Sign Now! Decide Later?: Shootin' It Straight with Stan®
Don’t Rush Into Annuities
Today's topic is called Sign Now, Decide Later. Sign the paperwork now, Mrs. Jones, just sign it and we'll just have it here and then you can make a decision. Never ever, ever, ever do that. This drives me crazy in the annuity business.
I got a call the other day, and the reason that we're doing this topic is the lady calls me and says that "I'm not feeling comfortable with what this person's trying to sell me. It sounds too good to be true and you always say Stan, if it sounds too good to be true, it is every single time without exceptions.” That's true. So I ask what they're selling and then we go through the details and the facts and all that stuff. And then she says, "Well, I've already signed the paperwork." I'm like, "What? You signed the paperwork, but yet you really didn't understand it?" And she said, "Well, that's what he said to do. Just go ahead and sign the paperwork." That is nonsense. It should be illegal.
But let me tell you where this is coming from. And once again, this is going to create a lot of angry emails from the industry. But here are the facts. In the annuity world, the way most of these products are distributed is with IMOs and FMOs. They're marketing organizations. So, agents sign up with these marketing organizations and these marketing organizations help them with the paperwork.
Now, Stan The Annuity Man is the annuity man, America's annuity agent®. Typically we don't use those people. We have a couple, but they don't interact with us. But here's what's being taught out there to the agent army of annuity people. They're teaching these agents to have people sign the paperwork before they leave the office. Do not let them leave without signing. Whether they're ready to go or not tell them whatever you need to do to get them to sign the paperwork. And a lot of these guys get it... They get the paperwork signed and they go ahead and submit it all.
The Sales Pitch
This is taught in the annuity industry. This isn't some agent locally that just thought of this idea to have you sign paperwork. No, it's actually part of the sales process that's being taught, not by all FMOs and IMOs marketing organizations, but by too many people that teach sales practices in the annuity industry. And the reason that the annuity industry has a bad reputation is for practices like this.
I want you to think about this for a second. You go to a car dealership and you're looking at a car and they say, "I know you're going to look at a car and I know you're going to think about it, but go ahead and sign all of this paperwork for me if you don't mind. So when you come back, we'll just be ready to go." Have you ever done that? No, of course not. When you go to buy a house, do you do that? No. You might have a pre-approved mortgage that's in place, but you don't sign the mortgage paperwork and then go and think about it.
I want you to think of all the things that you have to sign a contract for so that you own it. How many times have you been told, "Go ahead and sign it, and then maybe you'll do it, maybe you don't. But you're going to sign it"? I'm thinking never. I'm thinking in my life of 58 years, I have never, ever been approached by anybody to say, "Go ahead and sign the paperwork. Go ahead and sign the paperwork and then leave and then think about it. Go ahead and sign the paperwork and let's touch base next week." And if anyone have ever said that to me, I would have exploded and said, "You're the biggest fraud, crook idiot on the planet." I mean, I get this call maybe once or twice a week, but it's happening so much out there that it's disturbing and I needed to call it out. So that's the reason the title is Sign Now, Decide Later. That is a crap annuity sales pitch, period.
I mean, I don't know what else to say other than please don't do that. And for any of the agents out there or the FMOs SMOs marketing organizations or any of the carriers. Stop it. People can make up their own minds. You don't have to do bait and switch tactics. You don't have to do these shady sign-now deals. A lot of times the agents will say, "Go ahead and sign and think about it." And they go ahead and submit the paperwork.
I had a situation the other day, the same thing, but it was like a multimillion-dollar Indexed Annuity case where this person was trying to sell one Indexed Annuity to one guy for multiple millions of dollars. I'm not saying that's a bad thing if it's suitable and appropriate, but this person didn't know that this stuff had already been submitted because the agent said, "Go ahead and sign and let's decide, and let's think about it." And he thought that was what was going to happen. But the application paperwork was actually submitted for the transfer. And the way that the person found out was that where the money was coming from called him and said, "We're going to go ahead and move that couple million dollars to the annuity company." And he's like, "No, no, no. I didn't approve of that." And they said, "Well, you signed the paperwork."
So, he calls me, and a literal emotional grown man. I'm not going to say he was crying, but I think he was close. Saying, "What do I do? What do I do, Stan The Annuity Man®?" And I helped him unwind that, get his money back and sent it to where it was supposed to be, where it originally was. And then, this is the fun part, agents. I instructed him how to file a formal complaint with the state insurance department and financial services division against this agent for bad, misleading, fictitious, false, non-fiduciary sales practices.
Now, in the past, I haven't done that because, I mean, it's like taking a spray gun to a forest fire. But from here on in, be warned. If you're out there making people sign paperwork upfront... "Hey, sign the paperwork. Go ahead and sign the paperwork and just think about it.” Or whatever the pitch is. And I get the call from the customer and we unwind it, I'm going to instruct them on how to file a complaint against you. Now bring it. If you want to come at me and call me and email me and say, "That's not right, Stan. You shouldn't be doing that, Stan," well, you shouldn't be having them sign the paperwork upfront.
Now, if you're a consumer out there, I need you to be really careful. And I want you to listen to what I'm getting ready to say because it's very important, and I say this every single time to every single person that I meet with or talk to. And the team of people that interact with clients, say the same thing. Here it is: there's never, ever an urgency to buy an annuity. There's never, ever a fire sale. There's never, ever a timeframe that you need to sign the paperwork in order to lock something in. There's never, ever a time that you need to make a quick decision and sign the paperwork to get an upfront bonus. There's never, ever a time for any of that.
The only urgency when it comes to annuities is for you to fully understand how the annuity works. Then make your decision on your terms and your timeframe. Remember, annuities are contracts. I got a call today, we were talking about MYGAs and SPIAs, (Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities, Single Premium Immediate Annuities) and they were confused. They wanted to buy the MYGA. But I asked a couple of questions and I said, "You know what? I don't feel comfortable. Let's set another time for us to talk for 30 minutes and let me make sure that you fully understand what you're making the decision on before any paperwork is put in front of you."
I'm going to clean this stuff up in the annuity industry. I'm going to tell you... before I die and who knows when that'll be, but I'm going to burn the candle at both ends, and what a flame that'll be. But I'm going to clean this stuff up. Am I perfect? No. Am I Mr. Wonderful? No. But I know right from wrong. And you do, too. And the annuity industry needs to clean this stuff up. So if someone says to you, "Sign now and decide later," here's what you say to them: "Later. Never going to talk to you again."
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.