Every now and then a business publication really sets out to do a real job of reporting on a topic or concept.
Todays Wall Street Journal article written by reported Rachel Emma Silverman on Structured Sales is really one of the better written and researched pieces of journalism on the structured settlement process, and in particular the structured sale.
Failing that get a copy of the March 21, 2007 copy of the WSJ and go to section D1. I'll eventually get a pdf and put it here in the resource section.
Her summary was essentially as follows:
1. The strategy can be useful for older people wanting a guaranteed income stream.
2. The IRS hasn't opined on the approach, so there's a risk it could be disallowed at a future time.
3. Low capital gains rates might make it better to pay the tax upfront.
I agree with each of these conclusions, and it should be a real spur to Allstate, Prudential and others to GET A PRIVATE LETTER RULING AND GET OF YOUR REAR ENDS AND GET IT SOON!
Everyone out here selling and marketing these knows that a PLR would dramatically accelerate the sale of this product, but it should not be incumbent on my firm or my clients to go get it. The stakeholders with the most to gain are Allstate and Prudential and they need to get on the ball and get this done.
All in all a very good article.