Variable Annuity Instead of Cash

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Oct 23, 2008 8:39 pm

You know how most standard porfolio models always allocate a portion to cash, bonds, and equities....do you think it would be suitable and advisable to completely substitute the cash portion of the portfolio with a variable annuity that has a guaranteed minimum annual increase?  Couldn't you get all the advantages of cash (low risk) but still invest in equities within the annuity to increase the cash value?  I know there are a lot of annuities that will ratchet the greater of 6% (for example) or whatever the market performs. 

 
Thoughts?
Oct 23, 2008 8:46 pm

I could see putting the variable annuity for the bond portion, but not the cash.
Cash is liquid, annuities are not. Cash is going to hold its value; annuities can go down.

Oct 24, 2008 6:49 am

The big advantage of cash is access at any time.  This is lost inside of a VA.  I'm with Buyandhold.  I like VAs for qualified money in the situation that the guarantees allow one to invest above their natural risk tolerance.

Oct 24, 2008 1:24 pm

Akkula--you do know the "ratchet" and the "guarantee" are not on the amount invested (as a return)? You make it sound like the $ put in the VA is guaranteed to grow.

Oct 25, 2008 5:33 am

Sorry, I probably should have said I was thinking in terms of a longer term, retirement type of account where the person is most likely to take the benefit in the form of a longer term payout anyhow and where short-term liquidity is not the paramount concern.

 
What do you think are the best companies/riders to look at to execute this type of strategy?
Oct 25, 2008 7:14 am

The guarantees are only as good as the claims paying ability of the company.  Additionally, the price of the guarantees isn't guaranteed.  Therefore, the first thing that I would do is to make sure to use a top company.

 
Secondly, I still believe that the strength of the guarantees is in how they impact investor behavior.  GMABs are usually less expensive than GMIBs and GMWBs so I use GMABs.  My typical strategy is to take conservative qualified money and put it inside of a VA and invest it aggressively.  If it does very well, we will then get more conservative to match the client's risk tolerance.  Otherwise, we'll stay aggressive.
Oct 26, 2008 6:20 pm

how is cash holding its value, long term?

Oct 26, 2008 7:29 pm
Akkula:

Sorry, I probably should have said I was thinking in terms of a longer term, retirement type of account where the person is most likely to take the benefit in the form of a longer term payout anyhow and where short-term liquidity is not the paramount concern.

 
What do you think are the best companies/riders to look at to execute this type of strategy?
 
Depends, how long is this "long term retirement portfolio" that you're talking about?