When Did We Lose Our Way?

When Did We Lose Our Way?

I arrived home and picked up about three days’ worth of mail. When I picked up Insurance News Net magazine, I was shocked to see the headline, “How to add AUM Now.” And, AUM was emphasized in bright colors. While I know that this publication supports all facets of our industry, it is clearly supported by risk mitigation products. 

Sadly, I think this is indicative of our industry. We have drifted so far toward AUM, which by the way stands for assets under management, that we have lost our way. I have some questions:

When did we lose our sight of what got us into the business?

At what point did we sell our souls to accumulation and wealth building?

How did wealth management translate into just growing assets and not truly managing wealth?

As an industry, we need to get back to talking about life insurance, disability income, long-term care and longevity insurance. We can no longer talk, promote and focus on growing assets alone. In today’s economic environment, protecting assets should be more important than growing them.

We all have a responsibility to make advisors aware of the growing gap in Americans’ ownership of protection products. It begins with each one of us looking in the mirror and asking if we have the clients’ very best interest in mind when we focus on growing assets and not protecting lives. It begins with carriers focusing on new product development with ongoing commission to eliminate the exchanges of products and supporting annual reviews. It begins with a changing mindsets. 

The Bottom Line: When did we sell out to asset management as a business model versus what got us into the business?