American Equity

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Average Ratings (from 32 ratings)
9 Positive Reviews – 6 Negative Reviews
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Facts, Reviews & Ratings

Visit American Equity’s Website to learn more:

  • Emphasis on Fixed Annuities
  • 41,000 individual U.S. agents
  • Serving client’s since 1995
  • Number three in U.S. FIA sales last four quarters3
  • A- Rating with AM Best

At American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, our employee/owners are committed to a “Vision of the Future” for policy owners based on the following principles of excellence…

SUPERIOR SERVICE
The leadership of a senior management team with more than 200 years of combined experience in the annuity and life insurance industry helps ensure the realization of our vision.

We view each employee as an integral component in delivering the heart of our mission — Superior Service!

Our service commitment begins during and continues after the purchase of an annuity contract or life insurance policy. This means easy to understand product brochures and forms, maximum annuity contract issue time of 48 hours.

During the last decade alone, this management group helped thousands of annuity contract owners reap the rewards of tax-deferred wealth accumulation.1

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its subsidiaries, provides annuities and life insurance products in the United States and the District of Columbia. The company underwrites annuity and insurance products, as well as collects renewal premiums on certain accident and health insurance policies. Its annuity products include fixed index annuities and fixed rate annuities, as well as single premium immediate annuities. The company’s insurance products comprise traditional ordinary and term, universal life, and other interest-sensitive life insurance products. It markets its products through a brokerage distribution network of approximately 50 national marketing organizations and approximately 41,000 independent agents. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in West Des Moines, Iowa.2

Citations
1. http://www.american-equity.com/main/vision.asp
2. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?ticker=AEL:US
3. http://www.indexannuity.org/ic2010.htm#1q10

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Comments

  1. Mike Flannery says:

    There is no free lunch! Annuities are great products if used correctly. They are long term investments with substantial penalties for early withdrawals. Typically, the longer you allow the insurance company to use your money the better your return options. Buy an annuity that matches your time frame for the money … 5yr,10yr,etc.

    Income for Life is a great feature as is a Tax Free Death Benefit!
    Access to 10% of your investment on an annual basis without penalties is nice as well.
    Investment grows in a tax-deferred environment works too!

    What’s your alternative? Stock Market? No thanks! CDs? Terrible Returns, No Thanks!

    I want the safety of principle that a CD offers but a better return. Fixed Indexed Annuities provide the solution …

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    17 / 18 found this review useful.
  2. Rene A. Gowin says:

    We are very pleased with American Equity.

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    3 / 6 found this review useful.
  3. gretcjem cozzolino says:

    A very frightening experience with a company holding fixed annuities… I’ve had my life savings at a number of fine financial companies. This is the first one who refuses to allow me to take my own withdrawals per the contractual agreement. The attorney for AE says that I can’t prove that there are not other “members” on my single-person, now dissolved LLC. A number of qualified finance people and two attorneys have indicated that this level of “due diligence” is not warranted. This has impacted my life with all its recent tragedy in horrid ways. I rue the day that I was ever told about American Equity.

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    4 / 5 found this review useful.
  4. darlene says:

    do not buy an annuity with this company. please stay as far away from them as you can and hold onto your money. we went to our financial advisor waterstone financial fort myers florida ph # 239 288 0977 he misrepresented the whole annuity. james gallagher was the person we spoke with at waterstone financial. me and my husband will not receive any money until he is at the age of 114. please i know it is very hard to explain in a short email like this. but please keep your money do not give it to this financial rip of company and james gallagher.

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    4 / 6 found this review useful.
  5. I feel I was snookered on the moving of my IRA to American Equity. It was not accurately described to me on the rates of return and the surrender charges were not even mentioned, very dishonest agent. I would tell anyone and everyone to not put their money with American Equity.

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    4 / 4 found this review useful.
  6. Hopefull on the outcome says:

    Like the investors who have left comments here, I am disappointed in the knowledge of the annuity salesperson. He promised me a higher bonus rate of 9% then when it actually came time to commit he tells me the bonus rate is now 6%. This is when I tell him that this product is not for me and I will not commit. He told me he would phone someone who might help and low and behold, he gets me the 9% bonus upfront with each year 8% thereafter for 10 years. I might not get the returns that the stock market offers (especially since there is caps) but when I hit 70 I feel I should get a nice monthly return with my social security without worrying about the stock market.

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    12 / 13 found this review useful.
  7. frustrated policyholder says:

    American Equity made me wait 6 months for my 10% penalty free withdrawal. Do not give this company your money.

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    13 / 14 found this review useful.
    • Isabel moncure says:

      I totally agree. Very difficult to obtain partial withdrawal – like pulling teeth to get ones own money from them. Very limited withdrawal options as well. Completely dissatisfied with this company and will never do business with them in the future. Have been quite satisfied with ING,

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      4 / 4 found this review useful.
  8. I trusted the person who convinced me I should buy an Index annuity. He said it was safer than mutual funds and would make me more income. I knew this agent for 6 years before this transaction as had started a 403B mutual fund when I first met him at a presentation for faculty held at the College. He was approved by the Human Resources department and many of the staff signed up with him. I had no idea about the long, long surrender period (17 years) and the penalties associated with this annuity until I phoned American Equity last week.. I thought it was a fixed annuity. The agent has left the company he was with in 2005 and I cannot find him to complain. The phone staff at American Equity were unhelpful and suggested I talk to my agent even though I had informed them he was no longer available. I am very dissatisfied with the product and the company and may submit to the costly surrender fees just to be rid of them. I was not properly informed by my agent.

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    26 / 30 found this review useful.
  9. Why are the annuities offering substantial bonuses (7 years of immediately vested bonus on each premium dollar paid) re Midland National Insurance Capstone 14 and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance Charter 14 systematically ignored.

    ING and AVIVA offer mediocre annuities with trivial bonuses. ALLIANZ Master Dex only vests 1/10 of its 10% bonus each year.

    All annuities referenced by me are bonus-offering Fixed Indexed Annuities — the only type of annuity I would recommend — (except for ING).

    AVIVA’s website is poor, always two business days behind in displaying values and nowhere indicates an “as of” day relatying to its values and lacks a complete Transaction history.

    – DS

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    41 / 57 found this review useful.
    • Typically, those annuities providing an up-front bonus give with one hand and take away with the other; the insurance company controls the participation rate and/or the (positive) index cap rate and/or the interest they are willing to pay. I hope you are beginning to see where this is going, because I’m going to stop here.

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      20 / 24 found this review useful.
  10. I’m an advisor who often wondered why the top insurance compaines don’t recommend index annuities and ten I read a prospectices and read SEC warnings and then Iknew this was a bad product an often sold by pure insurance rep who lake the education, and licenses that a financial advisor must have. I like some annuities and feel it might make since for some of your money but not all 20%-30% depending on income need. One person said I guess I’m happy with 7% but with being taxed as ordinary income (35%), surrender charges, lake of liquidty, inflation at 3% but only going higher would give you a real return of maybe 2% and retires with healthcare cost, energy, and food only going higher, and the markets will rebond and provide growth far above 7% you should be concerned becuase if the markets don’t go up you might earn 1% on those index annuiites I’d rather own a stock paying 3.5% dividend. SO CA advisor. Start getting better advice!

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    40 / 70 found this review useful.
    • Wade Hart says:

      With owning div paying stock 3.5%, isn’t there a concern of market risk, llike what happened in 2008?

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      9 / 11 found this review useful.
    • Ron courser says:

      This “advisor” should learn to spell correctly before making comments on financial products or anything else of importance.

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      28 / 36 found this review useful.
      • In addition, I would check your facts as they are not accurate. Insurance agents are licenced by the state and required to have continuing education. So they don’t ‘lake’ education.

        To claim that the markets will ‘rebond’ is very optomistic. Can you guarentee this to all your clients?? Do you mean consevative safe investments, like ENRON??

        Obviously both products are good for the right person in the right situation. My advise is to look at all option and wiegh invesment risks and returns of these and other options. Remember these reps are all looking to write commissions.

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        9 / 11 found this review useful.
    • Jeremy Evans says:

      It’s lack, not lake, I do not lake education, I lack it, since I am a pure insurance rep and LACK the licenses a financial representative must have, but at least I can spell.

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  11. Cruise2day says:

    Now that we are retired itisi nice to know that our income is secure and ou money is safe. We may not be making a lot compared to riskier investments but with our American Equity annuities we ar extremely satisfied with the way they are working. We have recommended them to several of our friends.

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    45 / 57 found this review useful.
    • you cant spell so obviously you are not a very sophisticated investor and certainly should not be giving advise to friends!
      The only people on this forum are ignorant or a so called financial professional with a life license.
      I have a masters in finance and have been a financial planner and owner for over 20 years!
      Avoid this turd of a company! high commissions and low returns far better products out there!

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      16 / 32 found this review useful.
      • Rick Perkins says:

        Woo… Woo… it’s a big man with a masters, sure wish I was as smart as you big boy!!! What an arrogiant piece of crap, you’re willing to write off someone simply because he didn’t spell some words correctly? It just shows what kind of a person you are, must be nice to be soooo much of a man, you must be proud of yourself, *&%#head!!!

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        15 / 24 found this review useful.
      • Jeremy Evans says:

        giving advice, not giving advise to someone, for having a masters, I would expect better grammar sir.

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      • As arrogant as Obama! And to call a company a turd?
        Get a life

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  12. Allan & Elaine says:

    We kind of rushed into our American Equity Annuity when the market was free falling back around April of 2009 we were a little disappointed that we only received about 7% interest the first year because the market went up almost 60% from the point we put our money into the annuity. We were told that was due to the annuity having a cap on the earnings. I guess I should be happy with 7% I am ahead and not losing anything thats for sure.

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    37 / 42 found this review useful.
    • michael beiter says:

      I would be concerned with 7% becuase that you will not earn more ever!

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      12 / 26 found this review useful.
  13. WAJenny3 says:

    I am retiring in a few years and with the low rates we have been seeing I needed something better. So I went online and researched annuities and rates now I have a plan a planner and some annuities a couple of which are American Equity great company, great rates and a really helpful planner advisor. I am looking forward to retirement its just around the corner now.

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    24 / 28 found this review useful.
  14. Annuities help us sleep better at night and thats the truth. Reliable income and guarantees thats why we did it. Thanks American Equity.
    We have never had much support from the agent that helped us originally so we are no thrilled with him but the annuity is great!

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    22 / 26 found this review useful.
  15. Cindy&JimCO says:

    Annuities were the furthest thing from our minds and then we went to a seminar back in about July of 2008. It was one of those feed you deals if you come and listen all we went for was the food but it turned out that what we learned may have actually saved our retirement. We put quite a bit of our financial assets into some American Equity annuities and it has really worked out well so far. I would definitely do it again…

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    20 / 24 found this review useful.
    • Shoot, we didn’t get the free meal!! We researched online and found a good agent in another state. He was licensed in several states. The agent represented several companies. We selected American Equity in part because of the bonus. We purchased in Jan 2008. Generally, on each anniversary date, we put 80% in two or three of the market index choices and the other 20% in the fixed option. As of January 2013 our initial $38000 investment has a value of $57000. Our surrender value is dramatically less than the current value but still several thousand more than our original cash investment. (This is a long term investment ) If we decided today to take lifetime monthly payments the full value ie $57000 would be used to calculate payments so the surrender value does not concern us. (Of course we can take a 10% penalty withdrawal each year.) The penalty for early withdrawal will be zero long before our plans to withdraw the money.) Further in January 2009 we converted the annuity to a Roth. (We picked a year that gave us the lowest tax bite.) From January 2009 forward the entire investment along with substantial earnings will be tax free. Any fixed annuity is a long term investment.

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      2 / 2 found this review useful.
  16. I think annuities are away to make insurance companies rich and keep investors poor. I looked at several and considered American Equities so called Bonus Gold. 10% Bonus and a 16 year contract no thanks I’ll take my chances in the market

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    26 / 39 found this review useful.
  17. Disappointed says:

    After putting our money into an American Equity annuity we found that we were not informed properly about the long surrender period and penalties we may need this money for emergencies since we do not have a large nest egg when we confronted the insurance agent about our concerns he was not very helpful and said their was nothing he could do now that we have had the annuity for over six months. We are generally dissatisfied and feel we were not properly informed by this agent.

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    42 / 48 found this review useful.
    • Underthebus says:

      This is exactly why large companies run away from indexed annuities. First, because their earnings claim to be tied to the market. These index annuities are currently regulated by State insurance departments which have no control over market type investments. Since the SEC Does regulate stock and bond investments which these annuities claim to be tied to, and the SEC requires a certain amount of training in order to sell investment related items, unqualified people should not be selling these products because they are not trained in investments. The sales and performance of these products need to be compared to regular investments, and I feel that within a couple years the SEC will take control of this situation. As soon as people realize what they have lost through opportunity risk combined with highly restrictive withdrawal privileges and penalties associated with this product, indexed annuities will go the way of the do-do, Large and highly rated companies do not want to risk their ratings and put their clients at the risk of lawsuits and regulatory punishments which are inevitable sooner or later. Remember Universal life and falling interest rates and the class action lawsuits? Same thing. A highly rated company protects it clients, lower ratings are associated with higher risks in place to try to meet a companies internal investor expectations of earnings at the expense of policy holders safety.

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      1 / 2 found this review useful.
    • It would seem to me that your complaint is with the agent and not with the company. I have found the company to be responsive to my requests etc.

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      1 / 1 found this review useful.
    • I came to American Equity after experiencing a (73 .5%)
      loss in my mutual fund. I experienced 1034% growth from
      1986 to the year 2000 however by 2002my accountwas now
      Went – 73.5% I went with another vendor in 2002 he put me in
      His insurance companies Mutual fund which made money in 2007
      But after changing my accounts to Variable Annuities I now saw
      The loss of my 2007 gains of 40% in mar 2009.
      In July 2010 I started with American Equities Retire Gold.
      I started with a fixed index and the 8% income value with the
      First year 10% bonus. I am now positive my 2007 max & happy!

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      3 / 3 found this review useful.

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