Carefully Review Your Variable Annuities

Variable annuities are excellent products, but they can be extremely complex and must be carefully reviewed by potential purchasers.  Advisor One's Melanie Waddell says that "FINRA and SEC Warn About Annuity Risks" in this new article.  The two organizations are concerned with variable annuity disclosures, suitability for consumers, and the practice of chasing high yields.  At the IRI's regulatory conference, FINRA's VP of member regulation programs said that the organization looks at... Read More

FINRA Doles Out Annuity Selling Punishment

Lesson learned for Robert Joseph Kennedy III, a financial advisor in New York.  Don't break the rules when it comes to selling annuities, even if it seems like a minor infraction or your firm says it will be fine.  FINRA works hard to make sure that financial advisors are meeting standards and following rules when it comes to the financial industry, so just follow the rules and your business will run smoothly.  According to Bill Singer's Forbes article, "FINRA Rejects A New York State of... Read More

FINRA Reminds Investors to Look at Statements

FINRA urges investors to look closely at their statements and ask questions about anything they don't understand.  According to a news release on their website, "FINRA issues (a) new investor alert to help investors understand their brokerage account statements."  It can be daunting for investors to open those account statements and figure out what everything means if they don't have a financial background.  After big losses in the financial markets as well, many investors would prefer to... Read More

FINRA Offers Variable Annuity Reviews to Military

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation has redesigned their website helping consumers who are at risk of fraud, according to a FINRA News Release.  Their Save and Invest website is not only geared towards the military and their families, but also other investors likely to experience fraud.  The website helps military families manage their money and offers a multitude of online tools, such as variable annuity reviews.  There is also an entire area dedicated to help all consumers avoid fraud... Read More

Fixed Indexed Annuity Sales Break Records

The new generation of fixed index annuity products offer excellent guarantees with market downside protection, and they also have lower fees.  Annuity FYI's article "Fixed Index Annuities Getting a Fresh Look," says that last year's sales of $31.4 billion broke sales records for the second year in a row.  Fixed indexed annuity products are very complex and while they are an excellent investment for many people, you definitely need to research the underlying index, the formula which credits... Read More

Annuity Rates & FINRA's Tax Tips

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation recently published a news release aimed at helping investors better understand their finances during this tax season.  "FINRA Foundation Issues Take Control of Your Financial Future: Tips to Think About at Tax Time and Beyond" recommends learning about your finances, including your annuity rates and spending habits.  They want to help Americans make sure that their finances are on track and empower them to take charge of their own financial future by... Read More

Indexed Annuity Sales Record

Insurance News Net's article "Indexed Annuities Post Record 3Q Sales" summarizes annuity sales information collected from LIMRA's annuity research department.  With indexed annuity sales of $8.7 billion, this safe investment product is seeing quite the surge in popularity.  The third quarter sales were an increase over last year's third quarter of 16%, and an increase of 6% over the second quarter of this year.  A LIMRA spokesperson credits the increased demand for indexed annuity products... Read More

Controversial Indexed Annuity Amendment

A strong debate over who should oversee equity indexed annuity products has been going on since the SEC introduced Rule 151A in 2008.  According to Investment News' "Indexed-annuities amendment: Insurers yea, advisers nay" by Mark Schoeff Jr. and Darla Mercado, the debate between sides will remain even if this amendment makes a final decision.  Regulation of equity indexed annuities will remain in the control of individual states if the bill passes, instead of transferring to the SEC as they... Read More

FINRA & the United Way: Annuity Education and More

FINRA has partnered with the United Way to spread financial education, according to FINRA's news release "FINRA Investor Education Foundation and United Way Worldwide Announce Nearly $1.5 Million in Grants to Support Grassroots Financial Education Projects."  Twelve United Way branches and community groups received the grants to help promote the FINRA Foundation and United Way's new program, Financial Education in Your Community.  FINRA is working hard to help lower-income families become... Read More

Compare Annuities and Those Who Sell Them with FINRA's Expanded BrokerCheck

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) will ask the SEC for permission to expand their BrokerCheck system, according to FINRA's news release "FINRA Proposes Further Expansion of Broker Information Publicly Available Through BrokerCheck."  The BrokerCheck system allows the public to view records of securities brokers both current and former for free.  The proposed changes would increase the amount of complaints that are publicly available.  It would also make the records of... Read More

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