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NAVA: Demographics Might Affect Annuity Demand

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Annuity sellers looking for untapped markets should consider trying to explain their products to Hispanic Americans.

Researchers at NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, Reston, Va., have published supporting that idea in a summary of results from a recent survey of 1,000 “retirement-focused” Americans ages 55 to 80.

Participants had to have at least $75,000 in investable household assets, and the sample included 118 African Americans and 118 Hispanic Americans.

Researchers asked participants about their attitudes regarding their interest in “hypothetical investment products” that resembled many popular variable annuity contracts already on the market.

About 67% of all participants who would consider buying variable annuities said they would pay 1% of their investment value per year for the guarantee that, if they kept the investment for 5 years, they would never lose any of their investments and would receive all market gains.

About 54% of all participants said they would be likely to invest more in the stock market if they were guaranteed that they could invest in the market with the possibility of high gains and no risk of loss

The researchers found that African American and Hispanic American participants were more worried about investment risk than other participants were.

About 20% of African American participants and 20% of Hispanic American participants were unwilling to take any investment risk, compared with fewer than 10% of the white participants, the researchers report.

About 25% of Hispanic American participants said they are not at all familiar with annuities, compared with 14% of the African American participants and 10% of the white participants, researchers report.

About 61% of Hispanic American participants said they would allocate more of their investments to stocks if they knew they were protected against loss of principal.

About 54% of African American participants, and 54% of the white participants said protection against loss of principal would lead them to put more assets in stocks, the NAVA researchers report.