Don’t Trust Me

By Mark Bertrang, The Creator of the Financialoscopy® on Thursday, November 2nd 2023


Don’t trust me just because I can tell a good story. When you are working with an advisor, a registered representative, or an agent of an insurance company, that relationship is often based on trust. We’ve learned to trust certain individuals in our life. We go to them because they have always steered us in the right direction. But I ask you today to not simply trust me. Don’t simply trust my team. Ask for verification.

Why am I discussing verification today? It is because I am a contract reader. I have the same experiences as you dealing with vendors and companies that I work with, and that’s why I’ve learned not to trust individuals. I don’t know if that individual is still going to be here tomorrow. I have had companies that I work with that have changed ownership not once, not twice, but three times. I know that the people that I’m working with today may not be here a year from now. The people I worked with 30 years ago aren’t here either. So, I learned to trust the numbers. I learned to trust the contracts.

One type of contract that is so important to me is the life insurance asset, specifically, the asset of a permanent whole life insurance policy. I want to make certain that these assets will be there for you and do the job they were intended to do. One of the services that we regularly provide is reviewing insurance plans that people already have with different companies, some of them many years old. When I go through the contract with people, I will often tell the owner, "Do not ever cancel this contract." Here’s why: we will go to the contract, take a red pen or a highlighter, and I will have them underline specific words in the contract that guarantee values, guaranteed to the dollar amount at certain ages.

We will compare what they have vs. what they could have today. Even if the contract is through a different company that I do not represent, and even if you don’t have an agent anymore for that contract, I will ask you to trust me. Keep the contract as is. Keep on paying your premium. Your premium will continue to build greater and greater value that can be used as a leverage tool during retirement. I will tell them to keep the contract because of all of these great guarantees built into the contract.

We have also had opposite situations while looking at the contract, the performance, and the guarantees.  What was promised? What are the things they thought were promised because they trusted someone, but they weren’t actually written into the contract? We will go through a contract with that red pen or highlighter. We will highlight the specific words in the contract so you can see if this is doing what it was promised to do.  Will this continue to grow or is there a chance the life insurance contract will die before you do? How does that change all of your plans? Do you have the guarantees that you want? Do you have the guarantees that you thought you had? If you don’t, would you like to know about the problem now or would you like to know about it in the future when it will really be a big problem?

Don’t trust individuals. I would love for you to trust me but don’t. I would love for you to be able to trust all the financial advisors in your life but don’t. Ask for proof of promises in writing. The most important proof is your life insurance contract. Find out what the contract says. Some of these contracts can be 30-50 pages or more. Some may even come with a prospectus. I encourage you to read them and take notes.

Over the last 35 years, I don’t know if I’ve had a single person read a prospectus from front to back. I know that no one has read their life insurance contracts outside of me sitting down with them, with a highlighter and a pen. I will walk through the contract together with you because I want to show you what you need to know. Our team reads contracts. Trust the contracts. Do not trust us. Do not put your hope and faith in a person who might be here today and gone tomorrow.

If you have a contract that you are uncertain about or you’ve always had some questions about, we can go through the contract with you. We may tell you, “Do not allow anyone, us included, to ever, ever talk you into getting rid of this contract” because this is an ironclad contract with great guarantees. We may also have to talk to you about issues and concerns we have about the life insurance asset that you have purchased.  Allow us to walk through those pages so you can highlight and make notes.  We want you to know what that contract does and doesn’t do.

If this has opened up a can of worms and you are now concerned about what your life insurance contract says, dig it out and allow us to walk through it with you so you can have trust and faith in your future. Perhaps now is the time to schedule your Financialoscopy®.  


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Securities offered by Fortune Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered by Interactive Financial Advisors, Inc. Bertrang Financial Corp. offers non-securities based insurance as an independent business. Bertrang Financial Corp., Fortune Financial Services, Inc. and Interactive Financial Advisors, Inc. are separate entities. © Bertrang Financial Corp. 2024
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