With regards to one of the current hottest topic in the financial industry is “Insurance” vs “Investment”. If you were to ask me, in my opinion and being in this industry, I would say that Insurance is never an Investment. It is totally two different things.
So, I cannot believe how my peers in this industry actually go out there, acting as an Investment Professional, hard-selling products as Investment Product towards clients. In my very own opinion, I would say that this practise can be regarded as mis-selling.
Why? Why is a question you would ask me? We are professionals to design and cater for the assurance needs of the client and not investment needs. Although we have an option for clients which are called “Invesment-Linked Policies”, our priority is to cater for the client’s assurance or protection needs, investment needs is secondary.
So, what is my flow when I meet my clients?
Simple, my very first question to them will be, “What is your motive in owning insurance? Protection or Capital Accumulation?”. From here, I will then do the proper fact finding to design and cater a solution for the client’s specific needs. Whatever policies that the client is about to own will be based on their needs.
I am sad to say that most of the agents out there do not practise this but instead, hard-selling and product pushing is practised. Sad? It is far worst than sad if you can see how it turned out to be for the client. I have a number of transferred cases to me with the request coming from the clients and oh boy, how shocked am I to see the type of policies that are owned by them. Not only I am shocked, they are too when I presented it and did a policy review with them.
I have one transferred case client that wishes to be covered on Accidental Dismemberment but instead she was told by her previous agent to own an Investment-Linked Policy with Accidental Dismemberment rider attached which requires her to input a premium of SG$150/month while the Stand-Alone Accidental Dismemberment policy only requires SG$17/month. Oh boy was she shocked when I presented it to her because the agent did not even bother to show her the difference between the two policies and she solely thought that the policy she owns is only for Accidental Dismemberment. Angry? Yes she is, to the point that she requested to surrender the policy with losses even after I explained and advised her not to. She still insisted on surrendering it and moved on with owning the Stand-Alone Accidental Dismemberment policy that she originally wishes to own with my assistance.
Sometimes, people choose to be blinded by agents that are specially gifted to have the ability to have a smooth and sweet talking style whose only priority is their own sales quota and company incentives instead of choosing the ones who can come out with facts and figures for logic. Now, who is to blame?
Now, getting back to the point of Insurance will always stay as Insurance. Anything that comes out from an Insurance/Assurance Company will always be Insurance. This applies to all types of policies including Investment-Linked Policies.
What’s the difference? The only difference in Investment-Linked Policies is that, instead of the company investing the premiums from you for the non-guaranteed returns on top of the sum assured, you now have the power of allocating the premiums in any of the available funds and have full control of the non-guaranteed returns.
Now, when the term “Non-Guaranteed” is mentioned, everyone gets afraid? Why? First understand why the term is used in the first place. It is because, the interest for the returns are always fluctuating. Hence, the term “Non-Guaranteed” is used. Even your savings account gives you a “Non-Guaranteed” interest rate. So why should you be afraid of the term?
A quote from Warren Buffett, “The only risk in life, is when you do not know what you are doing.”
A strong quote but a lot of people do not adhere to it. They own something without knowing what it is all about. They purchase an investment product and not knowing the architecture of it. They listen to their “trusted” agent / broker and not knowing what it is all about. When the bubble has burst, who is to blame?
So people, listen! Be it if you happen to receive a cold-call, someone comes knocking on your door or even you meet someone at a road-show. Listen, find-out, be informed and do not own insurance blindly. Ask every single detail on what it is all about before signing on the doted lines.
To end this off, again I will say that Insurance will always stay as Insurance because for the matter of fact that I can assure you, Insurance will never make you rich but it does guarantee that you will not be poor when you are old or critically ill.
I do not sell insurance and will never sell. My job is to assist my clients to own it, if there is a need.