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The annuity industry eyes another record year after 2022’s grand slam performance

Greg Greenberg
May 15, 2023

Annuities and Aaron Judge, the chase is on.

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge homered off Texas Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco last October for his 62nd round-tripper of the season. The blast made him the all-time American League single-season home run king, eclipsing the mark set by fellow Yankees legend Roger Maris 61 years earlier.

Unfortunately for Judge, as soon as the season ended, sportswriters and fans alike immediately began wondering if he could repeat his Ruthian (or perhaps “Judge-ian”) feat in 2023. There was almost no rest for the weary or resting on his laurels or any kind of rest for Judge at all. In the blink of an eye (or crack of a bat), expectations were raised as the public moved from celebrating his record-setting heroics into “What have you done for me lately?” mode.

Fans, alas, are fickle, and records, as they say, are made to be broken. 

Luckily, Judge will have some company this year in his quest to raise his own bar. The right fielder might not know (or care), but the entire annuity industry will be joining him in a similar pursuit, even if it won’t be doing it in pinstripes and cleats.

You see, 2022 was a record-setting grand slam of a year for annuity sellers. The more than 18% drop in a wildly volatile S&P 500 index, coupled with a Fed-induced sell-off in supposedly safe bonds, sent investors streaming into the steady-paying products, no matter the cost.