Wednesday, March 21, 2007

AXA Equitable Propaganda Site

:: Variable Annuities Knowledge Center ::

I hate to even link to this site, but I think it is a good example of the way insurance companies mislead people into their variable annuity products. This site claims to "provide you with unbiased, fact-based information about variable annuities that will assist you in determining whether a variable annuity is right for your personal situation and future financial needs."

Sounds like a good thing, a non-profit education center to help consumers make wise choices...In reality the site is just a propaganda tool for AXA/Equitable, a life insurance company and Broker/Dealer. What follows is at the bottom of the "About Us" page:

"The Variable Knowledge Center is funded by Smarter Consumer Inc., a Delaware not-for-profit corporation committed to educating and informing the public about variable annuities. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its affiliated broker/dealer, AXA Distributors, LLC, are the founding supporters of Smarter Consumer Inc. It is anticipated that additional organizations will join in supporting Smarter Consumer Inc. and its educational mission described in the site. "

AXA knows that if they set up a website to provide information and stated it was unbiased that they'd be laughed at, but if they set up a dummy not for profit with a different name and then use that non-profit to "educate" they can potentially steer people to Variable Annuities, their main offering. This is yet another example of the insurance industry not being honest and attempting to use mislead the consumer (and they have the gall to use the term "Smarter Consumer".

Don't fall for this little stunt.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF