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The design of equity-indexed annuities

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  • Boyle, Phelim
  • Tian, Weidong

Abstract

There is a rich variety of tailored investment products available to the retail investor in every developed economy. These contracts combine upside participation in bull markets with downside protection in bear markets. Examples include equity-linked contracts and other types of structured products. This paper analyzes these contracts from the investor's perspective rather than the issuer's using concepts and tools from financial economics. We analyze and critique their current design and examine their valuation from the investor's perspective. We propose a generalization of the conventional design that has some interesting features. The generalized contract specifications are obtained by assuming that the investor wishes to maximize end of period expected utility of wealth subject to certain constraints. The first constraint is a guaranteed minimum rate of return which is a common feature of conventional contracts. The second constraint is new. It provides the investor with the opportunity to outperform a benchmark portfolio with some probability. We present the explicit form of the optimal contract assuming both constraints apply and we illustrate the nature of the solution using specific examples. The paper focusses on equity-indexed annuities as a representative type of such contracts but our approach is applicable to other types of equity-linked contracts and structured products.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyle, Phelim & Tian, Weidong, 2008. "The design of equity-indexed annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 303-315, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:insuma:v:43:y:2008:i:3:p:303-315
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Seyed Amir Hejazi & Kenneth R. Jackson, 2016. "A Neural Network Approach to Efficient Valuation of Large Portfolios of Variable Annuities," Papers 1606.07831, arXiv.org.
    2. Nielsen, J. Aase & Sandmann, Klaus & Schlögl, Erik, 2011. "Equity-linked pension schemes with guarantees," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 547-564.
    3. Cui, Zhenyu & Kirkby, J. Lars & Nguyen, Duy, 2017. "Equity-linked annuity pricing with cliquet-style guarantees in regime-switching and stochastic volatility models with jumps," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 46-62.
    4. Qian, Linyi & Wang, Wei & Wang, Rongming & Tang, Yincai, 2010. "Valuation of equity-indexed annuity under stochastic mortality and interest rate," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 123-129, October.
    5. Seyed Amir Hejazi & Kenneth R. Jackson & Guojun Gan, 2017. "A Spatial Interpolation Framework for Efficient Valuation of Large Portfolios of Variable Annuities," Papers 1701.04134, arXiv.org.
    6. Antje Mahayni & Matthias Muck, 2017. "The benefit of life insurance contracts with capped index participation when stock prices are subject to jump risk," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 281-308, October.
    7. Chiarella, Carl & Da Fonseca, José & Grasselli, Martino, 2014. "Pricing range notes within Wishart affine models," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 193-203.
    8. Chen, An & Hentschel, Felix & Klein, Jakob K., 2015. "A utility- and CPT-based comparison of life insurance contracts with guarantees," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 327-339.
    9. Xu, Wei & Chen, Yuehuan & Coleman, Conrad & Coleman, Thomas F., 2018. "Moment matching machine learning methods for risk management of large variable annuity portfolios," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-20.
    10. Branger, Nicole & Mahayni, Antje & Schneider, Judith C., 2010. "On the optimal design of insurance contracts with guarantees," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 485-492, June.
    11. Das, Sanjiv R. & Statman, Meir, 2013. "Options and structured products in behavioral portfolios," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 137-153.
    12. Hejazi, Seyed Amir & Jackson, Kenneth R., 2016. "A neural network approach to efficient valuation of large portfolios of variable annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 169-181.
    13. Gan, Guojun & Lin, X. Sheldon, 2015. "Valuation of large variable annuity portfolios under nested simulation: A functional data approach," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 138-150.
    14. Antje Mahayni & Judith C. Schneider, 2016. "Minimum return guarantees, investment caps, and investment flexibility," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 85-111, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    G12 G13 Equity-indexed annuities Equity-linked contracts Structured products Optimal design Optimal portfolio selection;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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