To the Public Editor:
The New York Times has recently had a number of articles on life insurance and retirement savings. The articles have been largely critical of life insurance products, and some have proposed alternative retirement programs without regard for the life insurance products that are on the market.
The most notable concern, though, relates to an article posted on January 29, 2016 and published on January 30, 2016, entitled “Annuities as an Alternative to Shaky Markets? Not So Fast,” by Christopher Farrell. The article was highly distorted in its profile of annuities. While that could be ascribed to a lack of knowledge of annuities and insurance on the author’s part, no biography on the author was provided to inform the reader of his experience in the sector.
A Google search revealed a Christopher Farrell who is a former day trader and author of books on day trading. If this Christopher Farrell is the same as the author of the piece, it is not surprising to know of the article’s bias against insurance products generally and annuities specifically.
The paper did identify the author of an article that appeared on February 15, 2016, entitled “Life Insurance Made Easy,” by Carl Richards, who is identified as a financial planner. It made the perspective provided in the article much more understandable knowing Mr. Richards’ background.
I would ask if you could confirm that the Mr. Farrell, the author of the January piece, is the same Christopher Farrell who is the author of the day trading publications and, if so, would ask that a clarification be printed in an upcoming edition of the New York Times.
Thank you for your courtesies. Sincerely,
Lawrence J. Holzberg, LUTCF
President, NAIFA – New York State