This week I bought my first annuity. I also bought a pair of Nike’s first NFT sneakers. Both of these investments are easy to transact thanks to a growth industry of DIY investment options. Traditional companies have gotten into the game spurred on by competition from Fintech companies but driven harder by a change in financial services shopper behavior. The traditional broker and financial services professional model is not what many younger investors want, as they are quite capable of learning about investing on their own from all of the now available resources. Note that many older investors don’t want traditional models either or at least want to augment their current models.
Our family uses a blended model, with some of our investments managed by a traditional brokerage group at Merrill Lynch, and a variety of self-directed options, ranging from Robinhood to Coinbase and Gemini. I also buy NFTs through Nifty and have a couple of properties in Upland… a virtual community. Most of the non-traditional investments began as experiments and have evolved into larger percentages of our total portfolio as I’ve gained a comfort level with my knowledge base. I speak often with our money managers but all of the capital they are responsible for is at least 10-15 years away from being needed. I tend to leave it (and them) alone to do their job. Professional money management is like professional car maintenance: unless you are a pro yourself, you should leave it to those who are.
I haven’t added any annuities to my portfolio to date, and quite frankly, considered them underperforming investments. However, in the past few weeks, I have changed my mind about this vehicle. My business partner Ted Rubin and I have been doing some work with Gainbridge and have been getting under the hood of its products and services. As I’ve learned more about annuities, I have a much greater appreciation for where they fit in my family’s overall plan. In fact, the Gainbridge platform makes adding small annuity purchases easy to do, so that I can take excess cash and add an annuity from time to time.
I turned 55 this week, and like most people my age, retirement planning is more frequently on my mind. The contrast of pure risk assets, to predictable investments, really hit home for me with these two investments. I realize that some people would argue that my NFT purchase isn’t an “investment,” but I would argue that it is simply a different investment class: no different from commodities, real estate, and art. All have value based on what someone is willing and able to pay.
I am excited to learn more from our partnership with Gainbridge and continue adding annuities and other predictable assets into the mix. Take a look at Gainbridge’s platform, and if you decide it’s right for you, please use my referral code: 3J3XTU.
note: I am currently in a paid partnership with Gainbridge and will be attending the Miami F1 on its behalf.
John Andrews | 3X Retail Media Founder | Change Agent | Author