A report from BlackRock Investment Institute predicts an imminent market upturn and advises investors to set aside concerns about near-term volatility that might be caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to buy stocks with good prospects. "Positive vaccine news reinforces our outlook for an accelerated restart during 2021, reducing risks of permanent economic scarring," said Mike Pyle, BlackRock's global chief investment strategist.
Populations are rising in more than half of the 20 areas with the highest wildfire risk in the US, including six counties with some of the sharpest population growth in the country, according to a ClimateCheck study. People are building in areas of high risk because of affordability, although difficulty obtaining homeowners insurance could hinder such migration in the future, said Skylar Olsen of ClimateCheck.
The reinsurance market likely will see rising prices at Jan. 1 renewals and beyond, experts said at an industry event. "I really believe that the insurance industry is getting more sophisticated and really thinking in terms of long-term cost of risk," and the industry needs to "charge an appropriate amount for the risk that we're taking," said Linda Johnson of TigerRisk Partners.
More "megafires" are occurring as modern wildfire-fighting practices allow more fuel to accumulate in US forests, and such high-severity wildfires can produce dead limbs and leaves that also contribute to major fires in the future, according to experts. In addition, multiple severe fires can transform landscapes into shrubland or grassland and have an effect on biodiversity and forests' carbon storage, experts say.
A South Dakota Highway Patrol colonel and a county sheriff have filed litigation to prevent the legalization of recreational marijuana through a voter-approved amendment to the state's constitution. The lawsuit alleges that the ballot measure improperly addressed multiple subjects and amounts to a constitutional "revision," which would need approval from three-fourths of the state Senate and House.
Colorado state Sen. Jack Tate said he plans to file legislation that would provide coronavirus-related liability protections for two years for businesses and nonprofits that have 50 employees or fewer. Tate said he will introduce the bill in a special legislative session that starts on Monday.
A Nationwide survey found that financial optimism dropped sharply this year for both financial advisors and investors thanks to worries about the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and the presidential election. Nationwide also found that the number of investors who said they are working with an advisor rose to 67% in 2020, up from 51% in 2016.
Term life insurance is evolving to meet consumers' changing needs, especially those of millennials, writes Greg Faux of Guardian Life. Among the features some policies have added include the ability to convert to a permanent policy with a long-term care rider and a charitable benefit rider to allow some death benefits to be donated to charity.
The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a sea wall designed to guard Charleston, S.C., from flooding caused by storm surge. The plan has drawn some concerns over its potential implications for tourism, wildlife and poor neighborhoods, and it doesn't deal with stormwater runoff and other causes of flooding in the city.
Drivers using pilot assist and adaptive cruise control showed greater disengagement after about a month of using the technologies than did drivers using only adaptive cruise control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and MIT. "This study supports our call for more robust ways of ensuring the driver is looking at the road and ready to take the wheel when using Level 2 systems," said Ian Reagan of IIHS.