January 9, 2010 by Darla Mercado
|By Darla Mercado
September 13, 2009, 6:01 AM EST
Sheryl J. Moore is mad as hell at the media, and she’s not going to take it anymore.
Frustration with the coverage of indexed annuities has spurred Ms. Moore, president and chief executive of Advantage Group Associates Inc., an indexed-annuities research firm, to begin a campaign to call out reporters who produce what she said are inaccurate stories about the products.
She has written to reporters, but as part of her new campaign, paid subscribers to her website, AnnuitySpecs, will get a copy of the offending media and her responses.
Subscribers to Ms. Moore’ annuity sales and product specification data include agents, independent-marketing organizations and insurers.
One of her most recent volleys took aim at a Sept. 2 article, “How Well Do You Know … Indexed Annuities?” that appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
“I get a response on almost every single comment, whether I’m pointing out errors in The Wall Street Journal or inaccuracies on blogs,” Ms. Moore said.
The most common errors she has pointed out include the surrender period for indexed annuities and the commissions brokers get for selling them. “People don’t realize that the average surrender period is only 10 years, and the average first year penalty is 10%,” she said.
“In the past, there have been indeed annuities that were advertised in trades with longer surrender charges. That’s the perception people have of the market — and a lot has changed,” Ms. Moore said.
She also noted that the average broker’s or agent’s commission on indexed annuities was 6.46% as of the second quarter, though a few pay as high as 10%.