New York Life

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ChrisVarick's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-04

For everyone that has worked at NYL, Northwestern, Mass Mutual, Guardian, was it hard transferring your book of business after leaving the firm? As of late, I've been contemplating starting at a life insurance agency such as NYL and after 2 years, maybe transfer my book of business to a wirehouse. From the previous forum posts, I've heard they made it nearly impossible. How much truth is there to that? Thanks in advance.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

I would guess that a lot of the products you might sell at someplace like NWM would be proprietary and therefore impossible to move.  Why not just start at the wirehouse?  Oh yeah, they're gone.  Never mind.

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Chris....no offense sort of a " long way around the block "? If you are considering ie. New York Life...why would you spend two years and then transfer?  If you were on the road to success that would not make any sense. As to Spiff's comments if the products are proprietary you will in most probability not be able to transfer.

ChrisVarick's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-04

Great point guys, I was talking more in terms of whether or not I can manage the client's assets after I move to a wirehouse. IE sell the client some insurance policies and when I move to the wirehouse, manage their assets leaving the insurance policies at NYL.
 
The reason why I don't start straight from a wirehouse is because of my age. I figured if I start at an insurance firm and I can make it there, I will know I'm ready to take on the wirehouse.

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Chris.....an observation , if you are able to be succesful at ie. New York Life with their product shelf ....why would you leave? Just a question , by year two you would be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then you would jump ship and start again. Just sounds counter productive. Sell Life , Disability , Group Health Product/s , Mutual Funds and a host of other products and leave????? Not to mention 2nd year commission on insurance , trailers on funds.....see where I am going.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

ChrisVarick wrote:For everyone that has worked at NYL, Northwestern, Mass Mutual, Guardian, was it hard transferring your book of business after leaving the firm? As of late, I've been contemplating starting at a life insurance agency such as NYL and after 2 years, maybe transfer my book of business to a wirehouse. From the previous forum posts, I've heard they made it nearly impossible. How much truth is there to that? Thanks in advance.
 
Your question is answered on topgunproducers.com.  Register there and go to the "good bad & ugly" forum to read about NYL, MM, NML & Guardian.
 
It would be the EASIEST to move from MassMutual because you can just "broker" your insurance policies with them, and move your non-proprietary investments to your new firm.
 
Proprietary investments like VA's and VUL's stay with them.
 
However, why would you take a cut in pay on your investment business at an insurance company to go to a wirehouse?

upn8th's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-15

NMLagents are "captive". Therefore, you will have little opportunity, much less incentive to sell non-NML insurance products. On the mutual fund side, you will  be selling non-proprietary funds, ie American Funds. These and individual equities ought to be transferrable. However, meeting your quota, and surviving for two years will revolve around how much NML product you can sell, ie: LI, DI, and annuities. If you are not planning on being a career NML agent, it is not worth starting there in my opinion, unless it is your only true option, and you are not yet licensed, in which case you would at least gain that. As far as insurance platforms go, you may want to look into John Hancock. They will expect JH products to be sold, but they are also putting a lot of resources behind their investment products, including a fee-based platform. You may have enough available to you there that in two years you may just decide to stay. Besides, who knows what the wirehouse and/or banking landscape will look like at that time? Not what it does now, I can assure you. Good luck!

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Chris,
 
1) Assuming that your plan is to start and then leave, stay away from any company that doesn't accept brokered business.  This would be New York Life and Northwestern Mutual. 
 
2) If you are successful, I can't imagine why you would want to go to a wirehouse.   You'll get lower payouts on investments and insurance business will go through a grid.  Why would you want to make less money?
 
You're making the classic mistake that somehow a wirehouse is a step up from an insurance company.  It's just a different step.   A wirehouse may be a better place for you and where you should be, but it's much easier to make good money at an insurance company. 

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Anon....to your point on # 2 and your final comment well put. I have the impression that some new posters view Insurance Companies as a " step down " versus another career choice. Many successful Financial Advisors with Insurance Companies do very well and have successful Financial Planning Practices. On that note , in turbulent times I suspect that they are adapting quite well with increasing their sales of Insurance Products.

ChrisVarick's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-04

I currently have my 6, 63, Life/Health licenses. I don't necessarily believe that an insurance firm is a step down from a wirehouse, but much like anon said, it's just a DIFFERENT step.
 
The reason why I ultimately wanted to go wirehouse was because it has FULL financial planning. I don't know of many insurance firms I looked into that has as great of tools, resource or research/analyst team. Helping clients with investments would be lower payout grid and I would be somewhat limited to insurance. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Chris...just speaking from a Canadian perspective. Many of the large Canadian Insurance Companies are very diversified. Product Shelf includes: Proprietary Life Product / Funds , Segregated Funds , Non-Proprietary Funds , Term Deposits , Health Insurance , Critical Health Insurance , Mortgages , Annuities and a host of other products. They hold themselves out as Financial Planners. Typically the average FA will have in the range of 30-40% of his/her business in Fund Business and the balance in other ( insurance etc. ) . Pay outs on Insurance much higher and not impacted by the Grid. I think you would find that the ratio of Insurance sales from Brokers is much lower for the obvious reasons. P.M. me for more details.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

The reason why I ultimately wanted to go wirehouse was because it has FULL financial planning. I don't know of many insurance firms I looked into that has as great of tools, resource or research/analyst team. Helping clients with investments would be lower payout grid and I would be somewhat limited to insurance. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
 
I'm not quite sure what you mean by FULL financial planning.   The value that we bring to clients is not in financial planning.  Our value is in financial planning IMPLEMENTATION. 
 
The payout grid stops financial planning implementation from happening at a wirehouse.  As an example, the majority of working people should own disability income insurance.  Coverage through work is rarely adequate.  Yet, not once have I spoken to someone who has had a wirehouse rep suggest that they buy coverage.
 
 

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

To reiterate anon's post:  Wirehouse guys do well gathering assets.  They fail miserably with insurance-related topics.  Insurance guys lead with protection.  As a result of their knowledge, clients more often than not say, "Well, you're already handling my life and DI, I've got this IRA I need some help with." 
 
For what it's worth, most of the major career shops (NYL, MML, NWM, Guardian) offer just about everything a wirehouse rep can get their hands on (trust company, SMAs, brokerage, etc.).  About the only things they don't do are underwriting/secondary issues and alternative investments.  I would argue that most wirehouse reps don't need 'em for their clients anyway.  The premier planner in my city is affiliated with my agency.  If you're a doctor in this town (and a lot of other towns), you work with this guy.  Period.  Goes to show that a lowly insurance agent can be the biggest of BSDs when you know your stuff and you know a lot of people.

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

iceco1d wrote:ChrisVarick wrote:I currently have my 6, 63, Life/Health licenses. I don't necessarily believe that an insurance firm is a step down from a wirehouse, but much like anon said, it's just a DIFFERENT step.
 
The reason why I ultimately wanted to go wirehouse was because it has FULL financial planning. I don't know of many insurance firms I looked into that has as great of tools, resource or research/analyst team. Helping clients with investments would be lower payout grid and I would be somewhat limited to insurance. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Couldn't pass the 7?
 
Most fund/VA distributors require their sales reps to have, and pay for, the 6.  IIRC, ChrisVarick works for a VA distributor.  Hence, the lack of the 7. 

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Chris .... a short and condensed version 1) Asset Accumilation versus 2) Life Financial Plan ( insurance coverage , mortgages , funds etc. ) . Both functions are part of the Financial Planning process for client/s. One is not better than the other simply each type from a business perspective focuses on different parts of the process.

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

Great point, norway.  I would add that, investments are terrible insurance vehicles.  However, when utilized properly, insurance can lead to great asset accumulation vehicles.  NOTE:  I am not saying that cash value life insurance policies are a substitute for wealth accumulation.  Howerver, when coordinated properly, they can be used to build wealth in other areas.

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Deekay....sometimes from some of the newer members I sense they at time view the FA ( Insurance Company ) as the first step or not as sophisticated in the Financial Planning process. The Broker's main function is to gather Assests whilst the FA ( Insurance Company ) has a planning process that includes more than the Investment part of client's plan. The Broker frankly does not have the time ( in many cases ) or the financial incentive to become involved in Insurance Products.

ChrisVarick's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-04

Very great point guys, I do appreciate all the advice. If I were planning to move business over in 3-4 years, should I go with a stock insurance company that has a broker/dealer channel instead? If so, which ones would you recommend? Thanks again.

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

Personally, I would look at the mutuals first (Mass Mutual and Guardian).  Mutuality goes a long way in this enviornment.  Remember:  stock companies are owned by, and serve, shareholders.  mutual companies are owned by, and serve, policy holders.  If you had to guess which one serves it's clients better, which one would it be?   That said, you must look at yourself as a business owner first.  All things being equal, I would look at a mutual company.  However, go with the firm you feel will best help you survive and succeed.
 

ChrisVarick's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-04

deekay wrote:Personally, I would look at the mutuals first (Mass Mutual and Guardian).  Mutuality goes a long way in this enviornment.  Remember:  stock companies are owned by, and serve, shareholders.  mutual companies are owned by, and serve, policy holders.  If you had to guess which one serves it's clients better, which one would it be?   That said, you must look at yourself as a business owner first.  All things being equal, I would look at a mutual company.  However, go with the firm you feel will best help you survive and succeed.
 
 
Very good points deekay, I've thought long and hard about it. However, the mutual end companies are very inflexible with their proprietary products so I would not be able to move any of my business over (if I were to move). In good faith, I wouldn't want to sell my clients policies and just leave them out to dry after 2-3 years. I'm not yet definite I would even switch firms, but I just want to make sure I cover my ends.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Chris,   There is a reason why Deekay specificially mentioned Guardian and MassMutual.  The ability to switch firms and keep working with your clients is why he recommended those companies and not NML or NYL.

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