Rekenthaler Report

Another Strike Against Bundled Investment Sales

John Rekenthaler

Bought or Sold?
Last week, The Wall Street Journal published "Steak Dinner and Annuities," which depicted variable-annuity providers as pitchmen. Entice prospects with an expensive meal; push the product as they dine; and then close the deal. If somebody has follow-up questions about the presentation, don’t answer the inquires casually. Instead, require the prospect to schedule an in-person meeting.

One explanation for why variable annuities are sold as if they are time-shares is that they aren’t any good. That certainly could be the case, concedes Bloomberg’s Matt Levine. However, he writes, there might be another reason why variable annuities are sold hard, while index funds, for example, are not:

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