Don’t Be the Sucker at the Annuity Table: Shootin' It Straight With Stan
Welcome to Shootin' It Straight with Stan. I'm your host Stan, The Annuity Man, America's annuity agent license in all 50 states. Today I am in one of the big offices at The Annuity Man in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of my favorite cities of all time. Some of the best food ever. No, I do not drink. No, I do not gamble. And yes, I've been married for 35 years. So that eliminates a lot of Vegas. But the best food in the world, honestly. A lot of gambling goes on here, and I like watching dreams being dashed and crushed at the table. I walk through the casino sometimes and head to the restaurant to eat at Bobby Flay, of course. His new restaurant in Caesars called Amalfi, which I totally recommend. It's Italian fish. Not that fish are Italian, but you know what I'm saying.
Today's topic is don't be the sucker at the table. Don't be the sucker at the annuity table. And I keep telling people this, but they keep calling me with these crazy sales pitches they're getting. And in Vegas, at the poker tables, and I always walk by like in Caesars, they have an open area where you can watch the poker being played at numerous tables. And I always look at that, and I always try to spot the sucker at the table. And the saying here in Las Vegas is if you don't know who the sucker is, if you're at the table and looking around at the table, and you just can't figure out who that sucker is, it's you.
Do Not Believe It
The person that picks me up from the airport is a driver of mine, and he's a great guy named Gary. His dad was a professional poker player. And I told him that story, and he goes, "You're exactly right." He goes, "People that can't figure out who the sucker is. They're the mark. They're the sucker." Don't be the sucker at the annuity table. Don't believe the too good to be true sales pitches out there. Do not believe that back-tested return scenarios that are being pitched to you. Do not believe that an upfront bonus is free money. Do not believe that it's market upside with no downside. Do not believe it's market participation with protection. Do not believe that it's free long-term care. Do not believe the person's buying you this $150 steak dinner to hear his sales pitch because he's nice. Do not believe agents should be your friend. Do not believe any of that. Do not believe the sucker at the table. Do not believe you'll get double-digit returns on an Index or Variable Annuity; you're not. And I don't sell Variable Annuities because if you're going to buy mutual funds, go and buy them, in my opinion.
Now, Variable Annuities, no-load Variable Annuities that have no fees and you know can get out on day one. There's an argument for that for the tax-deferred growth, which is why they were put on the planet in 1954. At TIAA CREF, now TIAA who now sponsors a big football stadium in Jacksonville, which is where one of my houses is. In Jacksonville, go Jaguars.
I keep saying this, but every week and I don't take a ton of calls because I'm not always available. My staff here in Vegas, if you want to get through us, you can reach us. But logistically, if there are 1,000 people that want to talk to us, I can't speak to them all. So, I have to have my people who have been trained in the Stan-isms of the world and the truth-isms and telling the truth, you're going to talk to them. But if you start saying, "Hey, this is what was pitched to me." If you get me on the phone, I might vomit. I mean, I might just vomit right there. Or if you show me back-tested numbers, what I will say to you is back-tested numbers, well what they are in English is if the person said, "Hey, if you'd own this 10 years ago, this is what you might've made, or you probably would've made." Which means if you'd have own owned it now, this is what you're going to make; that's the insinuation. That's a class action lawsuit coming down the pike. Not only are consumers going to sue, but agents are suing. The agents that actually pitched it are suing, which is insanity. But the point is that stuff's going away.
The Index Standard
There's a new company out there right now called the Index Standard. I just had one of their intelligent guys in the room on my podcast Fun With Annuities talking about a different way to look at indices, indexes for all of you in the South, and I'm from the South, we call them indexes. How to look at that in a non-back-tested scenario, looking at it with forward projections, which makes total sense to me.
But the bottom-line is don't be the rube at the table. Don't be the sucker at the table. Don't believe it's too good to be true. Don't buy the diet pill that will make you skinny in a week. Do not believe you have found the product your neighbor hasn't found, and you're one-upping them. You're not. In fact, stop looking for the perfect annuity product; it doesn't exist. And if someone says they've looked at all the annuities and this one right here, sir, is the one that is the best one. They're either lazy, dumb, full of crap, or all three, or have an agenda or want to go on a trip to Bora Bora with a girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, or whatever applies if they sell enough of that specific product to you.
Bad Chicken Dinner Seminars
Ask yourself this. If you're at the bad chicken dinner seminar, it's an expensive steak dinner seminar, and of course, you ordered the filet medium rare with little red in the middle, medium rare. When you order that, you have to ask yourself why they are trying to sell everybody in the room the same strategy, product, and carrier? Why are they doing that? That'd be like a doctor selling the same medicine to everybody. That's insane. And only in the annuity industry is that accepted and taught by the distribution companies on how to sell annuities. You pay for steak dinners, sell one annuity, and make 7 to 9% commission. All is good.
What they're really saying is find a bunch of suckers at the table, feed those suckers at the table a steak dinner that they would never buy themselves, and then convince them to buy a too-good-to-be-true-sounding product that could never be explained to a nine-year-old. How does that even make sense?
Flip the Page
I don't have to keep going and pounding the table. You read the title, and you knew. You knew, don't be the sucker. You knew that I was going to go off. You knew what I would say but needed to hear it because it is seminar season. It is steak grilling season. It is chicken grilling season. The invites in your mailbox will be coming to you fast. All I can say is go. Swallow the food, not the pitch. Don't be the sucker at the table. As Moshe Milevsky says, a good friend and brilliant person that was on my Fun with Annuities Podcast, ask hard questions. Ask for the specimen policy. Ask for whatever information you need to flush out the truth. And at the end of the day, if it still sounds too good to be true and you still want it to be true, write down how you think the policy will work, every detail. Sign and date it. Flip the page, have the agent and a visor that pitched it to you sign and date it, meaning they own it legally. They're either going to be a sociopath and sign it, of which you have them, or they are going to clarify, and if they clarify, you get up and walk out because they should have clarified before you flipped the page to them.
So, I'm in Vegas. I feel good. I Love Vegas. I love the food in Vegas. I love the energy of Vegas. I told someone the other day, and they said, "Why do you like Vegas so much? You don't gamble or do any of that stuff." I'm like, "Because everyone wants to be here." No one comes to Vegas and doesn't want to be here. Everyone wants to be here. And there's a vibe to that, and I like that. I like that vibe. It's a major metropolitan area with very small square footage or mileage. It's really small, but it's cool. I encourage you to give Vegas a try. Don't gamble. Don't be the sucker at the table in Vegas, and certainly don't be the sucker at the annuity table where you live. And also, go to my site, and schedule a call with us. Let us look at what you've been pitched or what you've purchased, and we could help you with that and at least help you make lemonade, as they say in the South. And with that, that's Shootin' It Straight with Stan. I'll see you next time.
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