Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

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neurosphere
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Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Fri May 19, 2017 3:36 pm

I have a resident who was sent an email by a person who works at an advisory firm and asked for my opinion about the suggestions. It's a typical emotion-laden plea or sales pitch for buying all sorts of things he doesn't need, some things he does need, and some suggestions for things he needs but not "in that way" (i.e. a suggestion that he and his spouse each buy $10M term life).

In an email he wrote
P.S. I would like to mail you both a book to read. I promise it is very short and wouldn't take you any longer than an hour and a half at most. Let me know if that would be OK with you and where to send it.


I'm wondering if anyone knows what book this might be. I can only assume it's designed to sell more product, whether asset management, insurance, legal services (he wants to get their will/trust/etc business too). Is there perhaps a "standard" or "typical" book this might be?

I'm thinking of telling this student to tell the advisor that he'd prefer to purchase the book on his own and ask for the name. I'm wondering if this is simply a way to get their home address though? I don't know who initiated contact (it could have been the resident, I told him he could find cheaper rates on his existing life insurance by going to term4sale and perhaps this is where he ended up).

NS

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri May 19, 2017 3:50 pm

I expect the "book" (really a short story if it's a 90 minute read) is part of a sales pitch using some consumer psychology. One, the saleman gets a "yes" from them to order the book. Two, the salesman has offered them something of "value" which they accepted. Three, there are probably several examples of services or product at least of interest to them. He'll call to follow up, and they have given him permission to do so by taking the book.


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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by David Jay » Fri May 19, 2017 6:24 pm

I'll bet it isn't "If You Can". :happy

[edit] My favorite quote is: "Act as if every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesman and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal."
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by Mel Lindauer » Fri May 19, 2017 7:59 pm

David Jay wrote:I'll bet it isn't "If You Can". :happy


And I'll guarantee you that it isn't The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing. :D
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by CppCoder » Fri May 19, 2017 8:18 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:
David Jay wrote:I'll bet it isn't "If You Can". :happy


And I'll guarantee you that it isn't The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing. :D


How would you know? Are you the author or something? :D :D :D

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 10:08 am

ObliviousInvestor wrote:If I had to guess, this would be my guess:
http://www.nickmurray.com/bkwealth.htm


Yeah, that would seem one likely candidate, yes.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by danny9m » Sat May 20, 2017 10:19 am

I bet the book is Why the stuff I'm selling makes sense for you.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by Kencufc » Sat May 20, 2017 10:26 am

I think I got this same pitch when I was in residency! For the life of me I can't remember butthe title was something about the wealthy physician or something like that. In a nutshell, it was about how awesome whole life insurance is and touted the benefits of borrowing your own money and paying someone else the interest!

I have tried to educate my residents about finance. I find that maybe 5% of them have any interest at all. The others mostly glaze over like it was a first year cell biology lecture or something.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by livesoft » Sat May 20, 2017 10:48 am

Fisher Investments has ads all over the internet touting their free book.
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 11:01 am

David Jay wrote:I'll bet it isn't "If You Can". :happy

[edit] My favorite quote is: "Act as if every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesman and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal."


One of my favorite lines, which is featured prominently in all the talks I give. I gave three lectures last week to three different residency/faculty programs and this concept of avoiding advisors is one of my points of emphasis. Those who already have advisors tend to appear uncomfortable. :)

I give all prospective clients a copy of If You Can via email when they first contact me and tell them to read it, which occasionally causes some cognitive dissonance, ha ha.

Mel Lindauer wrote:
David Jay wrote:I'll bet it isn't "If You Can". :happy


And I'll guarantee you that it isn't The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing. :D


I do actually give books to clients. But I don't ask for permission to send it, I just send them out, unlike my resident's (potential?) advisor. The Boglehead's Guide is in the rotation, along with a bound/paper copy of If You Can. Common Sense and Four Pillars occasionally get sent to select folks who I think may actually read them and get something out of them.

NS
-- Real name: Sotirios Keros. If you have to ask "Is a Target Retirement fund right for me?", the answer is yes.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by nedsaid » Sat May 20, 2017 11:23 am

Nuerosphere:

I knew from your previous posts that you are a financial advisor. Have to admire your intellectual honesty and your sending out of Boglehead books to your clients. It gets back to the question of why someone would need your services and what value added you provide your clients. You are on the one hand telling people that they can do this themselves and on the other hand offering your services.

The answer would be that a lot of your services are investor education and good old handholding when the markets look tough. I suppose that you look at the bigger picture of your clients' finances and thus your services are more than portfolio management.

My take is that most investors would benefit from a good advisor. First, you have the benefit of the advisor's experience. It is instructive to learn from other people's mistakes so that you don't have to make them yourself. Second, there are peripheral issues that can get quite complex. When do I start taking Social Security? What is a sustainable withdrawal rate? How do I make provision for long term care? Should I annuitize a portion of my nest egg? Stuff like that. A third reason is that we all have blind spots and an advisor can see things in an instant that we have missed. A fourth reason is that we just cannot know everything. An advisor who does this full-time should be more knowledgeable than us part-timers.
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 11:29 am

Kencufc wrote:I think I got this same pitch when I was in residency! For the life of me I can't remember butthe title was something about the wealthy physician or something like that. In a nutshell, it was about how awesome whole life insurance is and touted the benefits of borrowing your own money and paying someone else the interest!

I have tried to educate my residents about finance. I find that maybe 5% of them have any interest at all. The others mostly glaze over like it was a first year cell biology lecture or something.


I imagine it's a book similar to the one you describe about whole life or other such insurance products.

I too used to find that residents didn't have an interest in finance. But I'm finding that when I give talks, most of the medical students and residents are highly enthusiastic. One large internal medicine program has invited me back for a total of 5 lectures this past year, which were all very well attended (I think they were mandatory though and they served lunch, and maybe they'd rather hear about finances than another lecture on EKGs or whatever).

If you are interested, I just uploaded a copy of one of the talks I gave this past week. It was a two hour slot, but we still didn't get to all the slides. Note that there is a lot of "talking" and anecdotes about some topics (e.g. negotiating and how to find salary info) which are not covered in the slides. Also, some of the slides are for my reference, similar to a teleprompter.

Anyway, you can find a pdf copy (for a limited time) here: https://www.doctoredmoney.org/temporary ... older-page. Note that it was given to a group of residents/faculty who can expect (or already have) a relatively high salary than most academic specialties. I have another talk designed for pediatrics (my specialty) with a decidedly different set of numbers!

I should put a copy of this on the Financial Literacy Project page someday: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... cy_project
-- Real name: Sotirios Keros. If you have to ask "Is a Target Retirement fund right for me?", the answer is yes.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by nedsaid » Sat May 20, 2017 11:42 am

I went through your slides and is was good stuff. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by CABob » Sat May 20, 2017 12:12 pm

Many years ago I did receive a book from an adviser. It was Stocks for the long run by Siegle. It doesn't fit the 90 minute read category so I don't think that would be it. Perhaps something more along the lines of other ideas, i.e. more of a sales pitch. :twisted:
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by pqwerty » Sat May 20, 2017 12:39 pm

My dad's Edward Jones advisor gave us a book as a wedding present ... I have never even met the dude. I read it .... basically one of those "give up Starbucks and you can be a millionaire". I brought it on the honeymoon but didn't make it all the way though... :sharebeer

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 12:52 pm

nedsaid wrote:Neurosphere:

I knew from your previous posts that you are a financial advisor. Have to admire your intellectual honesty and your sending out of Boglehead books to your clients. It gets back to the question of why someone would need your services and what value added you provide your clients. You are on the one hand telling people that they can do this themselves and on the other hand offering your services.



Yes, I think I have intellectual honesty too, but of course everyone believes they are intellectually honest, no? However, no one is immune from conflicts, including me. But I benefit from the fact that I have other skills which currently are far more lucrative than hourly financial planning. The more financial planning I do, the lower my income. It also helps that I have all the business I need. My website essentially says I'm going to put them in a three-fund portfolio, so why can't they do that themselves? Maybe things would be different if I depended on this job to "feed my family". Maybe I'd join a firm and charge 1% AUM and sell whole-life. :twisted:

But I'll give one example of what people do indeed need. I got a call yesterday from a physician who has been in practice for almost 9 years and has not contributed a single dollar to his 401k. The reason was "because I could not figure out how to decide whether to choose TIAA or Vanguard". Some people are simply paralyzed by the tiniest of decisions.

In my financial talks I have a catch-phrase I like a lot: "If you don't know enough to know whether a Target Date fund is right for you, it's right for you". And I follow with something like "if for some reason it is NOT right for you, it remains right for you until you learn/understand what is better for you". Now they don't need an advisor for investment management. :wink:

The answer would be that a lot of your services are investor education and good old handholding when the markets look tough. I suppose that you look at the bigger picture of your clients' finances and thus your services are more than portfolio management.


Sometime I tell people that they are paying me for financial planning, and I'm throwing in portfolio management for free. Which is the opposite of a typical AUM advisor, who is getting paid continuously to do something easy once the portfolio is set up, while (likely) reluctantly providing financial planning.

I have rarely (yet) had the need to handhold. I do get occasional emails like "should I wait to make my Roth contribution, the market seems to be too high?", or "last month was great, should I take some off the table?". But I remind them that we had addressed these questions at the outset. That the plan anticipated all these questions and the answers. So I actually don't "reassure" them, other than to say the long term plan was designed with these uncertainties in mind and I have zero insights into the market's direction and neither does anyone else. But I don't hold their assets, and I can't stop them from logging into their accounts and making changes. Maybe they do it anyway.

When do I start taking Social Security? What is a sustainable withdrawal rate? How do I make provision for long term care? Should I annuitize a portion of my nest egg? Stuff like that. A third reason is that we all have blind spots and an advisor can see things in an instant that we have missed. A fourth reason is that we just cannot know everything. An advisor who does this full-time should be more knowledgeable than us part-timers.


Yes, but how does one know whether the advisor is any good at answering these questions? Look at how much debate there is here on BH about withdrawal rates, for example. And questions like annuitizing a portfolio can be exceedingly complex. I've been fortunate that my clients tend to either be people in the accumulation phase, for which annuitizing or similar considerations is not relevant, or older folks approaching retirement with many many millions of dollars who clearly have no need to do so. I think I would decline to take a client who had that kind of pending decision. I like to stick to areas which are well within my comfort zone.

Anyway, I've gone far afield from your original point, which is how I reconcile the fact that I tell people they don't need me, but then offer services. I guess the point is that people HAVE to figure out for themselves what it is they actually need and why. If someone wants to work with me (or any other advisor (me or otherwise) after being told I'm a charlatan and a crook, then perhaps they do have "issues" and that I can probably help them. Or they just can come to Bogleheads and ask their questions, and I'll bet 90% of the they'll get enough good advice not to need an advisor. But no one had done so. E.g during times I'm not accepting new clients, I'll occasionally tell folks to get a head start on their educations by coming here to post their initial sets of questions, and maybe realize they can go it alone. But if they were inclined to do that, they would have done it prior to contacting me I guess.

Ned, I have read many of your posts regarding your thoughts on the benefit of advisors. And I don't necessarily disagree. But I'm wondering if you overestimate the "calming" effect an advisor might have in any major downturn. Because during such a time, there will be plenty OTHER advisors advertising their "success" at having avoided such a thing for their clients, or being better able to take advantage of this new "crash" or whatever, which would then cause the client to reconsider their original choice of advisor? :confused
-- Real name: Sotirios Keros. If you have to ask "Is a Target Retirement fund right for me?", the answer is yes.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 12:55 pm

pqwerty wrote:My dad's Edward Jones advisor gave us a book as a wedding present ... I have never even met the dude. I read it .... basically one of those "give up Starbucks and you can be a millionaire". I brought it on the honeymoon but didn't make it all the way though... :sharebeer


Maybe we should all write a book which says "buy/rent half the house you want, stick with what you need, and you can drink all the Starbucks you want and STILL become a millionaire".
:sharebeer

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by CABob » Sat May 20, 2017 1:26 pm

In my financial talks I have a catch-phrase I like a lot: "If you don't know enough to know whether a Target Date fund is right for you, it's right for you". And I follow with something like "if for some reason it is NOT right for you, it remains right for you until you learn/understand what is better for you". Now they don't need an adviser for investment management. :wink:

I like it. I may plagiarize those lines if they are not copy written.
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 1:35 pm

CABob wrote:
In my financial talks I have a catch-phrase I like a lot: "If you don't know enough to know whether a Target Date fund is right for you, it's right for you". And I follow with something like "if for some reason it is NOT right for you, it remains right for you until you learn/understand what is better for you". Now they don't need an adviser for investment management. :wink:

I like it. I may plagiarize those lines if they are not copy written.


You mean I could have copywritten those? :oops:

You can use them, sure. I just kindly request attribution verbally (at least 24 seconds of verbal time mentioning my name) or if written, my name must be in at least 48-point font. :wink:

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by nedsaid » Sat May 20, 2017 1:54 pm

neurosphere wrote:
But I'll give one example of what people do indeed need. I got a call yesterday from a physician who has been in practice for almost 9 years and has not contributed a single dollar to his 401k. The reason was "because I could not figure out how to decide whether to choose TIAA or Vanguard". Some people are simply paralyzed by the tiniest of decisions.

Nedsaid: People freeze because they get overwhelmed with information. You also have to separate the wheat from the chaff, in other words, there is a lot of bad information and advice out there. The most important thing is just to get started. Pretty much I started out with a Bank CD IRA, and a workplace savings plan. Later on, I moved my Bank CD IRA to a full-service brokerage and started a mutual fund IRA. I don't recommend going to a full-service brokerage but that is what I did and it worked out okay. The point was that I got started.

In my financial talks I have a catch-phrase I like a lot: "If you don't know enough to know whether a Target Date fund is right for you, it's right for you". And I follow with something like "if for some reason it is NOT right for you, it remains right for you until you learn/understand what is better for you". Now they don't need an advisor for investment management. :wink:

Nedsaid: This is pretty much what I tell people with workplace savings plans. If you don't know what to do, pick the Target Date Retirement Fund that corresponds with your retirement date or pick a moderate risk fund. These funds have their flaws but are vastly superior to what most people would do on their own.

Sometime I tell people that they are paying me for financial planning, and I'm throwing in portfolio management for free. Which is the opposite of a typical AUM advisor, who is getting paid continuously to do something easy once the portfolio is set up, while (likely) reluctantly providing financial planning.

Nedsaid: Really and truly, the financial planning piece is what is most needed and the business model needs to go this direction. I was really taken with the Merriman people and thought about investing through them but I balked at the 1% Assets Under Management Fee. At the time, they provided other services included in the fee. The $64,000 question is what is the correct price for this service? There is no clear answer, my best guess is about $250 an hour or 0.50% a year AUM. Again, there is a critical mass of clients and dollars that the advisor has to achieve in order to make a living.

I have rarely (yet) had the need to handhold. I do get occasional emails like "should I wait to make my Roth contribution, the market seems to be too high?", or "last month was great, should I take some off the table?". But I remind them that we had addressed these questions at the outset. That the plan anticipated all these questions and the answers. So I actually don't "reassure" them, other than to say the long term plan was designed with these uncertainties in mind and I have zero insights into the market's direction and neither does anyone else. But I don't hold their assets, and I can't stop them from logging into their accounts and making changes. Maybe they do it anyway.

Nedsaid: This is where a set of strong beliefs comes in. I recommend writing up an Investment Policy Statement for this reason. A good set of beliefs and a good written plan takes care of a lot of this. But yet I still like to "call my money", something about an informed voice on the other side of the phone that is reassuring to me. There is a lot to successful investing that is emotional and not necessarily rational.


When do I start taking Social Security? What is a sustainable withdrawal rate? How do I make provision for long term care? Should I annuitize a portion of my nest egg? Stuff like that. A third reason is that we all have blind spots and an advisor can see things in an instant that we have missed. A fourth reason is that we just cannot know everything. An advisor who does this full-time should be more knowledgeable than us part-timers.


Yes, but how does one know whether the advisor is any good at answering these questions? Look at how much debate there is here on BH about withdrawal rates, for example. And questions like annuitizing a portfolio can be exceedingly complex. I've been fortunate that my clients tend to either be people in the accumulation phase, for which annuitizing or similar considerations is not relevant, or older folks approaching retirement with many many millions of dollars who clearly have no need to do so. I think I would decline to take a client who had that kind of pending decision. I like to stick to areas which are well within my comfort zone.

Nedsaid: Good that you know your circle of competence. My thinking is that as you get older, you will personally get more interested in these topics as they will have more importance to you. I also suspect your clientele will age with you and thus your interests will be in alignment. You may over the years become quite the expert on sustainable withdrawal strategies in retirement. I know that I have been informing myself on these issues best I can.

Anyway, I've gone far afield from your original point, which is how I reconcile the fact that I tell people they don't need me, but then offer services. I guess the point is that people HAVE to figure out for themselves what it is they actually need and why. If someone wants to work with me (or any other advisor (me or otherwise) after being told I'm a charlatan and a crook, then perhaps they do have "issues" and that I can probably help them. Or they just can come to Bogleheads and ask their questions, and I'll bet 90% of the they'll get enough good advice not to need an advisor. But no one had done so. E.g during times I'm not accepting new clients, I'll occasionally tell folks to get a head start on their educations by coming here to post their initial sets of questions, and maybe realize they can go it alone. But if they were inclined to do that, they would have done it prior to contacting me I guess.

Nedsaid: It is a pretty good clue that I am mostly a do-it-yourself investor and yet I have sought out advice. Bogleheads alone doesn't seem to be enough for me and frankly I am not enough for me. I cannot be alone in my thinking. It really boils down to who do I trust and how much am I willing to pay?

Ned, I have read many of your posts regarding your thoughts on the benefit of advisors. And I don't necessarily disagree. But I'm wondering if you overestimate the "calming" effect an advisor might have in any major downturn. Because during such a time, there will be plenty OTHER advisors advertising their "success" at having avoided such a thing for their clients, or being better able to take advantage of this new "crash" or whatever, which would then cause the client to reconsider their original choice of advisor? :confused

Nedsaid: I have worked with an independent broker for about 20 years now, I call him Broker #4. What was impressive to me was that once he sent me a .pdf of a Brinson, Beebower, and Hood study on the returns of pension funds. Pretty much it said that selection of asset classes and not selection of individual securities were the primary determinant of investment returns. As I recall, it also cast doubt on the efficacy of active management. It was impressive that he has told me on several occasions that he didn't have the answer to my question. To me, honesty and trustworthiness is really big. In other words, my B.S. detector doesn't go off.

The thing is, anyone can claim anything. They can brag about outperforming the indexes or can brag about timing that kept their clients out of bear markets. If you pay attention, after a while you get a sense for what is achievable in the investment world and what is not. Things will ring true or they won't. When someone admits the limitations of what they can deliver, that is a good indication that you are working with somebody good.


A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Sat May 20, 2017 2:09 pm

CABob wrote:
In my financial talks I have a catch-phrase I like a lot: "If you don't know enough to know whether a Target Date fund is right for you, it's right for you". And I follow with something like "if for some reason it is NOT right for you, it remains right for you until you learn/understand what is better for you". Now they don't need an adviser for investment management. :wink:

I like it. I may plagiarize those lines if they are not copy written.

Just another vote saying: this is really good.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 2:32 pm

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
CABob wrote:
In my financial talks I have a catch-phrase I like a lot: "If you don't know enough to know whether a Target Date fund is right for you, it's right for you". And I follow with something like "if for some reason it is NOT right for you, it remains right for you until you learn/understand what is better for you". Now they don't need an adviser for investment management. :wink:

I like it. I may plagiarize those lines if they are not copy written.

Just another vote saying: this is really good.


Thanks Mike!

I know you are a big fan keeping it very simple, and in all-in-one funds like the Life Strategy Funds. I'm glad target date funds have become ubiquitous in employer plans. Some are better than others, but it makes answering those "hey can I ask you a quick question about my 401k" questions much easier now. If they are asking me for asset allocation advice, I have a ready answer!

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by Raabe34 » Sat May 20, 2017 3:36 pm

neurosphere wrote:
ObliviousInvestor wrote:If I had to guess, this would be my guess:
http://www.nickmurray.com/bkwealth.htm


Yeah, that would seem one likely candidate, yes.



If it is anything other than that book its a sales pitch.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by nisiprius » Sat May 20, 2017 4:15 pm

I bet that the "book" is 32 pages or less in length, and "saddle-stitched" (stapled).

There's a long-standing tradition of referring to booklets as "books," often with rhetoric "free book, jam-packed with all the information you need to get started on building a better life today!"

I'll further bet that it is printed on very heavy stock, glossy pages, beautiful four-color photographs, and that it includes pictures of people smiling, looking at computer screens containing zig-zaggy lines that go up.

If it's a hardcover, Smyth-sewn book from a major publisher I lose my bet.
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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by marbleous » Sat May 20, 2017 4:41 pm

Just posting so I can reference neurosphere in the future.

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Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

Post by neurosphere » Sat May 20, 2017 6:49 pm

nisiprius wrote:I bet that the "book" is 32 pages or less in length, and "saddle-stitched" (stapled).

There's a long-standing tradition of referring to booklets as "books," often with rhetoric "free book, jam-packed with all the information you need to get started on building a better life today!"

I'll further bet that it is printed on very heavy stock, glossy pages, beautiful four-color photographs, and that it includes pictures of people smiling, looking at computer screens containing zig-zaggy lines that go up.

If it's a hardcover, Smyth-sewn book from a major publisher I lose my bet.


Smyth-sewn hardcover? Heck, a regular glued paperback would be impressive enough.

I'm with you Nisi, in that there is a good chance that the "book"(let) is not something I can buy in a bookstore or on amazon, and may be a promotional brochure-type "book" with glossy pages (insert 8x10 color glossy Arlo Guthrie joke here) and smiling people.

I'm not sure if this gives any additional useful info, but this firm promotes their use of the "living balance sheet" software. And I believe they are a subsidiary of or affiliated with Guardian Life? Actually, they call themselves an "agency" of Guardian Life Insurance Co.

I'm not curious enough to have my resident engage the advisor any further and allow him to send the book. Although, I don't think he'll fall prey to any sales pitch. He's simply looking to buy term life, and he knows enough that he doesn't need any other insurance products.

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