I'm seeking some "advice from management". This is a request for a long-time friend and marketing partner.
Q: Any suggestions re: soothing the furrowed brows and the angst that prospects have right now re: the financial turmoil in the US and the world?
A: First, the angst is not against us; we are the guys with the guarantees. The issue is greed and unprecedented company growth, the Wall Street Wirehouses of the world, and Wall Street itself. I fully understand their anger; I have it also. One way to explain us as different. We only sell deposits, not investments. Deposits are guaranteed; investments are not.
Q: People ask about what will happen if inflation does go crazy, and we become like the Weimar Republic after WWI, the US dollar is no longer the reserve currency, etc...
A: Inflation is a huge problem, and the control of it is the Federal Reserve and their control over the money supply. There is nothing we can do to help them with inflation or deflation. Real Estate and the S/P 500 have always responded to inflation and can help a little. Regarding the question of deflation, our products have that covered; we don't participate.
Q: They're looking at their financial alternatives and they're wondering if annuities will be any better than the stock market in the long haul if everything "goes into the dumper" here and around the world.
A: There are no financial alternatives; any non-deposit option that is available is exposed to inflation, risk, and deflation.
Q: To be honest, I'm not exactly excited about the financial state of the country and the world, and so I don't have a decent answer to the question of "what does it matter if the annuity carrier pays a guaranteed lifetime income if inflation goes crazy, and the guaranteed lifetime income ends up purchasing fewer and fewer items."
A: Good point, but income will always be desired; a blend of guaranteed income and a balance to investments that respond to inflation is probably the ideal situation.
Q: I can answer any and all objections to the use of annuities for accumulation and/or income if the client wants to take risk off the table and have guaranteed income, but I don't have answers for these types of questions, and to be honest, these questions are ones I think about, as well
A: Annuities are not the all-inclusive answer, but they can help. Annuity choices can De-risk investments and provide the guaranteed income.
Q: I'm aware of how well insurance carriers performed during the Great Depression (stories of Babe Ruth & his annuities, etc.), and that should give some solace, but the feeling everyone has is that " this time it will be different."
A: Having that attitude that this time will be different is a sign of emotion, and lack of information. During the depression, the issue wasn't Wall Street and investment options; it was the failure of the banking system. Roosevelt fixed that, and now we have FDIC. The banking industry is solid, as is the insurance industry, because of their highly regulated reserve system. Tell your prospects they are thinking without all of the information.
Q: Hopefully, other agents and clients have asked similar questions, and you can "copy and paste" a reply that will act as a cold compress to soothe my furrowed brow. 🙂
A: It comes down to a simple issue, what is the purpose of their money, and what do they want it to accomplish. Asking that question is the answer to the question.