Annuities: The Volatility Antidote

Annuities: The Volatility Antidote

Bull_Head_clip_art_mediumJuly 14, 2014 – 2013 was a dream year for most people invested in the stock market.

And with the bulls still running so far in 2014, people are left wondering just how long King Midas’ reign over Wall Street will last.

But every realist understands the bears will return someday once volatility rears its anxiety-inducing head.

This was actually supposed to be a very volatile year for stocks but so far, not too shabby.

Bear_Head_clip_art_mediumBut we’re only at the half-way point so choppy waters could still be in the forecast.

In and of itself, volatility is not necessarily a bad thing. A pretty normal occurrence from time to time, actually. And since stocks usually work out best for those with longer time horizons, most investors should still be okay in the long run.

Unless, of course, all their eggs are in one basket and they’re going to need some of those eggs to live off of.

Structured Settlements

When someone settles a personal injury claim, they are frequently offered the option of receiving some of their settlement proceeds in tax-advantaged guaranteed future cash flows designed to coincide with future needs.

You know this as a structured settlement.

Despite the many obvious advantages of structured settlements, many succumb to the allure of a stock market that most recently earned 30% and take their entire settlement in cash with visions of compounding dancing in their heads.

But what if their settlement is supposed to compensate them for their compromised work life expectancy? A bad year or two in the stock market later and they are left with fewer dollars to support themselves.

Depending on the age and individual circumstances of the client, most structured settlement professionals (including yours truly) will usually recommend a combination of structured settlement (to address the non-discretionary needs) and cash.

This is where it starts getting counterintuitive.

Those who take the time to secure their foundation with a structured settlement are actually better positioned to ride out the markets swings which take their toll on people who are not as diversified.

Because basic needs are addressed with the structured settlement, clients can actually feel confident taking on more risk in stocks with their cash and can stare down the big, bad volatility boogeyman with a good chance of coming out on top in the end.

So go ahead. Put some of your settlement aside to invest in the stock market if you like. If your time horizon is long enough, you’ve got a pretty good chance of coming out on top

Just make sure you secure your future with a structured settlement first.

Otherwise volatility might get the better of you AND your money.

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