A new tool for analyzing variable annuities has been all over the financial news this week. Morningstar Inc. just released a new online tool called Morningstar Annuity Intelligence. According to Financial Advisor’s “Morningstar Launches Annuity Tool,” by Eric Rasmussen, this tool offers a simple way for financial advisors to compare annuities against each other. It also uses terms that are easy to understand and breaks it down into plain English instead of the lawyer speak in a prospectus.
This new tool is actually combining Morningstar’s Annuity Analyzer and Annuity Intelligence Report into a single tool that they believe is more streamlined and helpful. Many variable annuities are included in this Annuity Intelligence tool. You can compare the expenses, the surrender schedule, and research the titles with this tool. Titling is more important than many people realize, according to Morningstar’s VP of insurance solutions. Misunderstanding the variable annuity title can be devastating and could leave your money with the wrong person at your death.
Using this tool will allow advisors to filter products by different benefits or contracts to more efficiently do research. You can also filter by different step-ups, so that you see how the annuity benefits will change if the money is left untouched longer. Currently there are almost 2,000 annuity contracts and 100,000 subaccounts in the Annuity Intelligence database. Advisors can get the latest up to date information in an easy to understand format. This breakdown of variable annuities is helpful to advisors and will make it even easier for investors to understand their products through their advisors.
Written by Rachel Summit
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