In my ongoing cathartic therapy of voicing my opinion about the ridiculousness of current annuity ads and promotions, I came to the conclusion recently that the rules are never going to be enforced. The drug is too powerful, and that drug is money, which in the annuity world means premium. The sad reality is that it seems like the industry is never going to oversee and stop the lies, deceit, and “bait & switch” annuity marketing that is embarrassing and drives the majority of agents crazy.
After paying close attention to this fraudulent advertising madness, I’ve officially thrown up my hands in disgust knowing that the status quo will remain intact for the foreseeable future. If one carrier pulls the contract of a supposed “annuity cowboy,” there will be a line of other carriers salivating for that grey area premium. Greed and justification will prevent the annuity industry from protecting the annuity brand from harmful practices.
Below I have listed the agents guide to annuity riches if you don’t care at all and are striving to become the next “Annuity Idol.” You have nothing to lose (that’s been proven), so follow these proven steps below to your annuity millions.
Focus on fixed indexed annuities (FIAs)
This is the definite pick for any aspiring “Annuity Agent Idol.” Sell away! Use popular phrases like “All of the upside with no downside,” “We never charge a fee,” “Reasonable rate of return,” and my favorite fill-in-the-blank useless word of all time: “hybrid.” Heck, call it a unicorn. Everyone loves unicorns! Call it whatever you want and whatever makes that uninformed buyer/dreamer smile and nod their head.
Forget the fact that indexed annuities were actually designed to compete with CDs. Push the stock market. Sell the stock market. Make sure to sell the dream scenarios and juiced return proposals that will never mathematically happen. If you want to get fancy, blur the line between yield and future income by mentioning the 7 percent or 8 percent income rider as part of the dream. And if you want to pile on, close with the upfront bonus “free money” story by all means.
The carriers and NOLHGA have your back
This is the best part of the deal. The carriers hold the money after you have done whatever it takes to get the application signed. But it gets better, because you can always “mistakenly” promote that the state guaranty fund is just like FDIC coverage at the bank. This provides that warm, comfy blanket of false security around the client as well as justifying the recommendation of low-rated, marginal carriers that usually pay a much higher commission. It’s just beautiful.
Say and promise anything you want
We all know that anyone can pass the life-only test, and the ongoing education requirements are like jumping over a puddle. You literally can say or claim anything you want, and promise whatever it takes to get the annuity sale. You will not be held accountable for anything, and you can sizzle the pitch as much as needed. It’s like being at a bar and trying to impress someone. Facts don’t matter, just the end result.
And when a client calls to complain that the FIA didn’t do what you said it would do from a return standpoint, you can consistently answer “Stop complaining, you haven’t lost a dime.” You know that there isn’t a lawyer on the planet that is going to sue you for not losing a client’s money. It’s the perfect legal conundrum, and one more reason to go 100 miles an hour to achieve as many sales as possible.
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