When we moved into our St. Louis home several years ago there were 10 trees growing in the yard. Today, there are three. My wife will tell you the seven missing trees were removed because they were ill or ill placed. My explanation is that my wife grew up on the open prairies of Iowa and views stands of trees as alien life forms.
When I took her to see the cabin in northern Minnesota that I visited as a boy, I felt at peace seeing the close-set pines and contrasting birch trees that provided a green and white curtain of privacy and mystery. My wife, on the other hand, felt claustrophobic. She prefers wide-open vistas for the same reason I like dark forests: because this is what we were first exposed to, what we were raised with. For the same reason, financial reporters generally do not favor fixed annuities.
Forbes, Money and the Wall Street Journal are all housed a few subway stops from the New York Stock Exchange. If the story they are reporting has to do with stocks or bonds, financial reporters are comfortable; they are familiar with this part of the financial world, the securities “forest.” But the annuity “plains” are unfamiliar and make financial reporters nervous, so they try to take elements of their home and apply them to this unfamiliar landscape. Therein lies the problem.