I love a good “magic” trick and I think simple card tricks are great. I know the trickster can’t really see my card, or know what number I am thinking about. However, somehow that person always gets it right.

What makes magic tricks so interesting to me is that I know they aren’t real; I know that it’s all in my head. I understand that there is a series of events taking place simultaneously, which are designed to keep my mind and eyes occupied while something else is going on that I don’t see. It’s the part that I don’t see that makes everything seem magical.

Sometimes, our financial services industry puts on a magic show. Recently, I’ve seen new product developmentswhich leave me wondering, “How’d They Do That?” There are more “magic performances” going on now than ever. This is most likely due to the extreme and persistent low rate environment. To keep financial professionals and their clients interested when annuity crediting rates are at historic lows, carriers and/or the marketing companies they have partnered with on product development, are using slight of hand to sell something less attractive as something extraordinary.

If you are like most of the professionals that AMZ works with, you want to do the very best thing for your client. In fact, it’s that internal impulse that may lead you to become enchanted by a magic show put on by one carrier, one FMO, or another. If you have a basic understanding of the principles guiding insurance and annuity product development, then you will be able to uncover the truth easily regardless of how good an advertisement’s slight-of-hand may be.

I love good magic tricks and they have great entertainment value.  However, I find it to be more rewarding when I can figure out how it was done and share the secret with others. Don’t try to pull a fast one on me, or my friends and their clients!

Mark Triplett, President of Annuity Distribution

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