The COVID-19 pandemic has heaped unprecedented uncertainty on the lives of millions of investing household and may have put a dent in those households’ financial confidence.  For advisors and their firms, now is a good time to revisit one of the most striking findings of our recent research on consumer financial behavior: annuity owners are more financially confident.


According to the MacroMonitor, slightly more than a third of US households report that they are extremely or very confident about their financial future.  But for households that own an index annuity, the proportion that are confident rises to 57.6%, a 63% lift in the prevalence of confident households.  Owners of fixed and variable annuities exhibit similar confidence.


Perhaps even more striking is how few annuity owners are not at all confident about their finances.  While one-fifth of all US households are not confident, the prevalence of lack of confidence drops to 12.6% and 14% for fixed and variable annuity owners and is negligible among households with index annuities.  The security of having some of their savings in investments with guarantees appears to create the sense of a more solid foundation for the future.


The MacroMonitor is a nationally representative sample survey conducted every other year since 1978 by the Consumer Financial Decisions Group of Strategic Business Insights, formerly a unit of SRI.  It is the largest, most comprehensive database on household consumer financial behavior and attitudes, with over 4,000 households in each bi-annual wave.  The data on each household includes a full detailed household balance sheet and use of financial products, financial services providers, and advisors.  With an oversample of 1,500 affluent households, reweighted to the US population, it is particularly useful in analyzing investor attitudes and behavior.


The findings on consumer confidence are highlighted in Advisors. Annuities. Answers –Rethinking Retirement Planning, a white paper published by CUNA Mutual Group last year.  You can click here to download a complimentary copy.



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