Michael on April 10th, 2008
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I just stumbled on this not so recent but still accurate summary of how life insurance companies hawk their wares to the Gary’s of the world. None of this should shock you, yet the extent of the commission-first culture may startle you. It’s unfortunate, but Gary only exists thanks to these companies’ marketing messages. If commissions didn’t drive sales, the insurance companies wouldn’t continue to offer them. Then again, without the high commissions, would some advisors be in a different line of work, one more naturally suited to a heavy sales culture?
To be sure, there are great financial advisors who take commissions and there are fee-only advisors who should be doing something else. But I’ll take my chances on someone who has no chance to be Gary.

Then I’d check his (or her) references.

How did you pick a planner? Any regrets? Any good stories?

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