Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reading on Annuities

The Wall Street Journal has published a list of readings on annuities. The comments in the list are by Dr. Moshe A. Milevsky, a finance professor at York University in Toronto:

"Getting Started in Annuities," By Gordon K. Williamson
If you're a beginner, a good (if somewhat dated) introductory book on the different types of annuities. For those who are hesitant to purchase anything with the word "dummy" in the title.

"The Annuity Handbook," By Darlene K. Chandler
"The Variable Annuity Handbook," By Gary H. Snouffer
Both published by National Underwriter Co. Good sources of information, specifically on variable annuities, with detailed explanation of products and terminology written by sunny and optimistic industry insiders.

"Investing with Variable Annuities," By John P. Huggard
Focused specifically on the tax aspects of buying variable annuities versus mutual funds, this book—written by a practicing attorney—provides a long list of debatable reasons for saving and investing only in variable annuities.

"Equity-Indexed Annuities: The Smart Consumer's Guide," By Jay Adkisson
A brief (92 pages) introduction to this important subcategory of fixed annuities, in which the author tries to bring clarity to the genre and echo his warnings to the novice.

"Guaranteed Income for Life: How Variable Annuities can Cut Your Taxes, Pay You Every Year of Your Life, and Bring You Financial Peace of Mind," By Michael F. Lane
A dated but still readable book that explains with personal case studies and examples how variable annuities can be used to create a sustainable, predictable and tax-efficient retirement income.

"The Handbook of Variable Income Annuities," By Jeffrey K. Dellinger
An encyclopedia of detail on the actuarial and insurance minutiae of variable income annuities, from reserving requirements to asset-allocation dynamics.

"Retirement Income Redesigned: Master Plans for Distribution," Edited by Harold Evensky and Deena B. Katz
A collection of independent articles by well-known authors and practitioners in the field, many of which provide the intellectual foundation on how to integrate and use - or ways to avoid - annuity income at retirement.

Securities and Exchange Commission,
Important consumer information on what to look out for when buying variable annuities.

National Association of Variable Annuities,,
These industry sites provide educational material.

Insurance Information Institute,
Information on all aspects of the insurance industry, including annuities.,
A source of product and industry information for individuals considering purchasing income annuities. A simple calculator allows the user to estimate income he or she may receive from such a product.

Annuity Nexus,
Tracks the trends and statistics for the fixed annuity market and offers various educational articles about the product.

Advantage Compendium,
Offers educational and sales-trend information, as well as an overview of currently offered rates for index annuities.

National Association for Fixed Annuities,
An industry site that offers educational resources for agents as well as customers.

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