By JLP | April 15, 2008
Thanks to reader, “Pal,” for sending me this link.
I just watched Dateline NBC’s seven part undercover series on equity-indexed annuities. This is a must watch for everyone. It is pathetic the lengths that some people will go to to make a sale.
For instance, one of the video segments shows an annuity training program called “Annuity University.” At this training session, sales agents are able to purchase books that they did not write but can put their names on anyway to make it look like they are the book’s author. They can even purchase a magazine that will insert the agent’s picture along with a fake question-and-answer article with the agent inside the magazine. Even though this probably isn’t illegal, it sure as heck is misleading. It gives fake credibility to the agent. One of the agents actually pulled out a copy of the magazine and gave it to the prospect in one of the video segments.
Wouldn’t legitimately building credability by actually writing books and articles be the better way to go?
One other thing I thought was funny was one of the agents got really upset when he found out that he was being taped. He called the Dateline reporter a liar because he [the Dateline reporter] wasn’t upfront with the agent. The agent was probably just upset that he wasn’t going to make a sale. Funny stuff.
I think this exposé should be watched by everyone—not so much to say that all annuities are bad—but rather to give people some things to think about BEFORE they sign on the dotted line of one of these contracts. I don’t think any ethical salesperson would object to that.