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News

August 3

For many of us, balancing work and home life can be quite the challenge. And for some, working extreme and ongoing overtime can lead to serious health concerns. Read this article to learn more. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

July 29

This Monday, we celebrate Terry Fox, an iconic Canadian who has shown us all the meaning of hope, resilience and true courage. If you would like to support cancer research in honour of Terry Fox, you can do so here:

July 28

PPI’s Your Link Between provides advisors with an easy to set-up, client focused, interactive website, branded to you. Watch this video and to learn how using Your Link Between can take your online connections to the next level (Advisor login required).

July 27

Want to start promoting and growing your business online but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you! Read this article to learn about the many modern marketing platforms available and decipher which ones might be right for you and your brand. #PPI

July 26

Ever wondered if there is a way to access your block of inforce insurance policy listings directly? THERE IS! This pdf offers ALL carrier details on how to access your client files quickly and efficiently - check it out here (Advisor login required): #PPI

August 3

For many of us, balancing work and home life can be quite the challenge. And for some, working extreme and ongoing overtime can lead to serious health concerns. Read this article to learn more. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

July 29

This Monday, we celebrate Terry Fox, an iconic Canadian who has shown us all the meaning of hope, resilience and true courage. If you would like to support cancer research in honour of Terry Fox, you can do so here:

July 28

PPI’s Your Link Between provides advisors with an easy to set-up, client focused, interactive website, branded to you. Watch this video and to learn how using Your Link Between can take your online connections to the next level (Advisor login required).

July 27

Want to start promoting and growing your business online but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you! Read this article to learn about the many modern marketing platforms available and decipher which ones might be right for you and your brand. #PPI

August 3

For many of us, balancing work and home life can be quite the challenge. And for some, working extreme and ongoing overtime can lead to serious health concerns. Read this article to learn more. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

July 29

This Monday, we celebrate Terry Fox, an iconic Canadian who has shown us all the meaning of hope, resilience and true courage. If you would like to support cancer research in honour of Terry Fox, you can do so here:

July 28

PPI’s Your Link Between provides advisors with an easy to set-up, client focused, interactive website, branded to you. Watch this video and to learn how using Your Link Between can take your online connections to the next level (Advisor login required).

July 27

Want to start promoting and growing your business online but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you! Read this article to learn about the many modern marketing platforms available and decipher which ones might be right for you and your brand. #PPI

July 26

Ever wondered if there is a way to access your block of inforce insurance policy listings directly? THERE IS! This pdf offers ALL carrier details on how to access your client files quickly and efficiently - check it out here (Advisor login required): #PPI

July 25

Charitable giving, leveraging, policy transfers, post-mortem planning and shareholder agreements – you can find information on all of these, plus an extensive documents library, on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre. Click here (Advisor login required):

July 22

Available from any device, PPI’s Practice Assistant on Toolkit Direct helps you keep your practice compliant with editable needs-based selling documents that you can save and revisit. Have a look (Advisor login required):

July 21

What’s your client’s greatest asset? Earning power has the greatest impact on financial health. Share this Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool with your clients to demonstrate the value of earning power and the importance of disability insurance. #PPI

July 21

Prospecting, proposals and ongoing investment management are at your fingertips with CapIntel – discover the benefits of this helpful wealth comparison tool for advisors: For more info, contact PPI’s Wealth Sales Team: #PPI

July 20

Turn ordinary into extraordinary with La vente : de l'ordinaire à l'extraordinaire !, a book by PPI’s longtime advisor André Cyr. It’s now available for purchase (available in French only) so click below and start reaching for your full sales potential:

July 20

Surprise your clients with the facts. Show them how they can up their savings game by putting away a few extra dollars starting now. Share the Savings Growth calculator today! #PPI

July 19

Words can be powerful. The Link Between, PPI’s client-friendly blog offers your clients compelling and timely financial content, allowing you to share that information and start those important conversations. So hop on and spread the good word! #PPI

July 18

Have you accessed carrier software illustrations from PPI’s Toolkit Direct? You can find/launch software by carrier or product type and always know when it’s up-to-date. Check it out here (Advisor login required): #PPI #ToolkitDirect

July 15

NEW on Toolkit Direct! Use PPI’s Bridging Risk presentation to review life’s major risks with your client, the probability of them occurring, and the importance of critical illness insurance (Advisor login required): #PPI #ToolkitDirect

July 15

NEW on Toolkit Direct! Use PPI’s Bridging Risk presentation to review life’s major risks with your client, the probability of them occurring, and the importance of critical illness insurance (Advisor login required): #PPI #ToolkitDirect

July 14

Our memories are precious – so, how can we protect these digital moments for future generations? STEP makes it easy with their short guide on how to update your settings and talk to your family about the importance of these digital assets. Learn more here:

July 13

Looking for a little light reading over the summer? How about Estate Planning with Life Insurance by PPI’s very own VP of Planning Services, Glenn Stephens. Order yours today and learn about the important role of insurance in estate planning:

July 13

What happens to a client’s digital assets when they are no longer here? STEP has shared two useful guides on how to adjust social account settings and how to talk to loved ones about preserving one’s digital legacy. Share it with your clients today: #PPI

July 12

Now more than ever, it’s vital to stay visible online and connect! PPI’s Your Link Between has you covered. This custom branded site lets you share client-friendly articles, videos and tools – keeping you visible and connected. Try it (Login required):

July 8

Do you want direct access to time-sensitive insurer correspondence like lapse notices and overdue/unpaid premiums? For those unavailable on the carrier secure site PPI’s here to get them to Advisors securely and timely. Learn more (Login required):

Recent Articles

Work-Life Balance: Tipping the Mortality Scale

August 3, 2022

Last time in this space, we discussed how physical or emotional stress affects the human heart. This time, we will focus on why maintaining a favorable balance between a commitment to our jobs and the need to prioritize our lives outside of the workplace is both a life-affirming and possible life-saving necessity. Let’s start by looking back to the early 1990’s, when researchers in Japan started to study and report on a phenomenon where it appeared ostensibly healthy, middle-aged, mostly men, started to die suddenly. The term coined for the cause of death in this group was “karoshi”, meaning death from overwork. The common thread running through these cases was a history of chronically long work weeks, logging in at 60 hours and often more. The cause of death was disturbing in its’ repetition, most often heart disease, stroke or suicide (1). More recently, and perhaps due to the pandemic and a growing body of knowledge increasingly difficult to ignore, there is renewed interest in the burden and toll of an unhealthy work life. A joint venture by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) published in 2021 estimated that nearly 400,000 people died from stroke and almost 350,000 from heart disease as a direct result of chronic work weeks of 55 hours or more. Between 2000 and 2016, this increased by 42% for heart disease and 19% for stroke (2). In these groups, 72% were males and more concentrated in workers aged 60 or higher. Related studies demonstrate mental disorder consequences affected younger groups, many in the third decade of life (3). What can be done to stem the tide of this disturbing trend? In Japan, legislation has been passed to limit the amount of monthly permitted overtime. Critics claim the threshold for allowable overtime hours still is too high and enforcement is inconsistent. In Canada, more employers are increasingly sensitive to the work-life balance necessary to maintain a healthy workforce. There is a school of thought that we are a physically tired society with an underlying belief that professional success requires us to walk the edge of burnout. There is more emphasis on sleep as a bedrock of good health, and good sleep advocacy continues to gain ground in addition to good nutrition, exercise and positive social integration (4). It is clear that hard work is made more satisfying by knowing when to call it a day. Hunt, Ellen. Wired. Japan’s karoshi culture was a warning: we didn’t listen. co.uk. February 6, 2021. World Health Organization. Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke: WHO, ILO. Who.int. May 17, 2021. Takahashi, Mayasa. Sociomedical problems of overwork-related deaths and disorders in Japan. National Library of Medicine. January 22, 2019. Tollin, Lisa. Arianna Huffington shares the secret to her success: Sleep. her secret to success. the Secrets of Her Success: Sleep. Nbcnews.com. June 5, 2017.
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Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know

July 27, 2022

You’re a successful Advisor but want to promote and continue to grow your business online – smart move, count us in! However, there are just so many social media platforms, how do you know which one is right for you and your business? There are indeed more than a few and they’re all slightly different, but all are excellent modern marketing tools and with a little research, you can decide which one (or two or three!) are a good fit for you and your brand. Recently, LIMRA published a study asking Generation Y (also called millennials) who they engage for financial advice. They found that 90% of those surveyed said that they would NOT seek financial advice from their parents’ Advisors because they “are not relevant” (1). Ouch. But what does it mean to be “relevant”? Well, if you want to reach the next generation of wealth, you need to meet them where they are – and that place is on social media. Likewise, when asked to rate the importance of social media sites, millennials and generation X demonstrated a clear preference for Facebook (#1), LinkedIn (#2) and YouTube (#3) (2). Now, let’s look at a few of the more popular platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. LinkedIn is a professional business-to-business social platform – meaning you’re more likely to find business clients, collaborators, and business partners. If you are looking to reach fellow industry professionals or centers of influence while doing a little networking, LinkedIn can be a great choice. People do not come here to find an Advisor but instead to learn more about their industry, connect with new professional contacts and seek new career opportunities. YouTube is fantastic as well. YouTube is a unique platform in the way that it is a search engine, not a social platform. This means that you can utilize this space to make your evergreen content (content that is long lasting with information that will remain relevant) easily searchable today and into the future. It should also be mentioned that LinkedIn and YouTube are examples of sites with different user demographics and capabilities. It is important for financial professionals to determine which social media platform(s) are most appropriate for their personal styles and their prospective consumer markets. It is also essential to understand that social media ratings are a modern form of referrals. However, if your business is in the broad market, then social spaces like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are platforms that your ideal clients are probably already on. Get on there and start building those relationships. So, what’s the message here? Prospects are researching you before they will even meet with you, so you need to be online, engaged and meet them where they are! Also, the increasingly youthful demographic of consumers seeking a financial Advisor means that social media has quickly become an important marketing and communication tool for financial professionals. We’ve reviewed five of the major platforms, but those aren’t necessarily the only modern direct marketing platforms you can utilize to promote your brand. Here is a list of a few more that may or may not be on your radar. Podcasts are growing in popularity. People are listening, watching and streaming, more and more. Perhaps a little more time consuming to create, but if you are up for the task, they can be the right fit for the brand information that you would like to convey. Blogs and e-Newsletter are definitely still on the list. With these tools you can control what your audience sees, review analytics and determine how many people have seen or opened your message or spent time on certain content that you have distributed. You can also more efficiently promote your business and services to an audience that already knows, likes and trusts you. Webinars and online live training sessions remain highly popular. People enjoy the fact that they can view it from afar, without having to leave their homes. Virtual events allow you to reach people in other areas that may not attend an in-person event due to travel requirements, availability, etc. Facebook groups provide an avenue for you to nurture your community and engage with your audience one-on-one. They also allow you to really hone-in on your target audience group – you can then tailor your message and get active engagement with more of your ideal customers. You are probably quite familiar with COI’s such as lawyers, accountants, mortgage brokers, etc. But did you know that you can also find centers of influence and influencers on modern marketing platforms? These are the people that share a similar audience to you, or their audience is made up of your ideal clients. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the typical industry partners and be sure to build connections. Although not an actual marketing platform, good ole word of mouth is still very much alive and probably more important now than it has been for years. In a world filled with so much noise, people are reaching out to their trusted friends, family and acquaintances online to find businesses, services and professionals that they can trust. They are relying on social proof more than anything else. Modern marketing platforms make meetup events and networking events easier to attend and find. Face-to-face communication is still key and social media platforms make it easier to find these events and connect with prospects, current clients and influencers. For similar articles on how you can build up your social media presence, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your modern marketing, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. LIMRA.com LIMRA.com
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Savings Growth Calculator

July 20, 2022

The ability of our “Savings Growth” calculator to compare two savings strategies can be useful during your client discussions on what to do with excess cash. Your clients can also use it to see the impact of increasing their savings, even by just a little. Walk through this multi-purpose tool or share it with your clients to stimulate your next discussion on finances.
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Preserving Your Client’s Memories with the help of STEP

July 13, 2022

Our life’s memories deserve consideration just as much as our financial legacies do.  Have you taken the opportunity to talk to your clients about how to protect their social media accounts and their digital assets? Most social media platforms have terms and conditions making these accounts private for security purposes and making it difficult, if not all out impossible, for family members to retrieve these accounts after their loved ones have passed on. The good news is that social media providers have put tools in place so that your clients can decide in advance how they would like their loved ones to access these accounts when they are gone. STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) has made the process even easier for your client to safeguard and share their memories with future generations by providing useful guides to help update their account settings and how to open conversations with their family and friends about the importance of preserving these digital memories. Be sure to share these guides with your clients: STEP: How to set up your digital accounts so that your loved ones can access them if you’re not able to STEP: It’s good to talk (about your digital assets) If you would like to learn more about digital assets, read our previous post: Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets and watch our short video SMART TALK… about digital assets and share the client-friendly versions of these with your clients. And if you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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INFOclip: Mortgage Protection

July 6, 2022

Does your client own their own home? Do they have mortgage protection in place and can they continue to make loan payments in the case of a significant decrease in their income? For many Canadians, purchasing a home is an important life milestone that can evoke both great joy and financial responsibility. Unfortunately, unexpected life events such as the disability, illness and even death of an income earner can make paying a mortgage that much more difficult, especially if they don’t have the proper protection in place to safeguard their family’s income. Share this video with your client to show them how purchasing personal insurance, via a trusted advisor (that’s you!), can offer them and their families peace of mind with the protection and flexibility they need during difficult times to keep them on track with their mortgage payments.
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Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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More Articles

The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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Recent Articles

Work-Life Balance: Tipping the Mortality Scale

August 3, 2022

Last time in this space, we discussed how physical or emotional stress affects the human heart. This time, we will focus on why maintaining a favorable balance between a commitment to our jobs and the need to prioritize our lives outside of the workplace is both a life-affirming and possible life-saving necessity. Let’s start by looking back to the early 1990’s, when researchers in Japan started to study and report on a phenomenon where it appeared ostensibly healthy, middle-aged, mostly men, started to die suddenly. The term coined for the cause of death in this group was “karoshi”, meaning death from overwork. The common thread running through these cases was a history of chronically long work weeks, logging in at 60 hours and often more. The cause of death was disturbing in its’ repetition, most often heart disease, stroke or suicide (1). More recently, and perhaps due to the pandemic and a growing body of knowledge increasingly difficult to ignore, there is renewed interest in the burden and toll of an unhealthy work life. A joint venture by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) published in 2021 estimated that nearly 400,000 people died from stroke and almost 350,000 from heart disease as a direct result of chronic work weeks of 55 hours or more. Between 2000 and 2016, this increased by 42% for heart disease and 19% for stroke (2). In these groups, 72% were males and more concentrated in workers aged 60 or higher. Related studies demonstrate mental disorder consequences affected younger groups, many in the third decade of life (3). What can be done to stem the tide of this disturbing trend? In Japan, legislation has been passed to limit the amount of monthly permitted overtime. Critics claim the threshold for allowable overtime hours still is too high and enforcement is inconsistent. In Canada, more employers are increasingly sensitive to the work-life balance necessary to maintain a healthy workforce. There is a school of thought that we are a physically tired society with an underlying belief that professional success requires us to walk the edge of burnout. There is more emphasis on sleep as a bedrock of good health, and good sleep advocacy continues to gain ground in addition to good nutrition, exercise and positive social integration (4). It is clear that hard work is made more satisfying by knowing when to call it a day. Hunt, Ellen. Wired. Japan’s karoshi culture was a warning: we didn’t listen. co.uk. February 6, 2021. World Health Organization. Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke: WHO, ILO. Who.int. May 17, 2021. Takahashi, Mayasa. Sociomedical problems of overwork-related deaths and disorders in Japan. National Library of Medicine. January 22, 2019. Tollin, Lisa. Arianna Huffington shares the secret to her success: Sleep. her secret to success. the Secrets of Her Success: Sleep. Nbcnews.com. June 5, 2017.
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Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know

July 27, 2022

You’re a successful Advisor but want to promote and continue to grow your business online – smart move, count us in! However, there are just so many social media platforms, how do you know which one is right for you and your business? There are indeed more than a few and they’re all slightly different, but all are excellent modern marketing tools and with a little research, you can decide which one (or two or three!) are a good fit for you and your brand. Recently, LIMRA published a study asking Generation Y (also called millennials) who they engage for financial advice. They found that 90% of those surveyed said that they would NOT seek financial advice from their parents’ Advisors because they “are not relevant” (1). Ouch. But what does it mean to be “relevant”? Well, if you want to reach the next generation of wealth, you need to meet them where they are – and that place is on social media. Likewise, when asked to rate the importance of social media sites, millennials and generation X demonstrated a clear preference for Facebook (#1), LinkedIn (#2) and YouTube (#3) (2). Now, let’s look at a few of the more popular platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. LinkedIn is a professional business-to-business social platform – meaning you’re more likely to find business clients, collaborators, and business partners. If you are looking to reach fellow industry professionals or centers of influence while doing a little networking, LinkedIn can be a great choice. People do not come here to find an Advisor but instead to learn more about their industry, connect with new professional contacts and seek new career opportunities. YouTube is fantastic as well. YouTube is a unique platform in the way that it is a search engine, not a social platform. This means that you can utilize this space to make your evergreen content (content that is long lasting with information that will remain relevant) easily searchable today and into the future. It should also be mentioned that LinkedIn and YouTube are examples of sites with different user demographics and capabilities. It is important for financial professionals to determine which social media platform(s) are most appropriate for their personal styles and their prospective consumer markets. It is also essential to understand that social media ratings are a modern form of referrals. However, if your business is in the broad market, then social spaces like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are platforms that your ideal clients are probably already on. Get on there and start building those relationships. So, what’s the message here? Prospects are researching you before they will even meet with you, so you need to be online, engaged and meet them where they are! Also, the increasingly youthful demographic of consumers seeking a financial Advisor means that social media has quickly become an important marketing and communication tool for financial professionals. We’ve reviewed five of the major platforms, but those aren’t necessarily the only modern direct marketing platforms you can utilize to promote your brand. Here is a list of a few more that may or may not be on your radar. Podcasts are growing in popularity. People are listening, watching and streaming, more and more. Perhaps a little more time consuming to create, but if you are up for the task, they can be the right fit for the brand information that you would like to convey. Blogs and e-Newsletter are definitely still on the list. With these tools you can control what your audience sees, review analytics and determine how many people have seen or opened your message or spent time on certain content that you have distributed. You can also more efficiently promote your business and services to an audience that already knows, likes and trusts you. Webinars and online live training sessions remain highly popular. People enjoy the fact that they can view it from afar, without having to leave their homes. Virtual events allow you to reach people in other areas that may not attend an in-person event due to travel requirements, availability, etc. Facebook groups provide an avenue for you to nurture your community and engage with your audience one-on-one. They also allow you to really hone-in on your target audience group – you can then tailor your message and get active engagement with more of your ideal customers. You are probably quite familiar with COI’s such as lawyers, accountants, mortgage brokers, etc. But did you know that you can also find centers of influence and influencers on modern marketing platforms? These are the people that share a similar audience to you, or their audience is made up of your ideal clients. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the typical industry partners and be sure to build connections. Although not an actual marketing platform, good ole word of mouth is still very much alive and probably more important now than it has been for years. In a world filled with so much noise, people are reaching out to their trusted friends, family and acquaintances online to find businesses, services and professionals that they can trust. They are relying on social proof more than anything else. Modern marketing platforms make meetup events and networking events easier to attend and find. Face-to-face communication is still key and social media platforms make it easier to find these events and connect with prospects, current clients and influencers. For similar articles on how you can build up your social media presence, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your modern marketing, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. LIMRA.com LIMRA.com
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Savings Growth Calculator

July 20, 2022

The ability of our “Savings Growth” calculator to compare two savings strategies can be useful during your client discussions on what to do with excess cash. Your clients can also use it to see the impact of increasing their savings, even by just a little. Walk through this multi-purpose tool or share it with your clients to stimulate your next discussion on finances.
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Preserving Your Client’s Memories with the help of STEP

July 13, 2022

Our life’s memories deserve consideration just as much as our financial legacies do.  Have you taken the opportunity to talk to your clients about how to protect their social media accounts and their digital assets? Most social media platforms have terms and conditions making these accounts private for security purposes and making it difficult, if not all out impossible, for family members to retrieve these accounts after their loved ones have passed on. The good news is that social media providers have put tools in place so that your clients can decide in advance how they would like their loved ones to access these accounts when they are gone. STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) has made the process even easier for your client to safeguard and share their memories with future generations by providing useful guides to help update their account settings and how to open conversations with their family and friends about the importance of preserving these digital memories. Be sure to share these guides with your clients: STEP: How to set up your digital accounts so that your loved ones can access them if you’re not able to STEP: It’s good to talk (about your digital assets) If you would like to learn more about digital assets, read our previous post: Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets and watch our short video SMART TALK… about digital assets and share the client-friendly versions of these with your clients. And if you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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INFOclip: Mortgage Protection

July 6, 2022

Does your client own their own home? Do they have mortgage protection in place and can they continue to make loan payments in the case of a significant decrease in their income? For many Canadians, purchasing a home is an important life milestone that can evoke both great joy and financial responsibility. Unfortunately, unexpected life events such as the disability, illness and even death of an income earner can make paying a mortgage that much more difficult, especially if they don’t have the proper protection in place to safeguard their family’s income. Share this video with your client to show them how purchasing personal insurance, via a trusted advisor (that’s you!), can offer them and their families peace of mind with the protection and flexibility they need during difficult times to keep them on track with their mortgage payments.
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Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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More Articles

Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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Recent Articles

Work-Life Balance: Tipping the Mortality Scale

August 3, 2022

Last time in this space, we discussed how physical or emotional stress affects the human heart. This time, we will focus on why maintaining a favorable balance between a commitment to our jobs and the need to prioritize our lives outside of the workplace is both a life-affirming and possible life-saving necessity. Let’s start by looking back to the early 1990’s, when researchers in Japan started to study and report on a phenomenon where it appeared ostensibly healthy, middle-aged, mostly men, started to die suddenly. The term coined for the cause of death in this group was “karoshi”, meaning death from overwork. The common thread running through these cases was a history of chronically long work weeks, logging in at 60 hours and often more. The cause of death was disturbing in its’ repetition, most often heart disease, stroke or suicide (1). More recently, and perhaps due to the pandemic and a growing body of knowledge increasingly difficult to ignore, there is renewed interest in the burden and toll of an unhealthy work life. A joint venture by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) published in 2021 estimated that nearly 400,000 people died from stroke and almost 350,000 from heart disease as a direct result of chronic work weeks of 55 hours or more. Between 2000 and 2016, this increased by 42% for heart disease and 19% for stroke (2). In these groups, 72% were males and more concentrated in workers aged 60 or higher. Related studies demonstrate mental disorder consequences affected younger groups, many in the third decade of life (3). What can be done to stem the tide of this disturbing trend? In Japan, legislation has been passed to limit the amount of monthly permitted overtime. Critics claim the threshold for allowable overtime hours still is too high and enforcement is inconsistent. In Canada, more employers are increasingly sensitive to the work-life balance necessary to maintain a healthy workforce. There is a school of thought that we are a physically tired society with an underlying belief that professional success requires us to walk the edge of burnout. There is more emphasis on sleep as a bedrock of good health, and good sleep advocacy continues to gain ground in addition to good nutrition, exercise and positive social integration (4). It is clear that hard work is made more satisfying by knowing when to call it a day. Hunt, Ellen. Wired. Japan’s karoshi culture was a warning: we didn’t listen. co.uk. February 6, 2021. World Health Organization. Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke: WHO, ILO. Who.int. May 17, 2021. Takahashi, Mayasa. Sociomedical problems of overwork-related deaths and disorders in Japan. National Library of Medicine. January 22, 2019. Tollin, Lisa. Arianna Huffington shares the secret to her success: Sleep. her secret to success. the Secrets of Her Success: Sleep. Nbcnews.com. June 5, 2017.
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Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know

July 27, 2022

You’re a successful Advisor but want to promote and continue to grow your business online – smart move, count us in! However, there are just so many social media platforms, how do you know which one is right for you and your business? There are indeed more than a few and they’re all slightly different, but all are excellent modern marketing tools and with a little research, you can decide which one (or two or three!) are a good fit for you and your brand. Recently, LIMRA published a study asking Generation Y (also called millennials) who they engage for financial advice. They found that 90% of those surveyed said that they would NOT seek financial advice from their parents’ Advisors because they “are not relevant” (1). Ouch. But what does it mean to be “relevant”? Well, if you want to reach the next generation of wealth, you need to meet them where they are – and that place is on social media. Likewise, when asked to rate the importance of social media sites, millennials and generation X demonstrated a clear preference for Facebook (#1), LinkedIn (#2) and YouTube (#3) (2). Now, let’s look at a few of the more popular platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. LinkedIn is a professional business-to-business social platform – meaning you’re more likely to find business clients, collaborators, and business partners. If you are looking to reach fellow industry professionals or centers of influence while doing a little networking, LinkedIn can be a great choice. People do not come here to find an Advisor but instead to learn more about their industry, connect with new professional contacts and seek new career opportunities. YouTube is fantastic as well. YouTube is a unique platform in the way that it is a search engine, not a social platform. This means that you can utilize this space to make your evergreen content (content that is long lasting with information that will remain relevant) easily searchable today and into the future. It should also be mentioned that LinkedIn and YouTube are examples of sites with different user demographics and capabilities. It is important for financial professionals to determine which social media platform(s) are most appropriate for their personal styles and their prospective consumer markets. It is also essential to understand that social media ratings are a modern form of referrals. However, if your business is in the broad market, then social spaces like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are platforms that your ideal clients are probably already on. Get on there and start building those relationships. So, what’s the message here? Prospects are researching you before they will even meet with you, so you need to be online, engaged and meet them where they are! Also, the increasingly youthful demographic of consumers seeking a financial Advisor means that social media has quickly become an important marketing and communication tool for financial professionals. We’ve reviewed five of the major platforms, but those aren’t necessarily the only modern direct marketing platforms you can utilize to promote your brand. Here is a list of a few more that may or may not be on your radar. Podcasts are growing in popularity. People are listening, watching and streaming, more and more. Perhaps a little more time consuming to create, but if you are up for the task, they can be the right fit for the brand information that you would like to convey. Blogs and e-Newsletter are definitely still on the list. With these tools you can control what your audience sees, review analytics and determine how many people have seen or opened your message or spent time on certain content that you have distributed. You can also more efficiently promote your business and services to an audience that already knows, likes and trusts you. Webinars and online live training sessions remain highly popular. People enjoy the fact that they can view it from afar, without having to leave their homes. Virtual events allow you to reach people in other areas that may not attend an in-person event due to travel requirements, availability, etc. Facebook groups provide an avenue for you to nurture your community and engage with your audience one-on-one. They also allow you to really hone-in on your target audience group – you can then tailor your message and get active engagement with more of your ideal customers. You are probably quite familiar with COI’s such as lawyers, accountants, mortgage brokers, etc. But did you know that you can also find centers of influence and influencers on modern marketing platforms? These are the people that share a similar audience to you, or their audience is made up of your ideal clients. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the typical industry partners and be sure to build connections. Although not an actual marketing platform, good ole word of mouth is still very much alive and probably more important now than it has been for years. In a world filled with so much noise, people are reaching out to their trusted friends, family and acquaintances online to find businesses, services and professionals that they can trust. They are relying on social proof more than anything else. Modern marketing platforms make meetup events and networking events easier to attend and find. Face-to-face communication is still key and social media platforms make it easier to find these events and connect with prospects, current clients and influencers. For similar articles on how you can build up your social media presence, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your modern marketing, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. LIMRA.com LIMRA.com
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Savings Growth Calculator

July 20, 2022

The ability of our “Savings Growth” calculator to compare two savings strategies can be useful during your client discussions on what to do with excess cash. Your clients can also use it to see the impact of increasing their savings, even by just a little. Walk through this multi-purpose tool or share it with your clients to stimulate your next discussion on finances.
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Preserving Your Client’s Memories with the help of STEP

July 13, 2022

Our life’s memories deserve consideration just as much as our financial legacies do.  Have you taken the opportunity to talk to your clients about how to protect their social media accounts and their digital assets? Most social media platforms have terms and conditions making these accounts private for security purposes and making it difficult, if not all out impossible, for family members to retrieve these accounts after their loved ones have passed on. The good news is that social media providers have put tools in place so that your clients can decide in advance how they would like their loved ones to access these accounts when they are gone. STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) has made the process even easier for your client to safeguard and share their memories with future generations by providing useful guides to help update their account settings and how to open conversations with their family and friends about the importance of preserving these digital memories. Be sure to share these guides with your clients: STEP: How to set up your digital accounts so that your loved ones can access them if you’re not able to STEP: It’s good to talk (about your digital assets) If you would like to learn more about digital assets, read our previous post: Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets and watch our short video SMART TALK… about digital assets and share the client-friendly versions of these with your clients. And if you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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More Articles

INFOclip: Mortgage Protection

July 6, 2022

Does your client own their own home? Do they have mortgage protection in place and can they continue to make loan payments in the case of a significant decrease in their income? For many Canadians, purchasing a home is an important life milestone that can evoke both great joy and financial responsibility. Unfortunately, unexpected life events such as the disability, illness and even death of an income earner can make paying a mortgage that much more difficult, especially if they don’t have the proper protection in place to safeguard their family’s income. Share this video with your client to show them how purchasing personal insurance, via a trusted advisor (that’s you!), can offer them and their families peace of mind with the protection and flexibility they need during difficult times to keep them on track with their mortgage payments.
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Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Recent Articles

Work-Life Balance: Tipping the Mortality Scale

August 3, 2022

Last time in this space, we discussed how physical or emotional stress affects the human heart. This time, we will focus on why maintaining a favorable balance between a commitment to our jobs and the need to prioritize our lives outside of the workplace is both a life-affirming and possible life-saving necessity. Let’s start by looking back to the early 1990’s, when researchers in Japan started to study and report on a phenomenon where it appeared ostensibly healthy, middle-aged, mostly men, started to die suddenly. The term coined for the cause of death in this group was “karoshi”, meaning death from overwork. The common thread running through these cases was a history of chronically long work weeks, logging in at 60 hours and often more. The cause of death was disturbing in its’ repetition, most often heart disease, stroke or suicide (1). More recently, and perhaps due to the pandemic and a growing body of knowledge increasingly difficult to ignore, there is renewed interest in the burden and toll of an unhealthy work life. A joint venture by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) published in 2021 estimated that nearly 400,000 people died from stroke and almost 350,000 from heart disease as a direct result of chronic work weeks of 55 hours or more. Between 2000 and 2016, this increased by 42% for heart disease and 19% for stroke (2). In these groups, 72% were males and more concentrated in workers aged 60 or higher. Related studies demonstrate mental disorder consequences affected younger groups, many in the third decade of life (3). What can be done to stem the tide of this disturbing trend? In Japan, legislation has been passed to limit the amount of monthly permitted overtime. Critics claim the threshold for allowable overtime hours still is too high and enforcement is inconsistent. In Canada, more employers are increasingly sensitive to the work-life balance necessary to maintain a healthy workforce. There is a school of thought that we are a physically tired society with an underlying belief that professional success requires us to walk the edge of burnout. There is more emphasis on sleep as a bedrock of good health, and good sleep advocacy continues to gain ground in addition to good nutrition, exercise and positive social integration (4). It is clear that hard work is made more satisfying by knowing when to call it a day. Hunt, Ellen. Wired. Japan’s karoshi culture was a warning: we didn’t listen. co.uk. February 6, 2021. World Health Organization. Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke: WHO, ILO. Who.int. May 17, 2021. Takahashi, Mayasa. Sociomedical problems of overwork-related deaths and disorders in Japan. National Library of Medicine. January 22, 2019. Tollin, Lisa. Arianna Huffington shares the secret to her success: Sleep. her secret to success. the Secrets of Her Success: Sleep. Nbcnews.com. June 5, 2017.
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Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know

July 27, 2022

You’re a successful Advisor but want to promote and continue to grow your business online – smart move, count us in! However, there are just so many social media platforms, how do you know which one is right for you and your business? There are indeed more than a few and they’re all slightly different, but all are excellent modern marketing tools and with a little research, you can decide which one (or two or three!) are a good fit for you and your brand. Recently, LIMRA published a study asking Generation Y (also called millennials) who they engage for financial advice. They found that 90% of those surveyed said that they would NOT seek financial advice from their parents’ Advisors because they “are not relevant” (1). Ouch. But what does it mean to be “relevant”? Well, if you want to reach the next generation of wealth, you need to meet them where they are – and that place is on social media. Likewise, when asked to rate the importance of social media sites, millennials and generation X demonstrated a clear preference for Facebook (#1), LinkedIn (#2) and YouTube (#3) (2). Now, let’s look at a few of the more popular platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. LinkedIn is a professional business-to-business social platform – meaning you’re more likely to find business clients, collaborators, and business partners. If you are looking to reach fellow industry professionals or centers of influence while doing a little networking, LinkedIn can be a great choice. People do not come here to find an Advisor but instead to learn more about their industry, connect with new professional contacts and seek new career opportunities. YouTube is fantastic as well. YouTube is a unique platform in the way that it is a search engine, not a social platform. This means that you can utilize this space to make your evergreen content (content that is long lasting with information that will remain relevant) easily searchable today and into the future. It should also be mentioned that LinkedIn and YouTube are examples of sites with different user demographics and capabilities. It is important for financial professionals to determine which social media platform(s) are most appropriate for their personal styles and their prospective consumer markets. It is also essential to understand that social media ratings are a modern form of referrals. However, if your business is in the broad market, then social spaces like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are platforms that your ideal clients are probably already on. Get on there and start building those relationships. So, what’s the message here? Prospects are researching you before they will even meet with you, so you need to be online, engaged and meet them where they are! Also, the increasingly youthful demographic of consumers seeking a financial Advisor means that social media has quickly become an important marketing and communication tool for financial professionals. We’ve reviewed five of the major platforms, but those aren’t necessarily the only modern direct marketing platforms you can utilize to promote your brand. Here is a list of a few more that may or may not be on your radar. Podcasts are growing in popularity. People are listening, watching and streaming, more and more. Perhaps a little more time consuming to create, but if you are up for the task, they can be the right fit for the brand information that you would like to convey. Blogs and e-Newsletter are definitely still on the list. With these tools you can control what your audience sees, review analytics and determine how many people have seen or opened your message or spent time on certain content that you have distributed. You can also more efficiently promote your business and services to an audience that already knows, likes and trusts you. Webinars and online live training sessions remain highly popular. People enjoy the fact that they can view it from afar, without having to leave their homes. Virtual events allow you to reach people in other areas that may not attend an in-person event due to travel requirements, availability, etc. Facebook groups provide an avenue for you to nurture your community and engage with your audience one-on-one. They also allow you to really hone-in on your target audience group – you can then tailor your message and get active engagement with more of your ideal customers. You are probably quite familiar with COI’s such as lawyers, accountants, mortgage brokers, etc. But did you know that you can also find centers of influence and influencers on modern marketing platforms? These are the people that share a similar audience to you, or their audience is made up of your ideal clients. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the typical industry partners and be sure to build connections. Although not an actual marketing platform, good ole word of mouth is still very much alive and probably more important now than it has been for years. In a world filled with so much noise, people are reaching out to their trusted friends, family and acquaintances online to find businesses, services and professionals that they can trust. They are relying on social proof more than anything else. Modern marketing platforms make meetup events and networking events easier to attend and find. Face-to-face communication is still key and social media platforms make it easier to find these events and connect with prospects, current clients and influencers. For similar articles on how you can build up your social media presence, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your modern marketing, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. LIMRA.com LIMRA.com
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Preserving Your Client’s Memories with the help of STEP

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INFOclip: Mortgage Protection

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Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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