I think the good thing this time is rates are rising in spite of the fed due to better expectations about the market and less fear about Europe, etc. If rates rise for this reason, NWLI benefits from better investment returns, not using market value accounting (AOCI will be hit, but not EPS), and better stock multiples.
NWLI doesn't invest much in government bonds, so I look at LQD (investment grade bonds) and HYG (High yield bonds) as proxy's for how their investments might do, although I doubt they have too much in what would be considered high yield.
The current yield on LQD is 3.8%, probably is a reasonable proxy for what NWLI could invest money at going forward. Last quarterly (Sep), NWLI reported investing money at 3.47%, so Q4 will be slightly worse than this, but Q1 around the same. LQD rose into mid-Oct, but has been dropping (yield rising) for 3 1/2 months now, so, if this trend continues, that will help.
rates going up slowly (which they have) is a positive for NWLI but we need to see 2.50% on the 10 year before we get real earnings leverage from rates.
they should have bought shares back but i have been saying this for a while.