Life Agents AREN'T Part of HNW Advisors

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spintofish's picture
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The title distills what the branch manager at a wirehouse told me at our my interview this week. He drew a small graphic with the center being a HNW individual. He then drew three lines out from there which represented the three advisors that EVERY HNW person has. One line was to an attorney/law firm, one was to a CPA/firm, and one was to a wirehouse (he would have included INDY's) FA. He stated that life insurance companies and agents were NOT a part of that HNW persons life as an on-going support team. He further stated that the large mutual life co.'s have built their business on telling incoming agents that they (the mut. life co's) WERE a part of the HNW persons advisor team but he stated emphatically on cross examination by me that life agents were NOT.  Please be specific in your responses with your personal experience. Thanks.

ExPropTrader's picture
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So how does a HNW individual avoid those nasty estate taxes?

spintofish's picture
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Well, that was one of the examples he used to prove his points.
He made the claim that agents aren't involved in serious estate planning. That is done by the three: lawyers, cpa's, & fa's. He laid out a recent scenario where one of his HNW clients contacted him b/c the lawyer he had hired to work up a generation transfer plan had developed something so complicated that he couldn't understand it. He (the local branch mgr.) gathered a great deal of information on the man's situation and then flew himself and the HNW client to the home office for a day of meetings... all which had the committment of exactly $0 from his client. He stated that the client ended up taking the advise of the home office attorneys and did business with the firm. It involved taking a $1M loss to roll everything over to a Roth... The HNW engineered his income to make that possible. The branch manager stated that the HNW client was very happy.
I replied back that a knowledgable and experienced agent would have solved the problem by buying a second to die policy that would probably have cost far less than $1M in premium.... Now I was serious when I came back with that but his reply was: "Yeah, if you go with a life insurance company all roads will eventually lead back to one thing: BUY MORE LIFE INSURANCE."
 

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To elaborate:  Last month our office wrote a $70-mil policy to cover a guys estate taxes.  The yearly premium is around $350,000/yr.  In addition he is moving his assets to us from a wirehouse, does that make us "trusted advisors"?  I admit this doesnt happen every day but it does happen.
I joined an insurance company because it allows me to do both.  I can do things that a wirehouse cannot/will not, but there is nothing a wirehouse can do that I can't.
I have a series of questions that I ask someone who tells me "I have an advisor" that instantly makes them wonder if their advisor has their best interests in mind and usually gets me an appointment. 
Most wirehouse advisors could care less about wills and trusts because they are only concerned with AUM.  I come in, help them set up a will/trust, fund it with a nice paying LI policy, AND get all of their assets.  The funny thing is the LI usually pays me as much as getting the assets. Taking AUM from a wirehouse is easy, my only competition is other LI companies.
LI companies and wirehouses are alike in that BOTH will tell you almost anything to get you to sign up.

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spintofish wrote:
Now I was serious when I came back with that but his reply was: "Yeah, if you go with a life insurance company all roads will eventually lead back to one thing: BUY MORE LIFE INSURANCE."
 

That really depends on the company/branch, you are doing the right thing by doing a lot of research before you join either one.  Everyone is different but for me a LI company was a better fit for my target market. I have a much broader customer base to work with because I don't have to focus solely on HNW individuals although they are nice when you get them.

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spintofish wrote:
Well, that was one of the examples he used to prove his points.
He made the claim that agents aren't involved in serious estate planning. That is done by the three: lawyers, cpa's, & fa's. He laid out a recent scenario where one of his HNW clients contacted him b/c the lawyer he had hired to work up a generation transfer plan had developed something so complicated that he couldn't understand it.

That's why we always accompany our clients to the meeting with the attorney, I am no expert on trusts but we have been educated enough to know what to look for.  We also suggest an attorney we use because we know if the reccomended course of action is LI for funding the trust the biz won't go to a brother-in-law or friend.

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spintofish,
If you want to work at a wirehouse, do so, but don't work at one with a dishonest BOM.

troll's picture
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Am I the only adult who sees, "Forum for FA's Only" and thinks of the Norman Rockwell painting of the little boys in a tree house with a sign that says, "Girls not allowed."
It is amusing that simply talking about the fact that do it yourself investors outperform "Financial Advisors" year in and year out makes so many of the posers crazy.  It's as if they're all huddled in the corner makng noise so that they can't hear the sounds of reality.
For an indication on how immature Joeboy and Indynow are note that not only did they "join" the clubhouse they actually put the clubhouse motto as their signature line.
Two grown me, parading as "Financial Advisors" who waste so much time on this forum, that stupid forum where everybody is a Sergent or a Captain or a Private and now another complete waste of time.
Curiously pathetic and oddly sad.  They'll say they don't care what I think.  Apparently not, but actually going out of your way to appear childish does not reveal a man who is capable of being mature.

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anonymous wrote:
spintofish,
If you want to work at a wirehouse, do so, but don't work at one with a dishonest BOM.

What should a prospective employee do, ask during the interview, "Er, this will sound odd-----but are you honest?"

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What should a prospective employee do, ask during the interview, "Er, this will sound odd-----but are you honest?"
Putsy, when someone lies to you, do you bother to ask them if they are honest?  Spintofish has a dishonest BOM and if he works there, he should expect to hear lies.  

troll's picture
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I am not an ultra high net worth guy, but I'd qualify as HNW and I am so turned off by life insurance types that I won't even return calls from my own agent any longer.
I have as much coverage as I need and I have no need to talk to him again.  For a number of years once a year he'd call and suggest that I should switch something or other for something or other.  I either have too much whole life, or too little--sometimes my term coverage should be switched to universal and sometimes I need more term coverage as long as I don't have to prove insurability.
Years ago I had a brother who was killed in a car accident.  He had been a life insurance guy and had sold himself a $1 million dollar whole life policty with an accidental death rider.  Our mother was his beneficiary because he was not married when he sold it, did not change it when he married, and was divorced when he died.
Anyway, she got that $2 million and could not get rid of it fast enough--gifting maximum sums to her sons, daughters in law, and grandchildren.
She also bought was she was told was a $250,000 single premium deferred variable annuity for her two sons.  Ten or fifteen years later the sons--one a banker and the other a SVP at a wirehouse--were looking over the paperwork and came to the realization that what had been bought was not a variable annuity but was some sort of life policy.  She became both confused, embarassed and felt victimized so she took the paperwork away and we've never been allowed to see it since.  She explained that a man at the church was a new agent and she asked him what she could buy from him to give him some help while he was getting started.  I suspect there was a sales contest on for whatever it is she bought for $500,000 and someday my brother and I will find out what it is.
Actually I asked my own agent to check on it and he reported back what it was--but I didn't care at that point and don't really remember.  It's variable life, or variable universal life--it will be part of my estate, which is fine.
My next involvement with life types came when my parents were told by their CPA that they should buy second to die insurance--so they did. 
The ONLY ROLE the life guy played in the entire process was to fill out the application.
There is a hiearchy in financial planning.  Appropriate life insurance is the foundation of a sound financial plan--but it's sold by companies who truly end up hiring the least qualfied of those who drift into the brokerage/insurance industry because they can't seem to find a job doing anything else.
That does not mean they beat their wives, or kick their dogs.  They're nice guys and gals--quick to volunteer--great family people--pay their bills on time--provide a valuable service to the greatest  number of people.
But it's a harsh reality that they're also not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

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DAtoo wrote:
I am not an ultra high net worth guy, but I'd qualify as HNW and I am so turned off by life insurance types that I won't even return calls from my own agent any longer.
I have as much coverage as I need and I have no need to talk to him again.  For a number of years once a year he'd call and suggest that I should switch something or other for something or other.  I either have too much whole life, or too little--sometimes my term coverage should be switched to universal and sometimes I need more term coverage as long as I don't have to prove insurability.
Years ago I had a brother who was killed in a car accident.  He had been a life insurance guy and had sold himself a $1 million dollar whole life policty with an accidental death rider.  Our mother was his beneficiary because he was not married when he sold it, did not change it when he married, and was divorced when he died.
Anyway, she got that $2 million and could not get rid of it fast enough--gifting maximum sums to her sons, daughters in law, and grandchildren.
She also bought was she was told was a $250,000 single premium deferred variable annuity for her two sons.  Ten or fifteen years later the sons--one a banker and the other a SVP at a wirehouse--were looking over the paperwork and came to the realization that what had been bought was not a variable annuity but was some sort of life policy.  She became both confused, embarassed and felt victimized so she took the paperwork away and we've never been allowed to see it since.  She explained that a man at the church was a new agent and she asked him what she could buy from him to give him some help while he was getting started.  I suspect there was a sales contest on for whatever it is she bought for $500,000 and someday my brother and I will find out what it is.
Actually I asked my own agent to check on it and he reported back what it was--but I didn't care at that point and don't really remember.  It's variable life, or variable universal life--it will be part of my estate, which is fine.
My next involvement with life types came when my parents were told by their CPA that they should buy second to die insurance--so they did. 
The ONLY ROLE the life guy played in the entire process was to fill out the application.
There is a hiearchy in financial planning.  Appropriate life insurance is the foundation of a sound financial plan--but it's sold by companies who truly end up hiring the least qualfied of those who drift into the brokerage/insurance industry because they can't seem to find a job doing anything else.
That does not mean they beat their wives, or kick their dogs.  They're nice guys and gals--quick to volunteer--great family people--pay their bills on time--provide a valuable service to the greatest  number of people.
But it's a harsh reality that they're also not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

1. Does your wife think you have too much insurance?
2. I'm glad your brother is dead, but I wish it had been HIS brother, instead.
3. Have a nice day.

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But it's a harsh reality that they're also not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Your brush is a little on the broad side.   There's no question that there are plenty of idiots selling life insurance.  There's also plenty of idiots at wirehouses and practicing law and doing every other profession.  Can virtually anybody become a life insurance agent?  Yes.  Can virtually any life insurance agent work with the HNW?  No way. 
We are talking about life insurance and the HNW.  Those agents are some of the sharpest knives in any drawer.  Anybody can get hired, but the cream rises and there is a lot of cream.  There are also a lot of idiots.

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anonymous wrote:
What should a prospective employee do, ask during the interview, "Er, this will sound odd-----but are you honest?"
Putsy, when someone lies to you, do you bother to ask them if they are honest?  Spintofish has a dishonest BOM and if he works there, he should expect to hear lies.  

Is it a lie to say that an HNV investor uses a CPA, a lawyer, and a broker--excluding a life guy--or is it a point of view?

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anonymous wrote:
But it's a harsh reality that they're also not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Your brush is a little on the broad side.   There's no question that there are plenty of idiots selling life insurance.  There's also plenty of idiots at wirehouses and practicing law and doing every other profession.  Can virtually anybody become a life insurance agent?  Yes.  Can virtually any life insurance agent work with the HNW?  No way. 
We are talking about life insurance and the HNW.  Those agents are some of the sharpest knives in any drawer.  Anybody can get hired, but the cream rises and there is a lot of cream.  There are also a lot of idiots.

Are you familiar with the book, "The Bell Curve?"  It measures the relative intelligence of ethnic groups and shows overlaps at the extremes.
In that fashion I will agree that there are some smart guys at life insurance general agencies--a few, a precious few.
However if we were to plot their IQs on graph paper, along with the IQs of wirehouse producers the top of the line life guy would come in as above average at a premier wirehouse.
In fact, the really bright types who find themselves at a life general agency will normally send resumes to wirehouses as soon as they realize how restricted they are in the insurance biz.
It's a great place to start--fantastic in fact.  But it's nonsense to suggest that a general agency is a lifetime of intellectual challenge, or even a source of more than a handful of the tools of the trade for a true financial professional.
That's my opinon, not a lie.

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DAtoo wrote:Am I the only adult who sees, "Forum for FA's Only" and thinks of the Norman Rockwell painting of the little boys in a tree house with a sign that says, "Girls not allowed."
It is amusing that simply talking about the fact that do it yourself investors outperform "Financial Advisors" year in and year out makes so many of the posers crazy.  It's as if they're all huddled in the corner makng noise so that they can't hear the sounds of reality.
For an indication on how immature Joeboy and Indynow are note that not only did they "join" the clubhouse they actually put the clubhouse motto as their signature line.
Two grown me, parading as "Financial Advisors" who waste so much time on this forum, that stupid forum where everybody is a Sergent or a Captain or a Private and now another complete waste of time.
Curiously pathetic and oddly sad.  They'll say they don't care what I think.  Apparently not, but actually going out of your way to appear childish does not reveal a man who is capable of being mature.Ironic choice of words, Putsy, because that's normally how I think of you....a supposed retired millionaire who spends his time marking up a board for active financial advisors.You're so arroagant that you can't imagine that some of us who actually work in the profession are tired of listening to your blathering.

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Putsy, I have to assume that you have a high IQ and scored well on tests.  I can't think of another reason why you would think that this is of major importance. 
I believe you that many of the really bright guys send their resumes to wirehouses.  This is because many of the very smart ones are succeeding.  This is a sales profession and analytical types tend to fail.   The smart ones who are succeeding don't go to wirehouses.
Why would a successful insurance person go to a wirehouse?  You do realize that on each insurance sale, their pay will be about 25% of what they were making.   Their payouts on investments are also substantially less if they are part of the RR world.  Many have their own, or work for, RIA's. 
You can have any opinion that you would like.  The lie that I was referring to was the BOM saying that insurance agents aren't involved with HNW.

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This is because many of the very smart ones are succeeding.
The above line should read "are not succeeding"

troll's picture
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joedabrkr wrote:Ironic choice of words, Putsy, because that's normally how I think of you....a supposed retired millionaire who spends his time marking up a board for active financial advisors.You're so arroagant that you can't imagine that some of us who actually work in the profession are tired of listening to your blathering.
Yet you not only read it, you respond to it.

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anonymous wrote:
You can have any opinion that you would like.  The lie that I was referring to was the BOM saying that insurance agents aren't involved with HNW.

We all know that the HNV types are involved with life insurance agents--they have them fill out the applications.
"Do you have, or have you ever had, any of the following........"

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Putsy,
Do you think that insurance companies are stupid?  If the insurance agent was simply brought to the table to fill out the application, do you really think that the insurance companies would have to pay out 100% in first year commission?
They pay out the commission because in the vast majority of cases, the sale would not be made without the insurance salesman pushing the idea of the insurance in the first place.  
Top insurance producers don't make millions by filling out applications.  They put everything in motion.

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It's probably not a lie, but individual experiences will vary as usual.  A friend of mine in the office works on an UHNW team; their minimum is $10mm and many of their clients are worth hundreds of millions.  The vast majority of them had a CPA, attorney, and a broker.  I think only a few had an insurance agent.  This team is now making a killing bringing insurance into the picture as well as estate planning.  They work with a few general agents that work with our office. 
I've had the good fortune to recently come across opportunites with UNHW individuals and the people I'm meeting with don't have insurance agents either.  It does seem to have something to do with the reputation of some insurance agents.  I'm positive that the insurance agents who work with HNW individuals are brilliant at what they do.  It's just sad that many HNW individuals won't work with them because of the reputation that some idiots bring to the industry.
 
DAtoo wrote:anonymous wrote:
What should a prospective employee do, ask during the interview, "Er, this will sound odd-----but are you honest?"
Putsy, when someone lies to you, do you bother to ask them if they are honest?  Spintofish has a dishonest BOM and if he works there, he should expect to hear lies.  

Is it a lie to say that an HNV investor uses a CPA, a lawyer, and a broker--excluding a life guy--or is it a point of view?

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anonymous wrote:
Putsy,
Do you think that insurance companies are stupid?  If the insurance agent was simply brought to the table to fill out the application, do you really think that the insurance companies would have to pay out 100% in first year commission?
They pay out the commission because in the vast majority of cases, the sale would not be made without the insurance salesman pushing the idea of the insurance in the first place.  
Top insurance producers don't make millions by filling out applications.  They put everything in motion.

Insurance companies cannot be bright or stupid--they're an institution without measurable intellect. 
The agents generally range from high grade morons such as one finds on that top gun producers website to very bright.  I'd say that 50% are high grade morons, 40 percent of average intelligence and 10% bright enough to comprehend what an average stockbroker in 1975 was doing.
How much money one makes is irrelevant--Mike Tyson earned a lot of money too.

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DAtoo wrote:anonymous wrote: Insurance companies cannot be bright or stupid--they're an institution without measurable intellect.  
Don't confuse the salesman with the home office.  That's like saying "NML sucks because their salesmen are greedy"..........

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How much money one makes is irrelevant
It's very relevant when many people in this industry are trying to make as much money as possible. 

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DAtoo is a closet queer... and Bobby Hull had the funniest post

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DAtoo wrote:
 
 
Anyway, she got that $2 million and could not get rid of it fast enough--gifting maximum sums to her sons, daughters in law, and grandchildren.
She also bought was she was told was a $250,000 single premium deferred variable annuity for her two sons.  Ten or fifteen years later the sons--one a banker and the other a SVP at a wirehouse--were looking over the paperwork and came to the realization that what had been bought was not a variable annuity but was some sort of life policy.  She became both confused, embarassed and felt victimized so she took the paperwork away and we've never been allowed to see it since.  She explained that a man at the church was a new agent and she asked him what she could buy from him to give him some help while he was getting started.  I suspect there was a sales contest on for whatever it is she bought for $500,000 and someday my brother and I will find out what it is.
Actually I asked my own agent to check on it and he reported back what it was--but I didn't care at that point and don't really remember.  It's variable life, or variable universal life--it will be part of my estate, which is fine.

Something in this story is BS.  There is no way your mother took out a VL or VUL on you without you clearly knowing what was going on.  There is a little thing called underwriting and a medical exam that have to be done.  Gee, why am I peeing in this cup for an annuity?

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Very true, Braves fan.  Or even if good 'ol mom bought the variable policy on herself to give 2 children $250K tax free upon her death, she would have to wonder why a nurse is sticking a needle in her arm to invest money?  Why the scale?  All the health questions?  The urine sample?  "Oh, standard procedure for an annuity, ma'am."
Yeah, right, either you made this whole story up, or your mother is incredibly stupid.

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braves fan wrote:DAtoo wrote:
 
 
Anyway, she got that $2 million and could not get rid of it fast enough--gifting maximum sums to her sons, daughters in law, and grandchildren.
She also bought was she was told was a $250,000 single premium deferred variable annuity for her two sons.  Ten or fifteen years later the sons--one a banker and the other a SVP at a wirehouse--were looking over the paperwork and came to the realization that what had been bought was not a variable annuity but was some sort of life policy.  She became both confused, embarassed and felt victimized so she took the paperwork away and we've never been allowed to see it since.  She explained that a man at the church was a new agent and she asked him what she could buy from him to give him some help while he was getting started.  I suspect there was a sales contest on for whatever it is she bought for $500,000 and someday my brother and I will find out what it is.
Actually I asked my own agent to check on it and he reported back what it was--but I didn't care at that point and don't really remember.  It's variable life, or variable universal life--it will be part of my estate, which is fine.

Something in this story is BS.  There is no way your mother took out a VL or VUL on you without you clearly knowing what was going on.  There is a little thing called underwriting and a medical exam that have to be done.  Gee, why am I peeing in this cup for an annuity?

I did have one of those girls carrying a scale and blood sucking kit with her stop by the office--but that's all.  I knew she was buying something and all I had to do to accept the gift was step on the scales and donate a tube of blood.
A no brainer.

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And the medical interview, the urine sample, the measurements, the papers in the mail stating that you're insured, the statements you received every quarter?
You're full of it.

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Big Taco wrote:
And the medical interview, the urine sample, the measurements, the papers in the mail stating that you're insured, the statements you received every quarter?
You're full of it.

As I said the medical stuff was done by a woman who came to my office.  The statement saying I was insured was sent to my parent's house as is the quarterly report.
My mother bought it using her address--she owns the policy, I am the insured, she is the beneficiary.
And I do not know what it is.

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BS.
She must not have had much faith in either of her 2 sons with careers in the financial services industry... She didn't even consult either of you on her finances or estate planning strategy.  She just found a guy from church to deal with.  What's that say about you?
And then it was such a shock when you began reading the documentation on the financial product that was purchased on your behalf, "10 or 15 years" later. 
She must have been "confused and embarrased" that neither of her 2 sons in the financial services industry realized that "annuities" that involve urinalysis, blood sampling, medical interviews, weighings, measurements, underwritings.... well, that's not an annuity. 

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ExPropTrader wrote:So how does a HNW individual avoid those nasty estate taxes?

With a CPA/Lawyer and good trust/estate planning.

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spintofish wrote:"Yeah, if you go with a life insurance company all
roads will eventually lead back to one thing: BUY MORE LIFE
INSURANCE."

Which is precisely why HNW people don't bother with life agents. You know exactly what they are going to say.

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Big Taco wrote:
BS.
She must not have had much faith in either of her 2 sons with careers in the financial services industry... She didn't even consult either of you on her finances or estate planning strategy.  She just found a guy from church to deal with.  What's that say about you?
And then it was such a shock when you began reading the documentation on the financial product that was purchased on your behalf, "10 or 15 years" later. 
She must have been "confused and embarrased" that neither of her 2 sons in the financial services industry realized that "annuities" that involve urinalysis, blood sampling, medical interviews, weighings, measurements, underwritings.... well, that's not an annuity. 

Fair enough.  The times were unusual--a mother crazy with sorrow over the death of a son is doing everything she can to get rid of $2 million.
When a guy calls from an insurance company saying that your mother has written a $250,000 check for your benefit, and that a woman will be coming by to do an insurance exam you say, "Fine when would you like to do that."
What you do not say is, "What did she buy, what is it going to do for me?"
As for not even thinking about it for years--why?   My brother and I were earning a well above average income and there was no need to talk to our parents who were doing just fine themselves.  When they retired their willingness to share their financial success with their sons became more important.
That they did not turn to me or my brother for estate planning help is because they turned to an attorney.  Who is better at writing wills, setting up trusts and the like than an attorney?

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wrote:
BS.
She must not have had much faith in either of her 2 sons with careers in the financial services industry... She didn't even consult either of you on her finances or estate planning strategy.  She just found a guy from church to deal with.  What's that say about you?

 

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That they did not turn to me or my brother for estate planning help is because they turned to an attorney.  Who is better at writing wills, setting up trusts and the like than an attorney?
Actually, it sounds as if to some extent, they turned to an attorney and to an insurance agent.  Sorry, Putsy, it is very telling that they didn't come to you for advice. 
Attorneys are great at writing will and setting up trusts.  They are pretty useless when it comes to funding the trusts.  My practice is primarily business owners.  I can't tell you how many times the attorney has put together a useless buy/sell agreement for a client.  It's useless because there isn't a funding mechanism.

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When a guy calls from an insurance company saying that your mother has written a $250,000 check for your benefit, and that a woman will be coming by to do an insurance exam you say, "Fine when would you like to do that."
What you do not say is, "What did she buy, what is it going to do for me?"
Baloney.

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Biggest problem is that most estate planning attorneys I know think that the life guy oversells everything, and he/she will do it again..........:)
Most HNW folks I know have a team of 3 people:  CPA, attorney,and FA.  The life guy just does what the team tells him to.............

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You're full of it, datoo.  Please quit posting your garbage on this site, especially if it's just a bunch of silly, made-up stories.  The vanguard die-hards might believe this crap, so go find your target (gullible) audience.

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Which is precisely why HNW people don't bother with life agents. You know exactly what they are going to say.
First of all, there aren't too many wirehouse reps who aren't life agents.  Secondly, you are correct that the answer is going to be to buy more life insurance.  So what?  The attorney and the CPA are going to be involved in the decision and the purchase won't happen unless it makes sense. 
Look at the after tax rate of return on the death benefit of a life insurance policy.  If the purpose of the money is to leave money behind at death, there is nothing that will do it as well as life insurance on a risk adjusted basis.  This assumes that the client is healthy.
 

CAPM's picture
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anonymous wrote:
Which is precisely why HNW people don't bother with life agents. You know exactly what they are going to say.
First of all, there aren't too many wirehouse reps who aren't life agents.  Secondly, you are correct that the answer is going to be to buy more life insurance.  So what?  The attorney and the CPA are going to be involved in the decision and the purchase won't happen unless it makes sense. 
Look at the after tax rate of return on the death benefit of a life insurance policy.  If the purpose of the money is to leave money behind at death, there is nothing that will do it as well as life insurance on a risk adjusted basis.  This assumes that the client is healthy.
 
Problem is a lot of them aren't healthy when they get around to getting the insurance.........

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This is very true, most of us are life and health licensed now.  The only people in my office who aren't are the guys who have been around for a while and didn't see the need to do it.  A few of them are coming around now though.
But I don't think most prospects see us as life agents.  Which is a key differentiator for quite a few people I talk to.  I tell them that I'm life licensed, but I don't specialize in it.  For some reason, many of these people don't want to deal with a life insurance agent.  They know they need the insurance, but would rather go through me than a dedicated insurance agent.  It may have something to do with the reputation of the business, I don't know. 
anonymous wrote:
First of all, there aren't too many wirehouse reps who aren't life agents.   

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CAPM wrote:
Biggest problem is that most estate planning attorneys I know think that the life guy oversells everything, and he/she will do it again..........:)
Most HNW folks I know have a team of 3 people:  CPA, attorney,and FA.  The life guy just does what the team tells him to.............

I can see you saying that the life guy is not part of the "team", what you may not realize is that alot of the agents with FA's are not only life agents but RIA's as well.  So if you are talking about an Allstate agent I agree with you, with my firm though that's just not the case.

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ExProptrader,
You are correct.  The life agent isn't looked upon as a "life insurance agent".  He is typically looked upon as the financial advisor.  Most of the big life producers are either RIAs or are part of a corporate RIA.  We are not talking about the captive car insurance guy.
Clients are looking for solutions, not products.  If life insurance solves the problem, a sale is made.

troll's picture
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anonymous wrote:
ExProptrader,
You are correct.  The life agent isn't looked upon as a "life insurance agent".  He is typically looked upon as the financial advisor.  Most of the big life producers are either RIAs or are part of a corporate RIA.  We are not talking about the captive car insurance guy.
Clients are looking for solutions, not products.  If life insurance solves the problem, a sale is made.

I believe that most life agents are IAR's not RIA's.  There may be a corporate RIA, but the individuals out there in the agencies are IAR's.

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If an agent is part of an agency, he would probably be part of the corporate RIA making him an IAR.  However, some agents that are part of an agency have their own RIA.  Also, many agents are not part of an agency and have their own RIA. 
You are correct with the word "most".  However, you may be incorrect if we are looking at the ones servicing the HNW, but I really don't know.

troll's picture
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anonymous wrote:
If an agent is part of an agency, he would probably be part of the corporate RIA making him an IAR.  However, some agents that are part of an agency have their own RIA.  Also, many agents are not part of an agency and have their own RIA. 
You are correct with the word "most".  However, you may be incorrect if we are looking at the ones servicing the HNW, but I really don't know.

I just find it to be unlikely that a guy who is a big hitter in life insurance is going to also open an RIA and manage money "on the side."
Too many irons in the fire to do both successfully.  I also think there are probably some "serving two masters" issues.
Can you be more specific--perhaps actually citing an RIA that is run by a guy, or guys, who are also big hitters with a life agency.

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Putsy, the one thing that you don't seem to understand is that life insurance is sold and not bought.  Life insurance guys are great salesman.  It's easy to capture all of one's assets after getting them as a client.  (You're going to disagree and I have no way of proving that.)
Guys who sell a lot of investments are also great salespeople.  Great salespeople are great salespeople.  It makes sense to do both the investments and the insurance.  Lots of time, one of the partners is the insurance guy and the other is the investment guy.  Regardless of whether one is an RR or a RIA or a IAR, the one thing that a big insurance producer doesn't want to be is someone who has to put the sale through the grid.
 

troll's picture
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anonymous wrote:
Putsy, the one thing that you don't seem to understand is that life insurance is sold and not bought. 

I disagree.  Life insurance is something that everybody knows they should have--a mutual fund is not.
That is why life insurance companies will hire anybody who can make a mirror fog up--to get all the sales that that guy is capable of bringing in from friends and family.
Career agents learn to ask for referals and network--but I don't care how good a salesman you are if the client believes they have enough life insurance they won't buy.
Within the last day or two I posted that I don't even return my agent's calls because he has morphed from a guy who wanted to help me to a guy who wants to twist me.  That happened as he matured in the business and is finding it more and more difficult to find prospects.
He does not have a securities license and has missed that boat.
This, of course, is nothing more than my opinion and regardless of how much an insurance agents screams and stamps his feet I will continue to believe it.

deekay's picture
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DAtoo wrote:anonymous wrote:
Putsy, the one thing that you don't seem to understand is that life insurance is sold and not bought. 

I disagree.  Life insurance is something that everybody knows they should have--a mutual fund is not.
Every client or prospect I encounter want to know what 'hot investment tip' I can give them.  Many of them, however, are not fit financially to invest.  I believe your thinking is backwards.  I come across more people who say stuff like, "My wife will work if I die early."  Or, "I don't want my kids to be spoiled, so I'm not going to buy life insurance.  All I want to do is invest."
That is why life insurance companies will hire anybody who can make a mirror fog up--to get all the sales that that guy is capable of bringing in from friends and family.
Why wouldn't you want to sell insurance to your friends and family?  I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the person who didn't approach a family member with what I have to offer, only to see a premature death or disabiliity.  That is a burden I don't want to have.  And oh by the way, I do not only ask my friends and familiy.  I cold prospect ever day.
Career agents learn to ask for referals and network--but I don't care how good a salesman you are if the client believes they have enough life insurance they won't buy.
Wrong.  Life insurance enhances all a client's assets.  I know how to present it in such a way that they want to buy more life insurance.  It's not just about providing a death benefit - whole life insurance is a great tool as part of an overall plan.
Within the last day or two I posted that I don't even return my agent's calls because he has morphed from a guy who wanted to help me to a guy who wants to twist me.  That happened as he matured in the business and is finding it more and more difficult to find prospects.
Sounds to me like he doesn't prospect like he used to.  A shame, really.
He does not have a securities license and has missed that boat.
Weren't you the one who brought up "Jack of all trades...?"
This, of course, is nothing more than my opinion and regardless of how much an insurance agents screams and stamps his feet I will continue to believe it.
That's fine.  If you choose to be ignorant about something, there's nothing I can say or do to change your mind.  I, fortunately, choose to work with motivated, open-minded individuals who love their families.  Business becomes easier and more enjoyable that way.

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