Fixed annuities

Soleares Research, LLC is a market research and consulting firm servicing the annuity and life insurance businesses. We provide, through our website, periodic articles that cover important industry trends; we also offer clients phone or on-site consultations, executive briefings and presentations. We pride ourselves on first-class customer service and responsiveness to our clients. We aim to be an indispensable resource to the marketplace.

List of Articles

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Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 11, 2018

In our view as we enter the heart of the holiday season, things are looking up for the variable annuity business: sales are recovering and insurers are building out their product offerings again. In this report we’ll share some thoughts on the current state of affairs and touch on recent product developments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 04, 2018

Based on our review of selected public insurers’ third quarter results, and recently-released data from industry research firms, we think the variable annuity business experienced positive uplift in the quarter, which we think will carry through the rest of this year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 30, 2018

In this report we’ll cover a batch of notable variable annuity product filings from this month which includes a benefit buyback offer, a contract exchange offer, new contract registrations, multiple fee changes and other adjustments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 28, 2018

Variable annuity sales for most stock-traded insurers we follow regularly showed improvement in the second quarter, which no doubt contributed to the industry’s quarter-over-quarter rise. This report will be our customary quarterly rundown of what we gleaned from insurers’ earnings reports...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 09, 2018

This will be a brief commentary touching on some of the main attributes of structured annuities, a product type that has garnered significant sales traction in recent years and has been a source of innovative tweaks and modifications on the part of insurers...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 10, 2018

In a commentary of a few weeks ago we discussed recent developments related to structured annuities and now it’s time to follow up on that subject, as we’ve seen some new registrations and a possible indication that one is now available for sale. As usual we’ll also cover other interesting things we unearthed in our filing research...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 25, 2018

In this report we’ll comment on recent filings of rate sheets for variable annuity benefits, plus cover some other product developments we found noteworthy, including Lincoln National’s disclosure of rider adjustments it will make in May...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 27, 2018

As we typically do each earnings season, we reviewed variable annuity business results for a small number of selected stock-traded insurers and for most of them, sales improved in Q4, however we can’t say the same about the industry as a whole...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 02, 2017

Third quarter earnings season is now underway, and we are highly interested in what conference calls might reveal about the variable annuity business. We’re suspecting that sales levels might have started improve at least a bit due to the delay in full implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 17, 2017

In first quarter earnings calls of stock-traded insurers we watch regularly, a common theme was discussed on pretty much all of them: issues in dealing with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule which put a damper on annuity sales...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 09, 2017

In this report we’ll get caught up with notable annuity product filings filed with the SEC from February and early March, including new contracts and benefits as well as modifications to existing ones...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 27, 2017

After reviewing the results of selected publicly-traded insurers from their fourth quarter earnings calls and financial statements, we expect that the variable annuity industry as a whole reflected the experience of these companies, namely lower sales for Q4 and the year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 29, 2016

As we have done since first publishing The Soleares Report, we are devoting this last issue of December to a quick look back on the year that was in the variable annuity industry. Our view is that 2016 was a difficult time for the business on multiple levels, and our feeling is that the challenges will continue into the New Year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 15, 2016

In this commentary we’ll offer up our usual thoughts from insurers’ quarterly earnings calls. This time we came away with the a feeling we’ve had for some time now: that companies are more or less accepting that variable industry sales are in retraction for the foreseeable future...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 13, 2016

In this commentary we’ll discuss current conditions in the variable annuity business, such as which products are selling the best, and touch on details from recent product filings...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 23, 2016

Leading industry research firms released second-quarter 2016 annuity sales data not long ago, and results for variable annuities were down substantially over last year, while some fixed annuity product types did fairly well...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 14, 2016

This will be a very brief commentary containing random thoughts on the variable annuity scene, as it looks to us at this point in the year. The brevity of this report is mostly due to the lack of noteworthy product developments since last week...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 04, 2016

Just as we were getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, there was a sharp decline in the stock market, which prompted us to think of what the implications could be for the industry. In this brief commentary we’ll discuss some thoughts that came to mind...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 28, 2015

Each year we provide, with our last issue of December, a quick rundown of how the variable annuity business performed so far, from our perspective, and a few forward-looking thoughts for the New Year. We like to think this report helps subscribing companies with the industry evaluations they make annually...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 08, 2015

In this report we’ll discuss deferred income annuities (DIAs), products that, in our view, were built to provide less risky forms of guaranteed income as compared to living benefits, and to answer longstanding objections to traditional income annuities, such as lack of flexibility and liquidity...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 01, 2015

Industry research firms began reporting third quarter sales not long ago, and the numbers confirmed our earlier suspicions, that variable annuity sales would fell in the quarter, while total industry output was sustained through a strong showing from fixed-index annuities...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 09, 2015

We just completed our third quarter review of variable annuity business results of selected stock-traded insurers and found that for all of them, sales fell sequentially during that time period. Market volatility was the most-often cited reason by companies for their sales declines; we think seasonality played a role as well...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 06, 2015

In this commentary we’ll cover a topic we haven’t visited for a while: structured annuities, as a few new ones were filed with the SEC recently, some of them updates to existing contracts. We’ll also touch on other noteworthy product developments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 29, 2015

It seems like the year is going by very fast – the third quarter is winding down already and yet, in our view, it’s hard to forecast how the variable annuity business will finish up – moreover, we are seeing emerging issues that will be of importance to the business well into the future...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 16, 2015

Not long ago, first quarter annuity industry sales figures were released by the major tracking firms and we thought results were about as expected – although we were thinking fixed annuities would do better...


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