Some of the most popular articles in the Life/Health channel of ThinkAdvisor (as measured by the vigorous comments that they engender) are those that take shots at (or sing the praises of) one type of financial or insurance product versus another.
In my opinion, these debates often display serious misconceptions about how insurance products work — and these misconceptions are not limited to a few online comments.
The detractors are often widespread, ranging from “experts” both inside and outside of the insurance business to celebrity financial pundits. It is sometimes hard to tell whether objections are based upon a lack of knowledge or are a dishonest attempt to gain a competitive advantage for the particular hammer in their toolbox.
(Related: Why Ken Fisher Hates Annuities)
But regardless, those of us who do understand these products often struggle to counter with honest, simple explanations. Insurance can get complicated and is boring. So simple but misleading criticisms are easy. Honest answers are hard.
That’s the inspiration for the video series we have started. We want to attempt to address the various misconceptions and controversies that we see both online and elsewhere with short, simple and, we hope, entertaining videos.
These videos are not deep dives into the technicalities of insurance (at least not yet) and the intent is not to defend products against all criticism. We simply want to educate where we see misconceptions by providing some tools and ideas that may help.
Our first video series foray is on annuities. I am sure you’ve seen the ads — ”I Hate Annuities and You Should Too.” Whether it is Ken Fisher, Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, annuities are a frequent punching bag by the various celebrity pundits. Why the hate? Here is our introduction:
Our first product-specific annuity video talks about variable annuities:
Future videos in our annuity series will talk about other types of annuities, as well as some of the issues, opportunities, and controversies that surround them, including commissions, retirement planning, taxes, regulations and many other topics. But we hope that many of the ideas and priorities for future installments will come from interested readers/viewers. Tell us what you think in the comments and give us any ideas that you have for future videos.