Thursday, July 17, 2008
Annuities: What the Heck Did I Buy?
Just yesterday I received a phone call from a gentleman who mentioned that he never thought about an annuity but was thinking about an Aviva Annuity because a high pressure salesman came by and convinced him it was a good idea.
Unfortunately, this is how many annuities are sold. They are forced upon a consumer by a slick or high pressure salesperson and the consumer, only a short time late to leave the consumer wondering what the heck they purchased.
It amazes me that most consumers, YES MOST OF THEM, have no idea what their annuity does or how it works. It is only evident that they have no clue what they purchased. If this is how you feel then you are not in the minority. Unfortunately, there is never full disclosure to a consumer when they purchase their annuity.
So what's the point? If you own something that you don't know about, it's time to do a little homework and figure it out. There are so many features (good and bad) about annuities that if you wait until you need the money to figure it out, how yours works you may be disappointed. And if you are thinking about buying an annuity, don't let a high pressure salesperson talk you into it unless it is exactly what you need.
So, Mr. X who called me yesterday, I told you I would write a little article about you so this one's for you. Yes, you told me you weren't in the market for an annuity so why would you let a 'high pressure salesman' talk you into it? If you like what he had to say then tell him you'll get back to him and in the neamtime do your homework. If you didn't then tell him to go away...yes it's that simple.
Well, I hope this helps. But in the end, just stay away from the situation that would have you waking up one day thinking, 'what the heck did I buy'?
Now that you know more about how to avoid being talked into buying annuities, learn more about how to do your homework so you can buy the annuity that's right for you if that's what you are looking for.
Tony Bahu is the CEO of AnnuityMD.com and the author of 'Annuities: The Shocking Truths Revealed' which is a book that reveals the shocking secrets about annuities that agents and insurance companies DON'T want you to know. Please visit http://www.annuitymd.com/ for more information.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Announcement By AnnuityMD
AnnuityMD.com is proud to announce it's Annuity Help Center. This is a place for consumers to go to get unbiased information on variable, fixed, immediate, and fixed index annuities.
The information superhighway is full of biased information particularly when it comes to annuities. AnnuityMD.com is committed to bringing consumers a very unbiased and true look at what annuities have to offer---the good, bad, and the ugly.
Please visit the Annuity Help Center by clicking on Annuity Help.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
The following applies to equity index annuities, fixed annuties, and variable annuities and in some cases immediate annuities.
Let's just cut to the chase here. There have been many e-mails coming in the last few days regarding the new information that has been posted on AnnuityMD.com so I would like to clarify.
Many annuities that are sold are sold inappropriately. There are many types of unsuitable sales that happen and many reasons that cause these sales to be inappropriate. The bottom line is if you feel you were deceived, you can be helped.
There is now a program at AnnuityMD.com that allows you to find out if you were deceived. If you feel like you were sold an unsuitable annuity, then it probably makes sense to go to AnnuityMD.com and see if there is recourse you can take.
Therefore, you may be entitled to receive your money back. Particularly if you were maliciously sold a bad annuity. And there is expert help to assist you in determining if that is the case.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Equity Indexed Annuity salespeople most often tell you how great these products are. And just as fast the salesperson pulls out their annuity application, starts writing and before you know it, a pen has been thrust into your hand to seal the deal. Not so fast. There’s a lot about these products that isn’t being told to you. And what’s being kept from you is for a reason. First, annuities are sold by, well… salespeople.
I know what you’re probably thinking, my advisor is a professional, a licensed, experienced, yadda, yadda. Well, that may be true, but the product is the product, no matter who is pitching you. Understand that the reward (commission) is very high for these complex annuities. The slick brochure, or slick salesperson, advisor, insert your term of preference, is not giving you the whole story. How do I know this? 90% of the transactions I have reviewed for clients have in no way matched what the clients thought they had bought. Then there are dozens of negative annuity articles written by excellent sources such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger, Smart Money, etc. And guess what these articles have in common? They slam annuity sales tactics and warn investors. Lastly, there are several multi-million dollar class action lawsuits against annuity sellers for, well… fraud.
After extensive studies, both those conducted by outside independent agencies, as well as my personal and very intimate reviews of dozens of annuities (including the biggest and most respected insurance companies) arrives at one truth. That truth is that many Equity indexed Annuities will give you horribly low returns, between 40% - 60% of the market’s return, before being hit with ordinary income tax under the terrible LIFO and IRD rules. Yep, no lower capital gains or tax on gains forgiveness for your family like you would get on other alternatives.
There’s good news though. If you are already in one of these annuities, with the right help, you may be able to get your money and losses back. And in case you were wondering if the salesperson will help you here, you might also want to ask the wolf to baby sit the hens while you go out to dinner.
Written by Steven Roth of Wealth Management International