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News

December 1

It’s here! PPI’s Income Replacement applet offers a simplified disability needs analysis to help illustrate your client’s current financial position as well as their potential need in case of disability. Check it out on Toolkit Direct today!

November 30

What is ‘cascading insurance’ and how can it help your clients stay tax-efficient while transferring wealth to future generations? Read this article, then share the client-friendly video with your clients today.

November 29

Did you know that you can select eDelivery options for the many carriers that offer it? This allows you to store your contracts electronically and deliver to your clients faster. Learn more about PPI’s array of digital tools (Advisor login required):

November 28

To PRC or not to PRC? Definitely PRC! If you need answers on how to plan with life insurance to fund tax liability on death of shareholder with private company shares, consult PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (PRC). Click here (Advisor login required):

November 25

Needs based selling checklists, editable sample letters and factfinders - just a few items on PPI Toolkit Direct’s Practice Assistant – all to help you stay compliant during your sales process. Start using Practice Assistant today (Advisor login required):

December 1

It’s here! PPI’s Income Replacement applet offers a simplified disability needs analysis to help illustrate your client’s current financial position as well as their potential need in case of disability. Check it out on Toolkit Direct today!

November 30

What is ‘cascading insurance’ and how can it help your clients stay tax-efficient while transferring wealth to future generations? Read this article, then share the client-friendly video with your clients today.

November 29

Did you know that you can select eDelivery options for the many carriers that offer it? This allows you to store your contracts electronically and deliver to your clients faster. Learn more about PPI’s array of digital tools (Advisor login required):

November 28

To PRC or not to PRC? Definitely PRC! If you need answers on how to plan with life insurance to fund tax liability on death of shareholder with private company shares, consult PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (PRC). Click here (Advisor login required):

December 1

It’s here! PPI’s Income Replacement applet offers a simplified disability needs analysis to help illustrate your client’s current financial position as well as their potential need in case of disability. Check it out on Toolkit Direct today!

November 30

What is ‘cascading insurance’ and how can it help your clients stay tax-efficient while transferring wealth to future generations? Read this article, then share the client-friendly video with your clients today.

November 29

Did you know that you can select eDelivery options for the many carriers that offer it? This allows you to store your contracts electronically and deliver to your clients faster. Learn more about PPI’s array of digital tools (Advisor login required):

November 28

To PRC or not to PRC? Definitely PRC! If you need answers on how to plan with life insurance to fund tax liability on death of shareholder with private company shares, consult PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (PRC). Click here (Advisor login required):

November 25

Needs based selling checklists, editable sample letters and factfinders - just a few items on PPI Toolkit Direct’s Practice Assistant – all to help you stay compliant during your sales process. Start using Practice Assistant today (Advisor login required):

November 25

Use CapIntel to easily model your client’s risk profile, build portfolios, design a PDF comparison against a client’s current holdings & more! Check it out here: and be sure to reach out to PPI’s Wealth Sales Team for more info:

November 24

PPI Atlantic raised over $25,000 (we topped it up to $35,000 nationally) in support of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and brought home the Insurance Cup with iA Financial! We are humbled to have been part of such a noble endeavour. #PPI #LLSC #InsuranceCup

November 23

Cryptocurrency. Lately, we’ve all been hearing a lot of this mysterious word. However, what does it involve and how does it affect the insurance underwriting process for your clients? Read this article to learn more.

November 22

PPI AmpLiFi, powered by Life Design Analysis, helps Advisors maximize the opportunities in their existing business, and identify new leads. Click here to learn more: #PPI

November 21

PPI’s Toolkit Direct has an array of fantastic applets and presentations, including access to carrier software downloads and websites! Available on all mainstream browsers, and makes accessing carrier illustrations a breeze (Advisor login required):

November 18

How long will your client’s money last? Share this Will the Money Last? calculator with your clients to help them determine how long their saved dollars will last when they start to use them as income. #PPI #financialadvisors

November 17

Do you know about PPI’s Income Replacement applet on Toolkit Direct? It offers your client an analysis of their current financial position versus a potential loss of income due to disability. Be sure to share it with your clients today: #PPI #ToolkitDirect

November 16

Your client has some retirement dollars saved, but have they implemented the added step of protecting their investments in case of a severe illness? Share this article with your clients to demonstrate the power of critical illness insurance.

November 15

Starting those important client conversations just got a little easier with Your Link Between. Add your branding and contact details, then share a client-friendly article/video to start those insurance or investment conversations. Advisor login required:

November 14

Have you spoken with your clients about critical illness insurance? PPI’s Bridging Risk presentation outlines 5 major life risks and their respective probabilities. Share it with your clients to bridge this important conversation. Login required:

November 11

Today, we remember those who made the greatest of sacrifices and courageously gave their lives to keep our True North strong and free. We honour you and thank you for your service. #remembranceday

November 10

Design customized client presentations, create compliance documents, compare investment portfolios and send client-friendly articles branded to you with PPI’s suite of fintech tools. Look to the Stratosphere for more: #PPI #insurancesolutions

November 9

Who needs all those equations and formulas, we’re re-sharing your clients’ top three calculators. Be sure to share these easy-to-use calculators with your prospects and clients to help them save more effectively and manage debt more efficiently.

November 8

With admiration, respect, and humility we announce that PPI’s founder, Jim Burton and long-time business partner and Actuary, John McKay, will both retire at year end. The vision, innovative thinking, leadership, and humanity they brought to our industry and PPI are legendary.

November 7

Interested in stimulating and timely insurance, investments and underwriting content? Advisor Talk, PPI’s advisor blog features 150+ articles that we’ve curated just for you! You can also share the client-friendly version of these articles from this page!

Recent Articles

INFOclip: Transferring Wealth to Future Generations

November 30, 2022

Your client has worked hard all their life and through some savvy financial planning, has accumulated an impressive portfolio. Perhaps they are also at a time in their life when they are slowing down and now considering financial strategies to help the future generations of their family achieve financial success as well. However, knowing that traditional registered and non-registered investments create tax liabilities, how can your client transfer the maximum amount of wealth to their kids and grandkids while paying the least amount of tax? Well, today may be a good day to let them know about the many tax-saving benefits of purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy. Share this INFOclip with your clients to help them understand how purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy can help provide financial protection, while also creating a tax-efficient vehicle to enhance and transfer wealth to future generations.
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Cryptocurrency and Financial Underwriting: Friend and Foe?

November 23, 2022

“The following article references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.” Financial underwriting. These two words put together are sometimes the subject of heated debate and occasionally, more than mild disagreement between Advisors and underwriters. Even usually agreeable underwriters are known to argue strenuously amongst themselves and on differing sides of a financially challenging case. Unlike medical underwriting where guidelines cover a wide and deep array of conditions and risk scenarios, financial guidelines take up much less space in most underwriting manuals, highlighting the art rather the science of decision making in those cases. But in every case, the higher the insurance amount applied for, the more thorough the financial underwriting – with extra attention paid to the financial information provided, including the nature of the applicant’s net worth – right down to the types of investments and currencies they hold. How does cryptocurrency, not brand new but still a relative newcomer in global finance, impact financial underwriting? In this Risk Bit, we’ll touch on the topic to get a sense of whether having a bit of Bitcoin is a friendly addition to the file information or whether an excess of Ethereum turns the underwriter into a file foe. Let’s start with the name. Currency has long been part of our day-to-day lexicon, as we buy, sell, trade using money, skills, goods and services to get by. The crypto part is another matter. Originating from the Greek work to denote something that is hidden, the combination of the two words has all the potential to scare even the most courageous among the group of risk selectors know as underwriters. It is beyond the scope here to detail the creation and structure of this new currency, so we’ll highlight the fact that encryption and decentralization are key tenets as this “new money” is added to a blockchain and computerized distribution ledger, unknown prior to 2009 (1). A throwback to a time of little or no financial regulation, rampant speculation and volatility, the added concern in the early crypto era has been its’ potential appeal as a facilitator or conduit for illegal activity. A definite non-starter for underwriting. More recently, however, the mainstream financial world is learning that cryptocurrency and equity markets rely on a number of common conditions such as supply, demand, monetary policy and geopolitics (2). The roller-coaster volatility of cryptocurrency stocks often leads to financial news stories, but only time will tell if some are consistently able to weather economic storms with a measure of resiliency. The more astute market analysts remind us that long-term bull markets ‘correct” and weed out companies with non-sustainable price/earnings ratios, overvaluation or simple bad management. Think of the dot.com bubble burst of 2001. Then think of companies such as Amazon or eBay that not only survived 2001 but have continued to thrive since then (3). Back to underwriting and the friend or foe approach. Financial underwriting tends to favor established enterprises with overall steady growth and demonstrated leadership, especially if those leaders are being insured. Favor is reflected in more generous valuation for insurance amount approaches, whether it is a higher capitalization of earnings or assets and longer projection periods and return rates in the consideration of long-term insurance needs. Volatility, market speculation, low regulation and highly leveraged applicants looking for a quick payday elicit a more frugal approach, the decision memo often reading ‘prefer not to participate’ or ‘can only offer a reduced sum of insurance’. The horizon? Some insurers are considering modest amounts of cryptocurrency in the client’s asset base if there is a solid, more traditional financial background and no other concerns. The development of government mandated digital banks known more formally as CBDCs (central bank digital currency), a handful already in business and being evaluated here in Canada may help ease concerns (4). Central bank regulation may be able to allay concerns related to legitimacy and even bring a measure of competition to the current crypto market, a very underwriting friendly move. To quote a line in an old Beatles song, ‘and you know that can’t be bad’ (5). Pritchard, Carolyn. Cryptocurrency: The Newest Challenge to Financial Underwriting. RGA Home. April 22, 2022. Sharma, Rakesh. Is There a Cryptocurrency Price Correlation to the Stock Market?com. May 12, 2022. Folger, Jean. 5 Successful Companies That Survived the Dot-Com Bubble. Investopedia.com. August 15, 2021. Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee. Central Bank Digital Currency and Stablecoins. Bank of Canada. June 2021. Lennon, John and McCartney, Paul. She Loves You. The Beatles. 1963.
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Protecting Your Clients’ Retirement with Critical Illness Insurance

November 16, 2022

How many of your clients are dutifully saving for retirement? It’s probably safe to wager that the vast majority of your clients have some semblance of retirement savings in place. Now, how many of those same clients have implemented the added step of protecting their investments in case of a severe illness? While many retirement conversations revolve around RRSPs and their goal of helping clients maximize their returns, another important conversation involves critical illness insurance and the way in which it can benefit your clients by adding another layer of protection. If a client suffers a critical illness and needs to take time off of work, or if they need to pay for additional treatment, that income replacement or funding needs to come from somewhere. Without insurance, clients will first dip into their savings… but there are better solutions including using critical illness insurance as retirement protection. Let’s take a look at a strategy that includes effectively crash testing your clients’ portfolios. The idea is to show your client four scenarios, one of which is guaranteed to happen in their lifetime: They don’t have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and do suffer an illness They don’t have CI coverage and they do suffer an illness Pick any one of your clients and it’s pretty much guaranteed that one of the above scenarios will apply to them. But which one? This is the impossible part to predict! Most Canadians would like to believe their fate will lead them to option one, but the chance of experiencing a critical illness in their lifetime is 1 in 4 for men and 1 in 5 for women. (1) What if you could help show clients the net effect of their decisions and how each scenario can affect their portfolio? Specifically, what if you could show them the real-world impact to their annual net retirement income in each of the above scenarios? Here’s an example that will help them see the real-world effect on their annual retirement income. The above example assumes: Male Age 40 $200,000 in RRSPs Contributing $10,000 6% interest $100,000 need at age 50 due to a critical illness When you compare the ultimate annual retirement income in the scenarios in light blue and dark blue to the best-case scenario green, your clients will see that the impact of redirecting a portion of their savings dollars to the purchase of critical illness insurance is minimal when compared to the impact of becoming ill without critical illness protection. And, if they have additional cash flow, they can cover the cost of the critical illness insurance with no impact to their retirement income. So, the biggest question is: How can you help to illustrate what this looks like for your clients? To get started, you’ll need your client’s current registered and non-registered investment balances, future contribution amounts and before-tax rates of return. And for the next client meeting, ask if you can help them crash test their portfolio in case of a health emergency and then run a retirement protection concept for them to see which option they would choose. For similar content, read Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client. Also, be sure to share this Strengthening Your Safety Net quiz with your clients to help them assess the risk in their lives and the likelihood of them occurring. And if you have any questions about how critical illness insurance can protect your clients’ retirement, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. * Manulife Financial LifeCheque Retirement Protect illustration for male age 40, assuming $200,000 in existing RRSPs, contributing $10,000 annually, at 6% annual interest, with $100,000 required at age 50 due to critical illness. Illustrated on January 4, 2022.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Calculators

November 9, 2022

Who has time for all of those tedious formulas and boring equations! We’re resharing your clients’ top three calculators to help shed some light on their savings and debts. They are easy to use, so be sure to share them with your prospects and clients. 1) Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator When building a financial plan, it’s important to have financial goals in mind. Share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your clients to help them get started and reach their financial goals sooner! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! 2) Savings Growth Calculator Show your clients how they can UP their savings game by putting away a few extra dollars a month, starting today! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator 3) Debt Consolidation Calculator Help your clients explore options with this Debt Consolidation Calculator to streamline their monthly budget and pave the way to financial freedom. Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! Interested in more calculators? Visit the Tools section of PPI’s Advisor Talk for the full calculator library. And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Social Media Platforms – Social Media For Your Business – An 8 Step Plan

November 3, 2022

As an Advisor, your business is important to you, and you would like to promote it on social media. But there are so many things to consider, where do you even start? We have got you covered with a plan to help get you started on social media. From knowing your market to tips on how to set up a social media profile, this 8-step plan will help you and your business get noticed! STEP ONE: Know Your Market Understanding your audience is key! It is important for you to know who your audience is, their fears, interests and any problems that they are experiencing. Why? Well, that is how you provide value, creating engaging content (information that they are looking for, that positions you as a subject-matter expert) so you can stand out amongst your competition. The more you understand about your target market, the better you can connect with them on a deeper level. Simply put, it helps you add value, build trust, as well as create and deepen those important relationships in order to grow your business. STEP TWO: Choose Your Platform The truth is that you do not need to be on every social media platform – you just need to be where your clients are. From a business perspective, if your clients are not on a specific platform, it does not make sense for you to be there either. Once you select your platform, you need to become an expert on that platform. Yes, expert in the sense of your knowledge base and what you can offer to your clients as an Advisor, but also on how the platform works. What are the best ways for you to get in front of your prospects and clients? It is also imperative to consider when your audience is using that particular platform. If they are online at 6PM, then that is when you need to be posting your content. Makes sense, right? STEP THREE: Make a Plan Build a strategic plan and commit time to doing the activities required to put your plan into action. You can book it in your calendar for the next 30, 60 or 90 days, scheduling posts in advance so all you need to do is hit the “post” button on the day of your scheduled message. It is also important to know how much time you want to spend on your social media and where your content will come from – have you checked out PPI’s The Link Between, our client-friendly library of insurance and investment articles (plus tools and calculators!)? Take it one step further with Your Link Between – share all of these client-friendly articles via your own branded website! Be sure to set realistic goals, expectations and objectives for your social media marketing and what you want your Modern Marketing to accomplish. Although you should not expect to have thousands of followers and new clients in the first week, setting realistic goals will allow you to measure your results effectively. And once you master that initial platform, you can join more because you now have a plan, strategy and content that can be repurposed in different ways. Consider consistency which is not just about posting every day or once a week, but more about being consistent in your brand, messaging and even the images you choose. It is also imperative to be there to engage with your audience when they engage with your posts – if you are absent, you are missing a big opportunity to connect and build relationships with your audience. STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Profile Creating a social media profile is not like an Advisor resume. Here, you need to think about what your ideal client seeks and then make it easy for them to understand what makes you unique and how you can deliver exactly what they are looking for. Even your bio should be crafted in a way that puts your audience and their needs first, helping you relate and connect to them easier. Make it easy for clients and prospects to connect with you – add links to your business website and contact details. PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team has put together a couple detailed guides on how to set up your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as a Social Media Profile Checklist (Advisor login required) – check them out and get seen. STEP FIVE: Create and Curate Your Content It is extremely important to consider what content you are putting out. Before you post anything, consider what you would like to achieve with that message – is it going to connect you better to your audience? Whatever you choose to post, your content should always be rich, in depth and packed with value. And although it is not your single goal, you want your content to be both quotable and shareable when possible, because when your audience shares your content, their followers see it too, expanding your marketing reach. New followers and potential clients? Yes, please! You can also use key words, hashtags (#HashtagsAreImportant) and topics that you know people are already searching and following. Then make your content evergreen (relevant into the future) so that even when a client sees your content a year from now, it is still relevant and valuable to them. Don’t forget to be authentic. Yes, share your unique value and story that will attract your “true fans”, clients that become your brand advocates. STEP SIX: Provide Value and Build Relationships Engagement is the key to social media. Social media is social, it is about relationships. But it is critical that when you do engage, you are authentic and not “salesy” – listen, then provide value. Additionally, making your messages a little more personal allows you to connect better and build deeper relationships. Why not create a video or voice message which can easily showcase your expertise and the passion you have for your work? Reward people for their engagement. When a potential customer asks you a question, comment back or ask them a follow up question to continue the conversation. And if you have established a strong connection, why not ask that follower to share your content. For example, “if you liked this post, please share it with anyone you think is going to need insurance protection in the next year.” Do not just rely on algorithms to reach people… take charge and take action! STEP SEVEN: Become Referrable Social media is a place where people ask their networks for recommendations – restaurants, businesses and services, there is nothing more powerful than SOCIAL PROOF. Testimonials are no longer as trusted as they once were, since they can come off as unrealistically positive, potentially biased and paid. Today, people prefer reviews or personal referrals and consider them far more objective and trustworthy. Would you like a referral for your business? Build relationships so your customers are happy and willing to recommend you via social media to their family and contacts. Why not join or engage with groups that your clients already belong to? By being active within these groups, you can engage and add value to the group in hopes of those group members connecting with you on your platform, then joining your sales funnel where you can continue to nurture those relationships and provide value. Warning… DO NOT join a group and try to sell – it appears aggressive and will make you look suspicious. STEP EIGHT: The Next Step The key to this step is that you do not control social media. You do not own Facebook or Instagram and you cannot control algorithms, so your task is to get your audience off social media and into your sales funnel. The questions here are what is the action that you would like your audience to take and where do you want them to go from your social media platform? Do you want them to book a free consultation, opt into your newsletter, register for a seminar, refer a friend, complete a survey? Be sure to consider this in advance – remember step 3! Plan for it and set up a process to move your audience to your sales funnel where you have more control of your relationships. You can then start to track your progress. As business owners you are already tracking progress and production, perhaps even performing reviews throughout the year to ensure you are meeting your goals. Modern marketing is no different – you must pay careful attention, measure and track your progress. However, some metrics are more significant than others. There is no point focusing on metrics such as “likes” since those do not translate into sales. Instead, you want to hone-in on engagement, comments, questions, an increase in followers, shares, opt ins and business growth. And if you see that something is working, then by all means continue. If something is not working, then adapt, experiment and test other things. Have fun with it and do not be afraid! A good reminder is that modern marketing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It takes time, so start with one platform, give it time, put in effort and energy and you are sure to see results. Want to learn more about modern marketing for your business? Read How to Build Your Online Social Network, Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know.
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Is Social Media Right for Me? A Few Things to Consider

October 26, 2022

You own your own practice and would like to spread the good word about your excellent services and level of expertise. Great idea! If you’re not already on social media, have you considered it as way to promote your business? A fast, effective and free way to show your prospects and current clients who you are, social media can help you connect and build those long-lasting relationships. And in this line of business…. it is all about those Advisor-client relationships. But is social media right for you and your practice? There are certainly a few things to consider… Where are my prospects and current clients? Are your prospects and clients online? Are they even on social media? If so, which platforms do they visit and where exactly can you reach, connect and engage with them – for example, are they on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Essentially, you want to be where your clients are, so be sure to find out which social platforms they frequent and make your business visible (don’t forget interesting and informative!) there. Where is my competition? Are your industry competitors on a social media platform, but you’re not? If your competitors are active on social media and you’re nowhere to be found, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect and engage with your ideal clients. And the fact is that if you’re not there, your competitors will surely benefit from that – do not give them the upper hand! How is my business unique? Once you have determined where your clients and competition are, it is now time to identify your unique value and specialty. Every Advisor has a unique voice, expertise and brand – what is yours and how do you stand out? If what you have to offer, your business process, your specialty and knowledge can be communicated through this mode of modern marketing, then press on. You have something special to offer and it should be shared online. Where should I communicate? Think about what makes the most sense for your practice – should you be on social media like LinkedIn (business-facing) or Facebook (family/client facing)? Should you write an informative blog or create a podcast? The most important thing to consider here is which platform can deliver your message in the clearest and most effective way to your ideal audience. What content should I share? Think about what you want to communicate to your audience – do you have enough and the right type of content to share? Can you create your own content (how about a video or PPI’s Your Link Between?) or do you have another rich source for content? It’s not enough to just exist on digital platforms, you need to have interesting, entertaining, informative and/or thought-provoking content to share with your audience. You have their attention… now how are you going to keep that attention? What tools and resources do I need/have to implement my marketing strategy? You’re busy, you have a fast-paced practice to run and can’t be spending your precious time on social media. We get it. But digital marketing is still important so what tools and resources do you have that will make these tasks easier and more efficient for you to action? For example, can you implement tools to schedule your social media posts in advance? Save yourself some time (and stress!) by getting the right tools to help you manage your online presence. How often should I post? Well, first things first – you need to be consistent with your posting. But consistent may not mean the same thing for each platform. For example, consistency on one platform may entail posting twice a day, while consistency on another platform sees you posting once a week or even once a month. It really depends on the nature of that particular platform, your audience and what type of content you are promoting. How do I transition prospects into active clients? The next item to consider is, do you have a system or process in place that allows you to transition prospects from social media to your business sales funnel? You don’t own Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, so you’re going to want to move your clients from those platforms to your own business website. Do you have your own platform and how are you going to get them there? Some ideas to consider are hosting an educational webinar, offering a free consultation or providing a free resource to download. What are my objectives and goals? And lastly, it’s vital to think about your social media objectives and goals. Have a plan, understand your objectives and visualize what success looks like for you and your business. Having this awareness will help you make wiser business decisions and help you navigate your business on social media strategically, rather than just posting when you have a spare moment. Put a solid plan into place and watch your business grow. For more information on the wonderful world of modern marketing, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your digital marketing, please reach out to PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team.
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Learning From Experience: Bernard’s Story

October 19, 2022

A good cautionary tale makes a person stop and take a look at their own circumstances.  Bernard’s story may encourage your clients to take stock of their assets and consider whether they’ve properly planned for the distribution of those assets. Share Bernard’s story with your clients to help them see that there are nuances involved in naming beneficiaries and heirs, and that seeking good advice, communication, and documentation when planning can help to ensure their wishes are carried out as hoped.   For more information on estate planning and documenting final intentions, watch our short video: SMART TALK… about will planning and drafting – Advisor Talk and read our previous post: The Beneficiary Challenge – Advisor Talk. Questions? Contact your local PPI collaboration centre.
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Net Worth Calculator

October 12, 2022

Calculating their net worth, can quickly put your clients’ financial health into perspective and incentivise them to set goals for improving on it. Share the Net Worth Calculator to help your clients on their path to a strong financial future.
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More Articles

The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Videos

October 5, 2022

Did you know that videos are one of the most effective (and effortless) ways to share valuable content with your clients and prospects? A simple introductory sentence and an informative video can initiate fresh client connections. This year, we had a few great video hits, all available for you to share with your clients. With topics from mortgage protection to the value of professional advice, we’ve rounded up the top three videos. Roll ‘em… 1. INFOclip: Mortgage Protection The mortgage insurance your clients’ lenders are offering and the individual insurance plans you can offer them are almost nothing alike – especially in the ways that matter to your clients and their families. Show them the individual coverage advantages. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! 2. SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance There are so many categories and variations of insurance – what is the best way for you to convey all of this valuable information to an interested prospect or client? Share this popular and informative video to start that important conversation. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! 3. INFOclip: The Value of Advice You are a wealth of information, a pro! As a professional Advisor, you’re in the primary position to offer your prospects and clients the best information regarding their financial future. This video outlines the many benefits of working with a professional Advisor like YOU to enhance their financial wellness, providing security and peace of mind. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! For more video content that you can share with your clients, have a look at our client-friendly blog The Link Between. You can also sign up for Your Link Between to share client-friendly articles via your own custom-branded website – trust us, it’s a game changer! And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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The Evolving World of Mental Health Treatments

September 29, 2022

This is neither an endorsement or advice about the treatment of mental health. It goes without saying that good mental health is foundational to overall health and well-being. In underwriting, a report of confirmed or even suspected history of depression or related conditions gets a lot of attention and policy issue can range from standard rates to rated premium to sometimes no offer at all, where the risk is deemed too high to accept. Treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other conditions in the mental health spectrum continue to evolve. The use of psychedelics is a newer facet of treatment. Natural substances that induce a hallucinatory state have been around for millennia. These include everything from cannabis, now legal in Canada, and include opium poppy to ayahuasca, the latter a product of brewing a particular vine or shrub commonly found in South America (1). The first synthetic hallucinogen, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was created in 1938, initially thought to be pain-relief medication, with its’ hallucinatory properties discovered a few years later (2). There is a school of thought that this class of drugs does not have the same addictive potential known to be prevalent among users of tobacco and even alcohol, in itself favoring ongoing study for use as a bona fide therapeutic resource. The use of psychedelics, illegal in most countries, has long been relegated to use for recreational or even spiritual renewal purposes. The emergence of this class of drugs to treat or even improve already good mental health is seen as a new frontier. Improved understanding of the multifactorial aspects of mental health and the impact of these drugs on our brain continue to shed light where misunderstanding and ignorance used to predominate. Consider one study of 19 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Using functional MRI (fMRI) to view the brain, decreased depressive symptoms were observed at both one-week in all patients and nearly half after five-week after use of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”). The fMRI showed decrease in cerebral blood flow in areas of the brain where reducing flow correlates with reduced depressive symptoms (3). In a brave, new world of ever-increasing understanding, and destigmatizing of mental illness, these hallucinogenic agents may in future become accepted mental health treatments. Watch this space as we learn more. Wikipedia. Ayahuasca. Wikipedia.org. History.com Editors. LSD. History.com. August 21, 2018. Carhart-Harris et all. Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms. National Library of Medicine. October 13, 2017.
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INFOclip: Protecting Your Estate

September 21, 2022

Over a lifetime, your client has worked and managed to accumulate an estate consisting of registered savings, non-registered savings, property, maybe even a business. And when they pass, they want to make sure that their family or a favourite charity receives as much of their estate as possible. So far so good, right? However, the reality is that if your client fails to structure their estate effectively, much of those hard-earned dollars could end up in the hands of government as taxes or distributed to heirs in a way contrary to their wishes. So, how can they prevent their estate from being distributed incorrectly? Proper estate planning is key. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to demonstrate the importance of effective estate planning with a trusted Advisor – that’s you! For similar content, read, then share Estate Protection for your Client. And if you have any questions about estate planning, be sure to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Cash Flow Calculator

September 14, 2022

Do you have clients who could use a little help building a comprehensive household budget? Recommend the Cash Flow Calculator!
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Healthy Forgetting: Remember This

September 7, 2022

Underwriters see an unprecedented number of cases of suspected or confirmed cognitive decline, the inevitable result of our aging population. While cognitive decline can be demonstrated by a degradation or loss of a number of functions such as learning, language or complex attention skills, the apparent loss of memory is the most common presenting complaint. Even cases where the memory loss has not had a major impact on daily living, a suspicion of even mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is enough to have the insurance application turned down. But what about the other side of the memory coin, specifically can we remember too much or remember in ways that are unhealthy? How does this work and is there a name for this condition? Let’s delve a little deeper. A quick word on brain mechanics; the human brain, allows us to store memories in the hippocampus, contained in the medial temporal lobe. Think of this as the hard drive of our memory bank. The frontal cortex of our brain allows us to access those memories. Think of this as the “Open” command much like when we access a stored document on our computer hard drive. These areas of the brain allow not only for memory retrieval but also to cultivate memories that includes pruning, removal and replication, similar to the way a gardener uses these methods to grow and maintain healthy flowers or vegetables. An example of pruning and replication might be one piece of information in our memory erased and replaced, then replicated by more reasonable or useful information. This the mechanism for building a logical mind. An example of unhealthy memory is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With PTSD, the inability to forget following a traumatic event creates an imbalance between remembering and forgetting. This results in the chronic and often daily reminders of the trauma manifested by intrusive thoughts, inability to sleep and can be triggered by things like loud noises, a minor annoyance to most but a devastating and regular reminder of the trauma to those with PTSD. More recently and closer to home for most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic event. It affords the opportunity to observe how we remember the facts about the virus, the cost on human lives and families around the world and what may be required to overcome the challenges of a pandemic. This is the healthy remembering. The healthy forgetting is the letting go of the fears we have taken on during the last two years. In an essay on the two-year anniversary of the pandemic, the neuroscientist, Dr. Scott Small, writes that some degree of emotional forgetting allows us to live in and move forward from this time (1). Remembering when and what to forget is an ability most handle well. It is also a reminder to better understand and lend a hand to those who can’t always forget what is best forgotten. The takeaway for you as an Advisor? Knowledge, insight and understanding make for better informed underwriting decisions. Small, Scott. We Will Forget Much of the Pandemic. That’s a Good Thing. New York Times. March 9, 2022.
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National Life Insurance Awareness Month

August 31, 2022

Did you know that September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month? The perfect time to reach out to prospects and clients to evaluate what insurance they have in place and if it still meets their needs. A good place to start is to assess your client’s current situation. Your client has different needs at different stages in their life, so good questions to review with them include: How has life changed since you purchased your coverage, or since we last reviewed your insurance: Find out about mortgages, new loans, job or income changes, education funds, retirement plans and other financial obligations so they can be sure they have the coverage they need. Has the nature of your needs changed: They may require a similar coverage amount as when they first purchased their plan but their obligations may have shifted from temporary to permanent. A change of plan may be appropriate. Have you done any will planning? What are you hopes and dreams for your heirs: There may be an insurance need associated with the smooth distribution of their estate. Regardless of your client’s life insurance needs, they have options. So, as it gets chillier outside and we prepare for the long, cold Canadian winter ahead, take some time today to reach out and ensure that your clients have the insurance coverage they need today and into the future. Share the client article so that, in honour of life insurance awareness month, your prospects and clients can ask themselves a few good insurance related questions. If you’re looking for similar content to share with your clients, read then share Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow, as well as Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider For Renewal. We also have this great Exploring Your Life Insurance Options tool to help your client understand the varying types of insurance and which one may be best for them.
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Inflation, Interest Rates and Your Client’s Investments

August 24, 2022

Lately, we’ve all been experiencing a few less dollars in our bank accounts. Between the cost of fuel, groceries and the overall cost of living, there’s no denying that everything is just so much more expensive. Your clients may want to know why and although “inflation” is the one-word answer, we’re diving a little deeper into why inflation occurs and how it can affect interest rates and your client’s investments. Interest Rates and Inflation Inflation can be defined as a general progressive increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy. When prices rise, each unit of currency can buy fewer goods and services. Monetary policy seeks to stabilize the rate of inflation in an economy by controlling how much cash is infused into the economic system and where rates are set. When interest rates are low, money is cheap. Individuals will borrow more to spend and invest, businesses will borrow more to invest in the growth of their own companies, restructure existing debt and buyback shares. In fact, a share buyback can lead to an increase in the price of shares. When money is cheap, established companies will borrow to buy back their own shares on the open market. When they buy back their own shares, they are reducing the number of shares available and increasing the value of each remaining share (market cap stays the same). However, when interest rates are high, individuals will borrow fewer dollars and save more. Businesses will also borrow fewer dollars and invest less in the growth of their companies. For this reason, a low interest rate environment will stimulate an economy and encourage growth whereas high interest rates stifle growth and stabilize (or contract) an economy. Now, you might be wondering why we would ever raise rates if the lower rates lead to more growth. The answer? Inflation. When money is cheap there is more of it being created, more money in an economy leads to a reduction of purchasing power. The more money there is, the less value that money has. If we keep rates low to stimulate the economy, then inflation can run rampant. If we keep rates high to curb inflation, then we stifle growth. It’s a fine balance and there is a constant battle being fought between interest rates and inflation. Here’s an example for you. If an interest rate is, say, 5% but inflation is, say, 3% then the real rate of interest is only 2% (5-3=2). The real rate seeks to streamline the cost of money and the increase of prices. Let us look at it this way, assume that $100 dollars can buy your client 100 apples. Now let us assume that there is no inflation and your client has invested their $100 at 5% interest for a single year. When the year has ended, their $100 has turned into $105 and your client’s ability to buy apples has increased from 100 to 105. Now let us look at the same scenario but assume that the price of apples will experience 5% inflation. Your client’s $100 dollars invested at 5% for a year will still result in $105 at years end. But if apples inflated in price by 5% from $1 to $1.05 then they can still only buy 100 apples. The money itself grew by 5% (from 100 to 105) but your client cannot buy any more apples at year end because the price of apples has gone up too. We can see that inflation reduces purchasing power. In turn, the objective of the central bank, through monetary and fiscal policy, is to target a real rate that will allow for growth while keeping inflation in check. What Does Inflation Mean for the Stock Market? Broadly speaking, the stock market can be divided into value and growth categories. Growth stocks are typically new and faster growing companies that may not yet be profitable. These companies need cash to grow and raising cash becomes more challenging when the cost of borrowing increases. A value stock is one that has strong current cash flows and isn’t borrowing to grow as much as a growth company. When coming up with a value of a stock using a discounted cash flow model, in times of rising rates, a growth stock will be impacted to a higher degree than a value stock. This is why we have seen tech and growth stocks come off in recent months (Q4 2021 into Q1 2022) and seen value plays like energy, infrastructure, banks and insurance companies rally. Moreover, banks and insurance companies will do well with an increase in interest rate margin – the spread between how much they pay on deposits versus how much they make on investing deposits. With rates rising, this spread could theoretically increase. What Does Inflation Mean for the Bond Market? Again, speaking in general terms, inflation can have a negative impact on bonds and other fixed income assets. The nature of valuing a bond, not unlike the DCF (discounted cash flow) method for valuing a stock discussed previously, is contingent upon discounting cash flows at a prevailing rate. When rates go up the price of a bond goes down, that is, there is an inverse relationship between the price of a bond and the yield of a bond. Another way to think about it is, when interest rates go up, the interest payments from existing fixed income securities are less competitive than new bonds at the higher rate so the price of existing bonds at the previous, lower rate goes down. When inflation goes up, rates must go up too. When rates go up, existing bonds come down in value. Keep in mind that that all information in this article is from a theoretical perspective. There are plenty of moving parts and different securities will behave differently. The objective here is to illustrate concepts in a vacuum and not recommend a particular security, asset class or any guarantee of performance or behavior of an asset class or security in the economy or market. As always, the advice is to construct a broadly diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance that will allow them to achieve the desired return given how much risk they are willing to take on over their investment window. Through seeking advice from an advisor, investors can get help navigating and mitigating the effects of short-term market news, whether it is high inflation, political strife, wars, sanctions, or anything else and focus on achieving their financial goals. Questions? Contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Learning From Experience: Bett’s Story

August 17, 2022

Everyone loves a story with a happy ending, even if it’s rife with tragedy and family drama. But happy ending or not, if somewhere in the story, a loved one is lost, we see the toll the loss can take on the relationships of family survivors. True in fiction. True in life. You play a pivotal role in encouraging your clients to plan ahead wisely and intentionally so they can ease rather than contribute to the toll their passing will take on the relationships of those they love. And you can never overemphasize the importance of proper estate planning. Share Bett’s story with your clients to help them understand and remember the importance of documenting and communicating their final intentions.  For more information on estate planning and documenting final intentions, watch our short video SMART TALK… about will planning and drafting and read our previous post The Beneficiary Challenge. Questions? Contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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INFOclip: Understanding Term Insurance

August 10, 2022

You know how important insurance is for your clients – it offers them a sense of security knowing their financial obligations are met in the event of a disability, illness or even death. But are your clients aware about the many benefits of term insurance for today and their tomorrows? We’ve created this little video for you to share with your clients. It covers all the basics of term insurance and is a great place to initiate a conversation with your clients about how term insurance not only helps to cover short term expenses such a mortgage, a child’s education or income replacement, but can also be a great source of security into the future, as financial obligations become a wee bit more complicated. So be sure to watch this video, then share it with your clients to kick-start those important conversations! For similar content, read, then share Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider for Renewal and Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow. And if you have any questions about term insurance (or any other life insurance solutions!), be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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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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Recent Articles

INFOclip: Transferring Wealth to Future Generations

November 30, 2022

Your client has worked hard all their life and through some savvy financial planning, has accumulated an impressive portfolio. Perhaps they are also at a time in their life when they are slowing down and now considering financial strategies to help the future generations of their family achieve financial success as well. However, knowing that traditional registered and non-registered investments create tax liabilities, how can your client transfer the maximum amount of wealth to their kids and grandkids while paying the least amount of tax? Well, today may be a good day to let them know about the many tax-saving benefits of purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy. Share this INFOclip with your clients to help them understand how purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy can help provide financial protection, while also creating a tax-efficient vehicle to enhance and transfer wealth to future generations.
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Cryptocurrency and Financial Underwriting: Friend and Foe?

November 23, 2022

“The following article references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.” Financial underwriting. These two words put together are sometimes the subject of heated debate and occasionally, more than mild disagreement between Advisors and underwriters. Even usually agreeable underwriters are known to argue strenuously amongst themselves and on differing sides of a financially challenging case. Unlike medical underwriting where guidelines cover a wide and deep array of conditions and risk scenarios, financial guidelines take up much less space in most underwriting manuals, highlighting the art rather the science of decision making in those cases. But in every case, the higher the insurance amount applied for, the more thorough the financial underwriting – with extra attention paid to the financial information provided, including the nature of the applicant’s net worth – right down to the types of investments and currencies they hold. How does cryptocurrency, not brand new but still a relative newcomer in global finance, impact financial underwriting? In this Risk Bit, we’ll touch on the topic to get a sense of whether having a bit of Bitcoin is a friendly addition to the file information or whether an excess of Ethereum turns the underwriter into a file foe. Let’s start with the name. Currency has long been part of our day-to-day lexicon, as we buy, sell, trade using money, skills, goods and services to get by. The crypto part is another matter. Originating from the Greek work to denote something that is hidden, the combination of the two words has all the potential to scare even the most courageous among the group of risk selectors know as underwriters. It is beyond the scope here to detail the creation and structure of this new currency, so we’ll highlight the fact that encryption and decentralization are key tenets as this “new money” is added to a blockchain and computerized distribution ledger, unknown prior to 2009 (1). A throwback to a time of little or no financial regulation, rampant speculation and volatility, the added concern in the early crypto era has been its’ potential appeal as a facilitator or conduit for illegal activity. A definite non-starter for underwriting. More recently, however, the mainstream financial world is learning that cryptocurrency and equity markets rely on a number of common conditions such as supply, demand, monetary policy and geopolitics (2). The roller-coaster volatility of cryptocurrency stocks often leads to financial news stories, but only time will tell if some are consistently able to weather economic storms with a measure of resiliency. The more astute market analysts remind us that long-term bull markets ‘correct” and weed out companies with non-sustainable price/earnings ratios, overvaluation or simple bad management. Think of the dot.com bubble burst of 2001. Then think of companies such as Amazon or eBay that not only survived 2001 but have continued to thrive since then (3). Back to underwriting and the friend or foe approach. Financial underwriting tends to favor established enterprises with overall steady growth and demonstrated leadership, especially if those leaders are being insured. Favor is reflected in more generous valuation for insurance amount approaches, whether it is a higher capitalization of earnings or assets and longer projection periods and return rates in the consideration of long-term insurance needs. Volatility, market speculation, low regulation and highly leveraged applicants looking for a quick payday elicit a more frugal approach, the decision memo often reading ‘prefer not to participate’ or ‘can only offer a reduced sum of insurance’. The horizon? Some insurers are considering modest amounts of cryptocurrency in the client’s asset base if there is a solid, more traditional financial background and no other concerns. The development of government mandated digital banks known more formally as CBDCs (central bank digital currency), a handful already in business and being evaluated here in Canada may help ease concerns (4). Central bank regulation may be able to allay concerns related to legitimacy and even bring a measure of competition to the current crypto market, a very underwriting friendly move. To quote a line in an old Beatles song, ‘and you know that can’t be bad’ (5). Pritchard, Carolyn. Cryptocurrency: The Newest Challenge to Financial Underwriting. RGA Home. April 22, 2022. Sharma, Rakesh. Is There a Cryptocurrency Price Correlation to the Stock Market?com. May 12, 2022. Folger, Jean. 5 Successful Companies That Survived the Dot-Com Bubble. Investopedia.com. August 15, 2021. Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee. Central Bank Digital Currency and Stablecoins. Bank of Canada. June 2021. Lennon, John and McCartney, Paul. She Loves You. The Beatles. 1963.
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Protecting Your Clients’ Retirement with Critical Illness Insurance

November 16, 2022

How many of your clients are dutifully saving for retirement? It’s probably safe to wager that the vast majority of your clients have some semblance of retirement savings in place. Now, how many of those same clients have implemented the added step of protecting their investments in case of a severe illness? While many retirement conversations revolve around RRSPs and their goal of helping clients maximize their returns, another important conversation involves critical illness insurance and the way in which it can benefit your clients by adding another layer of protection. If a client suffers a critical illness and needs to take time off of work, or if they need to pay for additional treatment, that income replacement or funding needs to come from somewhere. Without insurance, clients will first dip into their savings… but there are better solutions including using critical illness insurance as retirement protection. Let’s take a look at a strategy that includes effectively crash testing your clients’ portfolios. The idea is to show your client four scenarios, one of which is guaranteed to happen in their lifetime: They don’t have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and do suffer an illness They don’t have CI coverage and they do suffer an illness Pick any one of your clients and it’s pretty much guaranteed that one of the above scenarios will apply to them. But which one? This is the impossible part to predict! Most Canadians would like to believe their fate will lead them to option one, but the chance of experiencing a critical illness in their lifetime is 1 in 4 for men and 1 in 5 for women. (1) What if you could help show clients the net effect of their decisions and how each scenario can affect their portfolio? Specifically, what if you could show them the real-world impact to their annual net retirement income in each of the above scenarios? Here’s an example that will help them see the real-world effect on their annual retirement income. The above example assumes: Male Age 40 $200,000 in RRSPs Contributing $10,000 6% interest $100,000 need at age 50 due to a critical illness When you compare the ultimate annual retirement income in the scenarios in light blue and dark blue to the best-case scenario green, your clients will see that the impact of redirecting a portion of their savings dollars to the purchase of critical illness insurance is minimal when compared to the impact of becoming ill without critical illness protection. And, if they have additional cash flow, they can cover the cost of the critical illness insurance with no impact to their retirement income. So, the biggest question is: How can you help to illustrate what this looks like for your clients? To get started, you’ll need your client’s current registered and non-registered investment balances, future contribution amounts and before-tax rates of return. And for the next client meeting, ask if you can help them crash test their portfolio in case of a health emergency and then run a retirement protection concept for them to see which option they would choose. For similar content, read Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client. Also, be sure to share this Strengthening Your Safety Net quiz with your clients to help them assess the risk in their lives and the likelihood of them occurring. And if you have any questions about how critical illness insurance can protect your clients’ retirement, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. * Manulife Financial LifeCheque Retirement Protect illustration for male age 40, assuming $200,000 in existing RRSPs, contributing $10,000 annually, at 6% annual interest, with $100,000 required at age 50 due to critical illness. Illustrated on January 4, 2022.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Calculators

November 9, 2022

Who has time for all of those tedious formulas and boring equations! We’re resharing your clients’ top three calculators to help shed some light on their savings and debts. They are easy to use, so be sure to share them with your prospects and clients. 1) Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator When building a financial plan, it’s important to have financial goals in mind. Share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your clients to help them get started and reach their financial goals sooner! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! 2) Savings Growth Calculator Show your clients how they can UP their savings game by putting away a few extra dollars a month, starting today! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator 3) Debt Consolidation Calculator Help your clients explore options with this Debt Consolidation Calculator to streamline their monthly budget and pave the way to financial freedom. Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! Interested in more calculators? Visit the Tools section of PPI’s Advisor Talk for the full calculator library. And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Social Media Platforms – Social Media For Your Business – An 8 Step Plan

November 3, 2022

As an Advisor, your business is important to you, and you would like to promote it on social media. But there are so many things to consider, where do you even start? We have got you covered with a plan to help get you started on social media. From knowing your market to tips on how to set up a social media profile, this 8-step plan will help you and your business get noticed! STEP ONE: Know Your Market Understanding your audience is key! It is important for you to know who your audience is, their fears, interests and any problems that they are experiencing. Why? Well, that is how you provide value, creating engaging content (information that they are looking for, that positions you as a subject-matter expert) so you can stand out amongst your competition. The more you understand about your target market, the better you can connect with them on a deeper level. Simply put, it helps you add value, build trust, as well as create and deepen those important relationships in order to grow your business. STEP TWO: Choose Your Platform The truth is that you do not need to be on every social media platform – you just need to be where your clients are. From a business perspective, if your clients are not on a specific platform, it does not make sense for you to be there either. Once you select your platform, you need to become an expert on that platform. Yes, expert in the sense of your knowledge base and what you can offer to your clients as an Advisor, but also on how the platform works. What are the best ways for you to get in front of your prospects and clients? It is also imperative to consider when your audience is using that particular platform. If they are online at 6PM, then that is when you need to be posting your content. Makes sense, right? STEP THREE: Make a Plan Build a strategic plan and commit time to doing the activities required to put your plan into action. You can book it in your calendar for the next 30, 60 or 90 days, scheduling posts in advance so all you need to do is hit the “post” button on the day of your scheduled message. It is also important to know how much time you want to spend on your social media and where your content will come from – have you checked out PPI’s The Link Between, our client-friendly library of insurance and investment articles (plus tools and calculators!)? Take it one step further with Your Link Between – share all of these client-friendly articles via your own branded website! Be sure to set realistic goals, expectations and objectives for your social media marketing and what you want your Modern Marketing to accomplish. Although you should not expect to have thousands of followers and new clients in the first week, setting realistic goals will allow you to measure your results effectively. And once you master that initial platform, you can join more because you now have a plan, strategy and content that can be repurposed in different ways. Consider consistency which is not just about posting every day or once a week, but more about being consistent in your brand, messaging and even the images you choose. It is also imperative to be there to engage with your audience when they engage with your posts – if you are absent, you are missing a big opportunity to connect and build relationships with your audience. STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Profile Creating a social media profile is not like an Advisor resume. Here, you need to think about what your ideal client seeks and then make it easy for them to understand what makes you unique and how you can deliver exactly what they are looking for. Even your bio should be crafted in a way that puts your audience and their needs first, helping you relate and connect to them easier. Make it easy for clients and prospects to connect with you – add links to your business website and contact details. PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team has put together a couple detailed guides on how to set up your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as a Social Media Profile Checklist (Advisor login required) – check them out and get seen. STEP FIVE: Create and Curate Your Content It is extremely important to consider what content you are putting out. Before you post anything, consider what you would like to achieve with that message – is it going to connect you better to your audience? Whatever you choose to post, your content should always be rich, in depth and packed with value. And although it is not your single goal, you want your content to be both quotable and shareable when possible, because when your audience shares your content, their followers see it too, expanding your marketing reach. New followers and potential clients? Yes, please! You can also use key words, hashtags (#HashtagsAreImportant) and topics that you know people are already searching and following. Then make your content evergreen (relevant into the future) so that even when a client sees your content a year from now, it is still relevant and valuable to them. Don’t forget to be authentic. Yes, share your unique value and story that will attract your “true fans”, clients that become your brand advocates. STEP SIX: Provide Value and Build Relationships Engagement is the key to social media. Social media is social, it is about relationships. But it is critical that when you do engage, you are authentic and not “salesy” – listen, then provide value. Additionally, making your messages a little more personal allows you to connect better and build deeper relationships. Why not create a video or voice message which can easily showcase your expertise and the passion you have for your work? Reward people for their engagement. When a potential customer asks you a question, comment back or ask them a follow up question to continue the conversation. And if you have established a strong connection, why not ask that follower to share your content. For example, “if you liked this post, please share it with anyone you think is going to need insurance protection in the next year.” Do not just rely on algorithms to reach people… take charge and take action! STEP SEVEN: Become Referrable Social media is a place where people ask their networks for recommendations – restaurants, businesses and services, there is nothing more powerful than SOCIAL PROOF. Testimonials are no longer as trusted as they once were, since they can come off as unrealistically positive, potentially biased and paid. Today, people prefer reviews or personal referrals and consider them far more objective and trustworthy. Would you like a referral for your business? Build relationships so your customers are happy and willing to recommend you via social media to their family and contacts. Why not join or engage with groups that your clients already belong to? By being active within these groups, you can engage and add value to the group in hopes of those group members connecting with you on your platform, then joining your sales funnel where you can continue to nurture those relationships and provide value. Warning… DO NOT join a group and try to sell – it appears aggressive and will make you look suspicious. STEP EIGHT: The Next Step The key to this step is that you do not control social media. You do not own Facebook or Instagram and you cannot control algorithms, so your task is to get your audience off social media and into your sales funnel. The questions here are what is the action that you would like your audience to take and where do you want them to go from your social media platform? Do you want them to book a free consultation, opt into your newsletter, register for a seminar, refer a friend, complete a survey? Be sure to consider this in advance – remember step 3! Plan for it and set up a process to move your audience to your sales funnel where you have more control of your relationships. You can then start to track your progress. As business owners you are already tracking progress and production, perhaps even performing reviews throughout the year to ensure you are meeting your goals. Modern marketing is no different – you must pay careful attention, measure and track your progress. However, some metrics are more significant than others. There is no point focusing on metrics such as “likes” since those do not translate into sales. Instead, you want to hone-in on engagement, comments, questions, an increase in followers, shares, opt ins and business growth. And if you see that something is working, then by all means continue. If something is not working, then adapt, experiment and test other things. Have fun with it and do not be afraid! A good reminder is that modern marketing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It takes time, so start with one platform, give it time, put in effort and energy and you are sure to see results. Want to learn more about modern marketing for your business? Read How to Build Your Online Social Network, Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know.
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Is Social Media Right for Me? A Few Things to Consider

October 26, 2022

You own your own practice and would like to spread the good word about your excellent services and level of expertise. Great idea! If you’re not already on social media, have you considered it as way to promote your business? A fast, effective and free way to show your prospects and current clients who you are, social media can help you connect and build those long-lasting relationships. And in this line of business…. it is all about those Advisor-client relationships. But is social media right for you and your practice? There are certainly a few things to consider… Where are my prospects and current clients? Are your prospects and clients online? Are they even on social media? If so, which platforms do they visit and where exactly can you reach, connect and engage with them – for example, are they on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Essentially, you want to be where your clients are, so be sure to find out which social platforms they frequent and make your business visible (don’t forget interesting and informative!) there. Where is my competition? Are your industry competitors on a social media platform, but you’re not? If your competitors are active on social media and you’re nowhere to be found, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect and engage with your ideal clients. And the fact is that if you’re not there, your competitors will surely benefit from that – do not give them the upper hand! How is my business unique? Once you have determined where your clients and competition are, it is now time to identify your unique value and specialty. Every Advisor has a unique voice, expertise and brand – what is yours and how do you stand out? If what you have to offer, your business process, your specialty and knowledge can be communicated through this mode of modern marketing, then press on. You have something special to offer and it should be shared online. Where should I communicate? Think about what makes the most sense for your practice – should you be on social media like LinkedIn (business-facing) or Facebook (family/client facing)? Should you write an informative blog or create a podcast? The most important thing to consider here is which platform can deliver your message in the clearest and most effective way to your ideal audience. What content should I share? Think about what you want to communicate to your audience – do you have enough and the right type of content to share? Can you create your own content (how about a video or PPI’s Your Link Between?) or do you have another rich source for content? It’s not enough to just exist on digital platforms, you need to have interesting, entertaining, informative and/or thought-provoking content to share with your audience. You have their attention… now how are you going to keep that attention? What tools and resources do I need/have to implement my marketing strategy? You’re busy, you have a fast-paced practice to run and can’t be spending your precious time on social media. We get it. But digital marketing is still important so what tools and resources do you have that will make these tasks easier and more efficient for you to action? For example, can you implement tools to schedule your social media posts in advance? Save yourself some time (and stress!) by getting the right tools to help you manage your online presence. How often should I post? Well, first things first – you need to be consistent with your posting. But consistent may not mean the same thing for each platform. For example, consistency on one platform may entail posting twice a day, while consistency on another platform sees you posting once a week or even once a month. It really depends on the nature of that particular platform, your audience and what type of content you are promoting. How do I transition prospects into active clients? The next item to consider is, do you have a system or process in place that allows you to transition prospects from social media to your business sales funnel? You don’t own Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, so you’re going to want to move your clients from those platforms to your own business website. Do you have your own platform and how are you going to get them there? Some ideas to consider are hosting an educational webinar, offering a free consultation or providing a free resource to download. What are my objectives and goals? And lastly, it’s vital to think about your social media objectives and goals. Have a plan, understand your objectives and visualize what success looks like for you and your business. Having this awareness will help you make wiser business decisions and help you navigate your business on social media strategically, rather than just posting when you have a spare moment. Put a solid plan into place and watch your business grow. For more information on the wonderful world of modern marketing, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your digital marketing, please reach out to PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team.
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More Articles

Learning From Experience: Bernard’s Story

October 19, 2022

A good cautionary tale makes a person stop and take a look at their own circumstances.  Bernard’s story may encourage your clients to take stock of their assets and consider whether they’ve properly planned for the distribution of those assets. Share Bernard’s story with your clients to help them see that there are nuances involved in naming beneficiaries and heirs, and that seeking good advice, communication, and documentation when planning can help to ensure their wishes are carried out as hoped.   For more information on estate planning and documenting final intentions, watch our short video: SMART TALK… about will planning and drafting – Advisor Talk and read our previous post: The Beneficiary Challenge – Advisor Talk. Questions? Contact your local PPI collaboration centre.
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Net Worth Calculator

October 12, 2022

Calculating their net worth, can quickly put your clients’ financial health into perspective and incentivise them to set goals for improving on it. Share the Net Worth Calculator to help your clients on their path to a strong financial future.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Videos

October 5, 2022

Did you know that videos are one of the most effective (and effortless) ways to share valuable content with your clients and prospects? A simple introductory sentence and an informative video can initiate fresh client connections. This year, we had a few great video hits, all available for you to share with your clients. With topics from mortgage protection to the value of professional advice, we’ve rounded up the top three videos. Roll ‘em… 1. INFOclip: Mortgage Protection The mortgage insurance your clients’ lenders are offering and the individual insurance plans you can offer them are almost nothing alike – especially in the ways that matter to your clients and their families. Show them the individual coverage advantages. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! 2. SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance There are so many categories and variations of insurance – what is the best way for you to convey all of this valuable information to an interested prospect or client? Share this popular and informative video to start that important conversation. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! 3. INFOclip: The Value of Advice You are a wealth of information, a pro! As a professional Advisor, you’re in the primary position to offer your prospects and clients the best information regarding their financial future. This video outlines the many benefits of working with a professional Advisor like YOU to enhance their financial wellness, providing security and peace of mind. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! For more video content that you can share with your clients, have a look at our client-friendly blog The Link Between. You can also sign up for Your Link Between to share client-friendly articles via your own custom-branded website – trust us, it’s a game changer! And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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The Evolving World of Mental Health Treatments

September 29, 2022

This is neither an endorsement or advice about the treatment of mental health. It goes without saying that good mental health is foundational to overall health and well-being. In underwriting, a report of confirmed or even suspected history of depression or related conditions gets a lot of attention and policy issue can range from standard rates to rated premium to sometimes no offer at all, where the risk is deemed too high to accept. Treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other conditions in the mental health spectrum continue to evolve. The use of psychedelics is a newer facet of treatment. Natural substances that induce a hallucinatory state have been around for millennia. These include everything from cannabis, now legal in Canada, and include opium poppy to ayahuasca, the latter a product of brewing a particular vine or shrub commonly found in South America (1). The first synthetic hallucinogen, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was created in 1938, initially thought to be pain-relief medication, with its’ hallucinatory properties discovered a few years later (2). There is a school of thought that this class of drugs does not have the same addictive potential known to be prevalent among users of tobacco and even alcohol, in itself favoring ongoing study for use as a bona fide therapeutic resource. The use of psychedelics, illegal in most countries, has long been relegated to use for recreational or even spiritual renewal purposes. The emergence of this class of drugs to treat or even improve already good mental health is seen as a new frontier. Improved understanding of the multifactorial aspects of mental health and the impact of these drugs on our brain continue to shed light where misunderstanding and ignorance used to predominate. Consider one study of 19 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Using functional MRI (fMRI) to view the brain, decreased depressive symptoms were observed at both one-week in all patients and nearly half after five-week after use of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”). The fMRI showed decrease in cerebral blood flow in areas of the brain where reducing flow correlates with reduced depressive symptoms (3). In a brave, new world of ever-increasing understanding, and destigmatizing of mental illness, these hallucinogenic agents may in future become accepted mental health treatments. Watch this space as we learn more. Wikipedia. Ayahuasca. Wikipedia.org. History.com Editors. LSD. History.com. August 21, 2018. Carhart-Harris et all. Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms. National Library of Medicine. October 13, 2017.
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INFOclip: Protecting Your Estate

September 21, 2022

Over a lifetime, your client has worked and managed to accumulate an estate consisting of registered savings, non-registered savings, property, maybe even a business. And when they pass, they want to make sure that their family or a favourite charity receives as much of their estate as possible. So far so good, right? However, the reality is that if your client fails to structure their estate effectively, much of those hard-earned dollars could end up in the hands of government as taxes or distributed to heirs in a way contrary to their wishes. So, how can they prevent their estate from being distributed incorrectly? Proper estate planning is key. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to demonstrate the importance of effective estate planning with a trusted Advisor – that’s you! For similar content, read, then share Estate Protection for your Client. And if you have any questions about estate planning, be sure to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Cash Flow Calculator

September 14, 2022

Do you have clients who could use a little help building a comprehensive household budget? Recommend the Cash Flow Calculator!
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Healthy Forgetting: Remember This

September 7, 2022

Underwriters see an unprecedented number of cases of suspected or confirmed cognitive decline, the inevitable result of our aging population. While cognitive decline can be demonstrated by a degradation or loss of a number of functions such as learning, language or complex attention skills, the apparent loss of memory is the most common presenting complaint. Even cases where the memory loss has not had a major impact on daily living, a suspicion of even mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is enough to have the insurance application turned down. But what about the other side of the memory coin, specifically can we remember too much or remember in ways that are unhealthy? How does this work and is there a name for this condition? Let’s delve a little deeper. A quick word on brain mechanics; the human brain, allows us to store memories in the hippocampus, contained in the medial temporal lobe. Think of this as the hard drive of our memory bank. The frontal cortex of our brain allows us to access those memories. Think of this as the “Open” command much like when we access a stored document on our computer hard drive. These areas of the brain allow not only for memory retrieval but also to cultivate memories that includes pruning, removal and replication, similar to the way a gardener uses these methods to grow and maintain healthy flowers or vegetables. An example of pruning and replication might be one piece of information in our memory erased and replaced, then replicated by more reasonable or useful information. This the mechanism for building a logical mind. An example of unhealthy memory is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With PTSD, the inability to forget following a traumatic event creates an imbalance between remembering and forgetting. This results in the chronic and often daily reminders of the trauma manifested by intrusive thoughts, inability to sleep and can be triggered by things like loud noises, a minor annoyance to most but a devastating and regular reminder of the trauma to those with PTSD. More recently and closer to home for most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic event. It affords the opportunity to observe how we remember the facts about the virus, the cost on human lives and families around the world and what may be required to overcome the challenges of a pandemic. This is the healthy remembering. The healthy forgetting is the letting go of the fears we have taken on during the last two years. In an essay on the two-year anniversary of the pandemic, the neuroscientist, Dr. Scott Small, writes that some degree of emotional forgetting allows us to live in and move forward from this time (1). Remembering when and what to forget is an ability most handle well. It is also a reminder to better understand and lend a hand to those who can’t always forget what is best forgotten. The takeaway for you as an Advisor? Knowledge, insight and understanding make for better informed underwriting decisions. Small, Scott. We Will Forget Much of the Pandemic. That’s a Good Thing. New York Times. March 9, 2022.
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National Life Insurance Awareness Month

August 31, 2022

Did you know that September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month? The perfect time to reach out to prospects and clients to evaluate what insurance they have in place and if it still meets their needs. A good place to start is to assess your client’s current situation. Your client has different needs at different stages in their life, so good questions to review with them include: How has life changed since you purchased your coverage, or since we last reviewed your insurance: Find out about mortgages, new loans, job or income changes, education funds, retirement plans and other financial obligations so they can be sure they have the coverage they need. Has the nature of your needs changed: They may require a similar coverage amount as when they first purchased their plan but their obligations may have shifted from temporary to permanent. A change of plan may be appropriate. Have you done any will planning? What are you hopes and dreams for your heirs: There may be an insurance need associated with the smooth distribution of their estate. Regardless of your client’s life insurance needs, they have options. So, as it gets chillier outside and we prepare for the long, cold Canadian winter ahead, take some time today to reach out and ensure that your clients have the insurance coverage they need today and into the future. Share the client article so that, in honour of life insurance awareness month, your prospects and clients can ask themselves a few good insurance related questions. If you’re looking for similar content to share with your clients, read then share Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow, as well as Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider For Renewal. We also have this great Exploring Your Life Insurance Options tool to help your client understand the varying types of insurance and which one may be best for them.
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Inflation, Interest Rates and Your Client’s Investments

August 24, 2022

Lately, we’ve all been experiencing a few less dollars in our bank accounts. Between the cost of fuel, groceries and the overall cost of living, there’s no denying that everything is just so much more expensive. Your clients may want to know why and although “inflation” is the one-word answer, we’re diving a little deeper into why inflation occurs and how it can affect interest rates and your client’s investments. Interest Rates and Inflation Inflation can be defined as a general progressive increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy. When prices rise, each unit of currency can buy fewer goods and services. Monetary policy seeks to stabilize the rate of inflation in an economy by controlling how much cash is infused into the economic system and where rates are set. When interest rates are low, money is cheap. Individuals will borrow more to spend and invest, businesses will borrow more to invest in the growth of their own companies, restructure existing debt and buyback shares. In fact, a share buyback can lead to an increase in the price of shares. When money is cheap, established companies will borrow to buy back their own shares on the open market. When they buy back their own shares, they are reducing the number of shares available and increasing the value of each remaining share (market cap stays the same). However, when interest rates are high, individuals will borrow fewer dollars and save more. Businesses will also borrow fewer dollars and invest less in the growth of their companies. For this reason, a low interest rate environment will stimulate an economy and encourage growth whereas high interest rates stifle growth and stabilize (or contract) an economy. Now, you might be wondering why we would ever raise rates if the lower rates lead to more growth. The answer? Inflation. When money is cheap there is more of it being created, more money in an economy leads to a reduction of purchasing power. The more money there is, the less value that money has. If we keep rates low to stimulate the economy, then inflation can run rampant. If we keep rates high to curb inflation, then we stifle growth. It’s a fine balance and there is a constant battle being fought between interest rates and inflation. Here’s an example for you. If an interest rate is, say, 5% but inflation is, say, 3% then the real rate of interest is only 2% (5-3=2). The real rate seeks to streamline the cost of money and the increase of prices. Let us look at it this way, assume that $100 dollars can buy your client 100 apples. Now let us assume that there is no inflation and your client has invested their $100 at 5% interest for a single year. When the year has ended, their $100 has turned into $105 and your client’s ability to buy apples has increased from 100 to 105. Now let us look at the same scenario but assume that the price of apples will experience 5% inflation. Your client’s $100 dollars invested at 5% for a year will still result in $105 at years end. But if apples inflated in price by 5% from $1 to $1.05 then they can still only buy 100 apples. The money itself grew by 5% (from 100 to 105) but your client cannot buy any more apples at year end because the price of apples has gone up too. We can see that inflation reduces purchasing power. In turn, the objective of the central bank, through monetary and fiscal policy, is to target a real rate that will allow for growth while keeping inflation in check. What Does Inflation Mean for the Stock Market? Broadly speaking, the stock market can be divided into value and growth categories. Growth stocks are typically new and faster growing companies that may not yet be profitable. These companies need cash to grow and raising cash becomes more challenging when the cost of borrowing increases. A value stock is one that has strong current cash flows and isn’t borrowing to grow as much as a growth company. When coming up with a value of a stock using a discounted cash flow model, in times of rising rates, a growth stock will be impacted to a higher degree than a value stock. This is why we have seen tech and growth stocks come off in recent months (Q4 2021 into Q1 2022) and seen value plays like energy, infrastructure, banks and insurance companies rally. Moreover, banks and insurance companies will do well with an increase in interest rate margin – the spread between how much they pay on deposits versus how much they make on investing deposits. With rates rising, this spread could theoretically increase. What Does Inflation Mean for the Bond Market? Again, speaking in general terms, inflation can have a negative impact on bonds and other fixed income assets. The nature of valuing a bond, not unlike the DCF (discounted cash flow) method for valuing a stock discussed previously, is contingent upon discounting cash flows at a prevailing rate. When rates go up the price of a bond goes down, that is, there is an inverse relationship between the price of a bond and the yield of a bond. Another way to think about it is, when interest rates go up, the interest payments from existing fixed income securities are less competitive than new bonds at the higher rate so the price of existing bonds at the previous, lower rate goes down. When inflation goes up, rates must go up too. When rates go up, existing bonds come down in value. Keep in mind that that all information in this article is from a theoretical perspective. There are plenty of moving parts and different securities will behave differently. The objective here is to illustrate concepts in a vacuum and not recommend a particular security, asset class or any guarantee of performance or behavior of an asset class or security in the economy or market. As always, the advice is to construct a broadly diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance that will allow them to achieve the desired return given how much risk they are willing to take on over their investment window. Through seeking advice from an advisor, investors can get help navigating and mitigating the effects of short-term market news, whether it is high inflation, political strife, wars, sanctions, or anything else and focus on achieving their financial goals. Questions? Contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Learning From Experience: Bett’s Story

August 17, 2022

Everyone loves a story with a happy ending, even if it’s rife with tragedy and family drama. But happy ending or not, if somewhere in the story, a loved one is lost, we see the toll the loss can take on the relationships of family survivors. True in fiction. True in life. You play a pivotal role in encouraging your clients to plan ahead wisely and intentionally so they can ease rather than contribute to the toll their passing will take on the relationships of those they love. And you can never overemphasize the importance of proper estate planning. Share Bett’s story with your clients to help them understand and remember the importance of documenting and communicating their final intentions.  For more information on estate planning and documenting final intentions, watch our short video SMART TALK… about will planning and drafting and read our previous post The Beneficiary Challenge. Questions? Contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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INFOclip: Understanding Term Insurance

August 10, 2022

You know how important insurance is for your clients – it offers them a sense of security knowing their financial obligations are met in the event of a disability, illness or even death. But are your clients aware about the many benefits of term insurance for today and their tomorrows? We’ve created this little video for you to share with your clients. It covers all the basics of term insurance and is a great place to initiate a conversation with your clients about how term insurance not only helps to cover short term expenses such a mortgage, a child’s education or income replacement, but can also be a great source of security into the future, as financial obligations become a wee bit more complicated. So be sure to watch this video, then share it with your clients to kick-start those important conversations! For similar content, read, then share Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider for Renewal and Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow. And if you have any questions about term insurance (or any other life insurance solutions!), be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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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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Recent Articles

INFOclip: Transferring Wealth to Future Generations

November 30, 2022

Your client has worked hard all their life and through some savvy financial planning, has accumulated an impressive portfolio. Perhaps they are also at a time in their life when they are slowing down and now considering financial strategies to help the future generations of their family achieve financial success as well. However, knowing that traditional registered and non-registered investments create tax liabilities, how can your client transfer the maximum amount of wealth to their kids and grandkids while paying the least amount of tax? Well, today may be a good day to let them know about the many tax-saving benefits of purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy. Share this INFOclip with your clients to help them understand how purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy can help provide financial protection, while also creating a tax-efficient vehicle to enhance and transfer wealth to future generations.
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Cryptocurrency and Financial Underwriting: Friend and Foe?

November 23, 2022

“The following article references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.” Financial underwriting. These two words put together are sometimes the subject of heated debate and occasionally, more than mild disagreement between Advisors and underwriters. Even usually agreeable underwriters are known to argue strenuously amongst themselves and on differing sides of a financially challenging case. Unlike medical underwriting where guidelines cover a wide and deep array of conditions and risk scenarios, financial guidelines take up much less space in most underwriting manuals, highlighting the art rather the science of decision making in those cases. But in every case, the higher the insurance amount applied for, the more thorough the financial underwriting – with extra attention paid to the financial information provided, including the nature of the applicant’s net worth – right down to the types of investments and currencies they hold. How does cryptocurrency, not brand new but still a relative newcomer in global finance, impact financial underwriting? In this Risk Bit, we’ll touch on the topic to get a sense of whether having a bit of Bitcoin is a friendly addition to the file information or whether an excess of Ethereum turns the underwriter into a file foe. Let’s start with the name. Currency has long been part of our day-to-day lexicon, as we buy, sell, trade using money, skills, goods and services to get by. The crypto part is another matter. Originating from the Greek work to denote something that is hidden, the combination of the two words has all the potential to scare even the most courageous among the group of risk selectors know as underwriters. It is beyond the scope here to detail the creation and structure of this new currency, so we’ll highlight the fact that encryption and decentralization are key tenets as this “new money” is added to a blockchain and computerized distribution ledger, unknown prior to 2009 (1). A throwback to a time of little or no financial regulation, rampant speculation and volatility, the added concern in the early crypto era has been its’ potential appeal as a facilitator or conduit for illegal activity. A definite non-starter for underwriting. More recently, however, the mainstream financial world is learning that cryptocurrency and equity markets rely on a number of common conditions such as supply, demand, monetary policy and geopolitics (2). The roller-coaster volatility of cryptocurrency stocks often leads to financial news stories, but only time will tell if some are consistently able to weather economic storms with a measure of resiliency. The more astute market analysts remind us that long-term bull markets ‘correct” and weed out companies with non-sustainable price/earnings ratios, overvaluation or simple bad management. Think of the dot.com bubble burst of 2001. Then think of companies such as Amazon or eBay that not only survived 2001 but have continued to thrive since then (3). Back to underwriting and the friend or foe approach. Financial underwriting tends to favor established enterprises with overall steady growth and demonstrated leadership, especially if those leaders are being insured. Favor is reflected in more generous valuation for insurance amount approaches, whether it is a higher capitalization of earnings or assets and longer projection periods and return rates in the consideration of long-term insurance needs. Volatility, market speculation, low regulation and highly leveraged applicants looking for a quick payday elicit a more frugal approach, the decision memo often reading ‘prefer not to participate’ or ‘can only offer a reduced sum of insurance’. The horizon? Some insurers are considering modest amounts of cryptocurrency in the client’s asset base if there is a solid, more traditional financial background and no other concerns. The development of government mandated digital banks known more formally as CBDCs (central bank digital currency), a handful already in business and being evaluated here in Canada may help ease concerns (4). Central bank regulation may be able to allay concerns related to legitimacy and even bring a measure of competition to the current crypto market, a very underwriting friendly move. To quote a line in an old Beatles song, ‘and you know that can’t be bad’ (5). Pritchard, Carolyn. Cryptocurrency: The Newest Challenge to Financial Underwriting. RGA Home. April 22, 2022. Sharma, Rakesh. Is There a Cryptocurrency Price Correlation to the Stock Market?com. May 12, 2022. Folger, Jean. 5 Successful Companies That Survived the Dot-Com Bubble. Investopedia.com. August 15, 2021. Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee. Central Bank Digital Currency and Stablecoins. Bank of Canada. June 2021. Lennon, John and McCartney, Paul. She Loves You. The Beatles. 1963.
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Protecting Your Clients’ Retirement with Critical Illness Insurance

November 16, 2022

How many of your clients are dutifully saving for retirement? It’s probably safe to wager that the vast majority of your clients have some semblance of retirement savings in place. Now, how many of those same clients have implemented the added step of protecting their investments in case of a severe illness? While many retirement conversations revolve around RRSPs and their goal of helping clients maximize their returns, another important conversation involves critical illness insurance and the way in which it can benefit your clients by adding another layer of protection. If a client suffers a critical illness and needs to take time off of work, or if they need to pay for additional treatment, that income replacement or funding needs to come from somewhere. Without insurance, clients will first dip into their savings… but there are better solutions including using critical illness insurance as retirement protection. Let’s take a look at a strategy that includes effectively crash testing your clients’ portfolios. The idea is to show your client four scenarios, one of which is guaranteed to happen in their lifetime: They don’t have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and do suffer an illness They don’t have CI coverage and they do suffer an illness Pick any one of your clients and it’s pretty much guaranteed that one of the above scenarios will apply to them. But which one? This is the impossible part to predict! Most Canadians would like to believe their fate will lead them to option one, but the chance of experiencing a critical illness in their lifetime is 1 in 4 for men and 1 in 5 for women. (1) What if you could help show clients the net effect of their decisions and how each scenario can affect their portfolio? Specifically, what if you could show them the real-world impact to their annual net retirement income in each of the above scenarios? Here’s an example that will help them see the real-world effect on their annual retirement income. The above example assumes: Male Age 40 $200,000 in RRSPs Contributing $10,000 6% interest $100,000 need at age 50 due to a critical illness When you compare the ultimate annual retirement income in the scenarios in light blue and dark blue to the best-case scenario green, your clients will see that the impact of redirecting a portion of their savings dollars to the purchase of critical illness insurance is minimal when compared to the impact of becoming ill without critical illness protection. And, if they have additional cash flow, they can cover the cost of the critical illness insurance with no impact to their retirement income. So, the biggest question is: How can you help to illustrate what this looks like for your clients? To get started, you’ll need your client’s current registered and non-registered investment balances, future contribution amounts and before-tax rates of return. And for the next client meeting, ask if you can help them crash test their portfolio in case of a health emergency and then run a retirement protection concept for them to see which option they would choose. For similar content, read Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client. Also, be sure to share this Strengthening Your Safety Net quiz with your clients to help them assess the risk in their lives and the likelihood of them occurring. And if you have any questions about how critical illness insurance can protect your clients’ retirement, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. * Manulife Financial LifeCheque Retirement Protect illustration for male age 40, assuming $200,000 in existing RRSPs, contributing $10,000 annually, at 6% annual interest, with $100,000 required at age 50 due to critical illness. Illustrated on January 4, 2022.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Calculators

November 9, 2022

Who has time for all of those tedious formulas and boring equations! We’re resharing your clients’ top three calculators to help shed some light on their savings and debts. They are easy to use, so be sure to share them with your prospects and clients. 1) Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator When building a financial plan, it’s important to have financial goals in mind. Share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your clients to help them get started and reach their financial goals sooner! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! 2) Savings Growth Calculator Show your clients how they can UP their savings game by putting away a few extra dollars a month, starting today! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator 3) Debt Consolidation Calculator Help your clients explore options with this Debt Consolidation Calculator to streamline their monthly budget and pave the way to financial freedom. Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! Interested in more calculators? Visit the Tools section of PPI’s Advisor Talk for the full calculator library. And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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More Articles

Social Media Platforms – Social Media For Your Business – An 8 Step Plan

November 3, 2022

As an Advisor, your business is important to you, and you would like to promote it on social media. But there are so many things to consider, where do you even start? We have got you covered with a plan to help get you started on social media. From knowing your market to tips on how to set up a social media profile, this 8-step plan will help you and your business get noticed! STEP ONE: Know Your Market Understanding your audience is key! It is important for you to know who your audience is, their fears, interests and any problems that they are experiencing. Why? Well, that is how you provide value, creating engaging content (information that they are looking for, that positions you as a subject-matter expert) so you can stand out amongst your competition. The more you understand about your target market, the better you can connect with them on a deeper level. Simply put, it helps you add value, build trust, as well as create and deepen those important relationships in order to grow your business. STEP TWO: Choose Your Platform The truth is that you do not need to be on every social media platform – you just need to be where your clients are. From a business perspective, if your clients are not on a specific platform, it does not make sense for you to be there either. Once you select your platform, you need to become an expert on that platform. Yes, expert in the sense of your knowledge base and what you can offer to your clients as an Advisor, but also on how the platform works. What are the best ways for you to get in front of your prospects and clients? It is also imperative to consider when your audience is using that particular platform. If they are online at 6PM, then that is when you need to be posting your content. Makes sense, right? STEP THREE: Make a Plan Build a strategic plan and commit time to doing the activities required to put your plan into action. You can book it in your calendar for the next 30, 60 or 90 days, scheduling posts in advance so all you need to do is hit the “post” button on the day of your scheduled message. It is also important to know how much time you want to spend on your social media and where your content will come from – have you checked out PPI’s The Link Between, our client-friendly library of insurance and investment articles (plus tools and calculators!)? Take it one step further with Your Link Between – share all of these client-friendly articles via your own branded website! Be sure to set realistic goals, expectations and objectives for your social media marketing and what you want your Modern Marketing to accomplish. Although you should not expect to have thousands of followers and new clients in the first week, setting realistic goals will allow you to measure your results effectively. And once you master that initial platform, you can join more because you now have a plan, strategy and content that can be repurposed in different ways. Consider consistency which is not just about posting every day or once a week, but more about being consistent in your brand, messaging and even the images you choose. It is also imperative to be there to engage with your audience when they engage with your posts – if you are absent, you are missing a big opportunity to connect and build relationships with your audience. STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Profile Creating a social media profile is not like an Advisor resume. Here, you need to think about what your ideal client seeks and then make it easy for them to understand what makes you unique and how you can deliver exactly what they are looking for. Even your bio should be crafted in a way that puts your audience and their needs first, helping you relate and connect to them easier. Make it easy for clients and prospects to connect with you – add links to your business website and contact details. PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team has put together a couple detailed guides on how to set up your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as a Social Media Profile Checklist (Advisor login required) – check them out and get seen. STEP FIVE: Create and Curate Your Content It is extremely important to consider what content you are putting out. Before you post anything, consider what you would like to achieve with that message – is it going to connect you better to your audience? Whatever you choose to post, your content should always be rich, in depth and packed with value. And although it is not your single goal, you want your content to be both quotable and shareable when possible, because when your audience shares your content, their followers see it too, expanding your marketing reach. New followers and potential clients? Yes, please! You can also use key words, hashtags (#HashtagsAreImportant) and topics that you know people are already searching and following. Then make your content evergreen (relevant into the future) so that even when a client sees your content a year from now, it is still relevant and valuable to them. Don’t forget to be authentic. Yes, share your unique value and story that will attract your “true fans”, clients that become your brand advocates. STEP SIX: Provide Value and Build Relationships Engagement is the key to social media. Social media is social, it is about relationships. But it is critical that when you do engage, you are authentic and not “salesy” – listen, then provide value. Additionally, making your messages a little more personal allows you to connect better and build deeper relationships. Why not create a video or voice message which can easily showcase your expertise and the passion you have for your work? Reward people for their engagement. When a potential customer asks you a question, comment back or ask them a follow up question to continue the conversation. And if you have established a strong connection, why not ask that follower to share your content. For example, “if you liked this post, please share it with anyone you think is going to need insurance protection in the next year.” Do not just rely on algorithms to reach people… take charge and take action! STEP SEVEN: Become Referrable Social media is a place where people ask their networks for recommendations – restaurants, businesses and services, there is nothing more powerful than SOCIAL PROOF. Testimonials are no longer as trusted as they once were, since they can come off as unrealistically positive, potentially biased and paid. Today, people prefer reviews or personal referrals and consider them far more objective and trustworthy. Would you like a referral for your business? Build relationships so your customers are happy and willing to recommend you via social media to their family and contacts. Why not join or engage with groups that your clients already belong to? By being active within these groups, you can engage and add value to the group in hopes of those group members connecting with you on your platform, then joining your sales funnel where you can continue to nurture those relationships and provide value. Warning… DO NOT join a group and try to sell – it appears aggressive and will make you look suspicious. STEP EIGHT: The Next Step The key to this step is that you do not control social media. You do not own Facebook or Instagram and you cannot control algorithms, so your task is to get your audience off social media and into your sales funnel. The questions here are what is the action that you would like your audience to take and where do you want them to go from your social media platform? Do you want them to book a free consultation, opt into your newsletter, register for a seminar, refer a friend, complete a survey? Be sure to consider this in advance – remember step 3! Plan for it and set up a process to move your audience to your sales funnel where you have more control of your relationships. You can then start to track your progress. As business owners you are already tracking progress and production, perhaps even performing reviews throughout the year to ensure you are meeting your goals. Modern marketing is no different – you must pay careful attention, measure and track your progress. However, some metrics are more significant than others. There is no point focusing on metrics such as “likes” since those do not translate into sales. Instead, you want to hone-in on engagement, comments, questions, an increase in followers, shares, opt ins and business growth. And if you see that something is working, then by all means continue. If something is not working, then adapt, experiment and test other things. Have fun with it and do not be afraid! A good reminder is that modern marketing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It takes time, so start with one platform, give it time, put in effort and energy and you are sure to see results. Want to learn more about modern marketing for your business? Read How to Build Your Online Social Network, Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know.
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Is Social Media Right for Me? A Few Things to Consider

October 26, 2022

You own your own practice and would like to spread the good word about your excellent services and level of expertise. Great idea! If you’re not already on social media, have you considered it as way to promote your business? A fast, effective and free way to show your prospects and current clients who you are, social media can help you connect and build those long-lasting relationships. And in this line of business…. it is all about those Advisor-client relationships. But is social media right for you and your practice? There are certainly a few things to consider… Where are my prospects and current clients? Are your prospects and clients online? Are they even on social media? If so, which platforms do they visit and where exactly can you reach, connect and engage with them – for example, are they on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Essentially, you want to be where your clients are, so be sure to find out which social platforms they frequent and make your business visible (don’t forget interesting and informative!) there. Where is my competition? Are your industry competitors on a social media platform, but you’re not? If your competitors are active on social media and you’re nowhere to be found, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect and engage with your ideal clients. And the fact is that if you’re not there, your competitors will surely benefit from that – do not give them the upper hand! How is my business unique? Once you have determined where your clients and competition are, it is now time to identify your unique value and specialty. Every Advisor has a unique voice, expertise and brand – what is yours and how do you stand out? If what you have to offer, your business process, your specialty and knowledge can be communicated through this mode of modern marketing, then press on. You have something special to offer and it should be shared online. Where should I communicate? Think about what makes the most sense for your practice – should you be on social media like LinkedIn (business-facing) or Facebook (family/client facing)? Should you write an informative blog or create a podcast? The most important thing to consider here is which platform can deliver your message in the clearest and most effective way to your ideal audience. What content should I share? Think about what you want to communicate to your audience – do you have enough and the right type of content to share? Can you create your own content (how about a video or PPI’s Your Link Between?) or do you have another rich source for content? It’s not enough to just exist on digital platforms, you need to have interesting, entertaining, informative and/or thought-provoking content to share with your audience. You have their attention… now how are you going to keep that attention? What tools and resources do I need/have to implement my marketing strategy? You’re busy, you have a fast-paced practice to run and can’t be spending your precious time on social media. We get it. But digital marketing is still important so what tools and resources do you have that will make these tasks easier and more efficient for you to action? For example, can you implement tools to schedule your social media posts in advance? Save yourself some time (and stress!) by getting the right tools to help you manage your online presence. How often should I post? Well, first things first – you need to be consistent with your posting. But consistent may not mean the same thing for each platform. For example, consistency on one platform may entail posting twice a day, while consistency on another platform sees you posting once a week or even once a month. It really depends on the nature of that particular platform, your audience and what type of content you are promoting. How do I transition prospects into active clients? The next item to consider is, do you have a system or process in place that allows you to transition prospects from social media to your business sales funnel? You don’t own Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, so you’re going to want to move your clients from those platforms to your own business website. Do you have your own platform and how are you going to get them there? Some ideas to consider are hosting an educational webinar, offering a free consultation or providing a free resource to download. What are my objectives and goals? And lastly, it’s vital to think about your social media objectives and goals. Have a plan, understand your objectives and visualize what success looks like for you and your business. Having this awareness will help you make wiser business decisions and help you navigate your business on social media strategically, rather than just posting when you have a spare moment. Put a solid plan into place and watch your business grow. For more information on the wonderful world of modern marketing, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your digital marketing, please reach out to PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team.
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Learning From Experience: Bernard’s Story

October 19, 2022

A good cautionary tale makes a person stop and take a look at their own circumstances.  Bernard’s story may encourage your clients to take stock of their assets and consider whether they’ve properly planned for the distribution of those assets. Share Bernard’s story with your clients to help them see that there are nuances involved in naming beneficiaries and heirs, and that seeking good advice, communication, and documentation when planning can help to ensure their wishes are carried out as hoped.   For more information on estate planning and documenting final intentions, watch our short video: SMART TALK… about will planning and drafting – Advisor Talk and read our previous post: The Beneficiary Challenge – Advisor Talk. Questions? Contact your local PPI collaboration centre.
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Net Worth Calculator

October 12, 2022

Calculating their net worth, can quickly put your clients’ financial health into perspective and incentivise them to set goals for improving on it. Share the Net Worth Calculator to help your clients on their path to a strong financial future.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Videos

October 5, 2022

Did you know that videos are one of the most effective (and effortless) ways to share valuable content with your clients and prospects? A simple introductory sentence and an informative video can initiate fresh client connections. This year, we had a few great video hits, all available for you to share with your clients. With topics from mortgage protection to the value of professional advice, we’ve rounded up the top three videos. Roll ‘em… 1. INFOclip: Mortgage Protection The mortgage insurance your clients’ lenders are offering and the individual insurance plans you can offer them are almost nothing alike – especially in the ways that matter to your clients and their families. Show them the individual coverage advantages. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! 2. SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance There are so many categories and variations of insurance – what is the best way for you to convey all of this valuable information to an interested prospect or client? Share this popular and informative video to start that important conversation. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! 3. INFOclip: The Value of Advice You are a wealth of information, a pro! As a professional Advisor, you’re in the primary position to offer your prospects and clients the best information regarding their financial future. This video outlines the many benefits of working with a professional Advisor like YOU to enhance their financial wellness, providing security and peace of mind. Be sure to share this client-friendly video! For more video content that you can share with your clients, have a look at our client-friendly blog The Link Between. You can also sign up for Your Link Between to share client-friendly articles via your own custom-branded website – trust us, it’s a game changer! And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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The Evolving World of Mental Health Treatments

September 29, 2022

This is neither an endorsement or advice about the treatment of mental health. It goes without saying that good mental health is foundational to overall health and well-being. In underwriting, a report of confirmed or even suspected history of depression or related conditions gets a lot of attention and policy issue can range from standard rates to rated premium to sometimes no offer at all, where the risk is deemed too high to accept. Treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other conditions in the mental health spectrum continue to evolve. The use of psychedelics is a newer facet of treatment. Natural substances that induce a hallucinatory state have been around for millennia. These include everything from cannabis, now legal in Canada, and include opium poppy to ayahuasca, the latter a product of brewing a particular vine or shrub commonly found in South America (1). The first synthetic hallucinogen, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was created in 1938, initially thought to be pain-relief medication, with its’ hallucinatory properties discovered a few years later (2). There is a school of thought that this class of drugs does not have the same addictive potential known to be prevalent among users of tobacco and even alcohol, in itself favoring ongoing study for use as a bona fide therapeutic resource. The use of psychedelics, illegal in most countries, has long been relegated to use for recreational or even spiritual renewal purposes. The emergence of this class of drugs to treat or even improve already good mental health is seen as a new frontier. Improved understanding of the multifactorial aspects of mental health and the impact of these drugs on our brain continue to shed light where misunderstanding and ignorance used to predominate. Consider one study of 19 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Using functional MRI (fMRI) to view the brain, decreased depressive symptoms were observed at both one-week in all patients and nearly half after five-week after use of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”). The fMRI showed decrease in cerebral blood flow in areas of the brain where reducing flow correlates with reduced depressive symptoms (3). In a brave, new world of ever-increasing understanding, and destigmatizing of mental illness, these hallucinogenic agents may in future become accepted mental health treatments. Watch this space as we learn more. Wikipedia. Ayahuasca. Wikipedia.org. History.com Editors. LSD. History.com. August 21, 2018. Carhart-Harris et all. Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms. National Library of Medicine. October 13, 2017.
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INFOclip: Protecting Your Estate

September 21, 2022

Over a lifetime, your client has worked and managed to accumulate an estate consisting of registered savings, non-registered savings, property, maybe even a business. And when they pass, they want to make sure that their family or a favourite charity receives as much of their estate as possible. So far so good, right? However, the reality is that if your client fails to structure their estate effectively, much of those hard-earned dollars could end up in the hands of government as taxes or distributed to heirs in a way contrary to their wishes. So, how can they prevent their estate from being distributed incorrectly? Proper estate planning is key. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to demonstrate the importance of effective estate planning with a trusted Advisor – that’s you! For similar content, read, then share Estate Protection for your Client. And if you have any questions about estate planning, be sure to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Cash Flow Calculator

September 14, 2022

Do you have clients who could use a little help building a comprehensive household budget? Recommend the Cash Flow Calculator!
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Healthy Forgetting: Remember This

September 7, 2022

Underwriters see an unprecedented number of cases of suspected or confirmed cognitive decline, the inevitable result of our aging population. While cognitive decline can be demonstrated by a degradation or loss of a number of functions such as learning, language or complex attention skills, the apparent loss of memory is the most common presenting complaint. Even cases where the memory loss has not had a major impact on daily living, a suspicion of even mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is enough to have the insurance application turned down. But what about the other side of the memory coin, specifically can we remember too much or remember in ways that are unhealthy? How does this work and is there a name for this condition? Let’s delve a little deeper. A quick word on brain mechanics; the human brain, allows us to store memories in the hippocampus, contained in the medial temporal lobe. Think of this as the hard drive of our memory bank. The frontal cortex of our brain allows us to access those memories. Think of this as the “Open” command much like when we access a stored document on our computer hard drive. These areas of the brain allow not only for memory retrieval but also to cultivate memories that includes pruning, removal and replication, similar to the way a gardener uses these methods to grow and maintain healthy flowers or vegetables. An example of pruning and replication might be one piece of information in our memory erased and replaced, then replicated by more reasonable or useful information. This the mechanism for building a logical mind. An example of unhealthy memory is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With PTSD, the inability to forget following a traumatic event creates an imbalance between remembering and forgetting. This results in the chronic and often daily reminders of the trauma manifested by intrusive thoughts, inability to sleep and can be triggered by things like loud noises, a minor annoyance to most but a devastating and regular reminder of the trauma to those with PTSD. More recently and closer to home for most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic event. It affords the opportunity to observe how we remember the facts about the virus, the cost on human lives and families around the world and what may be required to overcome the challenges of a pandemic. This is the healthy remembering. The healthy forgetting is the letting go of the fears we have taken on during the last two years. In an essay on the two-year anniversary of the pandemic, the neuroscientist, Dr. Scott Small, writes that some degree of emotional forgetting allows us to live in and move forward from this time (1). Remembering when and what to forget is an ability most handle well. It is also a reminder to better understand and lend a hand to those who can’t always forget what is best forgotten. The takeaway for you as an Advisor? Knowledge, insight and understanding make for better informed underwriting decisions. Small, Scott. We Will Forget Much of the Pandemic. That’s a Good Thing. New York Times. March 9, 2022.
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National Life Insurance Awareness Month

August 31, 2022

Did you know that September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month? The perfect time to reach out to prospects and clients to evaluate what insurance they have in place and if it still meets their needs. A good place to start is to assess your client’s current situation. Your client has different needs at different stages in their life, so good questions to review with them include: How has life changed since you purchased your coverage, or since we last reviewed your insurance: Find out about mortgages, new loans, job or income changes, education funds, retirement plans and other financial obligations so they can be sure they have the coverage they need. Has the nature of your needs changed: They may require a similar coverage amount as when they first purchased their plan but their obligations may have shifted from temporary to permanent. A change of plan may be appropriate. Have you done any will planning? What are you hopes and dreams for your heirs: There may be an insurance need associated with the smooth distribution of their estate. Regardless of your client’s life insurance needs, they have options. So, as it gets chillier outside and we prepare for the long, cold Canadian winter ahead, take some time today to reach out and ensure that your clients have the insurance coverage they need today and into the future. Share the client article so that, in honour of life insurance awareness month, your prospects and clients can ask themselves a few good insurance related questions. If you’re looking for similar content to share with your clients, read then share Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow, as well as Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider For Renewal. We also have this great Exploring Your Life Insurance Options tool to help your client understand the varying types of insurance and which one may be best for them.
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INFOclip: Transferring Wealth to Future Generations

November 30, 2022

Your client has worked hard all their life and through some savvy financial planning, has accumulated an impressive portfolio. Perhaps they are also at a time in their life when they are slowing down and now considering financial strategies to help the future generations of their family achieve financial success as well. However, knowing that traditional registered and non-registered investments create tax liabilities, how can your client transfer the maximum amount of wealth to their kids and grandkids while paying the least amount of tax? Well, today may be a good day to let them know about the many tax-saving benefits of purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy. Share this INFOclip with your clients to help them understand how purchasing life insurance and using the “cascading insurance” strategy can help provide financial protection, while also creating a tax-efficient vehicle to enhance and transfer wealth to future generations.
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Cryptocurrency and Financial Underwriting: Friend and Foe?

November 23, 2022

“The following article references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.” Financial underwriting. These two words put together are sometimes the subject of heated debate and occasionally, more than mild disagreement between Advisors and underwriters. Even usually agreeable underwriters are known to argue strenuously amongst themselves and on differing sides of a financially challenging case. Unlike medical underwriting where guidelines cover a wide and deep array of conditions and risk scenarios, financial guidelines take up much less space in most underwriting manuals, highlighting the art rather the science of decision making in those cases. But in every case, the higher the insurance amount applied for, the more thorough the financial underwriting – with extra attention paid to the financial information provided, including the nature of the applicant’s net worth – right down to the types of investments and currencies they hold. How does cryptocurrency, not brand new but still a relative newcomer in global finance, impact financial underwriting? In this Risk Bit, we’ll touch on the topic to get a sense of whether having a bit of Bitcoin is a friendly addition to the file information or whether an excess of Ethereum turns the underwriter into a file foe. Let’s start with the name. Currency has long been part of our day-to-day lexicon, as we buy, sell, trade using money, skills, goods and services to get by. The crypto part is another matter. Originating from the Greek work to denote something that is hidden, the combination of the two words has all the potential to scare even the most courageous among the group of risk selectors know as underwriters. It is beyond the scope here to detail the creation and structure of this new currency, so we’ll highlight the fact that encryption and decentralization are key tenets as this “new money” is added to a blockchain and computerized distribution ledger, unknown prior to 2009 (1). A throwback to a time of little or no financial regulation, rampant speculation and volatility, the added concern in the early crypto era has been its’ potential appeal as a facilitator or conduit for illegal activity. A definite non-starter for underwriting. More recently, however, the mainstream financial world is learning that cryptocurrency and equity markets rely on a number of common conditions such as supply, demand, monetary policy and geopolitics (2). The roller-coaster volatility of cryptocurrency stocks often leads to financial news stories, but only time will tell if some are consistently able to weather economic storms with a measure of resiliency. The more astute market analysts remind us that long-term bull markets ‘correct” and weed out companies with non-sustainable price/earnings ratios, overvaluation or simple bad management. Think of the dot.com bubble burst of 2001. Then think of companies such as Amazon or eBay that not only survived 2001 but have continued to thrive since then (3). Back to underwriting and the friend or foe approach. Financial underwriting tends to favor established enterprises with overall steady growth and demonstrated leadership, especially if those leaders are being insured. Favor is reflected in more generous valuation for insurance amount approaches, whether it is a higher capitalization of earnings or assets and longer projection periods and return rates in the consideration of long-term insurance needs. Volatility, market speculation, low regulation and highly leveraged applicants looking for a quick payday elicit a more frugal approach, the decision memo often reading ‘prefer not to participate’ or ‘can only offer a reduced sum of insurance’. The horizon? Some insurers are considering modest amounts of cryptocurrency in the client’s asset base if there is a solid, more traditional financial background and no other concerns. The development of government mandated digital banks known more formally as CBDCs (central bank digital currency), a handful already in business and being evaluated here in Canada may help ease concerns (4). Central bank regulation may be able to allay concerns related to legitimacy and even bring a measure of competition to the current crypto market, a very underwriting friendly move. To quote a line in an old Beatles song, ‘and you know that can’t be bad’ (5). Pritchard, Carolyn. Cryptocurrency: The Newest Challenge to Financial Underwriting. RGA Home. April 22, 2022. Sharma, Rakesh. Is There a Cryptocurrency Price Correlation to the Stock Market?com. May 12, 2022. Folger, Jean. 5 Successful Companies That Survived the Dot-Com Bubble. Investopedia.com. August 15, 2021. Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee. Central Bank Digital Currency and Stablecoins. Bank of Canada. June 2021. Lennon, John and McCartney, Paul. She Loves You. The Beatles. 1963.
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Protecting Your Clients’ Retirement with Critical Illness Insurance

November 16, 2022

How many of your clients are dutifully saving for retirement? It’s probably safe to wager that the vast majority of your clients have some semblance of retirement savings in place. Now, how many of those same clients have implemented the added step of protecting their investments in case of a severe illness? While many retirement conversations revolve around RRSPs and their goal of helping clients maximize their returns, another important conversation involves critical illness insurance and the way in which it can benefit your clients by adding another layer of protection. If a client suffers a critical illness and needs to take time off of work, or if they need to pay for additional treatment, that income replacement or funding needs to come from somewhere. Without insurance, clients will first dip into their savings… but there are better solutions including using critical illness insurance as retirement protection. Let’s take a look at a strategy that includes effectively crash testing your clients’ portfolios. The idea is to show your client four scenarios, one of which is guaranteed to happen in their lifetime: They don’t have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and never suffer an illness They have CI coverage and do suffer an illness They don’t have CI coverage and they do suffer an illness Pick any one of your clients and it’s pretty much guaranteed that one of the above scenarios will apply to them. But which one? This is the impossible part to predict! Most Canadians would like to believe their fate will lead them to option one, but the chance of experiencing a critical illness in their lifetime is 1 in 4 for men and 1 in 5 for women. (1) What if you could help show clients the net effect of their decisions and how each scenario can affect their portfolio? Specifically, what if you could show them the real-world impact to their annual net retirement income in each of the above scenarios? Here’s an example that will help them see the real-world effect on their annual retirement income. The above example assumes: Male Age 40 $200,000 in RRSPs Contributing $10,000 6% interest $100,000 need at age 50 due to a critical illness When you compare the ultimate annual retirement income in the scenarios in light blue and dark blue to the best-case scenario green, your clients will see that the impact of redirecting a portion of their savings dollars to the purchase of critical illness insurance is minimal when compared to the impact of becoming ill without critical illness protection. And, if they have additional cash flow, they can cover the cost of the critical illness insurance with no impact to their retirement income. So, the biggest question is: How can you help to illustrate what this looks like for your clients? To get started, you’ll need your client’s current registered and non-registered investment balances, future contribution amounts and before-tax rates of return. And for the next client meeting, ask if you can help them crash test their portfolio in case of a health emergency and then run a retirement protection concept for them to see which option they would choose. For similar content, read Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client. Also, be sure to share this Strengthening Your Safety Net quiz with your clients to help them assess the risk in their lives and the likelihood of them occurring. And if you have any questions about how critical illness insurance can protect your clients’ retirement, contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre. * Manulife Financial LifeCheque Retirement Protect illustration for male age 40, assuming $200,000 in existing RRSPs, contributing $10,000 annually, at 6% annual interest, with $100,000 required at age 50 due to critical illness. Illustrated on January 4, 2022.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Client’s Top 3 Calculators

November 9, 2022

Who has time for all of those tedious formulas and boring equations! We’re resharing your clients’ top three calculators to help shed some light on their savings and debts. They are easy to use, so be sure to share them with your prospects and clients. 1) Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator When building a financial plan, it’s important to have financial goals in mind. Share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your clients to help them get started and reach their financial goals sooner! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! 2) Savings Growth Calculator Show your clients how they can UP their savings game by putting away a few extra dollars a month, starting today! Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator 3) Debt Consolidation Calculator Help your clients explore options with this Debt Consolidation Calculator to streamline their monthly budget and pave the way to financial freedom. Be sure to share this client-friendly calculator! Interested in more calculators? Visit the Tools section of PPI’s Advisor Talk for the full calculator library. And if you would like to know more about any of the topics above, feel free to contact your local PPI Collaboration Centre.
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Social Media Platforms – Social Media For Your Business – An 8 Step Plan

November 3, 2022

As an Advisor, your business is important to you, and you would like to promote it on social media. But there are so many things to consider, where do you even start? We have got you covered with a plan to help get you started on social media. From knowing your market to tips on how to set up a social media profile, this 8-step plan will help you and your business get noticed! STEP ONE: Know Your Market Understanding your audience is key! It is important for you to know who your audience is, their fears, interests and any problems that they are experiencing. Why? Well, that is how you provide value, creating engaging content (information that they are looking for, that positions you as a subject-matter expert) so you can stand out amongst your competition. The more you understand about your target market, the better you can connect with them on a deeper level. Simply put, it helps you add value, build trust, as well as create and deepen those important relationships in order to grow your business. STEP TWO: Choose Your Platform The truth is that you do not need to be on every social media platform – you just need to be where your clients are. From a business perspective, if your clients are not on a specific platform, it does not make sense for you to be there either. Once you select your platform, you need to become an expert on that platform. Yes, expert in the sense of your knowledge base and what you can offer to your clients as an Advisor, but also on how the platform works. What are the best ways for you to get in front of your prospects and clients? It is also imperative to consider when your audience is using that particular platform. If they are online at 6PM, then that is when you need to be posting your content. Makes sense, right? STEP THREE: Make a Plan Build a strategic plan and commit time to doing the activities required to put your plan into action. You can book it in your calendar for the next 30, 60 or 90 days, scheduling posts in advance so all you need to do is hit the “post” button on the day of your scheduled message. It is also important to know how much time you want to spend on your social media and where your content will come from – have you checked out PPI’s The Link Between, our client-friendly library of insurance and investment articles (plus tools and calculators!)? Take it one step further with Your Link Between – share all of these client-friendly articles via your own branded website! Be sure to set realistic goals, expectations and objectives for your social media marketing and what you want your Modern Marketing to accomplish. Although you should not expect to have thousands of followers and new clients in the first week, setting realistic goals will allow you to measure your results effectively. And once you master that initial platform, you can join more because you now have a plan, strategy and content that can be repurposed in different ways. Consider consistency which is not just about posting every day or once a week, but more about being consistent in your brand, messaging and even the images you choose. It is also imperative to be there to engage with your audience when they engage with your posts – if you are absent, you are missing a big opportunity to connect and build relationships with your audience. STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Profile Creating a social media profile is not like an Advisor resume. Here, you need to think about what your ideal client seeks and then make it easy for them to understand what makes you unique and how you can deliver exactly what they are looking for. Even your bio should be crafted in a way that puts your audience and their needs first, helping you relate and connect to them easier. Make it easy for clients and prospects to connect with you – add links to your business website and contact details. PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team has put together a couple detailed guides on how to set up your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as a Social Media Profile Checklist (Advisor login required) – check them out and get seen. STEP FIVE: Create and Curate Your Content It is extremely important to consider what content you are putting out. Before you post anything, consider what you would like to achieve with that message – is it going to connect you better to your audience? Whatever you choose to post, your content should always be rich, in depth and packed with value. And although it is not your single goal, you want your content to be both quotable and shareable when possible, because when your audience shares your content, their followers see it too, expanding your marketing reach. New followers and potential clients? Yes, please! You can also use key words, hashtags (#HashtagsAreImportant) and topics that you know people are already searching and following. Then make your content evergreen (relevant into the future) so that even when a client sees your content a year from now, it is still relevant and valuable to them. Don’t forget to be authentic. Yes, share your unique value and story that will attract your “true fans”, clients that become your brand advocates. STEP SIX: Provide Value and Build Relationships Engagement is the key to social media. Social media is social, it is about relationships. But it is critical that when you do engage, you are authentic and not “salesy” – listen, then provide value. Additionally, making your messages a little more personal allows you to connect better and build deeper relationships. Why not create a video or voice message which can easily showcase your expertise and the passion you have for your work? Reward people for their engagement. When a potential customer asks you a question, comment back or ask them a follow up question to continue the conversation. And if you have established a strong connection, why not ask that follower to share your content. For example, “if you liked this post, please share it with anyone you think is going to need insurance protection in the next year.” Do not just rely on algorithms to reach people… take charge and take action! STEP SEVEN: Become Referrable Social media is a place where people ask their networks for recommendations – restaurants, businesses and services, there is nothing more powerful than SOCIAL PROOF. Testimonials are no longer as trusted as they once were, since they can come off as unrealistically positive, potentially biased and paid. Today, people prefer reviews or personal referrals and consider them far more objective and trustworthy. Would you like a referral for your business? Build relationships so your customers are happy and willing to recommend you via social media to their family and contacts. Why not join or engage with groups that your clients already belong to? By being active within these groups, you can engage and add value to the group in hopes of those group members connecting with you on your platform, then joining your sales funnel where you can continue to nurture those relationships and provide value. Warning… DO NOT join a group and try to sell – it appears aggressive and will make you look suspicious. STEP EIGHT: The Next Step The key to this step is that you do not control social media. You do not own Facebook or Instagram and you cannot control algorithms, so your task is to get your audience off social media and into your sales funnel. The questions here are what is the action that you would like your audience to take and where do you want them to go from your social media platform? Do you want them to book a free consultation, opt into your newsletter, register for a seminar, refer a friend, complete a survey? Be sure to consider this in advance – remember step 3! Plan for it and set up a process to move your audience to your sales funnel where you have more control of your relationships. You can then start to track your progress. As business owners you are already tracking progress and production, perhaps even performing reviews throughout the year to ensure you are meeting your goals. Modern marketing is no different – you must pay careful attention, measure and track your progress. However, some metrics are more significant than others. There is no point focusing on metrics such as “likes” since those do not translate into sales. Instead, you want to hone-in on engagement, comments, questions, an increase in followers, shares, opt ins and business growth. And if you see that something is working, then by all means continue. If something is not working, then adapt, experiment and test other things. Have fun with it and do not be afraid! A good reminder is that modern marketing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It takes time, so start with one platform, give it time, put in effort and energy and you are sure to see results. Want to learn more about modern marketing for your business? Read How to Build Your Online Social Network, Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know.
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Is Social Media Right for Me? A Few Things to Consider

October 26, 2022

You own your own practice and would like to spread the good word about your excellent services and level of expertise. Great idea! If you’re not already on social media, have you considered it as way to promote your business? A fast, effective and free way to show your prospects and current clients who you are, social media can help you connect and build those long-lasting relationships. And in this line of business…. it is all about those Advisor-client relationships. But is social media right for you and your practice? There are certainly a few things to consider… Where are my prospects and current clients? Are your prospects and clients online? Are they even on social media? If so, which platforms do they visit and where exactly can you reach, connect and engage with them – for example, are they on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Essentially, you want to be where your clients are, so be sure to find out which social platforms they frequent and make your business visible (don’t forget interesting and informative!) there. Where is my competition? Are your industry competitors on a social media platform, but you’re not? If your competitors are active on social media and you’re nowhere to be found, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect and engage with your ideal clients. And the fact is that if you’re not there, your competitors will surely benefit from that – do not give them the upper hand! How is my business unique? Once you have determined where your clients and competition are, it is now time to identify your unique value and specialty. Every Advisor has a unique voice, expertise and brand – what is yours and how do you stand out? If what you have to offer, your business process, your specialty and knowledge can be communicated through this mode of modern marketing, then press on. You have something special to offer and it should be shared online. Where should I communicate? Think about what makes the most sense for your practice – should you be on social media like LinkedIn (business-facing) or Facebook (family/client facing)? Should you write an informative blog or create a podcast? The most important thing to consider here is which platform can deliver your message in the clearest and most effective way to your ideal audience. What content should I share? Think about what you want to communicate to your audience – do you have enough and the right type of content to share? Can you create your own content (how about a video or PPI’s Your Link Between?) or do you have another rich source for content? It’s not enough to just exist on digital platforms, you need to have interesting, entertaining, informative and/or thought-provoking content to share with your audience. You have their attention… now how are you going to keep that attention? What tools and resources do I need/have to implement my marketing strategy? You’re busy, you have a fast-paced practice to run and can’t be spending your precious time on social media. We get it. But digital marketing is still important so what tools and resources do you have that will make these tasks easier and more efficient for you to action? For example, can you implement tools to schedule your social media posts in advance? Save yourself some time (and stress!) by getting the right tools to help you manage your online presence. How often should I post? Well, first things first – you need to be consistent with your posting. But consistent may not mean the same thing for each platform. For example, consistency on one platform may entail posting twice a day, while consistency on another platform sees you posting once a week or even once a month. It really depends on the nature of that particular platform, your audience and what type of content you are promoting. How do I transition prospects into active clients? The next item to consider is, do you have a system or process in place that allows you to transition prospects from social media to your business sales funnel? You don’t own Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, so you’re going to want to move your clients from those platforms to your own business website. Do you have your own platform and how are you going to get them there? Some ideas to consider are hosting an educational webinar, offering a free consultation or providing a free resource to download. What are my objectives and goals? And lastly, it’s vital to think about your social media objectives and goals. Have a plan, understand your objectives and visualize what success looks like for you and your business. Having this awareness will help you make wiser business decisions and help you navigate your business on social media strategically, rather than just posting when you have a spare moment. Put a solid plan into place and watch your business grow. For more information on the wonderful world of modern marketing, read Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know. And if you have any questions or need a helping hand with your digital marketing, please reach out to PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team.
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Learning From Experience: Bernard’s Story

October 19, 2022

A good cautionary tale makes a person stop and take a look at their own circumstances.  Bernard’s story may encourage your clients to take stock of their assets and consider whether they’ve properly planned for the distribution of those assets. Share Bernard’s story with your clients to help them see that there are nuances involved in naming beneficiaries and heirs, and that seeking good advice, communication, and documentation when planning can help to ensure their wishes are carried out as hoped.   For more information on estate planning and documenting final intentions, watch our short video: SMART TALK… about will planning and drafting – Advisor Talk and read our previous post: The Beneficiary Challenge – Advisor Talk. Questions? Contact your local PPI collaboration centre.
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