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The Dog Days Are Here

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It’s the end of July and I hope everyone is enjoying the summer!

Are you doing something adventurous, or just relaxing? I hope that whatever it is, you’re recharging your batteries sufficiently, such that you’ll be that much more productive when you get back to your responsibilities.

For those still at your desks, I can understand why. Our business is getting competition from other quarters, so someone must stay and man the fort, to monitor a rapidly changing landscape.

Just think of all the retail products that, in recent years, resemble annuities in one form or another.

There are income-oriented mutual funds and ETFs (at least one company has used the term “income replacement” funds) designed to help owners draw on their assets over time. One of these, the Nasdaq 7HANDL Index ETF, was written up in Forbes last month; it’s a fund of funds that the managers claim can provide a steady 7% annual disbursement from NAV.

There are even funds focused solely on allowing clients to take their required minimum distributions. Here I’ll remind folks how “RMD friendly” provisions became staple items on VA living benefits when most players were offering them, and remain important to those still on the shelf.

And, as I have noted in several issues of The Soleares Report, defined outcome funds, which mimic the attributes of RILAs, are growing in number and diversity.

Furthermore, let’s not forget the idea imitation and one-upmanship that persists among annuity insurers. In the next issue of my report I plan to cover an index annuity launched recently that has RILA-like downside buffers.

So my recommendation to folks in the business who are out on vacation is, don’t rest for too long! Because other industry dogs are nipping at your heels!

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