We compare fixed annuities to other safe investments, such as CDs and Treasury securities, to better understand whether they provide attractive risk-adjusted performance and are a reasonable alternative for risk-averse investors.
Variable annuities were created to give retirees access to lifetime income with the potential for growth. Today’s products offer a range of features such as liquidity, investment risk hedging, access to a risk premium, tax deferral, and longevity protection. This panel address the tradeoff of these product features and when they provide the greatest value to retirees. The best variable annuities offer reasonable-cost options that provide income, investment flexibility and downside protection when clients need them most. CFP and IWI CE credits pending.
This article explores the trade-offs associated with the decision to delay an annuity purchase – in particular the interaction between changes in bond yields and assumed portfolio rates of return, and the impact of mortality improvement.
Market crashes, such as we experienced in March at the onset of the pandemic, drive assets to the safe haven of government bonds. But our research shows this flight to safety mindset did not translate to an increase in demand for annuities.
While the “annuity puzzle” is well-documented in the academic literature, there is no “mutual fund puzzle.”
From a performance perspective, I give robos an “A” for being average, and hope that future research can make more meaningful statements as to how robos truly impact investor outcomes.
The fact only roughly 1 in 20 annuity quotes include a COLA suggests that advisors are not considering, and retirees are not being provided with, information that is essential for determining the optimal annuity benefit payment structure.
I recently traded emails with someone who is provably smarter than me. He was very interested in buying a SPIA with payments linked to inflation, which is also called a real annuity. Real annuities are often depicted as perfect for a retiree. But after obtaining some quotes and running an analysis, I concluded the idea was “nuts.”
DALBAR’s report is commonly cited as “proof” that mutual fund investors have historically made poor market-timing decisions. While DALBAR does not publicly disclose its approach, in this article I use a transparent and industry-accepted methodology, based on publicly available data, to demonstrate that investors’ returns have not been nearly as bad as DALBAR claims.