Why are Annuities Not Sold Direct to the Consumer?

Annuities are not currently sold direct to the consumer like stocks, bonds, ETFs, and even life insurance. However, that will change in the near future because annuities are definitely the curse word of the financial industry.  The bad reputation from unregulated sales practices have been well earned by the annuity industry.  Most people just have a general view about annuities, which is, “I hate them all, and especially the people that sell them.”  The fact is, there are 15 different types of annuities, and this makes the “I hate all annuities” too much of a broad stroke.  However, the “people who sell annuity” vitriol is understood.  There are a small minority of agents out there who are very good, and they have the client’s best interest at heart every time.  But too many annuity agents consistently deliver a too good to be true message, and employ sales tactics that involve high pressure and product misinformation. Consumers will dictate how these products are sold in the future just as has happened with other financial products.

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