Picture this: You are a truck driver, sitting at a coffee shop having a discussion with someone that tells you – with a straight face – that you should not purchase tires for your truck because all tires explode.
Let that sink in for a minute. Do truck tires explode? Sometimes. I have driven down the highway many, many times and I see tire pieces on the road from when one did indeed explode – and I have been driving next to a truck when one blew out, sending tire ‘shrapnel’ across the highway in large, rubber pieces.
Now, do we all still have tires on our vehicles right now, knowing that they could explode? Yes. Of course. I do. So do you. But, according to your coffee discussion, you should not have tires on your truck because they explode. Ridiculous, right?
As you continue your talk over coffee with your new friend, you soon realize that this person is basing his assumptions on bicycle tires for why you shouldn’t have tires on your truck – and his reasons for this conclusion is because he is of the view that all tires are the same because they all are made of rubber, they all travel down the road and they all hold air in them.
HUH?! What?! Really?! You politely finish your coffee and leave – hoping this person doesn’t follow you outside because he has to be crazy. This person’s logic makes sense on a basic level (tires are indeed made of rubber, they hold air and they can explode) but his belief of ‘they are all the same’ is nuts. How could anyone use that thought process – and why on Earth would anyone listen to him?
Annuity products are no different – and unfortunately most are indeed listening. Annuity plans come in all shapes and sizes – to the tune of nearly 300,000 choices across the nation today – just like tires do. Unfortunately, there are some ‘crazy coffee shop people’ out there that will continually do their best to lump annuities into one category instead of distinguishing the different types – and these people happen to have deep enough pockets to spend millions of dollars on the crazy idea that all annuity products are the same – and most believe it.
Here is an example of marketing bias: I am of the belief that if enough money was spent on a marketing idea for a particular steel hammer that, upon accidentally hitting your thumb, it would not hurt – there would be people out there that would think it is true and would purchase the hammer.
Why? Because they saw it on TV, heard it on the radio – so it must be true. Sad, but very true. Think about it for a bit. You know this is correct. Throw enough money at a particular idea and you could sell ‘steel hammers that won’t hurt your thumb when you hit it!’ – and people would buy it. UGH…
When it comes to retirement planning, these type of people have a name: They are called WALL STREET. Sadly, there are certain Wall Street folks that are constantly trying to tell you that ‘bicycle tires’ are the same as ‘truck tires’ – and they have the marketing money to sell this ridiculous thought to you.
Why does Wall Street insist on lumping all annuities together into one category? The reasons are very simple. Call my office to find out and you will be shocked at the outcomes – because it is just as ridiculous as comparing bicycle tires with truck tires.