Archives for Blog Posts

Highlights in the Growth and Evolution of Fixed Indexed Annuities

June is National Annuity Awareness Month. Back in 2010, the National Association for Fixed Annuities designated this month for awareness to help educate Americans on the important role annuities play as part of a secure retirement savings plan. More than 20 years ago, the first fixed indexed annuity (FIA) was launched by Keyport Life with the assistance of Genesis Financial. Since then, FIAs have evolved to include the addition of alternative indexes, riders that provide guaranteed retirement income and uncapped growth designs subject to participation rates and spreads. Here are several highlights since the first equity-linked indexed annuity known as
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Despite More Control of the Purse, Women May Still Represent an Underserved Segment for Advisors

Are you missing out on one of the wealthiest populations set to control even more wealth in the coming years? Last year, the number of female billionaires rose by 18% to 321, outpacing the 14.5% growth in the male billionaire population and increasing women’s share of the global billionaire population to 11.7%.1 That’s a global perspective, but If you don’t already know about the decision making and financial clout of women in the United States then a brief overview might be worthwhile. Here’s what some of the numbers look like in the U.S. Women control 51%, or $14 trillion, of
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What In the World Is an FMO or IMO?

As if the insurance industry wasn’t confusing enough, Field Marketing Organization (FMO), Independent (or Insurance) Marketing Organization (IMO), Independent Distribution Company (IDC), National Marketing Organization (NMO), General Agency (GA), Brokerage Agency, or Wholesaler are just some of the terms used—often interchangeably—to describe firms that are intermediaries between insurance carriers and agents/advisors.   But before we get into what they are and what they do, here is a little background about the insurance industry itself.   Consolidation of Insurance Carriers By the end of 2016, there were 797 life insurance companies in business in the United States, representing a steady decline from
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9 Things to Know About Social Media and Video

Social media and video are an increasingly important part of your marketing mix due to changing consumer behavior. Here are nine things you should know. Social Media Use Increases AUM The fifth annual Putnam Social Advisor Survey (2017) 1 of more than 1000 advisors found that 86% of advisors using social media for business reported gaining new clients as a result, up from 80% in 2016. The 89% of advisors who are using social media for their business have an average AUM of $89 million, versus 3% of advisors not using social media at all (even personally) with only $69
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What Each Generation Wants from a Financial Advisor

  April is “Financial Literacy Month,” so we compiled some research about three demographic groups—Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers—and what they want from you.   When it comes to attracting and engaging these three groups, a recent article by LPL Financial put it this way, “An advisor must actively engage with his clients and respect generational differences. Millennials seek a personable advisor relationship, while Generation X investors are wary and mistrustful, and Baby Boomers appreciate credentials and content. It’s up to the advisor to acknowledge these traits by building personal relationships with these clients and customizing services to address
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Succession Planning For Your Practice

  As a financial advisor, you spend much of your time working on the nuts and bolts of retirement planning with your pre-retiree and retiree clients. What if you were to ask yourself the same questions you ask your clients in regards to your advisory practice, business partners and your own desires for the succession of your business?   Download our latest whitepaper, “Succession & Continuity Planning.” Download the PDF   The new whitepaper touches on these topics: What is your practice or book of business really worth? What is a Buy-Sell Agreement and is it right for you? How
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Though It’s Women’s History Month, It’s Probably More Important to Understand The Future of Women In Investing.

Even though March is “Women’s History Month,” we want to take this opportunity to look forward rather than backward. Understanding how women relate to investing and financial advisors may be key to growing your practice now and in the future, according to research studies.   A recent article in Investment News says the number of women controlling assets and making financial decisions is growing: Twenty years ago, investing was more of a man’s game and though the number of female advisers is meager (only 14%), the number of female investors has skyrocketed, with American women projected to control upwards of
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It’s Tax Season, Time to Reach Out to Your Clients Proactively

Due to the tax law changes that happened last December, as a financial advisor you’ve probably received a lot of calls and questions about the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” already. The whole financial services industry is still working through the implications of the legislation, and the IRS will undoubtedly be issuing clarifications since the law takes effect for this 2018 tax year. (Like this clarification in February, regarding home equity loans: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/interest-on-home-equity-loans-often-still-deductible-under-new-law) Tax season has always been a great time to reach out to your clients, and the new legislation makes it even more so. Here are
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Shurwest’s “Insight” Mobile App

  Access Shurwest Support Right from Your Phone!   We understand how busy you are as a financial advisor. That’s why the Insight mobile app gets you quick support from Shurwest right from the palm of your hand.     Watch this video to learn more about the app!   Here’s what you can do with the Shurwest Insight mobile app: Check the latest rates on annuities and life products. Request case designs and illustrations based on your client’s parameters. Connect with other successful Shurwest advisors and industry thought leaders. Receive industry insider news alerts at your fingertips. Watch videos or
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Planning Considerations for 7 Major Client Life Events

Retirement   Everyone in our industry knows that 10,000 Americans per day will continue turning 65 up until the year 2030. For the people who have money saved in, say, a 401(k), which is the most common retirement vehicle, they are facing stock market volatility which can have a devastating effect on their ETFs or mutual funds, along with rising interest rates which can devalue their bonds, not to mention rates still hovering at around 2% on CDs, savings accounts and money markets. Then there are RMDs that kick in at age 70, triggering taxation for many when they least expect
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