THE CHALLENGE IS ON- I NEED YOUR HELP!
October 18, 2010 by Sheryl J. Moore
Are you sick of the misinformation about indexed annuities in the media?
I’ve taken the matter into my own hands by holding the media accountable for their journalistic integrity when it comes to their reporting on indexed annuities. For the past three years, I have been personally responding to every negative/inaccurate article in this market. Now, I need your help.
In nearly every one of these articles, I have to remind the reporter and the editor of the newspaper/trade journal that the terms “equity index annuity,” “equity indexed annuity,” and “EIA” have not been used in this market since the late 1990s by those of us in the business. Why did it change? The products were initially referred to as “equity” indexed annuities, or EIAs, when they were introduced in February of 1995. However, this faux pas led to much confusion. Professionals selling the products thought they were equities products (securities), as did their clients. Ultimately, this outdated reference to these products caused people to think that indexed annuities were equities products, which they are not. This lead to confusion with product mechanics, marketing, regulation, and potential for earnings.
In order to remedy the confusion, we changed the name of these products to “indexed annuities.” Some companies even began calling these products “fixed indexed annuities,” just to ensure that their customers understood the fixed insurance nature of these products. You can find more information about the transition of the product name in an article written by my former partner, Jack Marrion.
The dilemma I am running into is that there are still insurance agents today that call these products “equity” indexed annuities or “EIAs.” I am having difficulty convincing the media that this term is no longer common nomenclature, as there are over 1.9 million Yahoo! hits for the term “equity index annuity.” (It isn’t so easy to ask outsiders not to call the product by this name, when there are millions of references to it!) Although there are over 2.1 million Google hits to the old naming convention, they are typically old references or articles by people like Allan Roth of CBS MoneyWatch, who refuse to stop calling these products by a misleading name.
I want to ban the use of the word “equity” in conjunction with these products. I have been asking the media to refrain from using these terms for years. Most recently, I had a rousing exchange with Allan Roth of CBS MoneyWatch, in my efforts to end his use of the term “equity” in conjunction with indexed annuities. Allan has agreed to stop calling these products “EIA,” or “equity” indexed annuities if I can materialize a petition with hundreds of thousands of names on it, requesting that these products no longer be referred to in this manner. The petition is due in December. Here is where I ask for your help.
PLEASE download the attached PDF petition form. Have all of your staff sign it. Blast it to all of your agents, having them sign it. Have anyone that has a vested interest in indexed annuities sign it. Then, email/fax/send back to me. The petition was submitted in December 2010. Thank you all for your support!
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but WE CAN DO IT!
It is so important to hold these “reputable” sources of financial information accountable. My efforts to combat the negative media in this market show that these news organizations use other news organizations as sources or points of reference (i.e. Joe Schmoe at USA Today points to an article written by Suzy Citizen at Wall Street Journal, citing the use of the term “EIA;” this justifies their use of the term).
If we can provide tangible proof that WE, THE INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS OF THE INDEXED ANNUITY MARKET, want the term “equity” to be banned in the indexed annuity industry, it will speak volumes.
Help me to help you. Sign our petition. Thank you. sjm
Petition Return Information
Advantage Group Associates, Inc.
Attn: Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO
215 SE Wildflower Court
Pleasant Hill, Iowa 50327
(515) 262-2623 office
(515) 266-4689 fax