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Jul 31, 2007 1:01 pm

OK. I was promised an opportunity to work with investments at a broker dealer, but now I am being pressured to sell insurance. I had been there 3 months. I don't like this and feel I should move to a wirehouse. Which ones should I apply at? What are my chances of being hired when I have a bachelors degree, minimal experience, Series 7, 63, 65, and Life and Health licenses? Should I apply online or call in? Should I walk in? Any suggestions on where to start would help. Thanks.

Jul 31, 2007 1:21 pm

What are they doing? Tying you up and beating you with a rubber hose? What's the matter with selling some insurance? Build up a book and then you can do investment work too.


Wirehouses aren't going tooverly impressed that you're jumping without a solid trackrecord of success.


Not to say that there aren't wire BOMs out there that would need a guy like you to make it look like they are successful at landing new blood into the branch (I'd look at Barney as a starting place) but don't think you're going to get you way there either. They'll be ppressuring you into Managed Money accounts with $100,000 minimums. There are a whole lot less people that need that than need some life and health insurance.


You should walk in, nothing like manna from heaven. The manager will be out and the ass't mgr will be more than happy to prove his worth by taking your application and resume.


Good luck.

Jul 31, 2007 2:13 pm

I would hate to be pressured to sell any product that I did not feel was right for the client.


You need to go to a reputable firm with a good training program.  If you don't want to prospect, try a bank.


I give you credit cause it sounds like you have a conscience.

Jul 31, 2007 2:53 pm

Selling life insurance really is like getting tied up and beaten when you are supposed to be recommending the MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE DEATH BENEFIT of life insurance to clients. I don't mind selling it in appropriate amounts as part of a clients financial picture.


At a wirehouse I would not even mind cold calling and gathering assets with sweat until I am ready to go indy. I know the insurance companies will hire anybody. Is this the same for wirehouses?

Jul 31, 2007 3:35 pm

 I've never heard of a company care about how much death benefit you sell.  They care about how much premium you sell just like a wirehouse cares about the amount of assets.


Can you describe some situations where you were given a hard time about not selling maximum allowable death benefit?

Jul 31, 2007 4:10 pm

Wouldn't selling higher death benefits lead to higher premiums?  Much like the reason wirehouses care about AUM is that it generates production.



anonymous:

 I've never heard of a company care about how much death benefit you sell.  They care about how much premium you sell just like a wirehouse cares about the amount of assets.


Can you describe some situations where you were given a hard time about not selling maximum allowable death benefit?

Jul 31, 2007 4:32 pm

Wouldn't selling higher death benefits lead to higher premiums?


No.  I'll give you an example.  Closer meets with a 27 year old attorney making $100,000.  Closer believes that the client needs $1,000,000 of coverage.  The insurance company is willing to issue $3,000,000.  I'm going to make up some numbers.  $1,000,000 of term coverage will cost $60/month.  $3,000,000 will cost $140/month.  $1,000,000 of WL will cost $1,000/month.  $3,000,000 will cost $3000/month.  The client can comfortably afford $500/month.


The client will pay $500/month regardless of whether he buys $1,000,000 or $3,000,000 or somewhere in between.  The only difference is the mix between term insurance and whole life insurance.  The commission will be close to identical regardless of the mix.

Jul 31, 2007 5:13 pm

Shadow191, you are correct. Encouraging clients to buy the maximum death benefit always leads to a higher premium. Obviously. We "don't like" term insurance. We are "encouraged" to sell the maximum amount of whole life insurance as the centerpiece of the clients financial picture. I am pretty green and I can see right through the BS methods they use and basically in the end its all about the highest premiums.



Anyway, I dropped an email to the Merrill Lynch branch manager with my resume and his regional director called an hour later. Quick service. Have an interview tomorrow.


Jul 31, 2007 5:18 pm

Encouraging clients to buy the maximum death benefit always leads to a higher premium


Ummm.... no.

Jul 31, 2007 5:26 pm

Oh? Explain Dust Bunny

Jul 31, 2007 5:47 pm

We are "encouraged" to sell the maximum amount of whole life insurance as the centerpiece of the clients financial picture.


So you are saying that with your young attorney client who makes $100,000/year and has a take home pay of $60,000 and has discretionary income of $1,000/month, you are expected to sell a $2,500/month, $3,000,000 whole life policy.  I have to call B.S. on this one.   


I am pretty green


Yes, it shows.   Whether you stay or go, you owe it to yourself to learn more about life insurance.  You can make a ton of money doing without ever overselling a client.  The maximum amount of life insurance makes sense in many, but not all situations. 

Jul 31, 2007 6:12 pm

First, IIRC you were hired by an insurance agency.  The fact you are now complaining you have to sell insurance is ridiculous. 


If I also remember, the agency you were hired to do investments in supports LEAP.  I practice LEAP, and nowhere does it say that you have to sell the maximum amount of insurance available.  Nor does it say term is bad, it's merely one way to get an appropriate amount of insurance on someone. 


It does, however, encourage you to let a client know that they can buy more than 'what is needed'.  LEAP also proves that WL, when utilized properly, can enhance ALL of a client's assets.  But you seem pretty close-minded about the whole thing, so maybe this job situation isn't the best for you.  I'll admit, LEAP takes some getting used to, because it blows up alot of the theories of traditional financial planning.  But I can't tell you how many times clients have thanked me for showing them all the pros and cons of a product/strategy and showed them the best one for their situation without bias.

Jul 31, 2007 9:28 pm

LEAP does get some getting used to. I think I would rather put in sweat equity at a wirehouse. What say you?

Our GA explicitly said that we want to "sell the maximum amount of insurance" a death benefit of 20 times annual income. I promise this.

Jul 31, 2007 9:39 pm

I don't understand how you guys can't figure this out.  He is likely being persuaded to sell the BLEND with the highest whole/variable/UL component that the premium will support.  This WILL lead to higher commission.  You can sell the same DB and one way it will generate a $10,000 commission while the same DB could mean $1000 commission.
And yeah, if he is selling it as an "investment," which he is quickly finding out it IS NOT, he will be pushing a full VUL policy, no term.

Jul 31, 2007 9:40 pm
Closer:

LEAP does get some getting used to. I think I would rather put in sweat equity at a wirehouse. What say you?

Our GA explicitly said that we want to "sell the maximum amount of insurance" a death benefit of 20 times annual income. I promise this.


Non-Closer, "want to" and "must" are two different things. Don't you care enough about your clients to make them suffer a little today, in order to put them on easy street later?

Jul 31, 2007 9:53 pm

Our GA explicitly said that we want to "sell the maximum amount of insurance" a death benefit of 20 times annual income. I promise this.


Closer, that is a statement that I believe.  What I was trying to say is that whether you sell 10x, 20x, or 30x, the premium will be the same.  The only difference will be the combination of term vs. WL.  20x is very reasonable for someone with a young family.


Client makes $100,000.  He wants family to maintain standard of living.  He buys $2,000,000 of coverage.  Fairly safely, the family can take 4% out of this death benefit and increase this with inflation.   In other words, $2,000,000 is the equivalent to $80,000/year.


Theironhorse, he's not selling UL.  He's not selling VUL.  He's selling WL and term.  He's not selling it as an investment.  WL when properly sold gets sold as a long term savings vehicle.  One thing that LEAP tries to do is help people understand the importance of long term savings and how this impacts everything that a person does financially.  There is no question that LEAP agents sell more term insurance than other agents.  They do a hell of a job of protecting widows and orphans. 


I am not a LEAP practioner.


If you are not selling 20x income, in many cases, you may be guaranteeing that if premature death occurs, the family won't be able to live the way that the dead bread winner would want.

Jul 31, 2007 9:56 pm

Yep. Also.

1 - There is always a stigma associated with life insurance.

2 - Life insurance isn't suitable for everyone, investing almost always is.

Jul 31, 2007 9:56 pm

Closer, I have a feeling that you are with a great agency and simply are still too green to see it.  You are only 3 months in and are probably having a lot of failure which will cloud your judgment.  Give it more time before you make a decision.  Bust your ass for at least a year before you even think about making a move.


The move to a wirehouse will ultimately mean lower payouts on investments and insurance that has to go through the grid.  Stick it out for a while and you'll earn the right to do things the way that you would like.

Jul 31, 2007 9:58 pm
Closer:

Yep. Also.

1 - There is always a stigma associated with life insurance.

2 - Life insurance isn't suitable for everyone, investing almost always is.


No wonder you're failing.

Jul 31, 2007 10:00 pm

1 - There is always a stigma associated with life insurance.


That stigma is in your own head.  The only people who have it seem to be wirehouse reps.

2 - Life insurance isn't suitable for everyone, investing almost always is.


Life insurance is suitable for everyone who cares what happens at their death or will care in the future.   You're wrong about investing.  Many people should not be investing.  Other things must come first: Life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, savings, no high interest debt are just a few things that must come before investing.