Dissecting the Annuity Market

By Kate Supino

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How did your business fare in the annuity market in 2014 compared with other annuity management providers?

According to the Financial Planning Association, 29 percent of financial planners either advised their new clients to choose fixed annuities, or have current clients in fixed annuity vehicles. Four years ago, that number was a high of 49 percent.

Seemingly, this might have been an adjustment made to offset runaway inflation and a slumbering economy.

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Now that the economy appears to be recovering, at least from the perspective of the cash-rich corporations, more providers may be viewed as being comfortable with variable annuities.

What Can Your Business Do to Encourage Annuity Investment?

Annuities have traditionally been seen as complex investments that are only for financially savvy movers and shakers.

Though it is true that your clients need to enter the annuity market with their eyes wide open, it's equally true that you could woo even more suitable annuity clients if you use the right approach.

Here are some ideas for marketing your company's annuity packages:

Accentuate the Positive

Often, accentuating the positive is as easy as comparing something with another thing that is less attractive. As the following article shows, why not develop some historical financial charts that highlight the returns based on annuity rates versus the returns on other vehicles such as mutual funds, stocks or even certificates of deposit. You'll be able to shine a light on the positive aspects of annuities without compromising your ethic to offer a choice of investment options that are appropriate for your client's financial planning needs.

Related: Financial Planning 101


Emphasize the Flexibility

One of the reasons that some clients may shy away from annuities is due to their multitude of choices. But you can turn that perceived negative into a positive by emphasizing the flexibility that those choices can bring. Depending on their age and retirement needs, your clients can choose from premium protection plans, term annuities or lifetime annuities. These can be attractive options for older seniors who might be worried about not recouping their original investment. With hybrid annuities coming on the market in recent years, there are even more ways for you, as an annuity plan provider to prepare an annuity package that is especially suited to your clients' needs.

Don't Discourage Diversity

Remember, in trying to sell annuities to your clients, don't discourage diversity. Having a wide variety of investments in a financial portfolio has always been the smartest way to reach financial goals in the short term and the long term. Remind your clients that they don't have to be "all in" with an annuity. An annuity can be just one piece of an overall healthy financial portfolio. Once you explain that you're not trying to get them to put all their eggs in one basket, you'll be more likely to win over those clients who are still on the fence about annuities.

Finally, make sure you have all the recent facts and figures related to annuity investments.

Remember, your professional expertise is the best selling tool you have.


About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.



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