Here’s a shocker: Sun Life, Canada’s third-biggest insurer, will stop U.S. sales of variable annuities and life insurance to individuals at year-end due to “unfavorable product economies.” In other words, you’re not the only one getting slammed by the Fed’s artificially low interest rates. But rest assured, for every annuity promise no longer being made by Sun Life, there are dozens more out there that will try to keep the dream alive. They’ve got bills to pay. And their stocks—life and health insurance companies—are one of the worst-performing sectors this year, off 25% YTD. Individual investors don’t stand a chance against the marketing blitz from annuities. Annuity providers feast when markets are crazy—especially when economic times are at their toughest.
Since August, according to the Investment Company Institute, money has been leaving stock funds. Yet over the past four months, the price increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average alone has been about 4%. So it wasn’t the best time to bail out on stocks. Add dividends to the mix and it’s been even brighter for stocks. You need to ignore the potentially empty promises made by the insurers and get yourself some dividend religion. I like the idea of your adding Young Research’s Retirement Compounders, with its 5% dividend yield, to your portfolio. If that sounds good to you, then what are you waiting for?