Talk all you like about how such factors as the interest rate environment, equity market volatility and baby boomer product tastes are impacting the annuity marketplace. When it comes down to it, the factor that today has the biggest hand in shaping both the supply and demand sides of this $150-billion annual market is purely psychological. It’s called uncertainty.
On the demand side, a deep-seated uncertainty among investors about the adequacy and safety of their retirement nest egg is driving them to annuities to gain access to a wildly popular breed of optional feature known as the living benefit, through which they can obtain an insurance company’s guarantee of principal protection or income for life.
Uncertainty also has a grip on annuity suppliers. The escalating risk-management pressure that living benefit guarantees place on the balance sheet is prompting insurance companies to rethink their annuity product lines as well as their overall approach to the annuity market.
And in the middle of it all stand advisors like you, trying to stay plugged in to the client mindset while keeping pace with supply-side developments so you’re in position to match clients with the right type of annuity and annuity features. Read on to arm yourself with the essential annuity insight you’ll need to maintain a competitive edge amid all the uncertainty.
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