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Variable Annuities

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BUSINESS
March 8, 1993 | RUSS WILES, RUSS WILES, a financial writer for the Arizona Republic, specializes in mutual funds.
Tax worries have set a great herd of investors looking for relief. Many have found it in municipal bond funds, but others are pushing on toward variable annuities. If you can imagine an investment that offers the main advantages of mutual funds together with tax-deferred growth, you will understand why variable annuities have become popular. Sales shot up 77% to $14 billion last year, estimates Lipper Analytical Services, a financial research firm.
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BUSINESS
July 15, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I defaulted on my credit cards starting in 2003 because my business was failing. The last account was charged off in 2007. My business is now back and doing well, and I am expecting a nice little windfall in a couple of months. Should I pay these amounts I owe to the collection agencies that have been calling me, or should I contact and pay the creditors from which I obtained the credit cards? Answer: You can try contacting the original creditors, but most likely they will refer you to the collection agencies.
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BUSINESS
June 16, 1994 | THOMAS S. MULLIGAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a move that extends the development of banks into financial supermarkets, First Interstate Bancorp and insurance giant SunAmerica Inc. on Wednesday announced an agreement under which SunAmerica's tax-deferred variable annuities will be sold through First Interstate branches. SunAmerica, a Los Angeles-based life insurer with $23 billion in assets, said it struck a similar deal with Chase Manhattan Corp.
BUSINESS
June 26, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: Do you have any advice for a family of six with only $200 a month to spend on food? My wife and I are in dire need of advice, as our bills keep increasing but neither of us has gotten a raise in six years. We have two garnishments on our paychecks that effectively take 50% of what we make. After health insurance and 401(k) loans are deducted, we bring home $2,000 a month. Our rent takes $1,400 of that and utilities take most of the rest. Do you have any miracle advice for us?
BUSINESS
November 10, 1996 | RUSS WILES, Russ Wiles, a financial writer for the Arizona Republic, specializes in mutual funds
Variable annuities are growing faster than mutual funds, they're offering more and better investment features, and they remain one of the few tax shelters left. But they're not making much of an impression on do-it-yourself investors. How else can you explain the lackluster reception given to a slew of variable annuities introduced by mainstream no-load mutual fund companies in recent years?
BUSINESS
June 22, 1992 | RUSS WILES, RUSS WILES is a financial writer for the Arizona Republic, specializing in mutual funds.
The variable-annuity juggernaut keeps rolling along, picking up tax-weary investors along the way. Sales of these insurance-investment hybrids remain strong this year after a 58% surge in 1991 and a 51% gain in 1990. The numbers are a bit misleading, since mutual fund sales in general have done nearly as well lately. But there's little doubt that enthusiasm for variable annuities is on the upswing, with more choices available than ever before.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I recently purchased a variable annuity. I researched the investment only after the fact and discovered that my new advisor had not disclosed its pitfalls. I came to him with all my questions afterward, but he was defensive and unprofessional. I feel completely deceived! Do I have any recourse? I feel like I made a huge mistake. Answer: The fat commissions that many annuities pay can tempt unethical or poorly educated advisors into painting an unrealistically rosy picture of these financial products.
BUSINESS
March 14, 1993 | KATHY M. KRISTOF
Now that tax rates are likely to rise under President Clinton, variable annuities are looking even more attractive to well-heeled investors. Some annuity companies say they are already seeing a surge in interest in the products, which wrap an insurance policy around mutual funds. But you need to be wary. Not all variable annuities are alike. If you aren't careful, you could find yourself paying high fees for lackluster performance. How do you choose a variable annuity?
BUSINESS
March 4, 1999 | Bloomberg News
Home and auto insurer Allstate Corp. will form a joint venture with Putnam Investments to sell a stock-linked retirement saving plan. The companies will sell variable annuities, a hybrid of mutual funds and insurance policies that let people make tax-deferred investments in the stock market. The contract, which can provide buyers with a stream of income until death, have become a top-selling form of insurance as Americans increasingly worry about paying for retirement.
BUSINESS
March 7, 1993 | KATHY M. KRISTOF
Variable annuities, already soaring in popularity thanks to the aging of the baby-boom generation, may get another shot in the arm from President Clinton's yet-to-be-enacted economic plan. Life insurers say the variable annuity business has "virtually exploded," with sales jumping a whopping 56% in 1992 alone.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My husband and I are struggling with whether to file for bankruptcy. We have $80,000 in credit card debt, which has ballooned because of high interest rates and our paying only the minimum. My husband and I were both laid off in 2008. I collected unemployment for not quite a year and still have not been able to find work. My husband found a job after a year and a half, but then was injured at work and faces another four to six months of recovery, so he is receiving only 67% of his former wage.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I recently purchased a variable annuity. I researched the investment only after the fact and discovered that my new advisor had not disclosed its pitfalls. I came to him with all my questions afterward, but he was defensive and unprofessional. I feel completely deceived! Do I have any recourse? I feel like I made a huge mistake. Answer: The fat commissions that many annuities pay can tempt unethical or poorly educated advisors into painting an unrealistically rosy picture of these financial products.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2006 | Josh Friedman
What is an annuity? Annuities are insurance contracts. Buyers typically contribute a lump sum and pay no taxes on the investment gains or interest until they tap the money years later. The term traces its origin to ancient Rome, where citizens paid a lump sum for a contract that promised an annua, or yearly payment, for life. What are the different kinds of annuities? There are two main types: fixed and variable.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
A.G. Edwards Inc. was ordered by an NASD arbitration panel to pay a widow $339,974 for failing to properly supervise a broker who made risky investments with her savings in 1999. The regulatory body, which oversees broker conduct, said arbitrators awarded $142,839 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages and $97,135 in legal fees to Delores White of Indio on April 13. A.G.
BUSINESS
July 14, 2005 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
Bank of America Corp. agreed Wednesday to offer penalty-free refunds to thousands of seniors who may have been sold inappropriate investments in annuities in 2003 and 2004. The deal, which resolves an investigation by Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, applies to customers in any state who were 78 or older when they bought variable annuities from brokers at units of the nation's second-largest bank.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2005 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
Carmen Migliaccio said her husband thought he was ensuring their financial well-being when he shifted the bulk of their savings into a Midland National Life Insurance Co. annuity. The problem, she said, became apparent only after he died in May: The annuity wasn't scheduled to begin making payments until Jan. 27, 2045 -- when John G. Migliaccio would have been 115 years old.
BUSINESS
June 20, 1994 | RUSS WILES, RUSS WILES, a financial writer for the Arizona Republic, specializes in mutual funds.
Variable-annuity investors and the companies that market these products have dodged another tax bullet, the second in three years. The Office of Management and Budget in April was kicking around the idea of taxing annuity earnings as a way to finance welfare reform. After 250,000 telegrams opposed to the idea flooded Washington, President Clinton nixed the idea during a Cabinet meeting.
BUSINESS
March 27, 1995 | DAVID CONN, BALTIMORE SUN
Investment firms, financial planners and business journalists have been drumming a message into Americans' heads for years: Your employer and the government will probably not sustain you through retirement; you must save and invest on your own. Baby boomers, who now see retirement on the horizon, appear to have gotten the message. So much so that many have reached the limits of their tax-deferred IRAs and 401(k) plans.
BUSINESS
November 5, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
More U.S. insurers will be disciplined for allowing market timing in mutual funds linked to variable annuities, a Securities and Exchange official said Thursday. Trading improprieties in the insurance industry were uncovered during the SEC's investigation of market timing in the mutual fund industry. Conseco Inc. and Inviva Inc.
BUSINESS
June 9, 2004 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
Regulators will release a report today that says the variable annuity business is plagued by abusive sales tactics and will urge consumers to be cautious. The report, by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NASD, finds that annuities are frequently sold to people without regard to their financial circumstances, said a person familiar with the review. The SEC's staff is expected to refer some of its findings to the agency's enforcement division for possible action, this person said.
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