January 22, 2015

155 Taxes: Because I Don’t Want To

155 Taxes: Because I Don’t Want To
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Today’s episode is all about taxes. Now, we normally talk about taxes as the April 15th deadline approaches, however, with all the buzz concerning the President’s latest proposed changes that could ultimately change tax law, we felt obliged to talk about taxes today.

So, we don’t have a neatly organized show for you today. Instead, it’s more of a free flowing rant about the proposed changes and what we think about them.  Read More…

January 19, 2015

Understanding Life Insurance Underwriting: What does it mean to be Standard or Preferred

Understanding Life Insurance Underwriting: What does it mean to be Standard or Preferred

The life insurance underwriting process is an evaluation of an applicant that insurers use to categorize policyholders. The regular categories looking something like: standard, preferred, and preferred plus or some equivalent idea.

But what does it means to be standard or preferred? And why do insurance agents and brokers sometimes talk about waiting until the end of the year to apply for insurance for those who are on the bubble between various risk classes?

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January 15, 2015

154 Variable Universal Life Insurance Lawsuit

154 Variable Universal Life Insurance Lawsuit
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A new variable universal life insurance lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court back in October of 2014 alleging Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud, Professional Negligence, and Unjust Enrichment. Defendants listed in the lawsuit include Larson Financial Group, Larson Financial Securities, John Hancock Life, and Nationwide Life and Annuity.

The complaint tells an interesting story of Larson Financial Group’s infiltration into a professional medical association in Southern California that resulted in the sales of a handful of larger sized variable universal life insurance policies that three purchasers later regretted and for which they are now seeking damages.

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January 12, 2015

Why aren’t there more Fee-Only Insurance Advisors?

Why aren’t there more Fee-Only Insurance Advisors?

Fee-only insurance advisors sound like a good idea. Since we can never know if an insurance agent/broker is truly working in a client’s best interest or secretly anticipating a commission check, the thought of an independent second opinion that is not motivated by a potential payday appears straightforwardly good.

However, the use of fee-only insurance advisors is very few and very far between. Further the number of fee-only insurance consultants pales in comparison to the number of insurance agents/brokers. So why does this seemingly good idea fail so miserably to be a widespread and successful industry?

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January 8, 2015

153 That Two-Faced Sonnova…

153 That Two-Faced Sonnova…
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We had a couple of thin topics to start off today’s episode but not to worry…the last two topics carried us and we had plenty to say about those things. It seems talking about 401k’s and picking on government officials is always good fodder.

Be sure you tune in to the bit on Roth IRA rollovers from 401k’s as that may very well pertain to some of you and for your convenience I’ve timestamped the whole thing so you can skip around.

And I know I mentioned this last week but…

It’s been a while since we’ve done a “Q&A” type show and we would love to do a couple this year, so if you have questions that you’d like us to tackle, please comment on this post or use our contact form. Send us your burning questions and we will do our best to address them all in an upcoming episode.

We’ve gotten a couple of questions so far and we thank those of you who have submitted those but keep them coming in so that we can have a couple of information packed episodes. We really enjoy doing this when we feel that we are providing value to our audience.

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January 5, 2015

The Evil Insurance Salesman Myth

The Evil Insurance Salesman Myth

For years media types and fee-for-service consultants have painted commissions sales people into a dark ugly corner. They highlight any mention of reprimand handed down to a commissioned sales professional who potentially twisted the arm of an unsuspecting person in an effort to enrich themselves.

While these sort of stories certainly make for good entertainment and tasty marketing morsels for their slick brochures, the stories do little else.

We decided that since our primary reason for existing is to be a resource focused on the life insurance industry, we will focus this discussion (evil commissioned salespeople) through the insurance lens.

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January 1, 2015

152 Grandma’s Gold Bunions

152 Grandma’s Gold Bunions
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Well, here’s the first episode of the Financial Procast for 2015. The show has now managed to span three calendar years and we are grateful that you choose to spend some time with us each week.

It’s been a while since we’ve done a “Q&A” type show and we would love to do a couple this year, so if you have questions that you’d like us to tackle, please comment on this post or use our contact form. Send us your burning questions and we will do our best to address them all in an upcoming episode. Read More…

December 29, 2014

Five Year Indexed Universal Life Insurance Company Investment Return Trend: 2014 Edition

Five Year Indexed Universal Life Insurance Company Investment Return Trend: 2014 Edition

Indexed universal life insurance investment return on assets is an indicator we use to measure how well an insurer can maintain returns on its cash value products. Just like the whole life insurance investment return trend we published earlier this month, the same general principal applies (i.e. a higher return on assets held at the insurance company gives us indication that the insurer should be able to deliver a higher return on cash value products like cash accumulation focused life insurance products and annuities).

This time we’re looking at life insurance companies that are well known for their indexed universal life insurance offerings, and this time the results are a good bit different.

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December 22, 2014

Why don’t more Financial Advisors Sell Life Insurance?

Why don’t more Financial Advisors Sell Life Insurance?

The holiday season now firmly has it’s grip around many of us and since we opted not to produce an end of the year podcast that answered questions we receive from various readers and listeners, I figured I’d entertain a question that came up recently that has been asked probably twice before in emails sent to us. Recently, this email showed up in our inbox:

Brandon,

Just curious. You’ve spent a lot of time highlighting the merits of life insurance as more than just something I buy to give my wife and kids money should I die and I find it very interesting. However, why don’t I find other financial advisors talking about this? To date, I’ve worked with four different advisors and only one of them really cared about how much life insurance I had (the others didn’t even really want to talk about life insurance). So why don’t they know about all of this?

Thank you for your time – Seth W.

Seth was gracious enough to grant my request to make my response in a public blog format so here’s the answer, for Seth and anyone else who has wondered this same thing.

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December 18, 2014

151 Lawsky, Lew, & the Law

151 Lawsky, Lew, & the Law
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Well, it looks like we’ve survived another year…both literally and figuratively. This is our last episode of the Financial Procast for 2014 and we would like to sincerely thank all of your who listen regularly, occasionally or even just for a few minutes here and there.

No doubt we are humbled that anyone listens to us at all. We will not be releasing a show on Christmas Day as we decided that we would take that week off and figured most of you would like to take a little time off as well.

Here’s to 2015! Read More…