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View Poll Results: Should we drop the subject of variable annuities?
Keep yakking about VAs 48 59.26%
Drop the subject 33 40.74%
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:27 PM   #61
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Hey, you're the one who sold his soul to the devil gave up your sense of humor to sell annuities. Occupational hazard I suppose...


EDIT: Mods, please don't close this thread. I'll stop engaging Art in witty repartee, I promise...

Ohhhh, you're posting about the devil. So I guess you were an exorcist?
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:32 PM   #62
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Ohhhh, you're posting about the devil. So I guess you were an exorcist?
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:50 PM   #63
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Let's get this back on track. What are the pros and cons of VAs?
I can think of a lot of cons, expensive, commission fees, surrender of principal, poor returns.

I have TIAA VAs and these seem to be out of the ordinary for VAs having no commissions and expense ratios around 0.5%. Also the TIAA Traditional Annuity is a good option for the fixed income portion of a portfolio eliminating the requirement for a CD ladder.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:52 PM   #64
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Good idea.
Are you someone with a vested interest or someone who can knowledgably write about VAs? Because it's quite possible that the two categories are mutually exclusive... and you're sounding like a volunteer!

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Not a chance, your threads have way too much entertainment value. Carson paid Ed McMahon big bucks for what you're giving away free!
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Hey, you're the one who sold his soul to the devil gave up your sense of humor to sell annuities.
EDIT: Mods, please don't close this thread. I'll stop engaging Art in witty repartee, I promise...
I'm thinking more Rodney Dangerfield than Ed McMahon, although there's a good bit of schadenfreude irony from a guy who earns millions making people laugh and then can't manage to handle his own money.

But judging from the carpet-bombing of this thread, you're just driving up Art's post count...
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #65
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I have a VA, and this is by far my worst "investment". The screams I hear everyday are the sounds of my returns being eaten alive by fees, the investments inside the VA are murky and underperforming at best, I can't take my money out without paying huge penalties, etc... I made a terrible mistake when I bought it. I was stupid, stupid, stupid...

But if people want to keep talking about it, then fine, knock yourselves out...

P.S.: I am trying to compute the actual annual return on my VA money since I started it in 2001. I have been busy entering the data for the past 7 years in Quicken. I will report here soon...
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #66
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I have a VA, and this is by far my worst "investment". The screams I hear everyday are the sounds of my returns being eaten alive by fees, the investments inside the VA are murky and underperforming at best, I can't take my money out without paying huge penalties, etc... I made a terrible mistake when I bought it. I was stupid, stupid, stupid...
What VA is it, what are the fees etc.
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:14 PM   #67
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I have tried to draft people who don't have a vested interest in the product to write a FAQ. No luck so far. Anyone interested, pm me.
Heh, heh... This should be good for a massive blast from the annuity sales team, or at least some litigation for revealing Trade Secrets.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:52 PM   #68
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I think the notion of "free speech" is based on the practical observation that we learn more if we let everyone talk.

Notice that even though everyone can talk, nobody is obligated to listen.

No reason to prohibit discussions of financial products. If reading the discussion is a waste of your time, then skip those threads.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:55 PM   #69
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I have tried to draft people who don't have a vested interest in the product to write a FAQ. No luck so far. Anyone interested, pm me.
I have a volunteer!
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:56 PM   #70
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No reason to prohibit discussions of financial products. If reading the discussion is a waste of your time, then skip those threads.
Spam away, then. But in that case I may take the "not listening" part to the point of departure.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:27 PM   #71
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I am reading a book by Ed Slott - The Retirement Savings Time Bomb and How To Defuse It. I respect him for the most part. He mentioned that in his opinion there is a good reason to have VAs within a tax defered IRA. However, he hasn't explained it yet. If this thread is still active when I get the explaination I'll post it.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:53 PM   #72
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Can we reopen the discussion on "enhancement" products now?
What type do you like?
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:57 PM   #73
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I have a volunteer!
Yea!! I'm off the hook Nords tried to put me on.......
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:29 PM   #74
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What VA is it, what are the fees etc.
Our VA is in an IRA and was opened in mid 2001 by our friendly Ameriprise FA. If I remember correctly fees are around 2-3% a year.

OK, well the VA's returns were actually pretty easy to compute because we invested a lump sum in mid 2001 (Rollover IRA).

Doing XIRR on the VA, I get, as of yesterday, an annual return of -1.2% since I opened the account.

The money has been allocated as follows (no change since 2001): 30% equity income, 20% small cap, 20% mid cap, 20% large international and 10% REIT (in other words, the money is invested 100% in equities).

Had the money been invested at Vanguard (VG equity income, VG small cap index, VG mid cap index, VG total international index and VG REIT index), the money would have returned +2% annualized between mid 2001 and yesterday (I used total return data from Morningstar to compute the return).

So on average, by investing inside a VA, my average annual return has been 3.2% lower than it would have been at Vanguard.

How much of a difference would that make?
$10,000 invested at Vanguard in 2001 would be worth $11,486 today.
$10,000 invested in the VA in 2001 would be worth $9,129 today (20.5% lower than the $11,486 at Vanguard).

So effectively the VA's high fees have wiped out any potential gains. In a rapidly appreciating market environment high fees may be easier to swallow, but in a flat-ish market environment, high fees are killers!
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:53 PM   #75
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I have tried to draft people who don't have a vested interest in the product to write a FAQ. No luck so far. Anyone interested, pm me.
I have a volunteer!
What's the most frequently asked question—how & when can I get outta this thing without the surrender charge eating me alive?
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:45 AM   #76
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Did you ever get your answers?
Not really. My sister is clinging to her story that it has to come out in her name and on her SS number. My other sister thinks the same way I do and lives not far from her. I'm sure she'll get more involved before the payout date.

This will either be next month or January. Of course, that's tentative because my sister controls when.

This annuity (yes, 2B has a VA ) is with American General Life Insurance Company (a subsidiary of American General - what a surprise). I have a form dating from 2000 that supposedly changed the ownership to all of us.

My father originally had it set up with only my youngest sister as beneficiary thinking that she was "in charge" but only part owner. She had all of his POA and financial stuff so it was a natural extension. When he realized he set it up wrong it was changed.

I intend to call the number of the FA (may he burn in hell) that sold the VA to my father. He may actually be fulfilling my wish but he could still be there. If not, someone else may be able to help.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:02 AM   #77
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So effectively the VA's high fees have wiped out any potential gains. In a rapidly appreciating market environment high fees may be easier to swallow, but in a flat-ish market environment, high fees are killers!
The VAs offered by TIAA-CREF seem to be very different from the horror story you describe; low fees and lots of options. Is TIAA-CREF turly a reasonably priced, good performing VA or am I missing something
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:31 AM   #78
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The VAs offered by TIAA-CREF seem to be very different from the horror story you describe; low fees and lots of options. Is TIAA-CREF turly a reasonably priced, good performing VA or am I missing something
If your choices are like my daughter's 403b TIAA-CREF options, it's all in the fees. The annuity has a fee although modest compared to many alternatives and the mutual fund choices inside the annuity have high fees. The only thing you are missing is the money. You can either have a higher return with index funds or fund TIAA-CREFs end of year bonus.
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:06 AM   #79
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The VAs offered by TIAA-CREF seem to be very different from the horror story you describe; low fees and lots of options. Is TIAA-CREF turly a reasonably priced, good performing VA or am I missing something
Good for you!
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #80
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The VAs offered by TIAA-CREF seem to be very different from the horror story you describe; low fees and lots of options. Is TIAA-CREF turly a reasonably priced, good performing VA or am I missing something
TIAA-Cref is fine their expenses are low. I don't think ANY VA or ANY MF is performing well now........
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