Protection from Loss is Key for Market Weary Investors, Allianz Life Investor Market Perceptions Study Finds

  Protection from Loss is Key for Market Weary Investors, Allianz Life
  Investor Market Perceptions Study Finds

 Those with $200,000 in Investable Assets Say Volatility Drives a Desire for
                              Balanced Approach

Business Wire

MINNEAPOLIS -- September 23, 2013

The vast majority of Americans ages 25+ with more than $200,000 in investable
assets surveyed in the Allianz Life 2013 Investor Market Perceptions Study*
said they are seeking some form of protection from losses as they accumulate
assets for retirement. In total, 95% of these respondents said they would like
a financial product with no potential loss or at least some level of
protection from loss rather than one with unlimited potential growth but also
unlimited potential loss. More specifically, more than three quarters (76%)
said they would prefer a product that offers a balance of potential growth (up
to 10%) with a level of protection that shelters them from up to 10% of
losses.

The majority of survey respondents have grown weary of market volatility.
Despite a 1,000+ point gain in the S&P 500 Index between March 2009 and August
2013^1, investors appear to remain hesitant to put money at market risk as
nearly $8 trillion still sits in cash^2. The study further exposed this
hesitancy as more than three quarters (79%) of respondents said they believe
the market will continue to be volatile, and nearly six in 10 (59%) noted
market volatility as an economic concern having an effect on their retirement
outlook.

“It’s clear that for many investors the trauma caused by the 2008 financial
crisis is still being felt and is dampening their willingness to take on risk
with their savings,” said Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC President
Robert DeChellis. “Although we’ve seen strong equity markets this year,
volatility remains a constant concern. With fixed income investments offering
disappointing returns, there is a strong need for solutions that can provide
solid upside potential but also protect against some of the downside risk that
is keeping people from participating in the market.”

As they relate to retirement, beliefs that market volatility will continue
were consistent across age ranges with at least three quarters of Gen X/Gen Y
(25-44, 82%), baby boomers (45-68, 80%), and older investors (69+, 75%)
surveyed sharing that opinion. In addition to fears about equity markets, the
survey also found these investors are unhappy with returns from less volatile
investments. More than six in 10 (62%) of investors surveyed said they are
challenged to find sufficient yield/return in today’s low interest rate
environment.

Balanced Approach for Tapping Idle Cash

Continued market volatility was identified in the survey as a barrier to
investing today – more than a third of respondents (38%) noted it was
preventing them from investing idle cash. Wealthy investors indicated they
want to put their money to work with a product that offers a balance of
protection and growth.

When asked what they would do with $20,000 in idle cash today, more than six
in 10 (63%) respondents said they would “invest today in a product with a
balance of protection from loss and growth potential” – three times the number
who said they would “invest today in a product with high growth potential”
(20%) or “wait for the market to stabilize before investing” (11%). This
echoes their top priority for retirement planning, as 84% of respondents
agreed with the statement that “you should always have some kind of protection
from loss, even if it reduces your potential gains.”

“Although consumers are still nervous about the market, they also want to move
idle cash off the sidelines, provided they have some form of safety net. A
retirement product offering a balanced approach seems to be the preferred
course of action for the current market environment,” added DeChellis.

Strong Preference: Guarantees

In addition, when asked which financial product is more attractive – one with
a 4% return that is guaranteed not to lose value or one with an 8% return, but
with the possibility of losing value due to market downturns – 70% of
respondents chose the 4% product with guarantees. This response rose to 72%
for those indicating they work with a financial professional.

About Allianz Life

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best
Companies to Work For in 2013, has been keeping its promises since 1896.
Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their
retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life
insurance products. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz
Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry
with 142,000 employees worldwide. More than 78 million private and corporate
customers rely on Allianz knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to
help them make the most of financial opportunities.

*The Allianz Life 2013 Investor Market Perceptions Study was conducted by
Ipsos via their online iSay/Ampario Panel from July 24-29, 2013 with 1,012
panel respondents age 25+ with investable assets of $200,000 or more, and was
commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

^1 S&P 500 Index – historical data

^2 As of March 31, 2013, JPMorgan, 2^nd Quarter Market Insights.

Contact:

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Media Contact:
Sara Thurin Rollin, 763-765-6703
sarathurin.rollin@allianzlife.com