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Articles on Wealth Management Topics

How Equity-Indexed Annuities (EIA's) Actually Work: A Case Study

Buyers often seem unaware of the shortcomings of annuities until well after their purchase. Equity-indexed annuities are no exception to this statement. While the downside protection they offer is not at issue here (but is subject to the claims-paying ability of the insurance company involved), the upside potential of these products is often vastly exaggerated (or misunderstood) by salespeople motivated by nothing more than the prospect of sales commissions averaging about 6% of the amount invested.

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How a Financial Advisor's Business Model Affects the Advice They Provide

Financial advisors vary widely in the business models in which they operate and in the standards of care that they owe to clients. These factors determine the quality of advice provided, and of products recommended, by any given financial advisor as much as his/her education, experience, and professional designations.

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Tax-Free Exchanges of Annuities for Long-term Care Coverage

Luckily, even the worst annuities don't have to be "roach motels" - there is often a way out of them without having to sacrifice an arm and a leg. The best escape route depends on a variety of factors, i.e. the annuity's surrender charge schedule, whether or not it's held in a tax-qualified account, the fine print of the annuity contract, the client's financial situation, etc. A provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) offers another possible way out.

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Cost-Effective Annuities to Exchange for Those You've Been Sold

To pick up where we left off in our last blog post on the role of annuities in a retirement portfolio, immediate annuities can serve a useful function. But like any other financial product, there are cost-effective, well-engineered annuities and expensive, poorly-designed ones. Here are some welcome and interesting annuity features that you may be unaware of if your only prior experience with annuities is through an insurance salesperson:

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Do Annuities Have a Role to Play in Your Retirement Portfolio?

If there's one investment vehicle that causes more controversy than any other, it has to be the annuity. Opinions among financial professionals are usually divided along the lines of compensation model. Commission-based brokers and insurance salespeople tend to think more highly of them, and to recommend them more frequently, than Fee-Only financial planners.

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