Everyone keeps asking me, “Hey Stan what's in your retirement portfolio? Does the master of the universe, The Annuity Man, America's Annuity agent, drink the Kool-Aid? Do you buy what you sell?" Huh, good question. We're going to go into all of that.
A little bit of background on me. I've been married for 30 plus years to my lovely wife Christine, who is a martyr for hanging in there that long, bless her heart. At the time of this taping, I have two lovely daughters in their 20s, trying to figure out life; they’re doing a pretty good job at that. I'm in that empty nester phase. Who knows about retirement? Can you imagine me retired, seriously? Tense. My wife can't. It would be crazy because I'm a little bit energetic, as you can tell.
But let's talk a little bit about my background. If you don't know this, I used to be on the other side of the table, the dark side. I used to work for Dean Witter which then was purchased by Morgan Stanley. Then I went to Paine Webber, and then Paine Webber was purchased by Union Bank of Switzerland, known as UBS. I did that for a long time, decades and decades, and managed money and stocks and bonds and all this stuff, and managed futures and all that stuff. I'm very, very, very familiar with that side of the table, which I truly believe makes me one of a kind in the annuity world. Now, I focus solely on the fixed annuity space.
As you know, I’m America's Annuity Agent and I cover a myriad of products from Immediate Annuities, Deferred Income Annuities, Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts, Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities, Fixed Index Annuities, and Income Riders attached to those. That's my focus, what I do, and what I'm good at. We only look at the contractual guarantees of the policy. But, if you ask me like, what do I own? I have some really good friends who are really smart people in the industry. When I left the dark side, my two partners were still in the financial business managing money, and they're phenomenal money managers. Each of those people has a portion of my money that I don't look at.
Wait a minute, why don't you look at the stock market? I don't know if you know this, and this would probably wouldn't surprise you - I have a little bit of an addictive personality, and don't do anything in moderation. So when I was in the stock world, I was looking at that screen 24/7. I don't do that anymore. So now, my friends do that for me. I have a discretionary account set up with them, meaning they can make decisions without talking to me. I do trust them implicitly. I'm not sure I would recommend that for anyone out there, but they handle that for me, stocks and bonds and ETFs, all of it.
Now, I do drink my own Kool-Aid. I do buy Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities. I mean, I love those. My wife and I have set up future income guarantees with income riders and Deferred Income Annuities. I have things set up for my daughters that they don't even know about. When my Learjet hits the mountain, and I die, and they come to the funeral, they're going to have a lot of money, but they're not going to have a lot of lump sums. They'll have a lot of payments. You know, I'm handcuffing them a little bit. So when they drive up in the Lamborghini to my funeral, there'll be making payments on the Lamborghini not have bought it lump-sum and, you know, flying in a helicopter-like that.
Yes, I do partake in stocks and bonds and all that stuff. My two former partners, really good friends, personal friends, they handle that for me on a discretionary basis. I do own a couple of Indexed Annuities from the standpoint of what income riders are attached. Here's the one that you're probably not going to believe because I don't sell this product. I own a ton of life insurance. I mean a ton of life insurance. Millions of millions, millions because I think that is a great product. Now, I don't sell that.
A good friend of mine who's been on my podcast Fun With Annuities, his name is Bill Black, and I would encourage you to go to the podcast tab on my site and watch the interaction with Bill and me. Bill is a good friend and has taken care of the life insurance for me for my family, and I always say life insurance is the best return on investment that you'll never see because you're dead. You just don't know it, but it's great, and it passes lump-sum to the beneficiaries and tax-free to the beneficiaries and probate-free to the beneficiaries. So if you don't have life insurance, I think it's the best legacy strategy on the planet. My wife and two daughters, I mean, if I show up dead and unexpectedly like this weird accident, you need to look into them because they've probably off me to get that.
I recently did a couple of podcasts with a guy named Jack Lenenberg. He focuses on long-term care, and currently, at the time of this taping, Jack and I are working on a program from my wife and me to purchase some long-term care coverage for him because I know you can't believe this because of the makeup that's done and just the vibrancy of me. But I'm old. I mean, I'm old. I mean, I tell people I have cowboy boots older than most financial advisors. I mean, I've been around the block a little bit. I'm at that stage where I'm thinking about, hey, long-term care, probably need to put that in place, so I won't be a burden on my daughters from the standpoint of just financially if something happens to me cognitively and we all have to put that in there.
One of the things I tell my clients all the time is that I know it's hard to believe, but I'm not going to be hitting on all cylinders my whole life. Really? Cognitively, we all are somewhat of a decline over time as we get old, and that's where the life insurance comes in, and that's where the long-term care stuff comes in, and Jack and I work on it. Obviously, from an investment standpoint, I have lawyers and trust and all that stuff. But I think the bottom line is that I'm diversified just like you should. I don't have all my eggs in one basket. Just like you shouldn't have all your eggs in one basket.
Do annuities fit everybody? No. Annuities are transfer risk products. I like transferring risk, and the other thing about my portfolio is I'm a serial entrepreneur, so I invest in other businesses outside of the annuity world. I know it's hard to believe, and I have a really good flair for spotting this type of value and doing some angel investing. The last couple of years have been tough with COVID at the time of this taping; we’re hopefully coming out of that, the back-end of COVID, and the tragedy that has been on this country from a lot of standpoints. People passed away. It's just been horrific. But I think it's made me focus and a little bit more about, let's look at the retirement plan.
I encourage you to have that hard conversation. Sit down with your spouse or loved ones or partner and say, hey, here's where everything is, here's where the file is, here's who to call. Here are the two people managing my discretionary money. She knows them; here’s what they've been told what to do. Here's Bill Blacks number, here's the life insurance company's number. Here are the annuity company's numbers. Here's where it all is, and lay it down if something happens to me. Here's the trust. Let's go over the trust. Let's go over what the law or you're putting in there. Do we need to change anything? Do we need to change beneficiaries? Our daughters have everything set up for them to live a comfortable life and reap the rewards of all the hard work that we have done and sacrificed, et cetera, and that's what you know, as parents, we do.
I think COVID has been a wake-up call. It's been a smack in the face for me to say, hey; life is fragile. My wife and I started focusing on the what-ifs of the world, and I think that we did a good job here recently, just putting all that together and making sure that both of us understand if something happened to her, I know what's there. If something happens to me, she knows what to do. When it comes to what's in my portfolio it’s the same thing that's in yours. I just don't manage the stock and bond mutual fund ETF side.
By the way, people always ask me if I've been doing cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. I don't know because, you know, my two ex-partners are managing the money, and they don't tell me what they buy. But I'm sure that they've got something in that area. I don't talk to them about that. We meet on an annual basis. They tell me what's going on, and that's good from my standpoint; I don't have to watch it. The bottom line, what's in Stan The Annuity Man's portfolio? The same thing as yours. It is not 100 percent annuities. I have annuities there for transfer risk for both principal protection and lifetime income, and I'm getting ready to do long-term care. I have life insurance for transfer risk. I'm a big person about transferring risk.
Ask yourself this; you have car insurance, fire insurance, home insurance, and all kinds of insurance; do you have lifetime income insurance? For lifetime income, do you have that going to supplement Social Security, the best inflation annuity on the planet? Ask yourself, do you have retirement insurance? Which either comes down to lifetime income or principal protection. You might want to think about it. Yes, I do drink my own Kool-Aid. I believe in what we do, which is buying contractual guarantees and transferring risk.
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.