Morningstar® Annuity Intelligence
Simplified variable annuity analysis.
Commonwealth Financial Network
Ethan Young
Annuity Product Manager
Commonwealth Financial Network
Waltham, Massachusetts
Commonwealth Financial Network is the largest privately held independent broker/dealer in the United States.
Commonwealth Financial Network
The full picture
Some marketing materials over-simplify annuity benefits. Morningstar® Annuity Intelligence helps us give clients an understanding of how these complex products work, yet its reports are written in plain English. Especially the Annuity Intelligence living benefit rider page—it does a good job of explaining the full picture. For less active producers, I use Annuity Intelligence to walk them through products and educate them about different features. The benefit selector and contract selector are helpful here. Annuity Intelligence cuts through the lingo and acronyms so I can get the reps up to speed on how these products work.

Simplified annuity replacements
One thing we do is provide our advisors with lots of side-by-side analyses using Annuity Intelligence.
The reports are especially helpful when there’s a proposed 1035 replacement. Commonwealth reps can run a report that shows the existing contract next to the proposed contract. Because the report is approved for use with clients, the rep can sit down with a client to do an apples-to-apples comparison in a replacement situation. There is no other capability to do that out there.

Invaluable product snapshots
Who knows how many iterations a product will go through over time? If a client holds a product for 25 years, that product could go through many changes. Annuity Intelligence identifies what was sold at the time it was sold. It provides a snapshot that is a valuable tool for client service, communication, and record keeping.
Morningstar Office Client - Commonwealth Financial Network | Morningstar U.S
We used to manually update all annuity product information. Without a third-party tool like this, it would be nearly impossible to keep up-to-date on product changes. The automated replacement form is heavily relied upon by branch level reviewers. Without a tool like this, performing meaningful due diligence would be impossible.
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