Best company to start selling annuities

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Jun 5, 2007 3:59 pm

For all you guys that sell variable annuities, what would you say are some of the best companies to start at selling variable annuities.  I am guessing they would would be insurance companies like Hartford etc. that also sell life insurance and other insurance products.  Do you guys agree?  Or are there other better ways to access those products?


I have a friend who is at Bankers Life and Casualty apparantly making a killing and I am thinking about jumping on board.  The market is just getting so juicy with all those baby boomers retiring.... How important is the insurance company's AMBest rating when you are trying to sell these annuities?  I know Bankers Life is a B++, but that doesn't seem to stop my friend


He gets really great leads lists somehow having to do with his company's relationship with Colonial Penn I think.  Also, I guess seniors don't slam the phone as much as other segments. 



Jun 5, 2007 6:22 pm

NMFN

Jun 5, 2007 7:00 pm
NEWBY:

Also, I guess seniors don't slam the phone as much as other segments. 



No, quite to the contrary, they take up all of your time trying to understand what you are saying/talking about and are (in my opinion) horrible clients.  I loathe the concept of pitching people who have been buying CD's for the last 30 years.

Jun 6, 2007 12:52 am
NEWBY:

For all you guys that sell variable annuities, what
would you say are some of the best companies to start at
selling variable annuities.


The products are all pretty much the same. VA's are sold not bought.


Insurance companies will give you the highest commisions/payouts.
I.e no haircut and no grid. But most ordinary people run away from
insurance salesmen, while they merely avoid stockbrokers.


How important is the insurance company's AMBest rating when
you are trying to sell these annuities?  I know Bankers Life is a
B++, but that doesn't seem to stop my friend

In general it's not important because most clients aren't sophisticated to understand AM Best ratings.


In real life, many insurance contacts have a recission clause that
allows the insured to cancel the contract if the Insurance company
falls below A-.


Most wirehouses won't let insurance companies less than A-, ratings
in the house. Such insurance companies usually work via direct
appointments.


[quote]He gets really great leads lists somehow having to do with
his company's relationship with Colonial Penn I think. Also, I
guess seniors don't slam the phone as much as other
segments.[/quote]


Most Seniors grew up in a more trusting time, so you can lie to them
easier. Also they have fears that are easy to play on, if you know how
to push the right buttons.


There is a reason we have so many Certified Senior Advisors etc running about.

Jun 6, 2007 6:16 am

Newby, ignore Allreit on the subject of VA's.  Previous posts have shown that he has an axe to grind against them and much of his "knowledge" of them is incorrect.


Are you trying to build a career?  If so, find the best possible company for your situation.  Interview at a bunch of companies.


Are you trying to build a career as an annuity salesman?  If so, make sure that you are at a place that will allow you to sell the best annuities for your clients.

Jun 6, 2007 6:30 pm
drewski803:
NEWBY:

Also, I guess seniors don't slam the phone as much as other segments. 



No, quite to the contrary, they take up all of your time trying to understand what you are saying/talking about and are (in my opinion) horrible clients.  I loathe the concept of pitching people who have been buying CD's for the last 30 years.



Different strokes for different folks.  Despite the ups and downs of this job, by and large I am having a ball and making a nice living pitching to seniors who have been buying CD's for the last 30 (or 40 or 50) years.

Jun 7, 2007 12:11 am

I like VA's, but I also think there are too many wholesalers that just want to waste your time.  I think you can get by with just 2-3 annuity providers.  PLUS, this helps you have more leverage when asking for marketing support.


Most VA's are similar to each other.  I wouldn't hang your hat on ONE key product - because you never know when they'll change it up, increase the fees, discontinue it, etc.


If it were me, I'd pick an annuity company based FIRST on the wholesaler - will they partner with me to give me practice-building ideas.  THEN, I would look at the "sexy guarantees".  THIRD, would be the M&E, rider fees & sub-account fees.


For me, I use Hartford for my "5 for life" income guarantee.  Good performance, reasonable expenses.  I use both Director and Leaders.  I use Director when I need a low-cost M&E option, and Leaders when it could go to either funds (franklin founding funds) or an annuity.  (Do you want to insure this or not?  Sign here.)


I use SunLife for the "Income ON Demand" rider.  Basically, you can "rollover" your withdrawal benefit from year to year AND still get "5 for life."  Not for immediate income needs, but great for those in their 50's or older to build up that "stored withdrawal" for the future.  And, currently with new contracts, they have non-rolling surrender periods.  So, if you have a 7 year contract, and you add money in the 8th year, you are still completely surrender-charge free if you take out all the money.


If you're looking for an L-share VA, I don't currently use AIG, but I would use their L-share product to build a trail business.  The 7-year product and the L-share both have the same M&E expenses - so it's easier to justify it to compliance.


Just my ramblings.