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Why Annuities are Gaining in Popularity

JigsawWe’re hearing more and more about indexed annuities in an insurance based environment and their increasing popularity when it comes to retirement planning, Yet naysayers are quick to decry them with arguments such as “what does minimum guarantee really mean?”, “too complex”, “limited earnings because of the CAP” and—my particular favorite—”beware of agent bonuses”.

But when it comes down to it, it’s difficult to argue with hard numbers and proven results.

So what exactly is an Indexing Strategy in an insurance based environment? This kind of strategy has two key components: a CAP or limit as to how much you can earn when the market is good and a protective floor of ZERO when the market is not good. How is this different to the S&P Index?  The S&P Index spreads the investments evenly between 500 different stock companies. There’s no cap, so it lets you keep all the gains when the market is good, but when the market is bad, you suffer the loss.

Now look at the chart below: this graph is based on ACTUAL CREDITED RATES for the period shown on a particular product* over the period 1998-2014.  It shows how $100,000 would have performed during this period had it been invested in the S&P (with dividends) and the actual credited rates of the Indexed Strategy.

With the Insurance Indexing Strategy, you can see that in the years when the market loses money, you’re protected from losses due to fixed zero floor.  The same doesn’t apply if you’re invested in the market.

 When it comes down to it, it’s difficult to argue with the numbers:

IS Graph 300 dpi

*This graph is based on actual credited rates for the period shown on the Index-5 product from American Equity which has since been replaced
 **Past performance is no guarantee of future performance and should not be relied upon as such