Why People HATE Stan The Annuity Man
Hi there. Stan The Annuity Man, America's annuity agent, licensed in all 50 states, top independent agent in the country. I'm so glad you're here. The topic today is a great one. Why people hate Stan The Annuity Man. "Man, I hate that guy. That guy's yelling all the time. He is so intense. He's just in it. It's contractual guarantees and buy the will do, not might do, and all that stuff." Here's the bottom line, and we're going to talk about this at length, but at the end of the day, the reason that I'm so intense is I want to make sure that you make a good decision, informed decision and factual decision if you're considering annuities. With that being said, let's get down to the real facts of why people hate Stan The Annuity Man.
The History of Stan The Annuity Man
All right, first thing first, let's talk about just who I am and how I grew up because I'm a normal dude. I'm a normal guy. I've been doing the financial services business since I got out of college, but I grew up in North Carolina. My parents were college basketball coaches, which is weird to grow up with because there's no soft-landing spot when your mom's telling you that you didn't play well. But I put myself through college playing basketball. I was one of those guys who could really shoot a basketball because that's what my dad made me do all my life. By the way, spoil alert: A life skill and something that doesn't look good on a resume is the fact that you're the leading free throw shooter at the school you played for. I shot 92% from the free throw line for people that played basketball. They're like, "Wow, that's a lot." Well, if your parents are college basketball coaches, that's what happens.
Now from there, I went into the financial services business. I was with Dean Witter, Morgan Stanley, Paine Webber, and UBS. I've done that for a long, long time. No one decides to become Stan The Annuity Man. It was just a twist of fate on how that happened. What I want to let you know is I'm a real dude. I've been married for over 30 years. My lovely wife, Christine. I have two grown daughters at the time of this taping, 26 and 24. I'm just a normal guy.
But when I flip that switch to become Stan The Annuity Man, then that's when it's game on. I grew up in a competitive world. My parents also made me play competitive tennis when I was a youngster and I was ranked pretty high for a while. Then my dad said, "No, we're not doing that anymore. We're going to do basketball," and literally took my rackets and sawed them in half so I could never use them again. Back then, you were using wood. That's the structure and the rigidness that I grew up in. Work harder than the next guy, be passionate, tell the truth, and be transparent. That's what was driven into me. The Stan The Annuity Man character and the reason that people in the industry dislike what I do is because I am just a straight shooter. We're talking about contractual guarantees.
When I came from my last stop at the Union Bank of Switzerland, it was a great firm, but it just wasn't for me. I left. My partners are still there by the way. They're still working at these large firms. But I just didn't want to do that anymore. When I landed on the annuity side, the long story about how we got there, but when I decided to become Stan The Annuity Man and I started looking at how things were sold, it was appalling. I wanted to be the anti-venom to that and be the contrarian factual person to that. Now, I thought when I started doing this a decade ago that there would be a lot of people following my message and talking about contractual guarantees, how to use annuities as transfer risk products properly, and making sure that the allocation and proportion were in place and making sure also in the annuity industry, they really don't like you to go north of 50% of your investible assets in annuities.
Annuities as Commodity Products
That all made sense to me, but what I found is that that message wasn't being told. Now, I do not blame the carriers and we represent all carriers. I look at annuities as commodity products, and there's not one that's better than the other. Quotes change like a gallon of milk every seven to 10 days. We have to quote all carriers. If you go to The Annuity Man, you can run your own quotes without having to talk to me 24/7/365. But when you want to dig in and get serious about the possibility of purchasing an annuity, then you're going to talk to me. One of the reasons this topic is so good is that I get a lot of these emails from advisors and agents who don't like my message because it blows up their pie-in-the-sky sales pitch. Also, some clients don't like it when I tell them the truth about what they either own or bought or are being pitched.
I'm Brutally Factual
I got a call the other day, and a guy said, "I'm being pitched this product, and this is what the agent said it's going to do." I just went line by line and factually told him what that meant and the truth, and he was mad because he didn't want it to be that. He wanted it to be the sales pitch. A lot of people get mad because I'm brutally factual. That's the reason that you need to talk to me because I'm not going to sales pitch you. I'm not going to pressure you. I'm not going to chase you. I'm not going to call you randomly. It's one of those things where I want you to have enough information, whether it's through my podcast, Fun With Annuities, my YouTube channel, which we're doing hundreds and hundreds of these videos, the books that I've written, which you can download all six of them for free and under no obligation if you visit this link.
Then, I've been published by almost every major publication on the planet, with hundreds and hundreds of articles. Why did I do all of that? It's not some ego thing because it's not. It's to educate the public on annuities because I didn't think that, and I still don't believe the annuity industry is doing a good job. I'll give you an example of that. I was on a podcast the other day, and someone talked about annuities. Well, what's so special about annuities? The first thing is, that's a bad question because there are many types of annuities, but my answer was one that should be known.
It's the fact that annuities, Single Premium Immediate Annuities, Deferred Income Annuities, Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts, Income Riders, the lifetime income annuity types, it's the only category that can provide a lifetime income stream regardless of how long you live. It started in the Roman Times as an income stream payment for the dutiful Roman soldiers and their families. That's where Immediate Annuities came from. In Latin, I didn't take Latin; I think the word annua means either annual payment or lifetime payment or payment. That's where the word annuity comes from, and that's the unique benefit proposition of an annuity. I told the person it's amazing to me that with 10,000 baby boomers hitting the retirement age of 65 every single day, some of them are retired, some of them are not retired, some of them are thinking about retirement, it should be an automatic that some annuity types provide a lifetime income stream.
The Truth Hurts
Why should it? Because you already own Social Security. That's the best inflation annuity on the planet. You can't hate annuities and continue to get your Social Security payments. That's called being an annuity hypocrite. But that's why people hate Stan The Annuity Man because I'm pointing out the obvious. Sometimes, when people point out the obvious, it's abrasive. It's not what people want to hear. Truth hurts sometimes, and annuity truth hurts a lot, especially when you're filtering in all of the messages that are coming at you from the bad chicken dinner seminars or the ads on the Saturday morning radio shows or the Saturday morning radio shows about one-size-fits-all types of annuities. A lot is coming at you, and then all of a sudden, here's Stan The Annuity Man, the walking middle finger of annuity truth. I say that in jest, but someone called me that a long time ago, and I just hung onto it because I'm going to be brutal.
Another reason people are a little put off by me is I always say, "I'm never going to be your friend, but I'm going to be the best advisor you've ever had. I'm going to be the gold standard by which you measure advisors. Why? Because I'm not going to talk about all the nonsense stuff. I'm going to talk about you. I'm going to talk about what you're trying to solve for. I'm going to talk about contractual guarantees, and I'm going to talk about how we can transfer risk to help you and your family and how annuities might benefit you and benefit your portfolio or be a good addition to your portfolio if it's properly allocated and in proportion."
It's About the Message
I'm okay with agents and advisors hating me. I'm okay with the annuity industry hating me because I do have a different style. It's in your face. It's my competitive nature. I had to do that to survive in the Division I world of college basketball to be competitive and in the tennis world to be competitive when I did that. There's a competition, but the competition with me is not toward other agents and advisors. The competition with me is the message. The competition with me is to ensure that people have all the information factually so they can make an informed decision on their terms and timeframe. I always say there's never an urgency to buy an annuity of any type, regardless of what anyone tells you. The urgency is for you to fully understand what you're buying. Period. That's it.
I'm okay with the hate. I'm okay with the emails coming in from the advisors and the agents. I'm okay with the occasional calls from the carriers like, "Hey, calm it down a little bit. You're hammering." I love it. I never mention a carrier. We represent them all. I have nothing against them, but I have a problem with people falling for the too-good-to-be-true sales pitch. If you said, "Stan, why do people hate you so much in the industry? Agents and advisors." I'm not sure they all do; I mean, there's a huge swath of them. I just know that when I speak in front of some agents and advisors, the reception I get when they introduce me to speak isn't always glowing. I'm okay with that because, hey, I'm just telling the truth about these products. They are what they are, and I'm hoping that advisors and agents will listen to me more and listen to the message.
But primarily the reason I'm doing this, the reason I'm Stan The Annuity Man, the reason I take a lot of heat is because I want you, the consumer, the person out there that's reading this going, "I don't know if this guy's bipolar, yelling and sometimes he's not yelling." No, I'm just intense and want it to be factual. I get mad when I hear sales pitches and people make decisions based on their money because, hey, at the end of the day, it's your retirement money. I'm not a golfer, but in golf, they call mulligans the do-overs. You're on the tee, hitting the ball, and it goes in the water, and you say, "I'm going to take a mulligan on that. I'm going to put one on the tee and I'm going to hit the ball again."
There Are No Mulligans
There are no mulligans in retirement and making decisions on your retirement money. That's what I hope to provide to you so that you don't wish you had a mulligan because you can't get one when you want to change your mind about retirement. You've got to make a decision. It's got to be informed, and it's got to be factual. What I don't want you to do is buy something that you think was what it was, the sales pitch, and then you find out the contractual realities of the pitch. I always say, "You own an annuity for what it will do, not what it might do, the contractual guarantees." I don't want you to buy the sales pitch dream, and you own the contractual realities. I don't want that. I get those calls all the time.
I had a guy call me the other day, and he said, "I bought this product, and the guy told me it was going to do this, this, and this, and I've owned it three years, and it hasn't done anything that he said. I got a 10-year surrender charge," meaning he couldn't get out of it. He's got to ride out that policy and make lemonade with it. I do not want that to happen to you.
This is a weird topic, but I had many people say, "Why do people hate you?" We said, "Well, let's just cover it." First of all, I'm a real dude. I'm a family man. I've been married for over 30 years and put myself through college playing basketball. I'm competitive when it comes to the message of annuities. But I encourage you to go to The Annuity Man, get my book, schedule a call, run quotes on the calculators, and consider me your annuity expert. Thank you for joining me today, and I'll see you on the next Stan The Annuity Man blog.
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.