When a 5.75% Return is Better than an 8% Return

It’s not uncommon to hear an investment salesperson or financial guru looking to chum the waters for a possible comment section debate make a statement like “whole life insurance/universal life insurance is a bad investment because the rate of return is terrible.”

Though we’ve addressed this statement a few times on the Insurance Pro Blog, I wanted to distill the point many people miss into as simple a notion as possible. Also, I want to have a conversation about total return or total benefit you get from committing dollars to a specific cause.

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Ted Benna: The 401(K) Giveth and Taketh away

The 401(K) Giveth and Taketh away

By all accounts Ted Benna should be heralded as an American hero. But I’m willing to bet most of you have never heard the name. Ted is credited as being the guy who created a financial tool that reformed personal finance throughout the last three decades and made more Americans members of the stock investing society than any other financial tool ever created.

However, Ted is rather ho hum about his creation these days. Noting that it’s largely an unwieldy beast that has taken a form he never intended, and the only way to fix it—in his eyes—is to blow it up and start over again with something completely different.

And what was it that Mr. Benna created that has veered so hopelessly off track that it cannot be repaired?

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Be careful how you save—Your IRA and 401k may be a trap

Be careful how you save—Your IRA and 401k may be a trap

Since I’m never really one to go with the flow, today I’ll hold true and bludgeon the sacred cow of all financial advice gurus—the IRA and the 401k. It’s not that I’m trying to be controversial or contrary to spite Dave and Suze.

That’s just an added bonus.

I am concerned about the conventional wisdom that says the IRA (both traditional and Roth) and the 401k are the best ways to save for retirement. In fact, these sorts of qualified plans could trap you and really put a squeeze on your retirement plans.

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CD or Multi-Year Rate Guarantee Annuity–Is it a fair comparison?

CD or Multi-Year Rate Guarantee Annuity–Is it a fair comparison

Typically a multi-year guaranteed annuity and the term “CD annuity” are used interchangeably within marketing literature.  While the description is accurate in describing conceptually how the product works, I feel it could be a little misleading to consumers.

An annuity is NOT a CD, it’s not related to a CD, and the two really shouldn’t be compared as much as they are.  Later on I’ll get into some of what really makes them different.  The differences may seem subtle to some but they are vitally important to understand.

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