There has been a huge shift of folks leaving local brokers and advisors to find better investment options online with national advisory firms such as Fidelity, Vanguard, and E*TRADE to name a few. Most folks now realize that they can save fees and do better on their own.
Annuities are no exception. More and more folks are leveraging internet technology to make informed annuity decisions by using…[continued below video]
Video: The Annuity Guys, Dick and Eric, discuss how you can choose the best annuity specialist to achieve your retirement objectives.
Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. During this segment, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
…national annuity specialists to place their money with reputable annuity insurance company custodians. These custodians are typically hundreds of miles away. And primarily, the advisor is needed to help design and implement the initial plan.
Geographical boundaries have been obliterated by technology. Folks now have access to specialists for just about anything you can think of including retirement and income planning. Everything can now be done efficiently by phone, internet, and overnight delivery; and for national financial advisors jumping on a plane or a client flying in, when necessary, is never out of the question.
When you work with annuities, you want to get it right the first time; do-overs are never a good option. Initial selection and set up of annuities are the most important factors when adding annuities to a portfolio. So, working with a true specialist can make a significant difference.
However, everybody claims to be an expert or a specialist when they want your money. So, how do you know or choose an expert and a specialist that is best? Our recommendation, regardless of whether or not the advisor is local or national, is referral… referral… and referral.
So which is best when choosing an annuity specialist, local or national?
Our professional experience was not optimal when working with advisors on a local level. After about a year and a half of trying out the so-called local experts and specialists, we did a complete reversal and decided to only work with the advisors who were doing the best work when they were referred by us. Now, we only work with a few carefully selected advisors that do an excellent job when we refer them to our website visitors.
Here are some of our observations on annuity specialist – national versus local; and of course we have a bias since we have tried it both ways.
- National experts who are licensed in multiple states typically work by referral and need to be busy or it is not worth the expense and trouble to maintain numerous licenses.
- National advisors that do income and retirement planning as a specialty are likely to be more knowledgeable and experienced because they provide successful solutions for more individuals.
- National advisors typically have more products to choose from due to the higher volume of business they conduct which allows them to be more client focused and less product or company focused.
- National advisors tend to be less commission motivated since they have a larger volume of clients and typically only work by referral.
- National advisors like to work with internet savvy folks who do some of their own research to make better informed decisions.
- National advisors tend to base their recommendations more on objective facts and planning instead of relying more on a relationships to complete a transaction.
So whether national or local, our advice is to work by referral and check references closely.