Hundreds of Financial Articles Online Misleading Consumers

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New market report reveals annuity critics are often biased and incorrect in their perceptions of annuities within retirement planning.

If the idea of a comfortable retirement with an abundance of money sounds appealing, then chances are you may be one of nearly 2 million people that utilize the Internet each and every month to search for financial advice to grow your life savings.

While annuities have played an integral role in retirement planning throughout most of the last century, a new report reveals that the average consumer is ten times more likely to read information designed to discourage annuities rather than endorse them.

A market study completed this week by Annuities Institute included the analysis of more than five hundred popular consumer articles on financial planning and annuities. From the review, an alarming 93% of the documents researched contained inaccurate and damaging assessments of how annuities work within retirement plans.

"Many of the articles attacking annuities are being written by private investment advisors that want to sell mutual funds, provide stock market trading systems, or broker other money market instruments," reports Robert Davis, executive director of Annuities Institute. "The Internet has become a very effective way to have your opinion heard. As a result, we are seeing the same ill-conceived perceptions being quoted time and time again as justification why annuities are not suitable for retirement planning."

The Annuities Institute research included compiling a list of the most common misconceptions published on annuities, and then sharing them with professional planning advisors and retirement specialists nationally. Their comments and input were then compared against consumer satisfaction surveys sampled from a base of more than $500 billion of annuities sold to consumers between 2001 and 2005.

Among some of the top negative press strategies and fallacies recorded were:

1. Every Annuity is a Variable Annuity

Very often, the risk properties of the variable annuity are intentionally or incorrectly referenced on behalf of all types of annuities, undermining consumer knowledge and confidence in non-security based annuities such as fixed, immediate and indexed investments. Nearly half of all annuities purchased are not based on stock market performance however, and offer guarantees through fixed minimum interest rates and future protection against loss of principal and earnings.

2. Your Insurance Agent Isn't Qualified to Offer Financial Planning

Some investment managers will diminish the value of annuities on the grounds that the insurance representative does not need a securities license to provide investment advice. However, a securities license is only utilized when selling speculative investments where the potential for loss exists. Many insurance providers focus on fixed and indexed annuities for retirement where loss to principal and earnings is not an option for their clients. They undergo continual training and professional courses year round to improve their knowledge and capabilities for senior planning.

3. Fixed Annuities Will Never Outperform Inflation

The fixed annuity offers security in knowing you are guaranteed a set interest rate over a specific period of time, and is often utilized to give long term investments more growth return and tax advantages over CDs. Some investment advisors are against fixed annuities because of their perception of future inflation. They feel that some risk must be taken to grow savings to maximize personal wealth. For investors who cannot afford to lose any of their life savings however, risk should never be a substitute for long term planning and new income generation as needed.

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About Annuities

Annuities provide many real advantages, ranging from competitive interest rates, to guaranteed income for life, to the often cited tax deferral advantages of compounding principal and interest over long periods of time in preparation for retirement distributions. They also offer many unique and beneficial ways to protect estates, avoid probate, and pass money to future heirs.

Many individuals looking for safety within their investments are being exposed to significant risk to their savings and are not even aware of it. To maximize the safety of your retirement plan, ensure you deal with a knowledgeable advisor who can provide independent and objective advice, buy only from reputable companies with a strong performance history in annuities, and never agree to anything that concerns your retirement and financial security that you don't fully understand.

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About Annuities Institute

The Annuities Institute was created by a national independent network of many of the brightest financial advisors, insurance specialists, and retirement planners across the country. Their members work to provide objective and independent assistance in evaluating annuities to help reach retirement, income generation, tax reduction, and asset protection goals.

As an independent body, the Annuities Institute works to improve the quality and capabilities of senior planning specialists nationwide, by encouraging the highest standards of training, readiness and planning qualifications. They are a strong advocate of independent planning over restrictive affiliations, and promote open market access and full disclosure policies to ensure consumers are fully informed and aware of how annuities work within retirement plans.

For more information contact Robert Davis, Executive Director at 815-429-3313 or visit

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