What Annuities Do I Have?
This is an idea that came from something that pops up all the time. I get the question a lot from people on the first call. What annuities do you have? I suppose they seem to be expecting me to rip right into a sales pitch but that’s not how I work. Conditioning for this type of expectation among consumers is a direct result of how 99% of advisors do business. But this place is different and I’m taking some time to remind everyone this week.
The AST Consultation Process: Goals, Possibilities, and Proposals
The process is very simple and there are approximately three steps to it. First I need to know your goals. Second, I determine whether an annuity can accomplish those goals. Finally we look at the specific contracts that will get the job done. Typically I don’t propose a specific annuity until the second or third meeting. Many people never even get to the second meeting because there is no apparent match between my services and their preferences.
My Approach: It’s Not about Selling, It’s about Changing Lives
I wrote a newsletter almost three years ago titled “I Don’t Care if You Buy an Annuity” on August 28, 2020. Follow the link if you want a reminder. The point of that article was to let everyone know that the purpose of annuity is not something that should change my life, it should change yours.
The numbers I shared indicated I recommended an annuity to less than half the people who contacted me for advice. Because I only talk to a relatively small fraction of people who find the website, it translates to a very small percentage of recommendations for all the people who consume this information for free.
Back to the Main Question: What Annuities Do I Have?
Let’s get back to the topic at hand. What annuities do I have? Well the quick answer is that I have access to about anything that you could want. Define your goal and I’ll find the best solution. There are some things I can’t get but that doesn’t stop me from making sure you have the best solution. If that means you do business elsewhere then I’m fine with that. I’d prefer not to sell something to you that doesn’t work. It’s a poor foundation upon which to build a good working relationship.
I have reasons for not selling certain things and I have explained that in great detail. It doesn’t mean you have to see things my way but it’s fair to have honest communication from both sides. For instance, I don’t sell variable annuities. I wrote about it and did a podcast on the topic last year. You can check that out here ( Newsletter or Podcast). Basically it’s because I think you can get more income, better performance and much lower fees with a combination of fixed annuities and market investments. You may not see things the same way and that’s just fine with me.
Understanding the Motivations of Annuity Sales
There are many reasons why certain agents sell whichever products they choose. It could be motivated by money or complacency. I don’t mean to give it a negative spin but there are a lot of people who don’t do as much research. It mostly comes from local advisers who have been doing things one way for a long time. As use of the internet increased, consumers had more opportunity to verify recommendations but that created a lot of confusion. It put a lot of retail clients in the position of having to figure out where to find the best product and that’s a really hard way to start.
I’ve been doing this for over 20 years so it’s much easier to identify the solution to a specific problem. Anyone new to it is at a significant disadvantage.
An In-Depth Look: How Commissions Affect Annuity Sales
Another past podcast and newsletter drive this idea home. In 2019 I wrote the newsletter “How Commissions Affect Annuity Sales” and it talks about the financial motivation that drives sales practices. In the early days of the podcast, Ashok and I recorded an episode titled “Annuity Sales and Distribution” which basically covers the same points but in a different format.
So I do have all the products that you might want and I don’t know which it will be in the first minute of a conversation. I sold annuities from nine different companies last year. Whether you are looking for guaranteed income or just asset protection is the first step to setting a goal.
Objective Comparisons and Opinions: Guiding You to the Right Decision
Sometimes all we need is an objective comparison, while others will lean on a matter of opinion. It’s only my intent to make sure people buy with purpose and understanding. Whether you get it from me is something I don’t require.
I think you should buy the annuity from whomever gives you the best idea. That may be me but I am unique because I’ll admit any time my ideas aren’t the best for your situation.
Give me an objective and I’ll make it happen. The goal is to solve problems and make this process easier for you. Whenever you’re ready, schedule a time to speak using my calendar.