediate social circle had lost their job.

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Transamerica launches interactive tool

Transamerica Life Canada has launched a new interactive life insurance tool designed for the family market, called LifeScripter.

The company says that by using the tool with a client, an advisor can “more easily understand the client’s whole story and recommend the right insurance solutions that meet their needs.”

“With a focus on the family market and the goal of providing affordable, customized insurance solutions, Transamerica has created LifeScripter to help advisors better understand the unique needs of this market and simplify the process of selling insurance,” says Ray McKenzie, senior vice-president of marketing and distribution management, Transamerica Life Canada.

The tool is available on the Transamerica website.

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PEAK Financial hires former regulator

PEAK Financial Group has announced the appointment of Jean Carrier as vice-president of compliance for the firm’s member companies.

Carrier was the assistant director of inspection for the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) for three years and has 25 years of experience in the financial services sector.

“I am thrilled about Jean Carrier’s arrival in the firm,” said Robert Frances, president and CEO of PEAK Financial Group. “For over 18 years, PEAK has had enviable record in compliance. This opportunity allows the firm to continue to position itself as a first-class player in compliance in the industry and to better support advisors.”

(05/06/10) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.