Table of Contents

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True: Shootin' It Straight With Stan

Stan Haithcock
March 29, 2023
If It Sounds Too Good to Be True: Shootin' It Straight With Stan thumbnail

Thank you so much for joining us on this hot topic. Not a Hot Pocket, those are the things you eat if you're a computer dude or dude-ette. It's a hot topic. The topic is, If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Is. Every single time with annuities without exception. I don't know why I even have to do this blog, but the reason is I get calls and emails from people all the time, and people schedule calls with me, and they go, "Well, this guy said if you'd have owned it 10 years ago, you'd have made 12% annual return with the market protection and a 30% bonus." I'm not putting any annuity type down. We sell all annuity types except for variable annuities because, keyword, variable, I sell nothing that has the potential to go down.

I have nothing against variable annuities, if you're buying the no-load version, which means there are no fees or anything, there's full liquidity, and you're buying it for the tax deferral nature of it, which is why it was put on the planet in 1954 by TIAA CREF at the time, now called TIAA. I digress, but I know what I'm talking about. But for all the bad chicken dinner seminars or expensive steak dinner seminars, or I had someone call me the other day and say, "You know, always talk about chicken dinners and steak dinners. I went to one, it was a Mexican restaurant. It was the best food ever." And I said, "Please tell me you just swallowed the food, not the pitch. Please tell me." He goes, "Oh, absolutely. Me and the misses went there. We got the best meal ever and just walked out of there." Great. Super. Do that. My mom does that two to three times a week in Florida, where she lives, where she goes to the bad chicken dinner seminar, and then at the end, she goes, "Oh, by the way, I probably should have told you this beforehand, but my son is Stan The Annuity Man." And they go, "Oh my gosh, bring out the garlic. It's unbelievable." But I need you to be smart. There is a fact out there that people that fall for Ponzi schemes, true Ponzi schemes, the Madoff stuff, and all that crap. The Sam Bankman-Fried, innocent until proven guilty, for the crypto. Smart people fall for Ponzi schemes because they're always looking to get rich quickly. They're always looking for the angle. They're always looking to outdo their neighbor or their friend. They're always looking to find something that nobody else knows about. Nobody else knows about this. Now, this is a good deal. And if any agent or advisor said, "This is a hush-hush thing. I mean, this annuity is just not everywhere. Not everyone can sell it, so not everyone can get it." That's just garbage.

If the presentation you hear or are shown sounds too good to be true, it is without exception. If you are shown back-tested return numbers, that's garbage. That's horrific garbage. That's like you showing a picture of me with superimposed six-pack abs and saying, "If for the last 10 years, you'd have done a hundred sit-ups every single day, Stan, that's what you would look like." That is not going to happen. Those returns are not going to happen. And what you don't know about a lot of these annuities that are being pitched out there is that the annuity company can change the rules on how those gains are calculated, and they can change those rules at their discretion. There are some that can't, but most of them can.

I need you to be smart out there. It is a fact that smart people fall for Ponzi schemes. It is a fact that smart people fall for bad sales pitches. It is a fact that people want to believe it's true. It is a fact that you believe you're getting an upfront bonus from a carrier or annuity company, and there's a philanthropist giving money away. No, there are a hundred pennies in the dollar. I can't believe I have to keep saying this. Still, I'm going to keep writing these and saying this and screaming into the hurricane until the public gets it because every single time I save a person from this horrific sales pitch that they're hearing out there, it's a win. And for all of you to say, "Well, huh. Stan, I don't believe you. This proposal looked pretty sharp, and I really liked it. I'm going to move forward with it." I will guarantee you and bet you as much money as humanly possible that if you buy that dream, you're going to own the contractual reality, and two to three years from now, if you have the guts, you're going to call me and say, "Stan, you were right. The problem is that it's too late, and the surrender charges are too high."

Remember, you own an annuity for what it will do, not what it might do, and the might do is the potential hypothetical theoretical unicorns chasing the butterflies sales presentation that you're going to hear. When you hear those sales presentations, I want you to say, "That's fantastic, Ernie or Ernestine, but show me the contractual guarantees. Show me Armageddon. Show me what happens if all heck breaks loose and nothing you say is working. Show me that." "Well, Mr. Jones, that's just not going to happen historically." "No, no, no. I understand that. Show me anyway because I want to base my decision on the contractual guarantees." "We really just don't believe that's even worth doing." Well, then get up and walk out. The other thing is, "Well, that sounds really good, Ernest or Ernestine. Can you send me a specimen policy on that specific thing? I want to read it from cover to cover to ensure I fully understand what you're saying. I trust you, Ernest, or Ernestine, but I want to make sure it's true. Do you mind if I call that specific company, get someone on the phone, and ask hard questions? Do you mind if I do that?" And lastly, here's the best one. Let's say you went through all of that, and you still are leaning, you're still hoping. You're still hoping that it exists, that that product exists with market upside and no downside and upfront bonuses. It's there. It's right there.

So you're right there. You're at the table, and they say, "You want to move forward, Mr. Jones?" By the way, you're Mr. Jones. You say, "Yeah, but before we do that, I wrote down your sales presentation in detail the way that me and the missus understood it. It's a couple of pages, Ernest or Ernestine. It's a couple of pages of details of what you told me it would do. And you know what I did? I signed it, the missus signed it, and we dated it too. And if you don't mind, can you do the same thing?" Flip it around, hand them the pen that will now weigh a thousand pounds, and have them own that too good to be true sales pitch.

The annuity industry has earned its bad reputation. It is horrific that the industry allows this crap to continue without reeling it in. Now to the carrier's defense, once the agent army's out there, you don't know what they're going to say. They can say anything, and that's the problem because they do. Most agents are honorable, and they're going to tell you the truth. But like any sales organization, there's a lot of them out there that are going to push that envelope. And if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Every single time.

This makes me mad because annuities are great products. Annuities have many different types. Some solve for lifetime income, some for principal protection, and some for legacy or long-term care. They solve for specific goals contractually. In my opinion, as Stan The Annuity Man, America's annuity agent that worked at Dean Whitter, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Payne Weber, I've been on the street side of it. Never, without exception, buy an annuity of any type for market growth. Buy stocks, bonds, ETFs, crypto, gold, or whatever, but don't buy annuities for growth. Buy annuities for contractual guarantees. Why? Good question. It's because annuities are contracts. When you buy one, you'll get a policy in the mail. Some people call those contracts because they are contracts. If you're going to buy a contract, buy the contractual guarantee, right?

So if it sounds too good to be true, it is every single time. But you knew that before reading this blog, and you're still leaning on that sales pitch. You're still saying, "Well, it might be true. I mean, heck. What if it is true? Then I'm going to miss out on that." It's not true. And you say, "Well, how can they get away with that?" I don't know. I guess the legacy I want to leave out here is to get rid of that crap sales pitch. Tell the truth. Tell the truth about the products. Show the contractual guarantees. I will do that, and that's the mission at this point. I'm Stan The Annuity Man. I'm the mythical real, and real, Stan The Annuity Man—America's annuity agent. I'm going to clean this crap up.

And if you have a too good to be true sales pitch that you truly believe exists and is going to happen, and the person you trust so much presented it to you, please schedule calls with me, and I will filet that proposal like a flounder. I will dissect it factually to where you go, "Oh my gosh, really?" Yes, really. It's not a waste of time for me to talk to you. But the point is if it sounds too good to be true, if you walk away going, "How is the annuity company doing that? How are they doing that? I've never heard of that. How's that even possible?" If you're asking that question, then it's too good to be true. Period. End of story.

Someone called me the other day, and they said, "Well, Stan, the income stream, it increases every time the accumulation value goes up. Every time it goes up, it just increases. Ha, that's fantastic. He showed me the numbers hypothetically. Man, this is unbelievable." Annuity companies don't give that away. If there's any increase to the income stream, they simply lower the initial income amount drastically to make up for that potential increase. That makes sense, right? If you think about it.

So take your time. There's never an urgency to buy an annuity of any type. The urgency is for you to understand it fully and take your time to do that and dig in. This is your retirement. This is your money. This is chapter two of your life. Take it seriously. Don't take someone's word for it.

Never forget to live in reality, not the dream, with annuities and contractual guarantees! You can use our calculators, get all six of my books for free, and most importantly book a call with me so we can discuss what works best for your specific situation.

Learn More