The Certified Financial Planner designation stands as a testament of one’s dedication to excellence and superiority in the world of financial planning. Or at least that’s what the CFP Board and the designees want you to believe. And they’ve done a good job convincing the world that CFP® holders are the wise wizards of the retail financial services industry.
Our personal experience, however, hasn’t quite match up with the marketing machine’s hype…
Bad whole life insurance, the stuff that isn’t designed the way we suggest it should be, sometimes catches fire for its so-called poor returns. Those with something to sell you that isn’t life insurance (i.e. that competes for those dollars) like to focus on fees and talk about how terrible the product is. And in recent years, historical whole life insurance cash value performance reports from places like the now defunct Blease Research were used to try and claim that returns were mediocre and illustrations always overstated the performance of the policies.
But prior to the peak in interest rates seen in the late 80’s/early 90’s whole life projections often understated the performance of the product. And when we go back beyond this point and look at a policy put in force several years prior, we see dramatically different returns. This is potentially really good news for the life insurance industry and its ability to deliver competitive returns on its products relative to the entire selection of financial products.
Well the Dow was at 17,000, but this week certainly hasn’t been very generous to American equities. Ignoring that ugly truth for a minute, we wanted to take a minute to look at last week’s awesome new highs and discuss what it really means for the real return of the stock market.
When it comes to Gen X and Retirement all is not well with the MTV Generation. But this despair doesn’t seem to be rooted in a systemic lack of effort—one of the core flaws often noted by its preceding generation—rather it originates from a demoralizing late-in-life shift in world view coupled with a struggle to gain attention among the institutions that most likely hold the answers to Gen X’s path to retirement prosperity.
Or perhaps it’s just a hold over of that 90’s Curt Cobain and Fiona Apple everything sucks and everyone is awful mentality with which a lot of them entered into adult hood augmented by their having to witness the breakdown of the US economy right before most of them truly got to ride the gravy train.
“We want to let everyone know that life insurance is like that guy on the TV selling his little oven thingy…you just set it and forget it!”
That was the utterance of a Friday morning sales meeting I once labored through when I was a relatively new agent at one of the big mutuals. The attempt was to equip the newest agents with the confidence to convince their family and friends (i.e. their project 200) that this life insurance stuff was pretty cool.
I’m the only one who was in the room who still happens to be in the business, and I’ve never channeled Ron Popeil when it came to explaining life insurance, so I’m not all that sure it was a successful tactic, but I digress.
Sadly, this also wasn’t only time I’ve witnessed this allusion in an attempt to persuade an unwitting prospect to buy life insurance.
Recent announcements have surfaced saying that both Amazon and Google are kicking around the idea to sell life insurance. Are we worried that this going to bring some stiff competition to the life insurance market? Do agents (like us) have to worry?
We think not.
They both will focus on selling term life insurance policies and previous online ventures to the life insurance market has shown that people spending small amounts of money on a policy are just fine purchasing this way.
And perhaps this is how that particular segment of the market can be best served?
In this episode of the Financial Procast we’re discussing the tendency that some people have to obsess over details of a financial product purchase that don’t really matter. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is how much benefit you derive from the product that you purchase.
All the stuff that happens in between is semantics and a whole lotta fluff meant to confuse and distract you from focusing on the end result.
This is a problem that plagues consumers and agents in our business. In other words, it’s not just a consumer problem.
Sometimes agents get overly obsessed with details that just don’t matter and lose sight of the big picture which should always be to deliver the best end result to their client.
We bet you didn’t know that June is annuity awareness month. In fact, we didn’t realize it until yesterday. And since we did an episode in May to honor Disability Awareness month, we figured we should give equal time to Annuity Awareness month.
Of course we assume that you are all aware that annuities exist and probably have some basic framework of understanding, so we’re not going to get into that sort of thing. What we’ve decided to do in episode 118 of the Financial Procast to bring the discussion of annuities into a more truthful light.
We are well aware that annuities have received a fair amount of bad press in recent years. Perhaps you remember when NBC’s, Chris Hansen, caught some unscrupulous annuity agents in the act back in 2008. When something like that happens, the unfortunate and unintended consequence is that way too many people are now conditioned to have negative thoughts when they hear the word annuity.
Diversification is everyone’s favorite topic in the world of personal finance. Too bad it’s so often misunderstood and watered down. Today’s episode is all about why you, as an individual, cannot replicate what an institutional money manager does. And this discussion goes far beyond just selecting investments.
Why not just go out on your own? You don’t really need to pay all those fees to “professionals”. All the information you would ever need is at your disposal for you to be a great do-it-yourself investor.
But this is a huge fallacy. Why doesn’t it work?
Today we are here to cast a few stones at the so-called financial experts and financial bloggers that spring up all over ye olde interwebs. if you’re wondering we do have a hate mail folder.
What stones are we casting?
Well, we’re going to talk about the dispensing of advice and information as it relates to the world of financial blogging and financial media. The reason we’re talking about this is because honestly there is a lot of garbage out there.
And because it’s our show and we can do what we want.