Thursday, February 25, 2010


Annuities, Profits and the Fiduciary Standard

There’s a saying on Wall Street: “Structured products are never bought, only sold”. The same could be said of annuities.

Selling annuities is an extremely lucrative and virtually risk-free business, which is one of the reasons why insurance companies and some Wall Street firms are aggressively lobbying Congress not to require brokers and other purveyors of financial products to adhere to a so-called “fiduciary standard.” Under the proposed standard, brokers and insurance salesmen would be required to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own, likely forgoing high-commission annuities for other, more appropriate investments.

Not surprisingly, Morgan Stanley (MS) has voiced concerns that the fiduciary standard would cut into its business. Morgan Stanley has good reason to worry...

Seeking Alpha: Annuities, Profits and the Fiduciary Standard

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