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Insurance Benefits for Knights

An important aspect of the Knights of Columbus is its insurance heritage.  Members of the Knights of Columbus receive quality coverage at a nominal cost due to the highest of ratings awarded each year.  Robert Canter can provide you and your family assistance in reviewing your insurance coverage at any time.  Contact Robert:  robert.canter@kofc.com

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Council Meetings: 1st Monday of every month at 7:30 pm with the exceptions of holidays.  

New Member Benefit Extended to All Members 

4 December- Supreme Knight Carl Anderson recently mailed an insurance offer to all members between the ages of 18 and 65. The “new member plan,” a low-cost permanent life insurance product, is normally available only to new members and their wives when they join the Order. For a limited time, in connection with the 125th anniversary of the Order, the plan is being made available to existing members and their wives as well.  I have the application, which can be sent directly to Supreme for activation.  No need to see an agent for sales.  You can contact me or agent Bob Canter for details.  The new Knights of Columbus VANTAGE Single Premium Deferred Annuity is a popular product.  Contact agent Bob Canter at for details.

Short Term Savings - Robert Canter

Many investment pros are convinced that the Federal Reserve soon will cut its benchmark short-term interest rate to ease the worrisome credit crunch rooted in the housing slump.

If that happens, rates on bank savings accounts and certificates of deposit also could see their first significant fall in more than three years.

Historically, banks and savings institutions haven’t wasted much time in paring deposit rates once the Fed trims its discount rate, said Ray Montague, manager of deposit customer services for Calabasas, Calif.-based Informa Research Services Inc., which tracks savings rates. “Banks usually are really fast to cut rates and slow to raise,” he said.

Some experts are advising people to lock in longer-term certificates of deposit soon, at least with a portion of their savings, in case rates begin to slide.

“Locking in a CD is particularly attractive now,” said Greg McBride, senior analyst at Bankrate.com in North Palm Beach, Fla. “The yields haven’t yet reflected the idea of a Fed rate cut.”

There’s a lot at stake. Savers have more than $5 trillion in bank savings accounts and CDs nationwide, up from $2.7 trillion at the start of the decade. Many older Americans, in particular, live partly off the interest they earn on bank deposits.

Those deposits have risen faster than assets in stock mutual funds since 1999, which might demonstrate that many Americans have been relatively conservative with their nest eggs.

Savers suffered from 2001 through mid-2003 as the Fed slashed its benchmark rate, the so-called federal funds rate, from 6.5 percent to a generational low of 1 percent, in an effort to bolster the economy.

It was a great time for borrowers, but at savers’ expense. The average annualized yield on one-year CDs nationwide was just slightly above 1percent four years ago this month, according to Informa Research.

Beginning in mid-2004, the Fed began to tighten credit, but slowly. Policymakers raised their key rate by a quarter of a percentage point every six weeks or so, to 5.25 percent by June 2006. The Fed then went on hold.

The average yield on one-year CDs now is 4.17 percent, Informa Research says. That yield mostly has held steady for the last 12 months.

Many economists expect the Fed to drop its key rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent when policymakers meet Sept. 18 and that one or two additional quarter- point cuts are probable by year-end if the credit crunch doesn’t show signs of abating quickly.

Still, it isn’t certain that the Fed will cut rates at all, some analysts warn. And even if the central bank does act, the decline could be temporary.

Even so, McBride at Bankrate.com said savers should consider shifting at least some of their cash in short-term accounts into longer-term CDs, such as one-year issues, on the chance that rates have peaked for the time being.

With federal deposit insurance coverage the same at every bank — as much as $100,000 per account and $250,000 for individual retirement accounts — analysts advise shopping for the highest yields available.

Robert J. Canter, Jr.

Knights of Columbus Insurance

Fraternal Benefits Advisor

FICF, LUTCF, CSA

W 301-952-0180

F 301-952-0195

robert.canter@kofc.org

From the Supreme Knight -  Carl A. Anderson

Greed is not exactly a recent phenomenon - it's right there on the age-old list of the "seven deadly sins." In any event, it's been very much in evidence lately in the financial markets, which have been in a panic because of the failure of some lenders who specialized in so-called sub-prime mortgages.

If the problem was limited to companies that unwisely provided mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, then those companies would simply either have to change their ways or go out of business. But in practice, their loans are sold to investors. And in the last few years, some investment firms have packaged these risky mortgage loans into extremely complex investment vehicles that offer a modestly higher interest rates, but conceal the real risk involved.

Some investors, lured by the higher rates of return, and lulled into complacency by assurances that "cutting edge" financial engineering had minimized the risks involved, allowed a touch of avarice to cloud their judgment. Some of those investors were banks, and some were insurance companies.  The Knights of Columbus insurance program has more than $64 billion of life insurance in force, puts us in the Fortune 1000.  Like all such companies, we invest the premiums paid by our certificate holders in a variety of investment vehicles.

Today we have nearly $14 billion of assets under management. But we have always maintained very high standards for the investments we make, putting our assets only into investment-grade bonds and the highest-quality equities. We do not invest in high risk vehicles such as derivatives and junk bonds, nor do we invest in the types of structured transactions that are currently causing such turmoil in the markets. We stay away from them not because we don't understand them - but because we do understand them - and the risk they entail.

Ours is an insurance program that is designed by brother Knights for brother Knights. And we believe that your best interests are served by a prudent and conservative investment philosophy. When Standard & Poor's renewed our AAA rating again last month, they noted that our approach produces "slightly lower investment yields," but found that overall, we have "consistently generated good investment returns, with low exposure to credit risk." And in a world where "liquidity" is suddenly a major concern in the financial community, S&P declared that we "have very strong liquidity," which "is further enhanced by the high credit quality of [our] investment portfolio."

A few days ago, A.M. Best, which also gave us its top rating again this year, asked us to report our investment in sub-prime mortgages over the past three years. The answer, of course, was zero. Did we have any investments during the same time period in the types of structured bond and loan packages that have sent shock waves through the markets? Once again, we were able to report that we had none at all.

Some companies cannot give that answer.

Because we put our members' interests first, and because we earn an excellent return on our investments the hard way - by seeking out the highest-quality investment vehicles - we are able to offer you, our members, a rock-solid foundation on which to build your financial future and protect your family. And we do it while staying well away from any of the seven deadly sins. That is our commitment to you and your family.

To get in touch with your local Knights of Columbus insurance agent, click here.

 

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Knights of Columbus Council 11947
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community
1427 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22302

 

09/16/2010