Tuesday Tips – June 9th, 2015

Alerts

VOYA Increase

VOYA has announced both rate and commission increases on the secure index seven and wealth builder eight annuities. The commission increase is an additional .50bps. Call today for updated rates and state availability.

F&G Rate Decrease

F&G has announced a rate decrease on their income and wealth builder product line. The vesting bonus will decrease by 2% on both products. In addition to this the payout percentages are being reduced as well. The change applies to all contracts issued and funded on or after June 19, 2015. Call today for additional details.

Sales Opportunity

National Annuity Awareness Month

June is National Annuity Awareness Month and in recognition of that we have put together an annuity sales kit. The kit includes several client presentations for explaining the features and benefits of annuities. Call today to request your complimentary kit.

Industry News

Transamerica Increasing MD’s on Some Policies

Transamerica has announced that mailings will start this week to policy owners of several products sold between 1987 and 1998. The letter is to inform the policyholders that there will be increases on the monthly deductions for their policies. This comes on the heels of Transamerica pulling several products from the market including all of their secondary guarantee products.

Hot Rates

North American Rapid Builder

North American has rolled out an update version of the rapid builder. Now in addition to high early cash values the product offers chronic and critical illness riders as well as a guaranteed index bonus of .75bps starting in year 16. The new version also offers 13 different index options along with multiple commission options. Call today for details and state availability.

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Marketing Corner – June 5th, 2015

Understanding Behavioral Finance Problems


Have you ever made an impassioned, logical, and appropriate pitch for a prospect and they walked away? Have you ever created a tailored financial plan for a client and they chose to not follow through—even though it responded appropriately to their needs and unique situation? Of course you have. This kind of rejection is part of the prospecting process. You win some, you lose some. But it’s important to consider why, even with a logical, tailored, and appropriate solution, a client or prospect fails to see the key benefits of what you present to them.

Part of this can be explained with behavioral finance. Behavioral finance is a relatively new sub-field of economics that that seeks to explain financial actions and ways of thinking that may be irrational. These irrationalities are often identified as “biases,” some of which you are likely familiar with (i.e. gambler’s fallacy).

For an advisor or life insurance agent, these biases can represent real challenges to converting a prospect or making a client understand how your solutions best position them to achieve their financial goals. Consumers are often unaware of these underlying biases affecting their financial decision-making. Understanding these can help you overcome objections and clear more production. Here are five common biases to be aware of:

Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is the tendency for people to avoid loss instead of going after gains, in that the emotional character of loss is not equal to it’s numerical gain. For example, compare how you feel about losing $150 versus finding $150 on the street. This can impact a prospect’s ability to see the value of products with growth components, such as fixed indexed annuities, or it can even impact their consideration of any financial solution at all (status quo bias).

Snake Bite Effect

Once bitten, twice shy. It’s only natural for people who have a negative experience with financial solutions (or know someone who has) to be on-guard when presented with a product or plan. The issue here is that the conditions could be completely different or the consumer could be conflating products that are not comparable.

Endowment Effect

This bias describes the tendency of people to hold on to properties they already own, placing more value than they are actually worth. For instance, a prospect may have a large sum of money in a low-growth savings account, but because they have accumulated that sum over a long length of time, they may be averse to using these funds to purchase specific retirement vehicles that may be more appropriate for their retirement goals.

Mental Accounting

Mental accounting in finance describes an irrational bias in how individuals treat money compartmentalized into different “accounts.” People ascribe characteristics based on what that money will be used for or how it came to them. A consumer is likely to play with money that came from a windfall, even if they have debts or bills. Or a consumer might have a piggy bank used for saving toward a vacation, even though they have significant credit card debt. Although the money is the same (the debt and the change in piggy bank) both are treated differently because of their utility. Mental accounting can greatly impact an individual’s saving/spending habits. This bias can also affect a prospect’s receptiveness to repositioning funds, because of the separate accounts they come from.

Anchoring

This bias, observed in many different disciplines, identifies the tendency of an individual to latch (anchor) on to a specific piece of information and make choices based on this information–even when other details, contexts, or considerations are available. This can be a particularly damaging bias because a consumer with a strong anchoring bias returns to the same reference point to process new information.

While these are common biases you may encounter as an advisor, they certainly aren’t the only ones. As behavioral finance continues to develop and expand, more and more explanations are posited to

While these are common biases you may encounter as an advisor, they certainly aren’t the only ones. As behavioral finance continues to evolve, more explanations develop for why consumers behave irrationally or illogically. The important thing is to be aware of these filters and understand why prospects or clients behave the way they do, so you can sidestep any potential roadblocks to a sale.

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Tuesday Tips – June 2nd, 2015


Alerts

Athene Dropping Rates

Athene will be lowering the payout percentages on the Benefit 10 by .25bps in each cell. The new rates will be effective June 8th. In order get the current rates applications must be at the home office no later than June 5th.

Voya App Bonus

Voya has an app bonus incentive running through July 31st. For each FIA application submitted to VOYA the agent will receive an additional $100.00 bonus. Call today for details.

Sales Opportunity

Behavioral Finance

One of the key components to be a financial advisor is to get clients to do the things that they know they should be doing such saving for retirement and insuring risk. Unfortunately this can be a challenging task. Available for download is a great piece on behavioral finance that drills into why consumers make the decisions they do when it comes to investing and saving.

Industry News

Millennials

According to a Pew analysis of the census bureau millennials now make up the largest generation in the workforce. Data shows that there are currently 53.5mm millennials in the workforce compared to 52.7mm gen xers.

Hot Rates

Oxford MYGA

Oxford has some very competitive rates on their myga product. The 7 year rate is 3.05% and the 10 year is 3.25%. Call today for details and state availability.

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Marketing Corner – May 26th, 2015

Discussing Tax-Deferral

June is National Annuity Awareness month. This affords producers a great opportunity to discuss the key benefits and values of an annuity within an individual’s retirement plan.

While annuities may not be a catch-all solution for everyone, they do offer many features that can be attractive to a consumer—namely guaranteed interest rates, income for life (with a lifetime income rider), and tax-deferred growth (in the case fixed and deferred annuities).

Many consumers with a passing familiarity of annuities and how they function may be aware of these features. However, these benefits may not fully resonate. For instance, “tax-deferred” is great, but often consumers don’t fully understand the power of this feature on an emotional gut level. Here is a simple way to drive home the benefit of a tax-deferred annuity (or any other tax-deferred financial product for that matter).

In this scenario we are going to compare values that double every year, for 25 years. For one column, we will have strict double compound and for the other, values will double, but then be reduced by 25%–a general tax rate representing savings and mutual funds.

So we see that if a dollar doubles every for 25 years with no yearly reduction, the value grows to huge, almost ridiculous heights, eventually compounding to over $33 million. (That’s a lot of vacations and rounds of golf for retirement).

mcmoney1

Obviously tax-deferred does not mean tax-free, so once benefits are triggered, the benefits received will face some taxation. But even at a top tax bracket of 39% the client still walks away with over $20 million in this scenario. The deferral process allows a smaller amount to build to a significantly larger pool.

Now let’s take a look at our “taxed-yearly” values:

mcmoney2

A drastically different result. By the end of year 25, the value of the accumulated account has grown to over $1 million. A healthy, respectable amount for retirement, sure, but nearly a $20 million difference from our first calculation.

Of course these are simply illustrative figures and there aren’t financial products with this kind of compounding rate. But this does show the consumer the powerful advantage of a tax-deferred annuity.

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Tuesday Tips – May 26th, 2015


Alerts

ANICO Sales Contest

American National is currently running a sales contest through August 31st. They qualifications are a minimum of 9 E apps and 9k in life premium to win an iPad Air 2. Call for details.

Americo Platinum Provider

Americo’s Platinum Provider is now eligible to be designated as a QLAC. Call today for details and state availability.

Sales Opportunity

Boomers vs. Gen X

While these two generations have many differences when it comes to how they view retirement there are many similarities. Attached is a study that drills into how these generations view retirement and what they expect in retirement.

Industry News

Anuuity/LTC Sales Soar

Sales of annuities with LTC features totaled only $50mm in 2012 versus $500mm in 2014. Call today to get a breakdown of the most competitive annuity/ltc combo products.

Hot Rates

LFG Optiblend

LFG is launching a new FIA product series June 1st. The Optiblend series offers 7 and 10 year chassis with multiple crediting options including a volatility control index. The product is currently approved in 35 states stay tuned for more details.

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Tuesday Tips – May 19th, 2015


Alerts

LFP Closed May 25th

Legacy Financial Partners will be closed Monday May 25th in observance of memorial day.

Equitrust Rider Change

Effective June 1st Equitrust will be reducing it’s roll up rate from 6.5% to 6.0%. In addition to this income withdrawal percentages will be decreased by .25% for all age groups. Original applications must be received by May 29th to get the current rates.

Sales Opportunity

Tax Diversification

In retirement planning much time is spent discussing how risk averse a client is and how to structure a properly diversified plan. What’s just as important is properly diversifying assets between the various tax buckets. Having the ability influence what tax bracket you are in, in retirement by drawing from assets that have different tax treatments is key to not outliving your retirement savings. Available for download is a great piece that discusses this premise and can be used with clients.

Industry News

Aetna Shopping?

Aetna is in the market to purchase another insurance company. Currently their crosshairs are on Humana although CIGNA is an option as well.

Hot Rates

North American Guarantee Builder

The Guarantee Builder issued by North American is a competitive indexed universal life policy that offers accumulation, death benefit guarantees, and riders for chronic illness. The product offers the ability to guarantee the death benefit to age 121 and boasts annual point to point caps up to 13.5%. In addition to this it also offers a free chronic illness rider that can advance up to $1mm of death benefit. Call today for details and state availability.

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Marketing Corner – May 15th, 2015

The Power of Time Value Illustrations

Although retirement planning can involve complex products and finely detailed tailored solutions, the underlying principle—saving–is as basic as it comes. So even with sophisticated software, progressive marketing materials, and advanced calculators, retirement planning really comes down to convincing people to do what they already know they should be doing: saving appropriately for their desired retirement lifestyle.

This will generally be the first, and biggest, hurdle an advisor faces in dealing with a prospective client. There are many reasons why consumers don’t put retirement saving into action, even though they know they should:

 

  • Saving is not a priority expense
  • They think they will be able to save next month, next year, etc.
  • They are unaware of the power of starting now.

With that it mind I wanted to reintroduce the power of time value illustrations.

Given advanced prospecting and marketing methods, this simple core concept has lost some allure. However, don’t underestimate this yellowpad concept’s ability to make retirement saving more tangible and meaningful.

For the purposes of this yellowpad concept, we are only going to deal with strict saving, ignoring interest rates and growth potential vehicles. Let’s say that the client wants to save $150,000 for retirement at age 65. A reasonable and achievable figure in many regards.

For a 35 year-old, this means allocating $5,000 a year, for the next thirty years. Now five grand yearly is nothing to sneeze at, but broken monthly, this figures out to be about $417. For a 55 year-old, achieving $150,000 would mean saving $15,000 a year, which breaks out to be $1250 a month. Clearly it pays to save early and regularly.

marketingcorner51515

Of course many households don’t have the ability to allocate over $400 a month toward savings, with much more immediate needs like mortgage payments, utilities and college. However even saving $250 a month starting at age 35 yields a respectable $90,000 by age 65. Perhaps with other resources, like employer-sponsored retirement programs and Social Security, this will be enough. But maybe (and very likely) this figure won’t be enough for the client’s retirement need. Well now you have your door-opener to the other financial solutions, such annuities or life insurance, that can enhance and potentially grow your prospect’s assets to achieve their retirement goals.

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Tuesday Tips – May 12th, 2015


Alerts

Voya Increasing Rates

Voya has announced a rate increase for several of their products effective May 13th. Call today for rates and state availability.

Great American Increasing Rates

Great American has increased rates on the American legend III and Safe Return indexed annuity. Call today for details and state availability.

Sales Opportunity

Overfunding Life Insurance

Max funding life insurance isn’t a new concept but discussing the strategy in simple terms with a potential client is key to making the sale. Available for download is a simple yellow pad concept with scripting that discusses the benefits of overfunding life insurance and taxation.

Industry News

PIMCO Hires Ben Bernanke

PIMCO has hired Ben Bernanke to help right the ship since Bill Gross’s exit. Since Gross left about $400 billion has walked out the door. Whether choosing Bernanke was a wise choice remains to be seen.

Hot Rates

Genworth SecureLiving Growth +

Genworth recently introduced a new product called the SecureLiving Growth +. This competitive product is on a 10 year chassis and is designed for accumulation and competitive income. The product offers a 50% interest credit bonus while the product is in deferral and it offers both level and increasing income options.

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Tuesday Tips – May 5th, 2015


Alerts

Transamerica Discontinuing Products

Transamerica will be sun setting several products effective June 6. Applications must be received in good order by June 5. Call today for a full list of products to be discontinued.

Athene Dropping Rates

Athene will be lowering rates on the Target Horizon 10 and 15 fia series effective May 8th. Call today for updated rates.

Sales Opportunity

Changing Times

In working in the financial planning arena often times plans have to be adjusted and reworked. These changes can be due to law changes, or tax changes, and performance of the overall plan. Another area that can impact a plan is societal changes. Attached is a great piece that discusses societal changes and planning opportunities.

Industry News

Industry Perks Challenged

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently sent a letter to 15 of the biggest annuity companies requesting more information on their advisor perk programs. Senator Warren recently made a statement,”Annuity agents that are more interested in earning perks than in acting in their clients’ best interest can place Americans’ savings and retirement security at risk.”

Hot Rates

Voya Wealth Builder Series

Voya has introduced a new series of fixed index annuity products that range from 6 to 8 year surrender periods. The products offer optional income riders as well as caps as high as 6% on the high band. Call today for details and state availability.

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Marketing Corner – May 1st, 2015

Small, Everyday Marketing Ideas

A few months ago we discussed the value of off-holiday marketing. Off-holidays provide great opportunities to make contact with clients/prospects and to also offer timely promotions or communications. Beyond off-holidays though, there are other marketing opportunities—ones that may seem small or slight—but actually end up being some of the best ways to prospect and maintain client relationships.

Permit me this analogy: a super athlete like Tiger Woods does not win the game with flash hot shots. Rather, he wins incrementally, chipping away and making the right small moves that build to the big ones. So while you can go for the big shots in your marketing efforts, you should also focus on the incremental, regular things that you can do anytime.

Here are five things you can do to win the game in small, meaningful steps.

Check In Regularly With Clients and Prospects

Schedule courtesy calls/emails to check in with your clients and prospects on a regular basis, outside of occasions like holidays. How often will depend on the personality and relationship of the client. But what’s important is to have a periodic casual conversation. Find out what’s new in their life and see how their goals and priorities are tracking with their financial plan. This gives you a chance to see if there are other services or products you can provide to them. But it also shows that you care about them beyond the initial provision of services, meaning that they are likely to return back to you when a need arises and refer others to you.

Birthdays

Although many companies use birthdays to issue promotions, communications, and offers, these tend to be special birthday related deals. As a financial advisor you likely do not have a birthday deal to offer. However issuing a handwritten birthday card to a client lets them know you are thinking about them and keeps your name on their mind. The important thing is to be sincere and genuine.

Social Media

Social media will not be a silver bullet answer to all your marketing needs, but it is a great way to make regular contact with clients and prospects. Invite consumers (especially your current clients) to participate on your social media platforms. Make your social content enticing to clients and prospects by varying between sales pitches and relevant content. Like and follow their activity as well. Allot a regular amount of time everyday (10-30mins) to adding more connections. Leverage your current connections to build a wider personal network.

Participate in Social Discussion Groups

Not only should you try to foster a social media following by providing great and relevant content, you should participate in online community and business groups. These are opportunities to present your voice in a venue where clients and potential clients may hear it.

Write Articles for Website Hubs (and yes even Letters to the Editor in local newspapers)

There are two ways to approach this idea. You can write content that is related to you and your capacity (expertise) as a financial advisor. But you can also write discussions that are more general, on a topic that you and your target clients/prospects might share. Search out online forums and blogs, and also submit letters to the editor of your local newspaper.

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