February 16, 2017

IPB 057: Stock vs. Mutual Life Insurance Companies

 

The debate between life insurance company structure rages on into the 21st century. It's not as big a headline as it once was in the industry.

So, does that mean that we've decided that it really doesn't matter? Obviously, there are real structural differences in the the capital structure and there are perceived differences in the culture of the two types of life insurance company, but are there any real, practical differences? Read More…

February 9, 2017

IPB 056: No, You’re Not Rich…But You Could Be

 

After taking another week off from recording a podcast we're back and we're taking another slight detour from diving into the minutiae of life insurance. Not to worry, today's episode is related to life insurance but the relationship is tangential.

Something we've seen repeatedly over the last several years is a notion that taking baby steps with your finances and in particular your saving habits is something to be praised. Now, we're always in favor of consuming less and saving more. So don't get any ideas that we're knocking a philosophy that seeks to improve financial behavior.

Our problem isn't with the philosophy of consuming less. Read More…

January 26, 2017

IPB 055: Can Financial Advice be Systematized?

Today's episode is not one of our episodes where you're going to get a bit-by-bit breakdown of a life insurance policy or concept totally dedicated to life insurance.

No, today we get into a discussion that keeps popping up and that is one of designing the financial planning process to work as a more systematic process. The idea being that most people prefer to check off a few boxes, select from multiple choice responses and voila have a “to do” list of financial related items spit out the other side.

A picture of the Mechanical Turk comes to mind. It's a wonderful idea and not 100% flawed thinking but the practical application leaves much to be desired.

Obviously, we have much more to say about it…listen the full episode to hear more.

 

January 12, 2017

IPB 054: Free Life Insurance?

 

Sorry to disappoint you–we don't have any free beer or life insurance. But we do have our first podcast of the new year and it's a good one.

Something we don't often discuss oddly enough in our podcast that discusses life insurance…the death benefit. Typically, the death benefit is a secondary and necessary component of what we're talking about with our clients. But lately, we've been rethinking some of that.

Turns out that the death benefit is actually a pretty good deal and adds to the overall utility of the product as it relates to being a solution to fill multiple gaps.

Listen to find out where we're coming from.

December 15, 2016

IPB 053: Life Insurance is so NOT complicated

 

Something we hear and/or read repeatedly is that a life insurance contract is simply too complicated for any mere mortal to understand. The complexity is just too great. How could ever understand what you're actually buying?

We don't disagree that if you were to sit down and ready your policy from cover to cover it would prove to be a bit confusing. However, is it any more confusing than a mutual fund prospectus? Or complete financial reports for a publicly traded company?

We think not.

If you understand the basics, have a properly designed policy and an adept agent to help you navigate it, a cash value life insurance policy will be the most simple part of your savings strategy and it's likely to be one of the most stable.

 

December 8, 2016

Life Insurance a Potential Hedge Against Sequence of Returns Risk

Whole Life Safe MoneyLast week we discussed how sequence of returns affects wealth accumulation. It was the first time we discussed the notion of sequence of returns risk in the light of accumulation rather than spend down (i.e. when one uses assets to generate income). There was a subtle, but important point Read More…

December 1, 2016

IPB 052: Sequence of Returns Risk Is More Complicated Than You Think

approach

 

We’ve discussed “Sequence of Returns Risk” numerous times in the past, but most of those discussions focused on how this phenomenon affects your assets in a draw down period (i.e. a time when you are spending the money you saved to cover expenses and/or generate income).

Today we want to talk about sequence of returns in a slightly different light and note a problem it poses for all savers while they are attempting to accumulate more value in their portfolios. Read More…

November 22, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Penn Mutual Life 2017 Dividend Announced

Insurance NewsThe Pennsylvania Mutual Life Insurance Company announced its plans to pay participating policy holders a total of $58 million in dividends for 2017. This represents an increase over last year of Read More…

November 22, 2016

2016 Whole Life Insurance Dividend Analysis

Whole Life Analysis 2016

 

Since 2013, we have published the only public analysis on variation in dividends for major participating whole life insurance products.  This analysis is a better gauge on product dividend performance than traditional reporting that focuses on the absolute declared dividend announced by each company. Read More…

November 18, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Guardian Life Announces 2017 Dividend

Insurance NewsThe Guardian Life Insurance Company of American has announced its plans to pay $847 million in dividends to its participating policy holders. This represents the highest gross dividend payout in the company's history and a gross increase from last year of Read More…

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