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Old 03-04-2010, 11:36 AM   #21
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FinanceDude - this is a fixed index annuity, not a VA.
Even better, now folks can be bedazzled by such fancy terms as "participation rates" and "crediting ratios" and such........
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:38 AM   #22
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Even better, now folks can be bedazzled by such fancy terms as "participation rates" and "crediting ratios" and such........
Most of these have 100% participation rate, difference lies in the caps and method of crediting (i.e. point-to-point vs. monthly averaging, etc). These annuities are good for people looking for a lifetime income if the terms are favorable. Some are better than others. As the caps get lower and lower, they are less attractive from a deferred annuity lump sum payment standpoint. A couple years ago, the caps on most of these were 10-12% annually. Now they're 4.5-8% for the most part.

For anyone considering one of these, make sure you do get a copy of the sample contract to read it for yourself. There are plenty of agents who do what is right by the client, but there are just as many who are just "salesmen" as people here say. When someone is interested in an annuity, I go through item by item with them to explain what each part is and how it may effect the contract.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:46 AM   #23
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Most of these have 100% participation rate, difference lies in the caps and method of crediting (i.e. point-to-point vs. monthly averaging, etc).
If the "difference" lies in the "method of crediting", then its not a 100% participation rate, is it? Keep in mind some of us have actually read over the Aviva contracts and their promises........ There is no true 100% participation rate, its kind of like how the govt measures inflation, it depends on whom you ask.......

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For anyone considering one of these, make sure you do get a copy of the sample contract to read it for yourself. There are plenty of agents who do what is right by the client, but there are just as many who are just "salesmen" as people here say. When someone is interested in an annuity, I go through item by item with them to explain what each part is and how it may effect the contract.
Make no mistake; Annuities are NOT BOUGHT, they are SOLD.........
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:54 AM   #24
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If the "difference" lies in the "method of crediting", then its not a 100% participation rate, is it? Keep in mind some of us have actually read over the Aviva contracts and their promises........ There is no true 100% participation rate, its kind of like how the govt measures inflation, it depends on whom you ask.......

Make no mistake; Annuities are NOT BOUGHT, they are SOLD.........
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The participation rate is the amount of index change credited based on the method of crediting, so yes, it is a 100% participation if the contract states it as such. If you have "crediting method A" with a 100% participation rate, that is certainly different than having "crediting method A" with a 75% participation rate. Different crediting methods have different levels of potential return. As an example, a "monthly sum" crediting method could return 25-35% in a given year if everything went perfectly - that can't be done with other methods. However, one month with a large negative return can negate the whole year's cumulative percentage increase, whereas a "monthly averaging" method doesn't result in such dramatic spikes.

Some people "sell" annuities, some people "sell" life insurance. I don't "sell" anything, I help people understand how to buy what they're looking for without getting caught up in the "gotchas", and I never charge them a dime. I saved one client last year over $18k per year on his health insurance. He was ready to buy another one of the same policies for about $2k/year less, had no intention of looking at other options. Someone else would have just "sold" him on the idea of saving $2k ("Hey, look at this savings! What a great deal!!!) , instead of me helping him explore how he could save even more and still get the best coverage. There is a difference, whether people think of insurance agents as slimeballs or not.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:35 PM   #25
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:46 PM   #26
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Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Opinion is one thing....I prefer to discuss facts........

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The participation rate is the amount of index change credited based on the method of crediting, so yes, it is a 100% participation if the contract states it as such. If you have "crediting method A" with a 100% participation rate, that is certainly different than having "crediting method A" with a 75% participation rate. Different crediting methods have different levels of potential return. As an example, a "monthly sum" crediting method could return 25-35% in a given year if everything went perfectly - that can't be done with other methods. However, one month with a large negative return can negate the whole year's cumulative percentage increase, whereas a "monthly averaging" method doesn't result in such dramatic spikes.
Aviva uses something like 7 or 8 different crediting rates to come up with a participation rate. So, no matter how you slice, it is NOT a comparison o a direct index like the S&P 500 or whatever. Like I have said, I READ the Aviva contract, its nothing special, nor are any other of the EIA's for that matter...........

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Some people "sell" annuities, some people "sell" life insurance. I don't "sell" anything, I help people understand how to buy what they're looking for without getting caught up in the "gotchas", and I never charge them a dime. I saved one client last year over $18k per year on his health insurance. He was ready to buy another one of the same policies for about $2k/year less, had no intention of looking at other options. Someone else would have just "sold" him on the idea of saving $2k ("Hey, look at this savings! What a great deal!!!) , instead of me helping him explore how he could save even more and still get the best coverage. There is a difference, whether people think of insurance agents as slimeballs or not.
Not to nitpick, but if you didn't "sell anything", your agency would fire you.......... As far as saving a client on health insurance, I have no problem with that. However, we are talking about the merits of an EIA for the OP.......so that is the issue I have chosen to address.......
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:01 PM   #27
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Opinion is one thing....I prefer to discuss facts........

Aviva uses something like 7 or 8 different crediting rates to come up with a participation rate. So, no matter how you slice, it is NOT a comparison o a direct index like the S&P 500 or whatever. Like I have said, I READ the Aviva contract, its nothing special, nor are any other of the EIA's for that matter...........


Not to nitpick, but if you didn't "sell anything", your agency would fire you.......... As far as saving a client on health insurance, I have no problem with that. However, we are talking about the merits of an EIA for the OP.......so that is the issue I have chosen to address.......
I understand what you are saying and agree with you in a sense. To be technical, the participation rate is still different from the crediting method, since it's possible to have both a different participation rate and a different crediting method on the same contract, though most companies don't do that because it is too confusing for people to understand.

I also don't have an agency, I work for myself. There's a difference between having significant production and "selling" things.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:46 PM   #28
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I also don't have an agency, I work for myself. There's a difference between having significant production and "selling" things.
Yeah, yeah, we know: you do it out of the goodness of your heart.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:49 PM   #29
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I understand what you are saying and agree with you in a sense. To be technical, the participation rate is still different from the crediting method, since it's possible to have both a different participation rate and a different crediting method on the same contract, though most companies don't do that because it is too confusing for people to understand.
The Aviva contract is about as confusing as you can get.......EIA's are set up by the acutuaris to make the INSURER money........IF the client makes money, it is an unintended consequence..........
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:44 PM   #30
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The Aviva contract is about as confusing as you can get.......EIA's are set up by the acutuaris to make the INSURER money........IF the client makes money, it is an unintended consequence..........
If it were otherwise the methodology would be simple. Complexity works against the investor most of the time. Almost as a matter of natural law, in cases where someone else is writing the contract, the complexity of the terms are directly proportional to how badly you're getting screwed.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:14 AM   #31
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I am new to this forum. I wrote a whole message last night and the system dumped everything. I am one of the few people who want to BUY an FIA. I have been hosed by the market in the last 15 years and want something that is moderately safe as I prepare to retire in a year or two.

Some here have very clear comments on BPA 12 about what it does and does not do, I applaud you. Others put down FIA saying I could do better with straight market securities. I want out of the roller-coaster and want something with little down-side.

My questions: BPA12 there is no accural except every 4 years of TERM? Is this risky? would it be better every year? How does the Lock-In help in the process? How does this product compare to something very different like Allianza NA with their Endurance Plus program that supposedly has 20% premium bonus as compared to BPA12 8%?

Riders: I hear some reviewers say that only 3% of the people who buy riders for any condition every use them. Is there any truth to this? Why would this happen so much? Is the LIBR rider valuable? It seems like it on paper, but I am looking for practical experience from people who have bought it and tried to use it.

Caps: I am still just beginning my learning curve in FIA and different products use terms differently. Is the monthly Cap of say 2% mean that if the index (S&P500) does 5% increase in a month, then I only get accural for the TERM of 2% that month. If next month the index is -7%, then is the amount averaged into my monthly average now down by -7% mixed with +2%? or does the Cap work as a clip on negative numbers so I would have +2% for one month and -2% for the next month that will go into my average for the TERM? Would appreciate to understand how Caps work in terms of positive and negative months and how the average goes on for the TERM.

Much thanks.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:24 AM   #32
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If it were otherwise the methodology would be simple. Complexity works against the investor most of the time. Almost as a matter of natural law, in cases where someone else is writing the contract, the complexity of the terms are directly proportional to how badly you're getting screwed.

+1

As a general rule, if I can't get at least a reasonable understanding of an investment in less than 30 minutes then it is probably something that is more likely to damage my financial position than enhance it. I have never come across an investment product sold by an insurance company which has passed this test.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:29 AM   #33
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The Aviva contract is about as confusing as you can get.......EIA's are set up by the acutuaris to make the INSURER money........IF the client makes money, it is an unintended consequence..........
I agree that the Aviva contract is very confusing for your average consumer (and likely for most agents). I looked at one the other day when reviewing the currently available for products and the contract was 125 pages . By contrast, RBC's contract is only about 30 pages for the same type of product and pretty easy and straight forward to understand. KISS!

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I am new to this forum. I wrote a whole message last night and the system dumped everything. I am one of the few people who want to BUY an FIA. I have been hosed by the market in the last 15 years and want something that is moderately safe as I prepare to retire in a year or two.

Some here have very clear comments on BPA 12 about what it does and does not do, I applaud you. Others put down FIA saying I could do better with straight market securities. I want out of the roller-coaster and want something with little down-side.

My questions: BPA12 there is no accural except every 4 years of TERM? Is this risky? would it be better every year? How does the Lock-In help in the process? How does this product compare to something very different like Allianza NA with their Endurance Plus program that supposedly has 20% premium bonus as compared to BPA12 8%?

Riders: I hear some reviewers say that only 3% of the people who buy riders for any condition every use them. Is there any truth to this? Why would this happen so much? Is the LIBR rider valuable? It seems like it on paper, but I am looking for practical experience from people who have bought it and tried to use it.

Caps: I am still just beginning my learning curve in FIA and different products use terms differently. Is the monthly Cap of say 2% mean that if the index (S&P500) does 5% increase in a month, then I only get accural for the TERM of 2% that month. If next month the index is -7%, then is the amount averaged into my monthly average now down by -7% mixed with +2%? or does the Cap work as a clip on negative numbers so I would have +2% for one month and -2% for the next month that will go into my average for the TERM? Would appreciate to understand how Caps work in terms of positive and negative months and how the average goes on for the TERM.

Much thanks.
The BPA12 is a different annuity than the one described by the person who started this post. There are a pretty substantial amount of fees built into the product depending on which options you choose. One 4-year period is taken from the 12 years with no cap on the interest rate, but it is blended with a fixed rate to determine the final rate credited. There is a charge for receiving the bonus and higher-than-average charges for the riders that are offered. It is pretty confusing IMO. The Allianz product you referenced is completely different and designed for guaranteed income - the 20% is a bonus on the income account, not the accumulation account.

RBC still has the best and easiest to understand indexed annuity with guaranteed income if you ask me. There is a 5% bonus on the accumulation account, 10% on the income account, and the "roll-up" rate is guaranteed for 12 years at 7.5%. As an example for a 60 year old male, $100k in the RBC product guarantees an income for life of $14,410 if the income rider is triggered at age 72.

American Equity has an income product with 8% guaranteed "roll-up" rate and 10% bonus, but the surrender charge and bonus vesting schedule is much longer at 15 years and the company is rated A-, while RBC is an A-rated company.


To answer your other question, when you have a monthly cap of 2%, those monthly returns are added together to get the annual return. So if the market went up 2% or more every month, your return would be 24%. If you had a single month with a -24% return for example, your return for the year would be 0% since you would not be able to make it up even if the caps were maxed out in all other months. The monthly sum crediting methods have potential for greater gains, but are more risky than point-to-point or monthly averaging in that you are more likely to get a 0% for the year.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:21 AM   #34
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My questions: BPA12 there is no accural except every 4 years of TERM? Is this risky? would it be better every year? How does the Lock-In help in the process? How does this product compare to something very different like Allianza NA with their Endurance Plus program that supposedly has 20% premium bonus as compared to BPA12 8%?

Riders: I hear some reviewers say that only 3% of the people who buy riders for any condition every use them. Is there any truth to this? Why would this happen so much? Is the LIBR rider valuable? It seems like it on paper, but I am looking for practical experience from people who have bought it and tried to use it.

Caps: I am still just beginning my learning curve in FIA and different products use terms differently. Is the monthly Cap of say 2% mean that if the index (S&P500) does 5% increase in a month, then I only get accural for the TERM of 2% that month. If next month the index is -7%, then is the amount averaged into my monthly average now down by -7% mixed with +2%? or does the Cap work as a clip on negative numbers so I would have +2% for one month and -2% for the next month that will go into my average for the TERM? Would appreciate to understand how Caps work in terms of positive and negative months and how the average goes on for the TERM.

Much thanks.
Your questions make me think, "wow, you have to have a masters degree to understand this chit", and I'm a smart girl. I was thrown a product (like) this when I FIRE'd, and the salesman was so pleasant excited to chat with me and tell me all the good parts (most glaring lie was that he didn't even differentiate the rider benefits that would add more cost; he just lumped all great things into one sales pitch). He definitely had me interested, and then I took a deep breath and read the fine print. I was and still am in the deep dark about annuities and just know I am way too young to want any annuity, so I will revisit in 20 years (with a wary eye).

$27,000 may look great to you now, but consider that at 3% inflation rate, that first payment 10 yeaers out will only buy you $18,000 of goods in today dollars (math may be off but you see the point). And it will only get worse from there.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:43 AM   #35
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I am new to this forum. I wrote a whole message last night and the system dumped everything. I am one of the few people who want to BUY an FIA. I have been hosed by the market in the last 15 years and want something that is moderately safe as I prepare to retire in a year or two.
I'm sure you've seen articles like these, right?

Indexed annuity: Buyer beware

Equity Indexed Annuities – Problems, Risks and Benefits


Consumer Reports Money & Shopping Blog: Q&A: What are fixed indexed annuities?

EDIT: Take a look at the comments on the last link - the Consumer Reports blog. I think it interesting the entries defending/touting the benefits of FIA's appear to be from those who sell them. Where are all the satisfied customer's comments?
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:57 AM   #36
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I'm sure you've seen articles like these, right?

Indexed annuity: Buyer beware

Equity Indexed Annuities – Problems, Risks and Benefits


Consumer Reports Money & Shopping Blog: Q&A: What are fixed indexed annuities?

EDIT: Take a look at the comments on the last link - the Consumer Reports blog. I think it interesting the entries defending/touting the benefits of FIA's appear to be from those who sell them. Where are all the satisfied customer's comments?
I usually find that the comments after articles are more helpful than the articles themselves.

For anyone considering the purchase of an indexed annuity, just remember to keep it simple. If you can't understand the contract for the product you're looking at, find another product where you can understand it in simple terms. An annuity contract should not be 100+ pages. If it can't be explained in less than 10 minutes, it's probably best to look at something else.


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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
EDIT: Take a look at the comments on the last link - the Consumer Reports blog. I think it interesting the entries defending/touting the benefits of FIA's appear to be from those who sell them. Where are all the satisfied customer's comments?
If you don't think there are satisfied customers, you've got to be kidding yourself. Who is more satisfied, the person who bought an EIA and lost nothing in the market crash, or the person who is still trying to get back to even? One of our clients put $250k of a $1M portfolio into an EIA three years ago....the $250k now stands at $283k. Where do you think the other $750k stands? Which do you think they're happier with?
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #37
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OK:

1)What is the TOTAL EXPENSE of this annuity, inluding M&E AND management expenses?

2)You said the RETURN was guaranteed........that means I can WALK AWAY with my guaranteed return, right?

3)How long do I have to hold this annuity? Is there a NO SURRENDER option? (Most VAs have a NO SURRENDER option, but most agents don't mention that because they get paid 80% less up front on those share classes.

4)How are YOU compensated on this sale?

5)Why is this better for me than a traditional balanced portfolio of low cost mutual funds?

6)Show me in the prospectus where the CDSC schedule is located.

7)Give me a prospectus to look over, if I'm still interested after reviewing that I will be sure to call you. Don't contact me, I'll contact you........

There's more, but that's a start.........
8) In 24 years when inflation has doubled the cost of goods, what will the annuity be paying me?
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:33 PM   #38
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8) In 24 years when inflation has doubled the cost of goods, what will the annuity be paying me?
You could say that about any annuity that isn't inflation-adjusted, including a SPIA.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:33 PM   #39
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8) In 24 years when inflation has doubled the cost of goods, what will the annuity be paying me?
More than your CD or MM account?
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:48 PM   #40
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What's the opinion of TIAA-CREF annutites. They seem to have fees that are lower than most and aren't out there selling them door to door.
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