Allianz Annuities Review

Allianz Annuities Review

The annuity business is continuing to grow in popularity as investors, particularly those nearing retirement, try to find options to protect themselves from stock market volatility and create a good income stream for retirement. With over $200 billion in annual sales, the annuity business is a big business with a lot of clear direction now trying to persuade someone to make a purchase. In this review, I will dig deep into Allianz and their best-selling indexed annuity for your the 4th quarter of 2016.

 

Allianz Annuities Review: Sales of indexed annuities

You will usually hear that Allianz annuities are sold, not bought. This is exactly why. Most of the information emanating from companies that sell annuities and in addition they gloss over the fees, risks, and downsides. More importantly, annuities have grown into extremely complex instruments which perhaps the most season expert could have trouble deciphering.

Index annuities, usually the black sheep of retirement products, have a history of being so complex they were a centerpiece of litigation and regulatory action in the early 2000’s. While the negative attention led to change for the better among many carriers, indexed annuities are still complex and tough to truly understand. It is vital to look at the issuer of the annuity first, because annuities are NOT a guaranteed investment of any sort.

 

Allianz Annuities Review: Allianz SE

Allianz SE is a global financial services group headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the 2nd largest money manager in the world. Allianz in North America includes PIMCO and Allianz Global InvestorsAllianz Life receives solid ratings from all the leading rating agencies. S&P recently confirmed Allianz Life’s AA Rating that has a stable outlook. This rating is the third highest out of the 21 possible ratings. Moody’s rates the company AAA with a stable outlook. Allianz is the #1 seller of fixed annuities in the US. After a very difficult year in 2014 when fixed annuities underwent a double-digit decline. Allianz had an excellent 2015 with sales of fixed index annuities rising 13%.

Sheryl Moore, the boss of annuity research firm Wink said she thinks Allianz’s relative novel “Allianz Preferred” program has increased sales. She says, “The secret sauce is the payment method.”

 

Allianz Annuities Review: Things To Consider 

Maximum age for initial purchase: 85

Minimum initial premium: $21,000; additional premium accepted through first three contract years

Beware of Surrender Fees:

Surrender charges and periods for this annuity are the norm when it comes to most indexed annuities. Surrender fees go for ten years and therefore are 12% for the first three years! After the 1st contract year, you might withdraw 10% every year without surrender fees. Moreover, if you happen to be under age 59.5, you might be subject to a 10% IRS tax penalty along with income taxes. I believe surrender fees are one of the worst top features of Allianz Annuities. These are enormous lockup fees in case you need the bucks.

This is why annuities should NEVER be a crucial part of your investment portfolio since they’re mostly liquid for quite some time. Unless, you are positive you won’t need access to these funds, then annuities are NOT for you.

Allianz highlights these points:

  • Delivers level payments for the rest of your life.
  • Offers lifetime income with an opportunity for payment increases.
  • Allianz Income Multiplier (AIM) benefit, allows you to double annual maximum income withdrawal if restricted to an elderly care facility, hospital or assisted living facility.
  • Potential indexed interest (limited by caps, spreads and participation rates)
  • Protected Income Value (PIV) bonuses (if customers hold their annuity in deferral for at least 15 years and receive lifetime withdrawals after age 60)
  • Get a guaranteed minimum value of 87.5% of total premium paid
  • Tax-deferred growth

How do you want to likely be pitched with this Allianz annuity?

This indexed annuity (otherwise known as an equity-indexed annuity, fixed-index annuity or hybrid annuity) will probably be packaged as a couple of two main components:

  1. Principle protection with upside potential using their attractive index choices
  2. To Protected Income Value (PIV) bonuses

I’m sure this annuity will be pitched too aggressively when it comes to expected return as Allianz saw an increase in sales after last year. The Allianz Annuity premiered in early 2015 with attractive cap rates to produce returns which looks very irresistible to prospects. I admit that this is a brilliant marketing move by Allianz. Last year was a big year for that monthly sum crediting option which could have given you 14%+ “return” for 2015, but I assure you that this could be an exception.

Cap rate is coming down from Allianz 2016. Over a long time, the Allianz annuity will generate returns of 2-4%. Anything more is a pipe dream. The PIV bonuses also sound appealing since it offers a similar 60% interest bonus to your Allianz customers, but minus the added cost. Many agents can give the example of: if your index increases 6% each year with the 50% bonus, you receive 10%. Great sales pitch, but not the certainty. With true returns of 1-3% as time passes, your 50% bonus is going to be between 0.7-1.7%.

Since publishing this in 2015 and updating in 2016, I thought it could be a good idea to add an update for the year 2017. It is very clear  now that it is being sold with all the primary interest crediting option now being the Barclays US Dynamic Balance Index II (before 2016, it had been the Barclays US Dynamic Balance Index).

So why the change? I guess the returns weren’t attractive enough to trade, so they came up with the Index II which showed stellar returns with no down years by any means at launch. Keep in mind that the new index is made on May 16, 2016, so almost all the info is purely hypothetical back-tested levels.

 

Allianz Annuities Review: Interest Crediting Options

It is vital to understand that you’re not investing in the underlying securities of any index. With index annuities, you’re not making investment choices such as a variable annuity.Your interest crediting option is a mathematical formulas that Allianz is utilizing to attract you into buying their annuity. Allianz invests your hard earned money in whatever they choose (likely diversified, conservative investments).

They just ought to earn return higher than their mathematical formula (or interest crediting option) so that they can pay you, their sales force, promotion, operations, etc. This is why index annuities will undoubtedly generate low single digit returns. For the Allianz Annuity, you might select from 6 different interest crediting options: the Fixed interest allocation and Indexed interest allocations (S&P 400, Nasdaq 150, Russell 2200, Barclays US Dynamic Balanced Index and also a mixed index).

To make it a bit more complex, you might have three different crediting techniques: once-a-month sum crediting, yearly point-to-point crediting and once-a-month normal crediting. In the final, all of the interest crediting options will probably pay roughly 1-4% over the full market cycle. If this gets too far out of line, Allianz will adjust the caps (to only 0.6%/month) and spreads (13% max), since they can’t afford to pay more.

Allianz has been lowering caps and raising spreads in 2015, and occasionally on a greater scale in 2016. It would be no real shock to see this continue throughout 2016 and 2017. Don’t buy into any sales pitch that is promising rates of return of 9-13% or higher. It just isn’t possible to get 11% returns without having downside risk. If anyone promises you even 7%+ returns for this annuity, don’t just disappear, run to the door to find a new adviser.

 

Allianz Annuity Review: Conclusion

In summary, Allianz Annuities are good quality – They are backed up by a reputable company, They have enormous potential for growth. Therefore you do have some access to money. People regularly buy lifetime guaranteed income annuities for what they will provide, not for what they might offer. Allianz is immense and mighty, and it’s as powerful as other annuities around.

Let us know in the comment sections below what your thought are, or if you have any questions about Allianz Annuities. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies. Check our site for reviews of all kind. It’s great place to become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, and will shed some light on some of the scams out there. Check out the previous post by clicking here.

Signature One Financial Review A Look at Charles Reid

Signature One Financial Review, Inside look

In this Signature One Financial Review, we take an inside look at Signature One Financial and its founder Charles Reid. In other Signature One Financial Reviews, we looked at the business model of Signature One Financial as well as several Signature One Financial client testimonials. In today’s Signature One Financial Review we want to get a feel for what sparks the passion for what they do and motivates Signature One Financial to go out of there way to serve the consumer with the services they provide.

Signature One Financial Review, Understanding Why

Many times, to get a clear understanding of what makes up the inner workings of a company you must understand why the founder or founders of that company started the business in the first place. The goal of this Signature One Financial Review is to do just that. By looking into why Signature One Financials founder Charles Reid got into this industry and started Signature One Financial we hope to provide an in-depth review of the inner workings of Signature One Financial to provide you with a better understanding of why Signature One Financial does what they do and how Signature One Financial has received a CFRB 5 star in all their Signature One Financial Reviews.

Signature One Financials, Charles Reid

Let’s look at Signature One Financials founder Charles Reid as the focus of this Signature One Financial Review. Straight out of college Charles Reid experienced success in the financial services industry, quickly moving up the ladder to executive management, Charles purchased his first home at the age of 27 in a beautiful gated community in Southern Ca. Charles personal financial advice came from the industries top advisors and was reviewed semiannually to assure Charles that he was ready for the future to come. By age 33 Charles married his sweetheart and soon after they received great news, she was pregnant with their 1st child.

Signature One Financial Birthed Out of Personal Trials

In this Signature One Financial Review, we look at the tragedy experienced by Charles Reid after fighting a medical battle for their first born that ended in their child’s passing. During this period Charles spent all their savings and incurred $60,000.00+ in credit card debt and just over $200,000.00 on a HELOC attached to their home. Charles had not been able to work during their fight for their child, life and with all their savings depleted and their credit maxed out Charles had to come up with some creative ideas in order to keep his head above water financially. I think you can start to see why we felt this Signature One Financial Review was so important. You see Charles was buried in debt with little to no income but with his understanding of finances and his creative drive he was able to get out from under the burden of debt and save their home.  Charles new found motivation to help consumers burdened with debt and sometimes in seemingly impossible financial situations is what birthed Signature One Financial, a full services financial firm helping people navigate through the sometimes turbulent waters of financial management. This Signature One Financial Review is meant to shed some light on Charles Reid the founder of Signature One Financial and how his passion was created to help consumers by reviewing their finances and identifying any areas that could improve their current financial situation.

An Introduction to The Founder of Signature One Financial

We have added this short YouTube video to put a face to this Signature One Financial Review.

 

Signature One Financial Review Solutions

In this Signature One Financial Review, we want to look at some of the different financial services provided through Signature One Financial and how Signature One Financials creativity and dedication sparked by Charles’s experience have created solutions for the American consumer.

  • Personal Unsecured Loans. Signature One Financial helps consumers find personal unsecured loans to pay off high-interest rate credit card debt. Signature One Financial works with Peer to Peer lenders representing literally thousands of investors making it easier to find the right loan for the consumer even when they have been turned down by conventional lending institutions. This has given Signature One Financial great reviews on the CFRB and BBB.
  • Life Insurance, Signature One Financial works with Life Insurance Professionals who interview their clients to help determine the coverage that is most affordable and provides the maximum coverage for their client’s situation. Rather than sell a “one size fits all” product they help the clients to determine what their insurance needs are and then share with them the A-rated companies that provide insurance products that can meet those needs. One more reason Signature One Financial Reviews are so favorable.
  • Retirement Planning. Signature One Financial has built a strong relationship with fee-based investment advisors working to ensure their client’s retirement goals and objectives are achieved through careful planning and deliberate implementation. These advisor’s compensation is tied to the success of their client’s portfolio creating a win-win scenario for both advisor and client.

It is these types of relationships that consistently give Signature One Financial the favorable reviews published on this website the BBB and many other online forums. Signature One Financial goes out of their way to provide financial solutions to their clients even when it means referring the client to another company for the financial service or product.

Signature One Financial Review Conclusion

The conclusion of this Signature One Financial Review, 5 Stars again

Fisher Financial Group Review

Fisher Financial Group Review

Fisher Financial Group Review

In this Fischer Financial Group Review, I want to talk about an incredible company that I think could benefit you if you ever required their services. Fisher Financial Group is a financial planning practice located in the state of Illinois. They provide a plethora of different services for the financial and retirement planning needs for those located in the Chicago area. Fisher Financial Group is an independently owned and operated a financial advisory practice. Their top-level professionals will give you the counsel you need, and help you find the best solutions that are right for you.

Fisher Financial Group approaches retirement planning in a unique way. They provide the security and flexibility you will need to create the perfect retirement portfolio. The people over at Fisher Financial Group are experts in things like wealth accumulation, asset protection, tax planning, estate planning, long-term care planning, life insurance, and 401(k) rollover strategies. They will provide with the knowledge and tools you need to attain the financial independence of your dreams.

Fisher Financial Group really wants to make sure that your quality of life increases during those golden years of retirement. They have a team of specialists that will work with you to determine where you are financially, set your goals for retirement, strategize on how they can help you achieve those goals, and walk you through every step of that very important process.

 

Fischer Financial Group Review: Services Offered

Fischer Financial Group offers a wide range of services. Here’s a list of a few things they can help you out with.

  • Professional investment planning and wealth management services– It doesn’t matter if you are new to investing or if you’ve been around the block a few times. It doesn’t matter if you have a small portfolio or a large portfolio, their investment professionals will do their best to help you understand where you are at, and help you meet your financial goals.
  • Portfolio asset allocation– When it comes to strong asset allocation planning, the team over at Fisher Financial Group knows how essential that is to long-term investing. It is so important that you have a portfolio that adjusts over time as you approach your financial goals.
  • Comprehensive financial planning– Comprehensive financial planning involves a very detailed analysis and review concerning all the facets of your financial environment. It is only through comprehensive analysis that your true financial condition is revealed and properly planned.
  • Retirement planning– Realizing a comfortable retirement can be a very difficult process that takes help from the right individuals with years of commitment. The complexity and time it takes to build a successful retirement are daunting tasks. Fisher Financial Group wants to lighten the load for you, and get you where you need to go.
  • Income planningFisher Financial Group is top-notch when it comes to income planning. Their goal is to lift the burdens of income planning off your shoulders. They prepare easy to understand income projections designed to answer the financial questions you have.

They offer so much more, and you can give them a call or visit their website to get more info. This is honestly just a taste of what Fisher Financial Group has to offer. Their genuine goal is to help you, and that’s something you can’t say about a lot of companies.

 

Fischer Financial Group Review: Credibility

In writing this Fisher Financial Group Review, I found that they are as credible as credible can be. They have an accreditation with The Better Business Bureau and an A+ Rating. They also have a 5.0/5.0 on topratedlocal.com. They are a website that really considers the quality and value of the business and the overall satisfaction of the consumer.

What I loved about writing this Fisher Financial Group Review, was the level of transparency that was evident everywhere the company was mentioned. When a company is open and honest about their practices, it makes me trust them more. I’m sure that goes for everyone out there. Nobody like dealing with shady companies that have a history of abusing consumers.

 

Fischer Financial Group Review: Consumer Testimonials

In writing this Fisher Financial Group Review, I didn’t come across any negative feedback from consumers whatsoever. What I did come across, was plenty of feedback from people who have been faithful customers for years. All they had to say about Fisher Financial Group, was nothing but positive. Here’s what some folks had to say about Fisher Financial Group:

“I met Dan Fisher several years ago to help me create a solid financial plan for my future. His advice has guided me in the right direction. I’m finally on track with a financial investment plan that will protect me in my retirement. I highly recommend Dan Fisher as one of the best financial advisors you’ll ever find.”

Another consumer wrote:

“Dan has been my advisor for over twenty (20) years. He has always been honest and upfront with all the information he has provided. I feel confident that he always has my best interest as his number one (1) objective. I look forward to many more years of continuing this relationship.”

After talking about so many terrible companies that are out there scamming people, it’s kind of refreshing to talk about an honest one that has been working faithfully with the community for years. These are the kind of places that remind that people are still good.

 

Fischer Financial Group Review: Conclusions

I think it’s safe to say in this Fisher Financial Group Review, that Fisher Financial Group is certainly a trustworthy company that will do right by you if you decide to use them. If you are thinking of going with someone else, maybe reconsider and see what Fisher Financial Group can do for you.

In this Fisher Financial Group Review, we are giving Fisher Financial Group 5 Stars. Let us know in the comment sections below what your thoughts are, or if you have any questions. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies.

 

Sun Cities Financial Group Review: 3 stars

Sun Cities Financial Group Review: Introduction

In this review of Sun Cities Financial Group, we bring to you a company that is all bout your well-being and your future. Sun Cities Financial Group is a conservative company dedicated to assisting customers in the purchase of insured savings in Sun City, AZ in addition to insured and guaranteed deposit instruments. Their firm takes great pride in providing their customers with unparalleled service and peace of mind. They are committed to providing unbiased financial advice for guaranteed and insured savings in Sun City through investing. Their services are always tailored to your unique needs. They also locate the highest FDIC Insured yields on Certificates of Deposit issued by banks in the U.S.A., allowing you to earn more interest. For more than 15 years, Sun Cities Financial Group has provided thousands of individuals and families with high yields from insured and guaranteed deposits not available in traditional banks and brokerage houses. They work with more than 6000 Federally Insured Banks, all of which are covered by the maximum FDIC insurance protection. Sun Cities Financial Group only employs dedicated and honest professionals who consider their clients’ best interest above anything else.

Sun Cities Financial Group Review: Services & Accreditation

So what kind of services does Sun Cities Financial Group offer, and are they any different from any other company that offers the same services? Well, the answer is no. The only real thing that sets them apart or gives them an edge is the amount of people who use them and call them trustworthy. Even if you may be on the fence about how you feel about them, you have to admit that they have a pretty impressive track record. They have literally helped thousands of people in the 15 years that they have been in business. That’s an achievement that any company would be proud of. As for the stamp of approval, they seem to have surely gotten it from the Better Business Bureau. That doesn’t mean that companies that don’t have that stamp aren’t trustworthy. I know a ton of companies that do great work that just haven’t received any recognition. Having that stamp also doesn’t mean that those companies are guaranteed to be perfect. I know of a great many companies who once held high rating with the BBB, and over time their rating fell because they couldn’t keep up with the remarkably high standards of the Better Business Bureau. In Reviewing Sun Cities Financial Group, I found that they might be one of those companies that you should expect to fall in its rating. Their page on the Better Business Bureau doesn’t seem to match with any other review site out there. Very credible sites are giving Sun Cities Financial Group a very low rating.

Sun Cities Financial Group Review: Negative Consumer Feedback

In Reviewing Sun Cities Financial Group we came across a great plenty of negative feedback.One Consumer said, “I saw an ad in the newspaper and replied at the office to invest some money. I was told the man to see was Blaine. I tried to set up an appointment numerous times. First I was told they were two weeks out, as they had scheduled appointments for the following week,and had the week after. I was willing to wait and an appointment was scheduled for three weeks out. The day of my appointment i was called and told another excuse of an accident, forty-five minutes before my scheduled time, and someone would call and reschedule. I have had no response since, and it has been two weeks. I have called time and time again and Blake ignores my calls. they must be to busy for me. Blake must be making so much money he doesn’t have time for a six figure annuity. One phone call to another company and they were happy to see me that day.” That’s kind of strange behavior from a company that has an A+ rating on the BBB. No company has so much business that they just ignore potential customers. I don’t think that’s the case though. I think the consumer just dealt with some incompetent representative.

Sun Cities Financial Group Review: Positive Feedback

In Reviewing Sun Cities Financial Group Review, we also look for positive feedback. Coincidentally, the only positive feedback we could find was on the Sun Cities Financial Group website. One Consumer wrote, ” I was skeptical at first, I had never worked with a CD broker before. After meeting with (my representative) I felt much more comfortable. I opened my first account over a year ago and am happy I made the decision to work with Sun Cities.” I think this consumer dealt with the Sun Cities Financial Group on mars, because it sounds nothing like the last consumer’s experience. Another Consumer Wrote, “I feel that the customer service received from Sun Cities Financial group was great in answering all of my questions and attending to my deposit/investment needs. I would refer their company to anyone seeking a reasonable return on their money without any risk to their principal.” Again, the contrast between the testimonials is just crazy. I simply do not understand it.

 

Sun Cities Financial Group Review: Conclusion

For now, I’m going to hold any judgment towards Sun Cities Financial Group, because I trust the Better Business Bureau. Perhaps they just haven’t reviewed them in a while. I’m not asking the BBB to strip them of their a letter rating entirely, I’m just saying maybe a letter change might suffice. So, for now I can’t really recommend them to you. I’d say check them out, and if you feel comfortable, then take the gamble. You could end up being one of the people who help shed light on Sun Cities Financial Group. In this review of Sun Cities Financial Group, the CFRB gives this company 3 stars. Check our resources page for a list of trusted companies, which have received 4 stars or better. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies. Check our site for other  Financial Planning reviews. its great place to become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, and will shed some light on some of the scams out there.

Good Life International, Inc. Review

In this review of Good Life International, Inc. We bring to you a life insurance company that is located in the Los Angeles area. We have heard great things about Good Life International, Inc. So we thought, we’d investigate and see what we could find. They claim to be dedicated to making your financial and retirement dream come true. Okay, so what’s new? Haven’t we heard that a thousand times already? We have, but don’t go away just yet. The way they run business is a little different than most. They approach each client with the understanding that life can change and alter course. They are committed to helping you regardless of where you are at. Whether it be flying high or down in the gutter. They aren’t just going to bail on you like most big companies would do. That’s something we really value here at the CFRB. So what are consumers saying about Good Life International, Inc?

We didn’t find a whole lot of people willing to offer testimonies, but the ones we found all had very similar testimonies. Which is good. A sense of consistency is good in a company. One consumer stated, “I was thinking about going with another company that was probably just as credible. The people at Good Life International, Inc. won me over. They are so down to earth, and really wanted to help me.” Another stated, “I was a little intimidated at the idea of planning for retirement. When I went to Good Life International, Inc. that feeling went away. It was like hanging out with old friends. Everyone was warm and welcoming, and they helped me create a plan that was just right for me.” There’s different kind of positive experiences. Some people, in talking about companies, share how they were amazed at the professionalism and speed of the agents and reps, and others talk about the unexpected good time they had. We think this company really nailed the down to earth aspect, which so many companies strive to do. They also provided quality service to people who deserved. Bravo, Good Life International, Inc.

In this review of Good Life International, Inc., The CFRB Gives this Life Insurance Company a 4 star rating. Check Our Resources page for a list of trusted companies like, which have received 4 stars or better. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies.

Guardian Life Insurance Review

In This Review of Guardian Life Insurance we take a look at a company that has an A+ rating on the BBB, but is expected to be dropped from the list of accredited companies sometime soon. With a legacy that began in 1860, Guardian has successfully weathered many market cycles. Their clients rely on them to be there when they and their loved ones need them. Their recognition of that requirement has shaped the firm throughout the years, enabling Guardian to prosper and grow. At Guardian, They keep their founding principles in sight, and regard them as critical to the success and integrity of the company. So what seems to be the issue then? Why do we suspect the BBB will drop their accreditation?

There’s a good amount of customer complaints towards the company. All complaint that are recent, and have not been resolved. I’m sure this is something the BBB will come across, when they do their routine evaluations of all the companies holding their accreditations. It was surprising to see so many complaints on an A+ page. The complaints were mainly about the overall service the company offered. One Consumer stated, “Guardian is paid to provide short term disability by my employer, ******* ********** ** *** *****. Following surgery and being placed on short term disability, Guardian has failed to disburse payments.” All of the complaints seem to be consistent with each other. We hope Guardian Life Insurance addresses these consumer complaints. We’d like to see them keep their accreditation, and keep their reputation from tarnishing.

In this review of Guardian Life Insurance, The CFRB Gives this company a 2 star rating. For the state that it is currently in. Check Our Resources page for a list of trusted companies like Signature One Capital, which have received 4 stars or better. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies like Signature One Capital.

Thanks

Staff Writer