November 1, 2007


I have often regretted my speech, but never my silence. --- Publius Syrius

A lie told often enough becomes the truth. --- Lenin
Forget Universal Life and other forms of permanent insurance. Instead, buy term and invest the difference. That's the consensus among the public. We as individuals and an industry say little and what we say is seen as biased. So misconceptions persist and grow. And find a permanent home on the Internet.

There isn't much positive information about permanent life insurance or the folks who sell it. Consumers lump all insurance together: home, auto, life, medical, dental, disability, extended warranties, etc. A bad experience with one type, company or advisor, taints the rest.

Even so, should we remain silent and only enlighten new prospects? After all, "insurance is sold, not bought" and there are so few of us. If only there were more credible supporters (read Does Warren Buffett "Buy Term and Invest The Difference"? on Riscario Insider).

We arrive at the truth, not by the reason only, but also by the heart. --- Blaise Pascal
"A quite mathematically detailed and negative critique" in Universal Life: The Answer or the Problem? shows how strong views can be. I'm more worried about attacks in places with larger readership such as Million Dollar Journey where a CFP, CMA slams UL and gets an astounding 46 comments (11 on part 1 and 35 on part 2).

Ellen Roseman of The Toronto Star has many readers. Here's what one writes about UL on her blog: "I find a major problem in this industry is salespeople who either unknowingly or willingly recommend bad or incorrect products to their clients." That's from an insurance advisor commenting on "Insuring your life and your health".

Blowing In The Wind
You can blow out a candle but you can't blow out a fire. Once the flames begin to catch, the wind will take it higher. --- Peter Gabriel, Biko
There are many debates which no one can win. Passive vs active investing, for example. At least there's a debate. People know there are two sides, each with merits.

Do you know of nonpartisan information --- ideally online --- to help the public understand the value of universal life, other products and the advisors who sell them? Please share by leaving a comment below (even anonymously) or sending me an email. Thanks.

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