Given the choice between keeping investment advisors out of the insurance business and delivering investment advice themselves, annuities vendors seem eager to choose the former scenario.
Iowa's Insurance Division just issued a bulletin streamlining its guidance on how insurance agents and investment advisors can cross over into each other's fields.
The rules are clear. Pure insurance agents can't call themselves "advisors" or talk about specific securities -- or anything related to the financial markets beyond general macro factors -- and the investment advisors can't comment on specific insurance products or policies unless they get an insurance license of their own.
While this would initially seem to be a loss for the insurance-oriented advisors of Iowa, the fact that the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) is cheering the news tells us everything we really need to know.
NAFA is officially "grateful" to Iowa for drawing the line between the two segments of the industry in this way and notes that it worked closely with the state's securities regulators for months in order to get this kind of decision.
Apparently, as far as insurance agents are concerned, freedom from securities-oriented advisors is worth giving up any claim to providing investment advice themselves.