Earlier this year, we wrote about how to illustrate IUL returns in the Accumulation calculator. The reality is, IUL’s are sold as something they just aren’t—there are fewer guarantees, and a lot is still left up to risk. Now, we have a new button that illustrates another “lesser-known” provision of an IUL policy: participation ratios/rates. The insurance company sets the participation ratio, and is non-guaranteed, which means it can change from year to year. A participation rate controls how much dividend a policyholder will receive. For example, say the indexRead More
Does IUL Really Offer Stock Market Returns Without Risk?
Since the IUL (Indexed Universal Life insurance) came onto the scene, it’s been sold as a way to get stock market returns without taking any of the risk. In this case, the risk in question is losses in the stock market. Companies often have a guaranteed minimum interest rate. In theory, this should make you rich, right? So how come so many IUL policies collapse? Flexible premiums are not solely to blame. In reality, guaranteed minimum interest rates have to be tempered somehow. For whole life insurance, minimums can beRead More
Can Socialism Save Capitalism?
Bill Ackman, chairman of Pershing Square Capital Management, recently proposed an idea to “save” capitalism. Framed as a panacea for growing disillusionment with capitalism, he recommends that every child have a sum of money invested on their behalf. The idea is that an 8% annual return should make them millionaires by retirement. So is this idea viable? Can socialism save capitalism? And is it really the best way to “encourage greater financial literacy”? Probably not. Financial literacy is an admirable goal, yet there are a multitude of ways to reach that end.Read More
Comparing Taxes: Cats and Mice
Comparison of Accounts – After Tax Contribution with Annually Taxable Growth (Savings Account, Money Market, etc.) vs After Tax Contribution With Tax Deferred Growth (After Tax-Tax Deferred IRA, Permanent Life Insurance, etc.) vs After Tax Contribution with Tax Free Growth (Roth, Municipal Bond, etc.) vs. Tax Deductible (Pre-Tax) Contributions with Tax deferred Growth (401K, Tax Deductible IRA, etc.). This can be a difficult topic to understand and, unfortunately, this confusion has led to incorrect information being spread to the consumer by the media and the financial industry. The ultimate resultRead More
How-To: Monte Carlo Simulations in Accumulation
The Accumulation calculator has always been particularly useful in depicting how the stock market can affect your assets, but now it’s even better. A few updates ago, Todd introduced a feature that can reverse or randomize the S&P rates, so that you can more effectively show “Monte Carlo” scenarios. If you haven’t tried it yet, I’ll show you how. The benefits? Not only can you back up your knowledge with how the market has performed in the past—you can demonstrate how slippery it can be to rely on chance. BecauseRead More
Truth Tip: Comparing Taxable vs. Tax-Deferred Accounts
We received this excellent question from a Truth Concepts user this week: Q. I am trying to do a comparison between using a qualified plan and a non-qualified plan. I understand pretty well how to use the Qualified Plan calculator, however I want to show an “apples to apples comparison” assuming everything else is equal i.e. ROR, management fee, etc., but with the client paying taxes each year on their investment gains, so that at retirement the money they have to spend is tax free. A. That will be easiestRead More