The ‘Trumping’ up of annuities

The summer of Donald Trump has definitely taken the country, and especially the media, by storm. Hearing “The Donald’s” ever-consistent bullet-point speeches eerily correlates to the weird world of annuities. At least that’s how my brain translates his political pitch.

Control the “illegals”

Trump is obviously referring to illegal immigration, which is a problem, but has created a huge backlash and firestorm from the ‘Jorge Ramos’ coalition that thinks everything is OK.

The “illegals” that are ruining the annuity industry are the gunslinging promoters of unregulated indexed annuity ads on TV, radio and the Internet that is fraudulently framing a product as “too good to be true.”

So good “it will make your head spin”

This is one of my favorite broad-based Trump answers to questions or topics he feels no need to provide specific details or further explanation.

Too many annuity agents have a variable or indexed annuity of their choice that is so good it will also make your head spin. No further details needed. “Market upside with no downside,” “hybrid” and “market lock” are just a few of the generic and misleading sales pitches that permeate too many annuity sales presentations.

“Low energy” and boring

One of the great negative branding attacks of all time is Trump’s ongoing “low energy” description of Jeb Bush. It’s hilarious every time I hear this succinct verbal dart, and tragic at the same time to watch Jeb flounder around to respond. Maybe Jeb needs to give his next press conference while running on a tread mill.

When it comes to annuities, low energy and boring is good. The more simplistic the better when it comes to choosing any annuity solution.

“Attacks” only strengthen

It seems that whoever attacks Trump goes down in the polls. The campaign carnage of Rick Perry, Lindsay Graham, Rand Paul and others have proven this point, and serves as a warning to any future political attacks. Trump has proven to be one of the best political counter punchers of all time.

There are a ton of “annuity haters” out there, and many are probably reading this article. There have been millions of “I hate annuities” advertising dollars spent, and it seems to no avail. Annuity sales continue to increase year after year regardless of the disdain of agents and the ongoing unregulated sales message.

Make annuities great again

Trump’s “Make America great again” hat is the pop culture garment of 2015, and I predict that it will start showing up on non-voters across the country. Trump must believe this as well, and definitely sees money to be made because he has already trademarked the slogan. Maybe now a Republican, but always a capitalist.

With the demographic tidal wave of baby boomers and retirees yearning for guarantees, it’s time for the annuity industry to be great again. People are thirsty for contractual guarantees and risk transfer strategies that solve for goals like lifetime income and principal protection.

The summer of Trump looks like it’s going to continue for a while. It also looks like the ugly and controversial world of annuities will continue its rise as well. Trump and annuities. Who would have ever predicted that?

Originally published 9.8.15 by MarketWatch.com