This is a two part blog on Pre-Issued Annuities. In part 1 we will examine some of the reason why someone might consider a Pre-Issued Annuity for a portion of their portfolio.
Is a Pre-Issued Annuity right for you? If you think like most people in this low interest rate environment the answer is a resounding YES!
**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.
Once you understand the high yielding yet safe nature of these financial vehicles it becomes apparent quickly that most of us have money that would be well suited to this type of strategy. The biggest question most individual investors have is how do I get started without making a mistake that I will regret. The key is using an expert that specializes in this field having a legal and fiduciary interest towards you as the client. The best advisor for this will have experience in the industry, inside sources for access to the best available contracts, and be a practicing attorney to follow and assure the validity of the court order process.
PRE-ISSUED ANNUITIES ™ have several positive attributes in common that make them currently in high demand:
- High Yields – typically 4.5 to 8.5 percent.
- Safety – payment streams are **guaranteed by highly rated insurance companies
- Safety – Court order process protects both buyer and seller
- Safety – Issuers – regulated by State Insurance Commissions with **guarantee associations .
- Fixed and reliable income streams
- Diversification for portfolios of sophisticated investors
- Truly a non-market correlated asset
- IRA or Qualified Account compatibility
- Estate transfer to heirs
- Twenty year plus successful transaction history
Is a PRE-ISSUED ANNUITY™ right for you? [Read More…]
Annuity Guys® Video Transcript:
Eric: Today, we’re going to talk about pre-issued annuities, safety, and high-yield. High yield; we’re chasing numbers right now. In this day and age, everybody calls up and they say, “Where can I get . . .” and of course, it used to be, “Where can I get 5%?” now it’s, “Where can I get 3% or 4%?” Is there a place we can get 5%? Especially when they call us up, and based off the Annuity Guys® website, we get a lot of call that say, “Give me a number. Give me 5%”
Dick: This is probably the most frequent call that we get, folks. A lot of folks that are looking for CD alternatives, because CDs, as you know, Eric, what are we now? About 2% would be the max, 2 or 2½ on a really long-range CD. What we’re seeing more frequently is maybe ½%.
Eric: I was going to they all start with a dot in front of the number, unfortunately; 0.8.
Dick: Then when we come down to the new-issue annuities, new-issue annuities, again, are severely affected by this low-rate environment, which may be with us for quite some time because of our fed.
Eric: Just recently, companies are coming out and making predictions that this is the rate environment; get used to it. We’re going to see this for the next 2 to 3 years.
Dick: I’ve often brought this up, but Japan has seen this for the last 15 to 20 years and they’re the second-largest industrialized nation, their GDP, in the world. Is it possible that this becomes an extended 5 or 10-year cycle, because we’re trying to get out economy booted up and it doesn’t happen? Where can good, honest people go to get a good, fair return? That’s the big question.
Eric: The retail environment has always been, “This is what’s available to the consumer.” The nice thing is we’re breaking down some barriers and we’ve got some things that were just available for institutional buyers, banks, multimillionaires, basically people of means, or institutions of means, they dabbled in these markets before. Now you’ve got access for the consumer market.
Dick: If we go back and just do a little brief history, we’ll do something more in-depth later, but just a little brief history. Pre-issued annuities, which are called structured settlements.
Eric: Secondary market annuities.
Dick: Lottery annuities.
Eric: Life-contingent annuities.
Dick: Pre-owned annuities. There’s so many different terminologies, but pre-issued is a pretty accurate way to describe these annuities. Someone bought this annuity originally and they don’t need it anymore, or they were in an accident, they got some type of a settlement, or they won the lottery. They don’t need the income stream, but they do need some money upfront. Folks, you’ve probably seen Imperial Structured Settlement and some other ones out there that regularly advertise on television. Some of these will come through that type of avenue, or distribution. The whole idea of this is that somebody is willing to sell their payment stream for considerably less than what it’s worth, in terms of those final payments throughout the maturity.
Eric: It’s basically, ‘I have an income stream or an annuity that I’m going to eventually get this much money for. I’m willing to sell you that payment stream, or that lump sum, and you’re going to give me a lump sum now.’
Dick: You might sell $200,000 worth of payments for $100,000, that I’m going to collect over a period of maybe 10 years, which comes out to in the neighborhood of about 7%, maybe even a little more than that. That’s a way that I can get a very substantial yield and you can your lump sum of money that you need, that’s kind of the gist of how it works. Like I said, going back in history, a lot of these companies that you see advertising on television to buy these large settlements, they will actually package these up, securitize them, sell them to institutional investors, pension funds and the like, and investment banks, and they have lots of large buyers standing in the wings. Guys like you and I, Eric, and our clients, we couldn’t have access to these, just maybe 5 years ago.
Eric: The market wasn’t there. We didn’t even know it existed, probably, until the advent of . . . from an individual consumer talking to our clients.
Dick: Folks, what really happened was we went through this financial crisis and all the credit dried up, and now all of a sudden, these institutional advisers, Eric, they just weren’t walking in and buying these bundles of securitized pre-issued annuities, so what were they going to do? They found a new avenue to sell it to.
Eric: Yes. Now we have a lot of brokers, independents, going out there and basically finding these pieces out there that are available for purchase. They’re buying them and remarketing them. You’ve got brokers online that are all over the place.
Dick: There’s some negatives that we probably need to talk about, but maybe, let’s break it down and let’s talk about positives and negatives.
Eric: Let’s highlight just first the positives, Okay? Yields: We’re in a low-rate environment right now, so a new-issue annuity, if just were looking at a [inaudible: 06:11] or CD-style, you’re only going to see a return in that 0 to upward . . . 10 years will get you almost 4%. Here, we’re looking at yields.
Dick: We start at 4, 4.5, and we’re well-connected, we know the source that we can go to. We can do considerably better, and on some of different types of pre-issued annuities, they’ll pay out a little more, like the life-contingents. We can get upwards of 8.5% over a good length of time. It’s a huge difference in yield.
Eric: So the yield is much higher.
Dick: Yes. Then we come down to safety.
Eric: We got multiple levels of safety. Who may buy these, who’s underwriting all these contracts? Where are they coming from?
Dick: The ones that we recommend, or the attorneys that we work with, recommend are really coming from A-rated, A+ rated, A++ rated . . . I guess we can do a little name-dropping here, but maybe Allstate, Prudential . . .
Eric: John Hancock.
Dick: These are really strong quality companies.
Eric: We’re not just picking for our clients, it’s not just taking anything, there is a certain requirement of what we’re looking for, from a safety standpoint. They’re safe from the underwriting of that. Somebody owns these annuities. How do they get transferred into my name, if I want to buy them?
Dick: That’s another layer of protection, another layer of safety, and it’s the court-ordered process. When this whole industry got started, like we talked about, approximately 20 years ago or so, it was a little bit like the Wild West, and it was anything goes. A lot’s changed since then, and there’s been some rulings and things that protect the person that’s actually trying to sell their lump sum. Now, this all has to go through a court-ordered process. It really protects both the buyer and the seller. It’s also very important that you have some type of legal representation as it moves through that process, that it’s done where all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed properly.
Eric: That’s safety from . . . so you got a court agreement that’s been placed, so the contract is basically a court-underwritten piece?
Dick: Exactly, and it really directs the insurance company, the A-rated or A+ rated company, where there payment streams are now going to. By court order, they are to pay those to the new owner of those payment streams, not to the new owner of the annuity. The owner of the annuity remains the initial person that had the annuity issued, and that’s why we call it a pre-issued annuity. It was issued previously, and all this person is doing is selling their payment stream.
Eric: It’s not taking the ownership away; it’s really just taking the ownership of the income stream and passing it off.
Dick: Exactly. Then we have the layer of safety that all of these A-rated companies, I should say highly-rated insurance companies, they are regulated by the states, The State Insurance Commission.
Eric: The State Guarantee Association.
Dick: They each have a State Guarantee Association. I would say, folks, you have to individually look into that, what your state does, but it is another layer of protection. You’ve really got about 3 very serious layers of protection. There’s another 1 or 2 that we could talk about, and I’m not going to get into it, it’s a little bit more complex from the structured settlement side, but there’s another layer of protection, sometimes, that becomes into play.
Eric: Are these like just buying them off the shelf, in the sense of who’s buying them?
Dick: This is the trick. Folks, you can go out and Google ‘pre-issued annuities’, you can look structured settlements and the like, and you will find some companies available out there on the internet that have a retail list of what’s available. Unfortunately, the best pre-issued annuities typically never hit the internet; they’re actually taken right from the source when someone wants to sell their payment stream or their lump sum. Again, this really makes a difference if you can be connected to a good attorney, someone who knows right where the source is and can kind of cut out the middle man, cut out the brokers that are in between, because typically, you’ll have anywhere from 2 to 4 brokers involved in sharing the profits before it actually get to the clients. The more that you can cut out of that, the higher yield you’re likely to have.
Eric: Less hands in the pockets, the more [inaudible: 11:26]. These are sophisticated instruments. How would they fit in a portfolio, in a sense? Is it . . .
Dick: This is still, even though there’s a certain level of sophistication to it, it’s like anything that you do in the investment world. If you look at your prospectus what, how many pages are in an average prospectus, Eric? You’re securities guy?
Eric: The phone book? [inaudible: 11:54] pages.
Dick: 100, 150. You could say that investments are pretty technical, pretty sophisticated, and that would be true, we’ve just become familiar with them, we understand them; our stocks and our bonds, that type of thing. These, likewise, once you understand them, you realize that they’re very safe. The companies that are backing them, you can actually know your yield. You have a very reliable payout in the income stream. There’s really no volatility in it like there would be in an investment?
Eric: I think the key here is diversification, just like anything out there; it’s a key piece, to diversify your portfolio. You said it; it’s a non-market correlated asset. In today’s market, as we watch it bounce like a Wham-O ball, up and down, it’s taking that volatility out. You know exactly what you’re going to get from either the lump sum aspect or the payment stream aspect, so it becomes a nice piece to smooth out the waves with the rest of your portfolio.
Dick: I think we should also mention that it’s IRA-compatible. You’d have to setup a self-directed IRA, which there’s many different custodians out there that’ll help you with that, and we can recommend one to folks that we work with. It is just nice to know that it’s IRA-compatible. Then if you would end up passing early before you’ve received your lump sums or your payment strings, it can be paid directly to your estate or to your heirs.
Eric: Lots of pieces out there that make it an attractive option, especially for these people that, for me, this is for somebody who’s been in the CD world for a long time. They want safety, security, but they want a larger return, and it’s something that’s just going to be parked there.
Dick: It could be for somebody that’s been in the stock market, that are reaching, that are near-retirement age. They’re wanting something that’s much safer, takes the volatility out of it, but they still want to get the yield. That’s all the good things we’ve talked about.
Eric: There are some limitations. Those are on the con side.
Dick: We have to be fair about it.
Eric: We don’t have to, but it should, it makes the video that much better when we’re balanced.
Dick: Fair and balanced. We don’t want to take this away from Bill O’Reilly.
Eric: That’s right.