August 28, 2014

135 Not as Guaranteed as You Might Think

135 Not as Guaranteed as You Might Think
Play

There seems to be an eternal debate that persists regarding whole life insurance and universal life insurance. Agents, insurance companies and some consumers that sit on either site of the argument will swear that one is definitely better than the other.

In our experience, most whole life insurance hacks will point at poorly designed universal life insurance policies that were sold in the 1980′s as an example of why the product (UL) doesn’t work. They will claim that the policies will leave people needing to make large additional premium payments as they age to keep the policies in force. Read More…

August 26, 2014

134 Fees Are Better than Commissions

134 Fees Are Better than Commissions
Play

I’m sure that the title of today’s financial procast will cause some of you to wonder if we’ve just completely lost it. Well, there’s certainly an argument for that, however, we just figured that we would agree with all the people out there that actually believe that statement.

It’s true…fees are better than commissions.

At least for the people who charge fees it’s better.  Read More…

August 22, 2014

133 The Two Retirement Income Planning Methods

133 The Two Retirement Income Planning Methods
Play

Retirement income planning is indeed one of those topics that we’ve discussed on a few different occasions or probably more than just a few actually. But it’s one of those topics that has a great deal of nuance.

There are really two main schools of thought when it comes to retirement income planning. One has sort of dominated the discussion for the last couple of decades and the other philosophy has been around much longer but is having a resurgence in popularity. Read More…

August 19, 2014

132 You’re Standard and That’s a Good Thing

132 You’re Standard and That’s a Good Thing
Play

Today we are talking about a very important aspect of insurance underwriting. So as everyone quits listening at that point…no seriously hang in there to the very end and we’ll reveal something super secret!

No really, there’s no big secret but we promise to make this an interesting episode.

This is one of those topics that we should have covered in the first five episodes and/or blog posts but we didn’t. And we are attempting to go back and right the wrongs of our past. Read More…

August 14, 2014

131 Stock Market Crash Ahead? Who Cares?

131 Stock Market Crash Ahead? Who Cares?
Play

Didn’t we just talk about the Dow broke 17,000 for the first time? Yes we did. Since then the average has fallen and come back just a bit. As of this very moment, its sitting at 16,651.

But honestly do we think the market is headed back up and will keep moving up? Or will it all fall part and accelerate downward trading.

We honestly have no clue. Read More…

August 12, 2014

130 And the Definition of Fee-Only is…

130 And the Definition of Fee-Only is…
Play

The CFP board is struggling with how it wants to define “Fee Only” financial planning. It’s a bit of a quandary–and that is how do we define this term? What is fee only? Who has the right to use that label to describe themselves?

Over the last couple of years this debate has been heating up, however, it only seems to have to muddied the waters that much further. Some people have been sanctioned by the CFP board for doing things that others have not been sanctioned for. In short, there seems to be a fair amount of inconsistency among the CFP board and its dealing with its members. Read More…

August 8, 2014

129 Leave the Annuities Alone

129 Leave the Annuities Alone
Play

There is a worrying trend that we are seeing in the financial services industry recently. That trend involves selling indexed universal life insurance to people that have previously purchased fixed indexed annuities with some sort of guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit (GMWB) or lifetime income rider.

Now that isn’t necessarily a problem as one could certainly own an annuity with this sort of benefit and an IUL policy for distinct reasons.  Read More…

August 5, 2014

128 Buy More Stocks!

128 Buy More Stocks!
Play

Are millennials making a big mistake by not investing enough of their retirement funds in stocks? Well, someone over at the Motley Fool seems to think so and today we’re going to tell you what we think about their (the Motley Fool) opinion. Read More…

July 31, 2014

127 Beware of the Illustration Beauty Contest

127 Beware of the Illustration Beauty Contest
Play

Today we’re discussing the other “i” word–illustration. We are diving into how illustrations are manipulated to sell the sizzle and not so much about focusing on the substance.

It seems that far too many of the people working in the marketing department feel that they need to really “push the envelope” in terms of illustrating projected product performance. In other words, they like to distort reality to make their products seem a bit more attractive than they would otherwise be.

This is particularly true when it comes to variable and indexed products as it is somewhat easier to inflate things based on using unrealistic returns on the investment sub-accounts and/or indexed accounts.

We have seen illustrations that used static returns of 8-12% depending on the product and when we saw them as the “standards” of what is allowed have changed over the last few years.

There really is no academic argument as to why anything should be illustrated at rates this high, however, someone in marketing decided that it makes their product look really nice when shown these sorts of rates and that will convince people to buy.

What’s more… Read More…

July 29, 2014

126 What’s the Real Rate of Inflation?

126 What’s the Real Rate of Inflation?
Play

We’ve talked about a lot of scary financial concepts on the Insurance Pro Blog in the past and it seems as though few economic topics strike more fear in the hearts of Americans than unrelenting ‘i’ word. We are, of course, talking about inflation.

But what is this seemingly cryptic topic all about and why is it so frightening? Further, is it really the harbinger of death for our economy—or at least your personal financial life—so many others have suggested?

Probably not.

Read More…