Monday, April 13, 2015

Life insurance paid for my lifestyle for 12 years; is it my karma that I should be able to sell it?

A piece in the Sunday Business section of the New York Times, “Risky moves in the game of life insurance,” link here.  (Is that an accidental tribute to the 1983 Tom Cruise movie "Risky Business"?) 
I spent the last twelve years of my mainstream IT career in life insurance and annuities, and a logical question would be, could I go out in sell it?  It had paid for my life, right?  And as I’ve often explained, I’m not a “huckster”.
Yet it seems, from the article, that a lot of the inner world of the life business is rather dry and boring. They talk about “captive reinsurance”.  Although I think that some additional reinsurance products could solve some anti-selection problems in the name of “fairness”, like health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
In the middle 2000’s I was contacted a couple times about becoming a “financial planner”.  I had even interviewed one who worked under the American Express Franchise brand.  I can’t see paying someone $800 a year to do this, so I can’t see selling a service you can do for yourself. 
Insurance agents do talk to families about their needs, and in the 1990s made a big deal about carrying laptops.  I sometimes wonder, who could someone who did not “reproduce” really plant himself in someone’s home and pretend he can “take care” of a big family’s finances.
It’s getting easier all the time for consumers to figure out their own needs online, and they need sales people less than in the past (although they may need the help with operations).  This is no longer a good world for “sales culture” (or the “Always be closing” line of the 2002 comedy film “100 Mile Rule”).  We are less social as a people, in terms of how we work together, than we used to be, and that might not be so good. 

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