In preparation for our upcoming 10th anniversary issue of Senior Market Advisor magazine, we decided to consult with a couple of industry experts to take a look at the big picture: how sales of annuities, the cornerstone of our industry, have changed over the years.

First was “Annuity Advisor” columnist Jack Marrion, who’s been with the magazine since we started.

“Depending on the type of annuity, producers have experienced either a roller-coaster ride or a promising leap followed by a plateau over the last decade,” he writes. “Sales of multi-year annuities have dramatically soared and crashed as CD rates did the same, leading to 2008-09 record fixed rate annuity sales as CD rates plunged to their lowest levels ever. Index annuity sales roughly doubled in the first part of the decade when the stock market looked scary, sales stalled in the middle years as the stock market appeared stable, and then jumped up again due to the ’08 crash. The new normal times of the next decade foretell promising years for annuity purveyors,” he wrote.

Second, we consulted with Sheryl Moore, president of Annuityspecs.com. She said:

“Annuity sales have increased just slightly in recent years, whereas indexed annuity sales have surged since the turn of the century,” she said. “Last year set a record for indexed annuity sales at over $8.3 billion and 2010 estimates are projected to overshadow 2009 sales. Consumers have largely turned to their agents for indexed annuities because of the product’s ability to protect principal; this has been timely in the wake of the dot-com blowout at the turn of the century and 2008′s market collapse. Producers can look forward to growing innovation in the annuity market, as insurers look for new ways to attract consumers to products that provide a guaranteed income they cannot outlive while interest rates are at historical lows.”