Merrill Edge Redesigns Mobile App: Portfolio Products

In other news, Prudential Investments changes its name to PGIM Investments

Merrill Edge announced a comprehensive redesign of its mobile app that lets investors personalize their mobile experience on iPhone or Android devices.

Clients will benefit from better navigation, dynamic help capabilities and heat maps showing key investment trends, as well as interactive charts and streamlined investing capabilities as a result of the redesign, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says.

“We know our clients are on the move, and we are right there with them, offering a bird’s eye view of the market and the guidance they need to plan for their financial goals,” said Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge, in a statement. “We are continually developing innovative ways to serve clients and to make their financial lives easier.” 

The new mobile capability includes access to Merrill Edge’s Guidance & Retirement Center, which provides resources, interactive tools and calculators to help with planning for retirement, investing, paying for college and other major life events. 

Merrill Edge is a streamlined investment service that provides access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch along with Bank of America banking.

Prudential Investments Changing To PGIM Investments

Prudential Investments will change its name to PGIM Investments effective Monday, April 3.

Prudential Investments, with $82 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, is the retail manufacturer and distribution arm of PGIM, the $1 trillion global investment management business of Prudential Financial.

The names and ticker symbols for the company’s mutual funds will remain the same.

The name change more closely aligns Prudential Investments with PGIM. The change also allows the firm to adopt a single name globally. The company already operates as PGIM Investments outside the U.S. with its UCITS platform.

The renaming follows the recent rebranding efforts of Prudential Investment Management to PGIM in January 2016, Prudential Real Estate Investors to PGIM Real Estate in May 2016, and Prudential Fixed Income to PGIM Fixed Income in January 2017.

SageVest Wealth Management Launches Online Resource for Kids

SageVest Wealth Management announced the launch of SageVestKids.com, an online resource  to promote financial literacy for children and families.

Data shows that 57% of adults in the U.S. are financially literate, and the foundation of financial learning lies in childhood, according to SageVest.

The site blends developmental overviews with age-appropriate financial skills and activities. Parents can find tips, tools and resources, including hundreds of free activities, to help their children succeed and grow up to be financially independent and responsible adults.

SageVestKids.com addresses topics like the basics of budgeting and saving, age-appropriate chores and allowances, and more complicated money management issues such as college costs, debt and philanthropy.

Crystal & Co. and MetLife Launch Group Long-Term Disability Insurance

Crystal & Co., a national insurance brokerage firm, collaborated with MetLife to launch a long-term disability insurance plan: CrystalMax.

CrystalMax is well-suited to serve the specific needs of financial firms where high earners are attracted by exclusive benefits packages.

According to research from WebMD, one in three employees will become disabled before retirement. However, limited options in the market prevent midsize financial institutions from providing adequate protection to their employees in the event they are unable to work due to illness or injury.

According to Crystal & Co., standard LTD policies cover 60% of earnings up to $10,000 a month.

With CrystalMax, coverage is available to all employees — without individual medical underwriting — for a monthly benefit of up to $50,000. The group plan is available for financial institutions with at least 40 employees.

Security Benefit Announces New Program for Fire Fighters

Security Benefit and the IAFF Financial Corp. (IAFF-FC) announced a new program to provide IAFF members with a supplemental lifetime income solution. The new program is called “Responders First.”

IAFF-FC was created to better serve the investment and insurance needs of International Association of Fire Fighters and all government employees. The IAFF-FC is a for-profit corporation whose only shareholder is IAFF.

With Security Benefit and IAFF-FC’s newly formed relationship, IAFF members will have access to opportunities for a supplemental lifetime income solution through Security Benefit through its network of broker-dealer partners and financial advisors.

---Read last week’s portfolio product roundup: VanEck Launches the First U.S.-Listed Green Bond ETF: Portfolio Products

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