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Category: Investing

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ThinkAdvisor – Consider Fixed Annuities for Your Client’s Fixed-Income Portfolio

April 05, 2017

The following article by Ken Nuss, AnnuityAdvantage CEO and Founder, was published by ThinkAdvisor on April 5, 2017. To view the original version on the ThinkAdvisor website, visit: ### When interest rates rise, owning a fixed annuity may be safer for clients than investing in a bond fund, the author says. While most experienced agents… Read more

stock market chart - fixed indexed annuities
A Way to Get Some Stock-Market Upside without Any Downside

March 02, 2017

Fixed indexed annuities are complex financial products offering a way to protect principal while still getting growth. With the stock market seeming to reach new highs almost daily, investors face a quandary. They want to profit if the market stays strong. But many, especially older Americans, also fear the market is due for a major… Read more

U.S. News & World Report – Fixed Annuities Versus Bonds

February 07, 2017

Here’s an excerpt from a recent U.S. News & World Report article by Rebecca Lake outlining the pros and cons of fixed annuities compared to bonds for producing retirement income. “Fixed annuities and bonds are designed to help investors fill income gaps in their retirement plan. When ranking pre-retirees’ biggest investment stressors, running out of… Read more

Rising Annuity Rates Benefit Retirement Portfolios, AnnuityAdvantage Data Reveals

February 01, 2017

A good substitute for bonds and CDs, offering safe income without most of their drawbacks MEDFORD, OR–(Marketwired – February 01, 2017) – Annuity rates have gone up a bit recently, according to AnnuityAdvantage’s database of 290 fixed annuities from 35 insurers. They currently pay up to 3.40 percent for a 10-year annuity, up to 3.15… Read more

529 Plans

July 30, 2015

529 Lesson Plan: High Scores for 529 College Savings Program Looking for a tax-advantaged college savings plan that has no age restrictions and no income phaseout limits — and one you can use to pay for more than just tuition? Consider the 529 college savings plan, an increasingly popular way to save for higher-education expenses,… Read more

Dollar-Cost Averaging

July 30, 2015

What Is Dollar-Cost Averaging? Every investor dreams of buying into the market at a low point, just before it hits an upswing, and garnering a large profit from selling at the market’s peak. But trying to predict market highs and lows is a feat no one has ever fully mastered, despite the claims by some… Read more

Stock and Bond Alternatives

July 30, 2015

What Stock and Bond Alternatives Do I Have? Many prudent investors may have at least some of their holdings in stocks, corporate bonds, or both. In fact, when most people think of “investing,” they think of Wall Street and the stock markets. Many fail to realize that there are a number of ways to invest… Read more

College Investment Options

July 30, 2015

What College Investment Options Do I Have? As tax laws change, college investment planning becomes increasingly complex. The most beneficial strategies for creating a college fund are quite similar to other investment tactics. Investment products that are tax deferred, tax exempt, or transferable without tax consequences can be especially advantageous. This could be even more… Read more

College Savings Plans

July 30, 2015

How Can I Save for My Child’s College Education? Once you’ve determined how much it could cost to send your children to college, your next prudent step is to develop a systematic investment plan that may help you to accumulate the necessary funds. What are your funding options? Which would be appropriate for your situation?… Read more

Asset Allocation

July 30, 2015

What Is Asset Allocation? Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” This is certainly true when it comes to investing: If you don’t know where you’re headed financially, then it is not as vital which investments make up… Read more

Asset Classes

July 30, 2015

What Are the Different Classes of Assets? When it comes to investing their money, many people are content to take a random approach. They may have received a hot tip for a particular investment and decided to plow a large amount of money into it with no regard to the overall balance of their portfolios…. Read more

Investment Risks

July 30, 2015

What Investment Risks Should I Know About? Taken by itself, the word “risk” sounds negative. But broken down into what it really stands for in terms of investing, it begins to be a little more manageable. By understanding the different types of risk and keeping an eye on your investments, you may be able to… Read more

Fixed vs. Variable Annuities

July 30, 2015

What Is the Difference Between a Fixed Annuity and a Variable Annuity? An annuity is a contract with an insurance company in which you make one or more payments in exchange for a future income stream in retirement. The funds in an annuity accumulate tax deferred, regardless of which type you select. Because you do… Read more


July 30, 2015

What Is an Annuity? An annuity is a contract with an insurance company that is funded by the purchaser and designed to generate an income stream in retirement. It is a flexible financial vehicle that can help protect against the risk of living a long time because it provides an option for a lifetime income…. Read more

Mutual Fund Loads

July 30, 2015

What Is a Mutual Fund Load? Mutual fund transactions can be complicated, especially with the fees and expenses that accompany the process. It’s important to understand mutual fund load, or sales, charges, and exactly what they entail so you can make informed investing decisions. A “load” is a fee charged to an investor who buys… Read more

Closed-End Funds

July 30, 2015

What Is a Closed-End Fund? Closed-end funds have been around since 1893, more than 30 years before the first mutual fund (also known as an open-end fund) was created in the United States. However, closed-end funds are much less common than open-end funds. There are fewer than 600 closed-end funds on the market, whereas there… Read more

Mutual Funds

July 30, 2015

What Is a Mutual Fund? Since the creation of the first modern-day mutual fund, the Massachusetts Investors Trust, in 1924, there has been a steady growth of mutual funds. Today there are over 8,000 mutual funds.1 Because of their convenience and flexibility, you might want to consider including mutual funds in your investment portfolio. A… Read more

Mutual Funds vs. Stocks

July 30, 2015

How Do Mutual Funds and Stocks Differ? Whether you’re a first-time stock investor or a seasoned veteran, you should understand what differentiates single stock investments from mutual fund investing. First, Some Working Definitions Picture a collection of stocks, bonds, or other securities that are purchased by a group of investors and then managed by an… Read more

Stock Indexes

July 30, 2015

What Is a Stock Index? In 1884, Charles Henry Dow averaged the closing prices of 11 stocks he considered representative of the strength of the U.S. economy in a paper that preceded The Wall Street Journal. By 1896, The Wall Street Journal was publishing this average on a regular basis, and the most famous indicator… Read more

Bond Ratings

July 30, 2015

What Do Bond Ratings Mean? Bond ratings gauge a bond issuer’s financial ability to repay its promised principal and interest payments. Ratings are based on an analysis of the issuer’s financial condition and creditworthiness. In essence, the higher the rating, the more likely it is that a bondholder will receive his or her principal again… Read more


July 30, 2015

What Is a Bond? When you invest in bonds, you are investing in the debt of a government entity or a corporation. A bond is simply evidence of a debt and represents a long-term IOU. Bonds are issued by federal, state, and local governments; agencies of the U.S. government; and corporations. By selling debt with… Read more

Types of Bonds

July 30, 2015

What Types of Bonds Are Available? Bonds are issued by federal, state, and local governments; agencies of the U.S. government; and corporations. There are three basic types of bonds: U.S. Treasury, municipal, and corporate. Treasury Securities Bonds, bills, and note issued by the U.S. government are generally called “Treasuries” and are the highest-quality securities available…. Read more


July 30, 2015

What Is Diversification? Virtually every investment has some type of risk associated with it. The stock market rises and falls. An increase in interest rates can cause a decline in the bond market. No matter what you decide to invest in, risk is something you must consider. One key to successful investing is managing risk… Read more

Zero-Coupon Bonds

July 30, 2015

Zero-Coupon Bonds Zero-coupon bonds (“zeros”) represent a type of bond that does not pay interest during the life of the bond. Instead, investors buy these bonds at a steep discount from the “face value” (the amount a bond will be worth when it matures). When the bond matures, investors will receive single payments equal to… Read more


July 30, 2015

What Is Stock? Most people know something about the stock market, but many investors who see stock as a way to get rich quick might not understand exactly what stock is and how it works. Before jumping feet-first into investing in stocks, it is important to understand some of the basics and the risks involved… Read more

Mutual Fund Taxes

July 30, 2015

How Are Mutual Funds Taxed? Many people have heard the Benjamin Franklin quote, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Mutual fund taxes can be onerous. However, if you understand the complexities of mutual fund taxes and are prepared when tax season comes around, you may be able to lessen the blow…. Read more

Growth Stocks vs. Value Stocks

July 30, 2015

Growth Stocks vs. Value Stocks Investors are often confused about the differences between growth stocks and value stocks. The main way in which they differ is not in how they are bought and sold, nor is it how much ownership they represent in a company. Rather, the difference lies mainly in the way in which… Read more

Exchange-Traded Funds

July 30, 2015

What Is an Exchange-Traded Fund? Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are just one of the many types of investment funds available, but they have some qualities that are unique and set them apart from other vehicles. ETFs are securities that attempt to track all types of indexes, industries, or commodities. For example, an ETF might be made… Read more


July 30, 2015

What Are Dividends? When considering the profit they make on stocks, many investors assess the gains they have obtained based on the appreciation of the stock on the open market or the gains they obtained after selling the stock for more than the original purchase price. However, it’s also wise to include the income acquired… Read more

Common Stock vs. Preferred Stock

July 30, 2015

Common Stock vs. Preferred Stock Common stock and preferred stock are the two main types of stocks that are sold by companies and traded among investors on the open market. Each type gives stockholders a partial ownership in the company represented by the stock. Despite some similarities, common stock and preferred stock have some significant… Read more

Bond Ladders

July 30, 2015

What Is a Bond Ladder? A bond ladder is a strategy involving the purchase of bonds that have staggering maturity dates. Instead of maturing all at once, the bonds mature in intervals. This may help a bondholder to be less susceptible to changes in interest rates. For example, assume you set up a five-year bond… Read more

Annuity Taxes

July 30, 2015

How Are Annuities Taxed? One of the most attractive features of an annuity is its tax-deferred status. Generally, you won’t pay any income tax on the interest or earnings until you start taking withdrawals in retirement (age 59½ or later). Qualified and nonqualified annuities are taxed differently. Qualified annuities (such as annuities in an employer-sponsored… Read more

Latest Surveys Reveal Millions of Americans at Risk of Underestimating Retirement Income Needs, Outliving Their Retirement Savings

March 04, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Many of the best-laid retirement savings plans fail to account for a basic statistical reality: half of Americans will live beyond their age group’s life expectancy. With this in mind, the need for an option that includes lifetime guaranteed income becomes clear. Ken Nuss of AnnuityAdvantage believes that… Read more

Nobody Wins the Waiting Game

September 24, 2013

MEDFORD, Ore., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — CEO and Founder of Ken Nuss understands why many people are hesitant to commit their money to a longer-term investment vehicle such as annuities. Interest rates have receded from the levels of years past, and many believe that more lucrative rates are just around the corner. Therefore,… Read more Sales Experts Craft Tailored Product Packages Designed to Fit Any Need

August 26, 2013

MEDFORD, Ore., Aug. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — is much more than an online annuity shopping service. With exhaustive research backing up every one of its diverse fixed annuity products, the company creates value for clients that competitor services simply cannot match. Perhaps the greatest value add provided by is its personalized recommendation service…. Read more

Are annuities worth it?

August 12, 2013

Does the financial format of an annuity fit your lifestyle? In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether the dependable income that results from buying an annuity is worth the cost. If it makes you feel good, do it! Read more HERE

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making Any Investment

June 30, 2013

There are many questions that one must answer before deciding on an investment product, otherwise, funds could be put at significant risk or not best allocated to fulfill individualized needs and goals. Making investment decisions isn’t easy, especially if you are uncertain of your options or if making those types of choices is new to… Read more

In an Uncertain Market, Variable Annuities Still Losing Ground to More Reliable and Increasingly Versatile Fixed Annuities

June 24, 2013

MEDFORD, Ore., June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In 2012, sales of annuities hit their lowest levels since 2005, dropping 8.4% from the prior year. Variable annuities, which entail investment risk, have accounted for a substantial portion of this decline. In the May 27 issue of Barron’s, Ken Nuss, founder of, explains that annuity providers… Read more

2013 Barron’s Top 50 Annuities

June 17, 2013

Annuity companies are trying to make a comeback after years of struggling to remain financially sound under the cloud of low interest rates and high stock-market volatility. With annuity sales down 8.4% last year, to $211.8 billion, the lowest level since 2005, annuity providers are aggressively designing and marketing annuities that — like the low-cost… Read more

Avoiding Market Vertigo: Warns Retirement Investors Against Heavy Rotation Into Equities

April 16, 2013

MEDFORD, Ore., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Some market analysts are predicting a so-called “Great Rotation” out of bonds and into stocks, while others believe that continual market uncertainty will lead to most investors staying put. In either case, the endgame may be less than ideal for those who have diligently and wisely saved for… Read more

Are Annuities a Key To Your Future?

April 08, 2013

With the future of pensions up in the air, Social Security on thin ice and 401(k) fees causing concern, more and more people are turning to other types of funds to lead them into retirement. One of their attractive options? Annuities. Unlike other investments, annuities are held through the insurance industry and are known for… Read more

TheStreet – Variable Annuity Questions Answered

March 11, 2009

In this recent article from TheStreet titled, “Variable Annuity Questions Answered” by Melissa Gannon, CEO and Founder, Ken Nuss, is quoted regarding the confusion surrounding variable annuity guaranteed withdrawal benefit values. Here are a few excerpts from the article. Variable annuity holders that are best positioned during this extreme market downturn are those with:… Read more