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Highland Capital Brokerage – Los Angeles

Highland Capital Brokerage is committed to partnering with financial advisors using our core competencies of life insurance, annuities, and long term care. We distinguish ourselves by providing insurance and investment providers with point-of-sale support, advanced marketing, and creative estate and business planning techniques. We provide these services in an efficient, client-focused environment that extends to carrier and product expertise, underwriting negotiation, and complete back office processing.

Is your client’s life insurance policy performing to their expectations?

Author DavidRBraun , 9/4/2013
Although simple in concept, a life insurance policy can be a complex financial instrument.  Just as your client regularly reviews their investment portfolio, a life insurance policy needs to be monitored to be certain that it remains appropriate for his or her goals and performs according to expectations.  Changes in the life insurance industry have led to new, more efficient policies that were developed in response to a more competitive environment brought on by mergers and demu­tualization.  In addition, interest rate and market volatility can significantly affect the underlying cash value in a permanent life insurance policy. A Life Insurance Review evaluates your client's existing life insurance coverage.  By analyzing information on the performance of their current policies and reviewing options for optimizing the benefit and cost effectiveness of coverage, it ensures that your client's current and future objectives are being met.  Any number of factors have an impact on a life insurance policy, including:
  • Policies that were illustrated at rates that are inconsistent with today's economic environment and may be underperforming expectations.
  • Recent policy feature developments that guarantee death benefits for a specified premium, regardless of actual investment performance.
  • Insurance company ratings that may have declined, threatening the financial ability of the insurance carrier to perform on its contractual obligations.
  • Recent design advances in the medical field, underwriting improvements, technology and mortality improvements in product pricing which may provide opportunities to enhance benefits or reduce outlay.
  • If your client's health has improved, your client may benefit from current underwriting programs or enhancements in policy pricing, due to: Lowered mortality costs associated with improved longevity, ailments or illnesses that can be better managed than at the time the policy was originally issued, new special concessions in underwriting programs, or changes in their profession or lifestyle.
Essential questions that factor into the review process include:
  • Is your client's life insurance coverage on track to meet intended goals?
  • How is your client's policy performing relative to its original objective?
  • Are your client's insurance contracts among the most competitive and cost effective on the market today?
  • Have the needs that prompted the purchase of your client's existing life insurance policy changed?
  • Documents and information that factor into the analysis include:
  • A policy summary
  • The structure of the policy such as ownership, beneficiaries, and payment methods
  • The underwriting rate class and potential improvements
  • The effect of changes in interest rates and increases in the cost of insurance
  • The financial stability of the insurance company
Highland Capital Brokerage can provide you and your client with a thorough explanation of how their policy has performed, projected cash values at designated intervals, and an assessment of the number of years that the policy will remain in force based on guaranteed and current assumptions.  We may also provide you and your client with information on alternative policies.  Contact our talented, local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. There are several important issues that should be considered before entering into a policy review. A comprehensive examination of all relevant issues is beyond the scope of this brochure. A policy review may have tax implications in a number of areas including estate, gift, and income taxes. Policy review participants must rely on their own legal and tax advisors to navigate through the various tax and legal issues associated with a policy review This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/ SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage and NFPSI are not affiliated. Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer Securities products or Advisory services through NFPSI. NFPSI does not offer tax or legal advice. This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Advisor Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.

Highland Capital Brokerage Announces New Ownership

Author DavidRBraun , 8/30/2013
Highland Capital Brokerage announces that the company has been purchased from National Financial Partners (NFP) by its managing principals, selected SVPs, and independent producers. Highland was assisted in the transaction execution by Dowling Hales. "Our independence will allow us the opportunity to re-imagine our business with the technology, flexibility, and speed to deliver quality results to our customers," said Jim Gelder, CEO of Highland Capital Brokerage. “Regardless of ownership, it’s important to note that our national scale combined with local support is second to none in the institutional and independent producer marketplaces and provides access to solutions, products and services that directly benefit the business of our customers. That will remain unchanged." The new corporation will be a privately-held company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. All current field offices will continue as part of the new organization and the company’s core business model will remain consistent with its tradition. About Highland Capital Brokerage Committed to helping successful financial advisors and insurance professionals to grow their business, Highland Capital Brokerage, Inc. (HCB) creates trusted relationships by delivering customized insurance solutions, personalized local service and support, and superior value. HCB has differentiated itself among multi-carrier brokerage agencies through an emphasis on providing value-added marketing and point-of-sale support. HCB provides objective access to major insurance carriers, advanced planning support, expertise in risk underwriting, and back office processing to insurance brokers, financial planners, and various institutions such as banks, wirehouses, and certified public accountant firms. Need an insurance quote or illustration run? Contact our talented, local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. 106186 This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/ SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage and NFPSI are not affiliated. Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer Securities products or Advisory services through NFPSI. NFPSI does not offer tax or legal advice. This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Advisor Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. 

Why Choose Key Person Insurance?

Author DavidRBraun , 8/14/2013
What is your client doing to protect their business if a key person is no longer there to help drive business? Key person protection is important for ensuring that your client’s business overcomes the loss of a vital employee. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t consider the risks of losing a key person until it is too late.(1) Key person protection is a life insurance-based program designed to help your business owner client value the loss that their business would face if they lost a key person. The business owner purchases a life insurance policy insuring each key person’s life and holds that policy as an asset of the business.(1) It protects the business owner in two ways: If a key person unexpectedly dies – A key person protection program can provide your client’s business with the funds needed to help withstand the financial shock and sustain their business following an unexpected death. It can help with a source of funds to cover debts and operating expenses in the face of lost sales, as well as hire a qualified replacement. And they receive the death benefit in the form of tax-free cash when they need it most.(1) If a key person wishes to retire – Your client has a life insurance policy that becomes the funding for a selective nonqualified benefit program for their key person, usually offering enhanced retirement benefits. The program becomes a “golden handcuff” to entice them to stay on with the business. And, as an added benefit, they can always offer the key person a death benefit paid to the family in case he/she dies prematurely.(1) There are many approaches to valuing a key person. These can range from:
  • Multiple of salary
  • Loss of value to the business
  • Cost to replace the key person’s sales profits
  • Cost to replace the key person’s contributions to income
What types of business might need key person insurance? Look for businesses with any of these characteristics:
  • Strong entrepreneurial owners: Often a business is dependent on its owner or founder. While the loss of this person will be substantial, frequently businesses will continue in the hands of heirs or employees. A loss might trigger credit and cash flow issues, licensing issues (in the case of businesses depending on state contracts or professional skills) or management issues.(1)
  • Key sales personnel or managers: The loss of key sales personnel can trigger a loss of revenue or clients. With the death of a manager, critical projects or divisions may lose direction.(1)
  • Businesses that hire skilled professionals: The loss of skilled professionals could reduce business income until their expertise or niche practice is replaced. Examples include: physicians, attorneys, architects, engineers, skilled artisans, writers, real estate brokers or business managers with select clients.(1)
  • Businesses that run specialty products or services: Where a business is dependent on a special line of products, or offers services that are key to its operations, the loss of its key personnel will result in reduced income or trigger credit issues until operations can return to normal.(1)
To learn more about Key Person Insurance, contact your local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. (1) 87724 103791 7/14 This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.

Do you know the benefits of life insurance for foreign nationals?

Author DavidRBraun , 8/7/2013
As the global economy expands, so does the need for international estate planning. This is particularly true for foreign nationals with assets or investments in the United States.  California is home to more foreign nationals than any other state, with about 1 in 4 residents born in another country.(1)  Life insurance has long provided a stable and secure option for U.S. residents when it comes to estate planning, and it can be a viable solution for your foreign national clients. According to the US Census Bureau, the foreign national population has grown to 40 million (1). In many jurisdictions around the world, the ability to buy significant amounts of life insurance is negligible or non-existent. These clients therefore look to the U.S. or other offshore options to fulfill their life insurance needs. A different set of rules applies to foreign nationals under current estate tax law, and these differences could result in substantial taxes when foreign nationals either gift assets during their lifetime or dispose of assets upon their death.   A foreign national may own a business in the United States or have children attending school here. Often there are substantial financial assets here as well. Each of these presents an opportunity to show how life insurance can play an important role in meeting their estate planning needs. If your client fits this definition, they may be eligible to purchase domestic U.S. based life insurance products on both a permanent and term basis. The following are characteristics of a foreign national:
  • One who is staying in the United States temporarily, and does not currently have the right to reside in the U.S. permanently.
  • Was born outside the United States.
  • Cannot be a U.S. citizen.
  • Can hold a temporary work visa.
  • Should have U.S. interests such as financial assets, bank accounts and/or own property.
  • Can pay U.S. income taxes and still be considered a foreign national.
Highland Capital Brokerage is ready to help you and your foreign national client through the entire life insurance process. Our underwriting advocates are experienced in this market and prepared to navigate you through the carrier guidelines to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your client. Contact our talented, local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. (1)   L.A. Times, California has the most foreign national residents in the nation, May 10, 2012. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.

Benefits of a Buy-Sell Arrangement

Author DavidRBraun , 7/31/2013
A buy-sell agreement evaluates the purchase of life insurance to protect the business ownership upon the occurrence of a triggering event, such as the death, retirement, or disability of a business owner. They are designed to ensure that the ownership structure is preserved, that the business will continue, and that shareholders will receive a fair and predetermined value for their business interest. Buy-sell arrangements are used by owners of small, closely held “C” corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships and subchapter “S” Corporations, to transfer ownership interests upon death, retirement, or disability. Often, buy-sell arrangements define the terms of the valuation and transfer of shareholder stock by setting a purchase price for the stock ahead of time. Buy-sell arrangements provide critical benefits to business owners as well as to shareholders.(1) Benefits to Business Owners
  • Owners are protected against the sale of a significant interest in the company.
  • Business interests are transferred according to an established plan.
  • The business is the owner and beneficiary of the policy.
  • Life insurance proceeds are generally received on a tax-favored basis.*
  • Cash values accumulate on a tax-deferred basis.
  • Cash values are accessible.
  • Plans are simple to establish and administer.
  • Shareholder interests are protected equally.
*For “C” Corporations, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) may apply to life insurance proceeds in excess of basis.  Benefits to Shareholders
  • Shareholders are assured of a fair price for their interest.
  • A buyer for the business interest is guaranteed.
  • Sale proceeds provide liquidity for ordinary living expenses and estate tax liability.
  • A buy-sell agreement negotiated at arm’s length ordinarily fixes the business value for estate tax purposes.
  • Life insurance ensures that the company will have the funds to purchase their interest at death.
  • The employer pays the cost of insurance.
  • Premiums are not considered taxable income to the owners.
07-31-2013-HCB-LA-BuySellImage
  • The corporation enters into a stock redemption buy-sell agreement.
  • The employer purchases life insurance policies on the lives of the shareholders.
  • When a buy-sell arrangement is structured as a stock redemption plan, life insurance proceeds are used to purchase the shares. The corporation is both owner and beneficiary of the life insurance policies on each shareholder. The corporation pays the shareholder’s estate with the life insurance proceeds to purchase the stock of the shareholder who retires or dies.
Tax Considerations
  • For the employer: Premiums are not tax deductible, but life insurance proceeds are generally received on a tax-free basis.
  • For the shareholder: There is little or no capital gains tax on the sale of shares at death.
Do you know a business owner that would benefit from a business valuation? Contact us today to get a complimentary copy of our Business Fact Finder to start the discussion with your client and better understand their financial priorities. Contact our local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. (1)   87725  8/12  Buy-Sell Arrangements for Corporations Any guarantees offered by life insurance products are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Riders may be available for an additional cost. There are considerable issues that need to be considered before replacing life insurance such as, but not limited to; commissions, fees, expenses, surrender charges, premiums, and new contestability period. There may also be unfavorable tax consequences caused by surrendering an existing policy, such as a potential tax on outstanding policy loans. Please discuss your situation with your financial advisor. For federal income tax purposes, life insurance death benefits generally pay income tax free to beneficiaries pursuant to IRC Sec. 101(a)(1). In certain situations, however, life insurance death benefits may be partially or wholly taxable. Situations include, but are not limited to: the transfer of a life insurance policy for valuable consideration unless the transfer qualifies for an exception under IRC Sec. 101(a)(2) (i.e. the “transfer-for-value rule”); arrangements that lack an insurable interest based on state law; and an employer-owned policy unless the policy qualifies for an exception under IRC Sec. 101(j). This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.

When was the last time you did a business valuation?

Author DavidRBraun , 7/17/2013
What would happen to your client’s business if they, their partner, or a key employee became disabled or died unexpectedly? How would they pay outstanding loans or daily operation expenses? Would the business continue to run or would it be sold? The reality is the financial future of a business, in most cases, would be severely impacted by the death of the owner or key employee. The assets of the company or personal assets of the owner might have to be used to repay outstanding loans or operating expenses in the absence of a source of funds to pay overhead expenses. This might leave few choices other than to liquidate the business despite its future profitability or value. The goal of business valuation planning is to protect the value of the business, plan for the impact of death or disability, and provide funds for operating expenses or the purchase of the business. While this can be done through savings or other means of self-insurance, the favorable income tax attributes of life insurance (e.g., inside buildup of cash value, is free of income tax, as is the death benefit) often weigh heavily in the decision to utilize life insurance to provide for the business in the event of unexpected circumstances. Key areas where life insurance may play a pivotal role: Business Continuation. In the event of sickness, disability, or death, the operation costs of the business continue to accumulate. Utilities, rent, and salaries add to the overhead expense despite possible income decline due to the absence of the owner. When the owner is disabled, the business can be sold if a buyer can be found, it can be liquidated, or operations can continue until more is known about the owner’s health. As expected, when recovery is anticipated, the owners prefer to keep the business until they are able to return to work. However, without funding, this can have a negative impact and be detrimental to the financial health of the business.(1) Business Loan Repayment. Many small business owners guarantee loans with personal assets. This may place their personal assets in limbo should the loan become outstanding if unexpected death or disability occur. Advanced planning with insurance can help minimize potential negative impacts on the business owner’s family or partners.(1) Loss of Key Employee or Owner. Is the business protected from the loss of a key employee or the absence of the owner’s ability to help drive business? Key person protection is important to help ensure that your business overcomes the loss of a vital employee or owner. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t consider the risks of losing a key person until it is too late.(1) Do you know a business owner that would benefit from a business valuation? Contact us today to get a complimentary copy of our Business Fact Finder to start the discussion with your client and better understand their financial priorities. Contact our local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. (1) Business Continuation Planning © VSA, LP All rights reserved (VSA 1b2-01 ed. 06-12) This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.

How to Build Your Referral Network

Author DavidRBraun , 7/3/2013
Setting up a referral network with other advisors is a key to success for any practice, but often this can be more difficult than finding a client.  If a client is missing key pieces in their financial plan, a referral often positively affects client satisfaction and loyalty.(1)  Getting rejected by other advisors may have caused you to push setting up your referral network to the bottom of the list.  Let’s take a look at why some advisors are reluctant to refer and what tips you can implement to increase your referral network. Among advisors, business commonality is generally easy to find.  Each party wants to grow their practice with more affluent clients, services, and increase client loyalty.  Why would an advisor be hesitant to refer? Hesitancy or a general reluctance might stem from a few areas. A common issue is they don’t want to “sacrifice” any of their client relationships to someone just looking for a sale or their client happiness if something goes awry.  That’s a fair reason to be uneasy and you wouldn’t want that to happen to any of your clients either.  Now is the time to start building trust. Demonstrate your skills, how you’ve handled challenging situations in the past, your follow-through, and how you put the client’s priorities first.  Show that you are not like other agents and prove that you are willing to do the work to build relationships. Also, you may find other advisors are hesitant because they don’t know how to adequately describe your services or how to setup a quality referral.  Consider creating and providing copies of your sales brochure so that they can reference or give to clients eliminating any possible uneasiness about describing you or your services.  Where can you start to build your referral network?  Start with your current clients. Ask them who they use for a CPA, Lawyer, etc… Once you receive this info, call up the advisor and ask to discuss the mutual client.(1) This is a great habit to get into when you meet with clients.  Working together with their other advisors can help create a more cohesive financial plan for your client and gives you the opportunity to see if they are open to the possibility of setting up a referral network. Are you leveraging social media to connect with other advisors? Don’t stop with contacting just one or two advisors. Use LinkedIn and other social media platforms that allow you to connect with local advisors looking to build their referral network quickly and effectively. Want to learn more about the tools HCB offers to help build your referral network online? Contact our talented, local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. 1)    Life Health PRO, How to gain clients through CPAs, Kerry Johnson, February 26, 2013 http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2013/02/26/how-to-gain-clients-through-cpas This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.

Investing In Women

Author DavidRBraun , 6/19/2013
A 2012-2013 Prudential research study reveals women’s financial responsibility has increased, surpassing their confidence as investors.  They have higher incomes but feel less prepared to make sage decisions about finances. (1)  Most women report that they have interest in seeking financial advice, so what can you do to reach more women and assist them in reaching their financial goals? (1) Women are increasingly making more money and becoming the primary “breadwinner” of the household. Over half of women, both married and single, report that they earn more than their partner.(1)  Some cite the economy to blame for this fact with one third stating that they experienced a layoff in their household. Women who do not participate in financial decision do so because they feel they lack financial knowledge. When you compare males and females, only 20% of females and 45% of males feel they are adequately prepared to make financial decisions. (1)  Here are a few ways advisors can reach more women and assist them in reaching their financial goals: Outline the cost and benefits of a financial advisor. What stops more women from working with an advisor? Perceived cost. Address the cost upfront and demonstrate the benefit to using your expertise as an advisor. Listen to financial priorities. Women don’t want to be a burden to their family; they want to be able to retire with a certain standard of living and not outlive their financial resources. Read more about the Top Financial Priorities of Women and Men. In addition to the above, there are some differences among ethnic groups. Those of Asian American and African American heritage place additional importance on caring financially for extended family, especially in instances of premature death or illness. The economy of the last few years has only made these questions more of a concern. When you are talking to women, highlight these concerns. Understand risk preference. 70% of women vs. 60% of men view themselves as preferring to save rather than invest. When investments are presented, women tend to be more interested in risk adverse products that are “interest only guaranteed or FDIC-Insured” (1). Keep in mind, women who use an advisor are more likely to feel financially prepared and take “risk for reward”. (1) Build a relationship. Fewer than 25% of women would terminate their current advisor relationship if their spouse died. (1) In light of this, remember to allocate time for relationship building through meetings, have an interactive Q&A, and keep educational material handy if requested. Read more – Women and Life Insurance: A conversation worth having. Need an insurance quote or illustration run? Contact our talented, local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. 1.)   Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women, Prudential Research Study 2012-2013 This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000

Top Financial Priorities of Women and Men

Author DavidRBraun , 6/12/2013
“Are you listening?” -  Have you ever wondered this quietly to yourself when discussing insurance or financial planning with a prospect or current client? Do you sense their interest waning after a brief introduction or elevator pitch of a new product or idea? If so, chances are you might be talking too much about product features and not enough about their financial priorities, worries, and how your advice might help them achieve financial success.  What do women and men prioritize when it comes to financial goals and what keeps them up at night? The financial goals of women and men are straight forward. A 2012-2013 Prudential Research Study revealed the following: (1) Top 3 Financial Priorities: Women –
  1. I do not want to be a financial burden to my family
  2. I want to maintain my standard of living in retirement
  3. I don’t want to outlive my financial resources
Men –
  1. I want to maintain my standard of living in retirement
  2. I don’t want to outlive my financial resources
  3. I do not want to be a financial burden to my family
Top 3 Worries: Women –
  1. Household expenses
  2. Household debt
  3. Retirement savings
Men –
  1. General economy
  2. Household expenses
  3. Retirement savings
When you lead with what concerns men and women most, you are bound to gain their attention. Women and men may prioritize the above in different order, but they are interestingly similar. Keep this in mind and tailor it to your audience. Talk about what matters to them most.  Leverage the fact that when it comes to knowledge of financial issues, 14% of men vs. only 5% of women consider themselves to be very knowledgeable. (1)  In addition 63% of women and 57% of men would say they could use some help or need to study up in these areas. (1) Over 50% of women and men are interested in receiving help with meeting their financial goals. Listen to their financial priorities and worries and grab their attention. Need an insurance quote or illustration run? Contact our talented, local team by call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com. 1.)   Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women, Prudential Research Study 2012-2013 This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.

Your Next “Bueno Oportunidad” (Good Opportunity)

Author DavidRBraun , 6/4/2013
The insurance market is competitive, to say the least.  This competitiveness in conjunction with the economic environment has prompted many advisors to seeking new strategic opportunities.  What community has less insurance when compared to other ethnic groups and is generally considered financially underserviced with strong buying power? (3)  The Hispanic and Latino communities.  Recent research suggests you may be passing up a strategic opportunity if you are not reaching out to these communities. The Hispanic and Latino communities compose about 38% of California’s population and 16% nationwide. (4)  The U.S. Census bureau estimates that in year 2015, this community will have a buying power of 1.5 trillion! (1)  LIMRA reported in their 2013 Insurance Barometer Study that Hispanics compose a large portion of the workforce but have less than proportional insurance when compared to other ethnic groups. (3)  All of the above make the Hispanic and Latino community an insurance market opportunity.  However, Hispanic and Latino cultural complexities can pose a challenge to anyone looking to become an advisor to this community, especially if there is a wide spectrum of affluence and financial knowledge.  So what can you do to better reach this community? It is widely believed that many advisors do not take enough time to understand their audience and adequately prepare.  What can you do to be different?  Consider these recommendations from other who have achieved success in reaching this community:
  • Being able to speak Spanish is helpful and can be effective at earning trust as a financial advisor, but not a requirement. If you don’t speak Spanish, incorporate a co-worker who does, reach out to 2nd or 3rd generations and get to know the family. Either way, be sure to leverage available insurance carrier marketing material that is already translated for the Hispanic and Latino Communities.
  • Be visible in the community and build trust. This can take many forms, but start with getting involved in community by attending events, volunteer activities, or hosting a seminar. These are great opportunities to network and find centers of influence.
  • Be sensitive and aware of cultural differences.  Keep in mind “that nearly 9 out of 10 Mexicans would categorize themselves as Catholic.”(1) Avoid important cultural and religious holidays when scheduling meetings.
  • Discover the uniqueness of your audience and incorporate it into your approach.  Hispanics tend to be very family oriented, are more often concerned with finances than Caucasian consumers.(2)  When death or illness occurs, often the immediate and extended family unit may bear much of the additional expenses.  Family stability is very important and is a great opportunity for you to advise on how to mitigate financial stress through financial planning.  Also, many tend to be business owners or like to support Hispanic-owned businesses. This is a great opportunity to talk about the “advantages of voluntary benefits” (3).
The Hispanic and Latino population is growing, and between 2000 and 2010 grew more from births than immigration. (1)  Don’t let this opportunity fall by the wayside. Do your homework. Be culturally aware. Become a trusted resource. Get creative in your approach. Now get to it! Need assistance finding Spanish specific marketing material? Contact us today! Call 213.417.4500 or email us at hcbla-info@highland.com.
  1. Contreras, Monica. “Succeeding in the Hispanic Market.” Advisor Today: July/ August 2012 http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NAIS0412/index.php?startid=59
  2. Insurance Barometer Study by LIMRA and LIFE Foundation, 2013.
  3. Fields, Ron. “Rich with Promise.” Best’s Review, October 2012.
  4. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html
This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your individual situation. Neither NFP nor its subsidiaries or affiliates offer tax or legal advice. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS under Circular 230, we inform you that any U.S. Federal tax advice contained in this communication, unless otherwise specifically stated, was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein. Securities & Investment Advisory Services may be offered through Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Highland Capital Brokerage is an affiliate of NFP Securities, Inc. and a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP). Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through NFP Securities, Inc. NFP and its subsidiaries. This blog is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFPSI may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact the NFPSI Compliance Department at 512-697-6000.