We look forward to the Van Mueller newsletter every month. It's chock-full of sound bites, sales tips, and eye-opening statistics. Here are our favorite parts of the July 2019 edition. We're sharing the full introduction, and 2 of the 7 monthly sales ideas. If you like what you read, we encourage you to click here and become a subscriber.
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July, 2019 – 7 Ideas and Views Newsletter by Van Mueller
Since last month’s newsletter I have been blessed with the opportunity to do quite a bit of speaking. I have done eleven speeches for seven different companies or organizations. I still managed to write enough business, so I would qualify for MDRT in one month in June. After all, my primary vocation is being an insurance and financial professional. I AM NOT A SPEAKER! I am an insurance and financial professional who speaks. My most important responsibility is to inspire prospects and clients to take action, I AM NOT A TEACHER. Many agents tell me they work hard to know their products, so they can teach prospects and clients about life insurance, annuities, investments and health insurance of all kinds, etc.
I always respond by asking if it would be okay if I asked them a question. Do they understand that when they attempt to teach prospects and clients about our products they will most likely be paid what a teacher is paid? I then ask, aren’t the agents and advisors who inspire customers to take action paid the big bucks? Have you ever heard the phrase, “There is no teaching, there is only learning”? If our customers are not ready and willing to learn there is no possibility of teaching them anything. Yet, most of the people in our industry persist in their attempts to teach rather than inspire even though they NEVER find the success they are endeavoring to achieve. If you have been a regular reader of this newsletter you know that teaching is telling people data and information. Asking people questions inspires then to search for knowledge and wisdom. Think about that. Aren’t our prospects and clients overwhelmed with data and information? Wouldn’t our most important responsibility be to inspire and assist those same prospects and clients to create strategies that convert all the enormous abundance of data and information into knowledge and wisdom that is perfect for their particular situation? By asking questions wouldn’t they understand better how we are trying to help them if it was their idea?
Wouldn’t our most important responsibility be to inspire and assist those same prospects and clients to create strategies that convert all the enormous abundance of data and information into knowledge and wisdom that is perfect for their particular situation?
We all have such an important responsibility to the American people at this current juncture of economic history. It is our time!! We are the most important insurance and financial professionals. Why? We are the only professionals in our industry who Ask questions. Isn’t it true that the other professionals in our industry Answer questions? Don’t accountants, attorneys, bankers and trust officers mostly answer questions? In fact, these professionals only answer questions if you go to them? How many of our customers even know what to ask of those professionals and doesn’t that even include us? Don’t you see how powerful you are? You are the only people in our profession who do what you do. You are unique. Isn’t that one of the factors that is important in achieving success in our business? The goal for us as financial professionals is to be unique. We are different and better than anyone else because we ask questions that help our prospects and clients clarify what they must do to achieve financial independence and retirement success.
This is why I worry. This is why I continue to work hard to improve as a speaker. In all of those eleven speeches I still don’t feel like I have made it clear enough. Help is not coming from government. We will have to bail out the government. We will have to bail out the federal government, most of the state governments, county governments, city governments, townships, municipalities, etc. None of these entities have half of the money that will be required to keep the promises made to retirees for pension and health care benefits.
We will have to bail out the federal government, most of the state governments, county governments, city governments, townships, municipalities, etc. None of these entities have half of the money that will be required to keep the promises made to retirees for pension and health care benefits.
Wall Street is a mess. Think about this: Unemployment is at a 50-year low. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is growing at 3 percent. More than it has in a decade. Inflation is officially hovering around 2 percent. As I am writing this a 10-year U.S. Government bond is paying 2 percent. A 30-year U.S. Government bond is paying around 2.75 percent. Can you imagine locking your money up for 30 years and only receiving 2.75 percent as your reward? In spite of all that supposedly spectacular economic news the President and Wall Street are badgering and cajoling the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates even more. You do understand, the economy has essentially free money. Think about this; if you borrow money at 3 percent and you pay combined 33 percent federal and state tax your net cost is two percent. If you then apply two percent inflation your net result is zero. Can you imagine if inflation increased to only four or five or six percent? You would actually be paid by our government to have that loan. Even a high-risk loan of 10 percent in the same 33 percent tax bracket and two percent inflation has a net cost of only five percent. That is very little cost for a high-risk borrower. Why do you think we are seeing all this building? Money is essentially free. There is no risk. We will build now and worry about making the payments later. Banks and lenders can take extraordinary risks lending free money for only one reason. They really have no risk. The government will bail them out. If the government doesn’t have the money, they will just print more money.
Banks and lenders can take extraordinary risks lending free money for only one reason. They really have no risk. The government will bail them out. If the government doesn’t have the money, they will just print more money.
So, in addition to much higher legislative taxes in the future called income taxes, we will have spectacular administrative taxes in the future called inflation. Who will really be punished for all this foolishness? You are absolutely correct. Won’t it be the taxpayers and the savers? Taxpayers will pay more taxes and savers will buy less goods and services because their money will have less purchasing power. Who can reduce or eliminate higher income taxes in the future? Isn’t it our industry? Who can off-set inflation by never losing any money, taking advantage of investment opportunities, and using pennies to buy dollars? Isn’t it our industry?
ARE YOU GETTING EXCITED?
Why are Wall Street and the banks still looking for lower interest rates? Aren’t we supposed to be enjoying one of the best economies of our lives? This is all a façade. This is all being done at the expense of the middle-class saver. Currently, many banks are leveraged 35 to 1. That means only 3 percent of that leverage has to default and that bank is insolvent. How can they get away with that? Well that has been going on for a generation. In 1998 the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management had exposure to a trillion dollars of government bonds. It was managed by previous winners of Nobel Prizes in Economics. They made a bet that interest rates would go one way and lo and behold they went the opposite way. The losses were in the billions. If the government and Federal Reserve hadn’t bailed them out it would have brought down our economy. Many people thought we started doing this in 2007 and 2008. We had already been bailing out government, Wall Street and the banks for a decade before 2007 and 2008 even happened. That’s where the phrase “Too big to fail” started. We bailed out Nobel Prize winners in Economics. We set a terrible precedent. Now, all of these entities feel comfortable taking ridiculous risks because the Federal Reserve continues to bail out government, Wall Street and the banks.
Many people thought we started doing this in 2007 and 2008. We had already been bailing out government, Wall Street and the banks for a decade before 2007 and 2008 even happened.
So, who pays? Well, as we said before taxpayers pay. Many times, customers say, “We do.” There is no, “We do” in America. Out of 340 million Americans, there are now only 125 million taxpayers in our country. Go to www.usdebtclock.org to verify that information.
Who also pays? Isn’t it the savers? In a recent study it was disclosed that during the last 5 years of really low interest rates, savers lost $4,243 of interest due to low interest rates versus normal interest rates.
Who benefits from all these ridiculously low interest rates? Isn’t it the investors? How much longer before we pay the price for all this market manipulation? Scientifically and mathematically doesn’t everything in the investment world eventually revert to its mean? Doesn’t that mean that stock market returns will be lower for the next decade? Doesn’t that mean that interest rates and income taxes will be higher? Doesn’t that create a magnificent opportunity for us to plan and help our prospects and clients develop strategies that not only keep them safe from these economic challenges, wouldn’t it be amazing if they could be positioned to take advantage of those challenges.
That is why I worry. I still do not feel I have done a good enough job of asking you questions that will inspire you to an understanding of how vitally important it is that you do what you do to the best of your ability. The insurance and financial professionals of this country are the most important people in the country currently. They can ask the questions that are not being asked. They can make sure Americans are giving consideration to the issues that must be considered. If Americans wait for the government, Wall Street or the banks to ask these questions they will be waiting a long time.
If Americans wait for the government, Wall Street or the banks to ask these questions they will be waiting a long time.
Another thing I hope you understand is that the very least that must happen is that you MUST ask the questions. Even if they don’t buy right now, they will remember that you were the only one that asked the questions ahead of time. Please also remember that this is a spectacular career move. Every American that you keep safe during the next downturn will become a raving lunatic fan. They will tell everyone what you did for them. You will probably never have to prospect again. Just kidding. That is your primary function for having a successful career. Prospecting enough to create enough appointments. No matter what anyone tells you, the secret to success in our business is not study, it is practicing questions enough so that you can become conversational, so you can inspire people to give consideration to wanting an answer to those questions. That will allow you to have enough appointments. You also notice that I continue to repeat this message as often as possible. That is also a very important skill we must all learn in our industry. Don’t assume prospects and clients or anyone for that matter hears what you are asking the first five or ten times you ask. How do you train husbands, children, insurance agents, financial professionals, prospects and clients? Repetition, repetition, repetition. That is what I am doing with this newsletter. I am using repetition to remind all of you that this is the greatest time ever to be an insurance and financial professional. I want to remind all of us that questions and practice are the keys to having the skills necessary to inspire our prospects and clients to take action. If you are product driven I want to remind everyone, including myself, that this is the greatest time ever to sell cash value life insurance. For the first time ever, circumstances have created a scenario where you are the competition if you sell cash value life insurance. This is the most versatile financial product ever created in the mind of a human being. It does many things with the same dollar. That dollar can be bought at a substantial discount. I ask prospects and clients this question all the time. “Do you know of any other financial vehicle that can do all these things with the same dollar that cash value life insurance can?” They don’t. When they come to the realization by themselves they feel enlightened. It’s like they have discovered something very few other people know, they like that.
For the first time ever, circumstances have created a scenario where you are the competition if you sell cash value life insurance. This is the most versatile financial product ever created in the mind of a human being.
I just read an article that interviewed billionaire Oak Tree Capital Management’s Co-Chair, Howard Marks. He declared that he has great concern because he is hearing from many investors and analysts that this time is different. The upward trend in the market will go on forever. He emphatically states that “This Time Is Not Different’ and Americans are setting themselves up for magnificent losses and destroyed financial futures. He shared 9 ridiculous hypotheses that if abided by could lead to dramatic failure for investors. Take a look at this list. This is quoted directly from the article:
1. There doesn’t have to be a recession.
2. Continuous quantitative easing can lead to permanent prosperity.
3. Federal deficits can grow substantially larger without becoming problematic.
4. National debt isn’t worrisome.
5. We can have economic strength without inflation.
6. Interest rates can remain “lower for longer.”
7. The inverted yield curve needn’t have negative implications.
8. Companies and stocks can thrive even in the absence of profits.
9. Growth investing can continue to outperform value investing in perpetuity.
Does most of this sound ridiculous? Isn’t that the consensus opinion of most Americans and most analysts? Do you understand the extreme danger these people are in because they are not prepared?
By the way, Warren Marks is considered a must-read investment guru by none other than Warren Buffet. Warren Marks identified the 2000 to 2002 dot-com bubble before it happened. He correctly predicted the 2007 and 2008 crisis before it happened. This man is very worried. Shouldn’t all of us be worried if a man with these credentials is predicting a serious economic debt crisis?
Warren Marks is considered a must-read investment guru by none other than Warren Buffet. Shouldn’t all of us be worried if a man with these credentials is predicting a serious economic debt crisis?
In an unpredictable world. In a world with ever-increasing volatility. A world that has more and more challenges that are not only caused by bad events but also have to deal with good events like living to long or having so much money that the government wants to come and take ever increasing amounts of your money, doesn’t a strategy funded by cash value life insurance become increasingly vital? In a world where discretionary money becomes less and less available, doesn’t that make dollars that can do the work of many dollars have more and more valuable? Isn’t that a perfect description of what cash value life insurance can do for our prospects and clients. When do you think our customers would want this information: Before or after our economy becomes difficult? Ask them. Do you want to continue to be hurt by all the difficult economic events that are happening in our country or do you want to develop a strategy that ALWAYS puts you in position to take advantage of what happens? The only requirement is that the strategy should be in place before all these events occur.
Clearly state these questions. Do you understand there is no cost or obligation for this information? You do understand that all I am going to do is ask you questions that will help you clarify how to be in control of those situations rather than be controlled by these situations. Wouldn’t it be nice that when I am finished you would be so pleased with the information that you would walk me to my car and hold my car door open for me? Shouldn’t you and your family and your business at the very least, know this information? Can you find 45 minutes in the next week or two, so I can ask you these questions?
You do understand that all I am going to do is ask you questions that will help you clarify how to be in control of those situations rather than be controlled by these situations.
Questions allow you to become very powerful. Do you see it?
One final thing before we start the sales ideas: Please pay particular attention to this information. Our industry is changing and changing rapidly. Government at every level is about to reintroduce fiduciary and best interest requirements. I believe most of us are aware of these coming changes. The thing that worries me is that many insurance agents are not aware that state governments and insurance commissions and securities overseers are starting to enforce “source of funds” rules. These are rules that say that if you take money out of a 401K or IRA or mutual fund or stock market that you must have a securities license. You are performing an illegal act if you do not have a securities license.
Also, I believe it will be increasingly difficult to show you are providing fiduciary guidance if you only have a securities license or you only have an insurance license. Many of the organizations we work for are beginning to recommend getting a series 65. This would qualify you as a fiduciary and you would reduce dramatically the difficulty that the “source of funds” rules will create. Please think carefully about this if you plan to have a long and illustrious career in our business.
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Idea #4: What to Do When Clients Die and What Should You Say to Widows
I am including in this month’s newsletter the follow-up to the article I provided last month about what NOT to say when a client dies. In this month’s article, Amy Florian includes 23 things to say if a client dies. She also included some pretty spectacular ideas about maintaining relationships with widows, widowers and family. I liked this article even more than last months. It helps me to be more confident on behalf of the family after a terrible loss caused by death.
I am also including a wonderful article by Mary Beth Franklin about how to deal with widows. She also includes some information in the article that I have been sharing with audiences for a while. More than 1 million women become widows every year. This has now built to a total of 13 million widows in our country. 70 percent of all women will experience widowhood. 80 percent of women die single. 80 percent of men die married. The average age of widowhood in our country is age 59. Most will live another 15 years or more alone. I hope this information will help you to address the concerns of our customers when they need us the most; these are three dynamic articles.
Title: What to Do When Clients Die
http://www.insurancenewsnetmagazine.com/ (Insurance News Net Magazine, June 2019)
Title: Know What To Say To Grieving Clients
https://www.investors.com/ (Investors' Business Daily, May 31, 2019)
Title: Dealing with widows requires empathy and patience
https://www.investmentnews.com/ (Investment News, May 23, 2019)
Idea #6: Millennials Won't Inherit the $30 to $60 Trillion from Their Parents
It was once thought that the Millennials would inherit an enormous amount of wealth from their parents and grandparents. That does not appear to be certain any longer.
First, the government will require an enormous increase of revenue in the future. Tax laws are being and will be adjusted to access this money. That alone could easily reduce that inheritance number by 30 or 40 percent.
Second, volatility could easily crash that number by 30 or 40 percent. If we have another crash, which is expected, Americans’ wealth will decrease back to its 2009 numbers.
Third, and this is a big one, are health care costs. It has been reported that in just 10 years it will require 100 percent of a retirees Social Security just to pay healthcare costs. That means these same retirees will have to use assets for food, clothing and shelter. That will diminish these assets. What’s the answer? We must get to these people before this happens and show them how to preserve, safely grow and leverage these valuable assets. When we are successful we will preserve this spectacular inheritance for our Millennials.
Title: Why Millennials Might Not See Much Of The $30 Trillion Wealth Transfer
https://www.fa-mag.com/ (Financial Advisor, June 13, 2019)
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