Thursday, March 27, 2014

Financial Literacy Month is an Opportunity to Inform

April is here. In addition to tax time, it is also National Financial Literacy Month. Take advantage of this great opportunity to bring key financial principles to the forefront with your prospects and clients.

Americans have learned a lot of hard financial lessons in recent years, as bubbles have developed and burst in the stock, credit, real estate, and employment markets. For some people, the so-called “new” financial reality has reminded us that the steps to financial security that served the Depression-era generation well may still apply to us today.

What have people learned? You can’t count on stocks or real estate to always rise in value. Mortgage and credit card debt can sometimes be dangerous. If you have a job, you should prepare for the possibility that one day you may not be able to find work for an extended period.

Partners Advantage has a client-ready article that could help you inform prospects and clients with the four beneficial financial principles that help provide a path to financial security. Plus, tips on additional considerations at each life stage.

Click here to request the article you can customize withyour contact information. Use it as a client and prospect mailer.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Techniques for Selling to Gen Xers

When it comes to targeting prospective clients, the industry hasn't quite made the shift from a Baby Boomer-centric approach to selling to Generation X (individuals born between 1965 and 1980). As much recent data and reports have suggested, this younger generation of investors is now actively seeking financial guidance. Gen Xers are looking for dedicated financial professionals to provide guidance for the process of retirement strategizing.

These factors should be considered when selling to this target market.
Trust is a Must.
Gen Xers tend to judge others based on their individual competence, so communication and a connection with each client is helpful.
Value Sells.
They want to know how to make the most of their hard work and have a strategy in place that protects their family for the future.
Focus on Quantity Time.
Ease any concerns for the future to help them free up their time to enjoy the “now” with their loved ones.
Spreading the Word.
This generation tends to rely heavily on the internet, online reviews, and social media when it comes to making decisions.
Target Both Genders.
Make sure to address both genders equally through ad and marketing campaigns.
Show Concrete Benefits.
This generation is practical and wants to know the benefits, especially via examples and illustrations.
Talk Goals.
Gen X clients desire pragmatic goals. They want to get it done and move on.
Avoid the Hype.
This age group doesn’t buy into the hype. Marketing should be creative yet extremely straightforward.
No Hard Selling.
Gen Xers want to know about who you are, what you stand for and the quality of the product being offered before making a decision.
Promote Affordability.
Gen Xers are attracted to affordability and quality. They’ll normally lean toward trends that won’t be too expensive.

Gen Xers may not be as familiar with retirement products, but are willing to learn. Share your knowledge in a way that relates to this generation.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ways to Use Life Insurance

There are so many ways to use life insurance to benefit a person. As a financial professional, here are ways you may be able to help clients take advantage of the current low-interest environment and help drive your life sales.

Life insurance is a legacy for grandchildren.
For the client who has available monies and doesn’t need it for retirement income, the money can be put towards a permanent life insurance policy. At death, the legacy gift towards grandchildren may be significantly higher and tax-free, especially compared to traditional short- term bank products.

Use life insurance to cover final expenses.
No one wants to leave a financial burden on their loved ones at death. Own a life insurance policy that has a leveraged death benefit that may be used to cover final expenses, keeping your children’s inheritance intact.

Life insurance protects social security benefits.
At retirement, a married couple usually counts on two Social Security checks. However, when one spouse passes, this all changes. Life insurance can protect the remaining spouse from future expenses.

Life insurance is tax-free.
Life insurance builds cash value and premiums are paid with after-tax dollars. When it’s structured properly, the cash values of the policy can be accessed if necessary before or after retirement on a tax-free basis. Upon death, the death benefit is paid to the beneficiaries tax-free.

Life insurance may help address wealth transfer issues.
Extra income can be put in an irrevocable life insurance trust, which may be passed onto beneficiaries tax-free.

All of these are reasons for why life sales are expected to grow in 2014.

These materials are not intended to provide tax, accounting or legal advice. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, your clients should consult their own tax or legal counsel for advice.
For financial professional use only. Not for use with consumers.

Adapted from - ©2011-2014 Tom Hegna, all rights reserved. Used with permission. Mr. Hegna is one of the headline presenters at Partners Advantage training events for financial professionals.

The material from third-party sources is being provided as a service to you. Please note that the information and opinions included are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC. Financial Professionals should ensure they continue to follow the current policies on the use of any advertising, third-party materials and/or social media as required by your broker/dealer and/or the carriers that you represent.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fiduciary vs. Suitability

Industry discussions surrounding fiduciary and suitability standards continue to brew in 2014.

Consumers, more savvy than ever when it comes to understanding the complexities of our industry, are doing their own research in an attempt to more fully grasp how fiduciary and suitability standards contrast. While non-securities licensed insurance professionals may be committed to providing clients with the best guidance and insurance product offerings possible, they are not immune to questions surrounding suitability and fiduciary standards.

Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Investment Advisor Representative (IARs) are bound to a fiduciary standard. What does this mean? Well, when you obtain your Series 65 license and become an IAR, you are regulated by the SEC and state securities regulators and there are many requirements related to this.

Insurance professionals who aren’t securities registered must adhere to the suitability standard. The suitability standard is different than the fiduciary standard. The suitability standard is defined as making recommendations that are suitable for your clients and includes a host of requirements related to it as well.

Knowing and understanding the differences is critical as it could impact your business.

Learn more - DOWNLOAD the full article here.