Where to Find Help Understand Conflict of Interest Unfortunately, investors have few places to turn to help them more effectively utilize annuities held in their investment portfolios. Insurance companies have little incentive to help contract owners understand and efficiently use older contracts. In fact, there is sometimes a clear conflict of interest, as a number of the larger carriers are attempting, or considering, a buy-back of the benefits from investors. The representative that sold the contract may also be of little help or conflicted in some way. Variable annuity contracts were written by bank reps, where turnover is quite high, or captive agents of the insurance carrier, where the conflicts of interest may be numerous. A representative may also lack the financial sophistication necessary to advise on these complex contracts. Fee-based Advisors & Hourly Financial Planners Fee-Based Advisors and hourly Financial Planners are usually the least conflicted, most sophisticated source of financial advice for investors. Unfortunately, most variable annuities are commission-based products which are not able to be utilized by Fee-Based Advisors and hourly Financial Planners. As a result this group of investment professionals may not be as familiar with the intricacies of the wide array of variable annuity contracts and their benefits. Further, even contracts offered by the same carrier are quite different from period to period, so research done on one contract from a particular company would be largely irrelevant when considering a contract from a different period (ie. 2005 vs. 2009). How We Can Help Contact MACRO Consulting Group for an Annuity Review today including detailed information on the benefits/features of your variable annuity contracts. There is a fee of $299 for an analysis of up to 2 contracts. Each additional contract is $49.Contact Us Variable annuities are long term, tax-deferred investment vehicles designed for retirement purposes and contain both an investment and insurance component. They have fees and charges, including mortality and expense risk charges, administrative fees, and contract fees. They are sold only by prospectus. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuer. Withdrawals made prior to age 59 ½ are subject to 10% IRS penalty tax and surrender charges may apply. Gains from tax-deferred investments are taxable as ordinary income upon withdrawal. The investment returns and principal value of the available sub-account portfolios will fluctuate so that the value of an investor’s unit, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original value.Riders are additional guarantee options that are available to an annuity or life insurance contract holder. While some riders are part of an existing contract, many others may carry additional fees, charges and restrictions, and the policy holder should review their contract carefully before purchasing. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.