Recently, in Boca Raton, Fla., the 2011 NAFA IMO Summit took place and the buzz was all about new products and competition from non-traditional annuity players, like banks and broker-dealers. Despite the challenges, these annuity gurus say the future looks bright for the industry.
We spoke with event speakers Sheryl Moore, Eric Thomes and Allan Grissom to get their thoughts. In addition, once we got back from the conference, we contacted additional annuity experts Dana Pederson and Jeremy Alexander.
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An outlook for the annuity business:
We all know how tough it’s been with the economy since 2008. People have gotten savvier about finances the last three years. They want to get the best deal and they’ve taken control of their finances. They’re out, they’re researching the products, and they’re finding that indexed annuities are a better value proposition when compared to CDs. It’s opened the door to so much more consumer traffic for these products. When they do the research, people are finding out that annuities are the solution to the fear they’ve had about their finances since 2008.
-Sheryl Moore, President, Annuity Specs.com
On product diversity and broker-dealers:
It’s good for the carriers to diversify their portfolios because they need that diversity to get a strong rating. With all the suitability involved from the broker-dealer side, it really legitimizes the products and broadens their appeal. There may be short-term pain points, but there will be long-term comfort to the consumer. To broaden the market is a good thing.
-Jeremy Alexander, President and CEO, Beacon Research