DOL – NAFA Alert!



NAFA ALERT — Submit Your Comment Letter by March 17
On March 3, NAFA shared an update outlining the Department of Labor’s proposed 60-day delay to the applicability of its fiduciary rule originally scheduled to take effect April 10. As of today, approximately 350 comments have been submitted to the DOL arguing both for and against the proposed delay.
It is critical that NAFA members from all arms of distribution as well those who service and support the fixed annuity industry make their voices heard. To simplify the process, NAFA has put together a draft letter you can use as is or customize to reflect your specific concerns. Members are encouraged to share this with other annuity professionals in their networks.
Please use the following link to access this pre-written message (please choose between Insurance Producer or IMO & Carriers) and add your business information to personalize.

Submit Your Letter 
It is important the Administration hear from as many of us as possible as we work to protect the future of our industry and the clients who want and need the advice and products we provide!
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Be a Closer


As leaders in most any line of work will tell you, becoming a leader is mainly about what is in your head, not in your physical prowess or material advantages. In the book by Wayne Coffey – “The Closer: My Story” we learn from the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera, that the key to his success was not just his physical skills, but his mental approach.

Rivera was from Panama and at first the Yankees saw him as a starting pitcher but arm troubles lead them to place him in the bullpen. It was there that Mariano transformed himself and his mentality and developed into the great player that he was. But was it just his physical skills?

In his own words Mariano said “Yes…I can do one thing better than just about anyone else. Put the ball exactly where I want. (But) I am convinced that being fully committed to the moment, without any worries about the past or projections into the future, is the best attribute that I had.”.

Translated into our world it can be a revelation. With each appointment, with each client, we need to be “in the moment” “without worries” of the outcome. If we do what is right for our clients, if we listen to their needs and concerns “without any worries of our past or future” – that is the best attribute we can bring to our clients.

So go out there and be a closer…like Mariano Rivera.

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2017 Tax Kit

Thanks to Nationwide for giving us the tools to be effective during the tax season.

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2017 tax kit
Our 2017 tax kit includes materials to help clients file their 2016 taxes and refine a tax strategy for 2017 and beyond. Go to the Tax Center on for more information and ideas.
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The Test of Time

With today being the start of a new era in America, the Trump era, I thought it would be good to look back at an old article I wrote. We need a leader who is consistent, patient and has the heart to follow through. Lets hope President Trump can find a way to do all those things.

When I was growing up I was a big baseball fan. Every morning I would study the box scores to see how my favorite players and teams were doing. I had two players who I liked the most. Carl Yastrzemski and Hank Aaron. I got caught up in the YAZ excitement in 1967 when the Red Sox had the “Impossible Dream” season and YAZ won the triple crown. I was barely 7 but I could read a box score. I knew what YAZ did every day and from that excitement a baseball fan was born.

When I could read for real, I started reading biographies of Sports Stars. The book I read on Hank Aaron was written well before he was even thought to have a chance at the home run record. Most felt Willie Mays was the guy who had the best chance. But when I read the story of Hank, of how he had first learned to hit with his hands on the bat backwards (ie: he held his left hand on top like a left-hander would do) and how from that beginning in the Negro leagues he forged an amazing career…a Hank Aaron fan was born.

And Hank stood the test of time. He was never flashy, just a consistent force in the middle of the lineup. A 5 tool star who was often overlooked. It wasn’t until Willie faded in his pursuit of the Babe that people began to think…maybe Hank could do it. And as that possibility became a reality I was Hank’s #1 fan. I was only 13 when he broke the record but I remember it like it was yesterday. It felt like I had discovered Hank. As if my belief in him and my faith that he could beat the Babe had been a key to his success. His success was my triumph. As he circled the bases on April 8, 1974, there was no happier kid in the US of A.

I write this today because I just finished reading the biography “The Last Hero – A Life of Hank Aaron” by Howard Bryant. Reading about Hank as an adult was a different experience but for me his greatness still stands the test of time. And his life can give inspiration to us in our business. His work ethic, his faith, his consistency, his principles, his ability to stay strong in the face of incredible adversity. All of these attributes helped define Hank but can also be lessons for a Financial Advisor who also wants to stand the test of time.

In our business there is no “easy way.” There are no “get rich quick” schemes. It is consistent hard work and doing right by our clients that will stand the test of time. I have worked with many different types of financial advisors. The flashy ones come and go. The “one-trick ponies” never last. The best understand the need for consistent activity, for reliable advise and balanced thinking. I appreciate the hard work necessary to be successful in our industry. When times and the economy are tough, our consistent message is what shines the brightest. And a consistent balanced method will bring success and a long career. Just check the record book.

Games Played All Time Leaders’Top 1,000′
Name Games Rank
Pete Rose 3,562 1
Carl Yastrzemski 3,308 2
Hank Aaron 3,298 3

I suppose I should write a future article about Pete Rose and why we should not be like Pete…LOL. But until then, enjoy this Super Bowl Ad from a few years back:

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OMB To Set IMO Guidelines?

The Office of Management and Budget hopes to publish a crucial exemption that would permit independent marketing organizations to sell under the new fiduciary rule by the end of next week.

OMB wants the exemption enabling IMOs to serve as financial institutions published by the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, said an attorney close to the proceedings.

“My reading of the tea leaves is that the DOL will move heaven and earth to get it out of OMB and get it published by Jan. 20, but then what happens to it who knows,” said Bruce Ashton, a lawyer with the firm Drinker Biddle & Reath, which represents many IMOs before the DOL.

Regulators appear to be setting guidelines around IMO sales volumes, business history and precedent, reserving minimums and to a lesser extent, adequate errors and omissions protection coverage. But the regulators could settle on a mix of all three, or favor some criteria over others.

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Throw Back Thursday- “A Written Retirement Plan”

“Research shows that clients who put their retirement plan in writing are more likely to be successful in managing their income and assets in retirement”

Have you ever written down your goals? There is a reason why so many goal oriented self help books recommend you do that. The reason is if you write down your goals it becomes more tangible. I know when I wanted to lose weight, just thinking about it did not really work. But, when I added an app to my phone that asked me what my goal was and then gave me the plan to reach my goal- I lost all the weight I wanted to lose and more.

The same is true for your clients. Not for losing weight, but for planning for their income needs in retirement. Once they understand the need, it is easier to develop a plan, and more importantly, to implement a plan.

Research shows the following:

  • Clients with a formal written plan are more likely to explore options for guaranteed income plans.
  • Plan development often leads to developing a need for financial products that help manage risk.
  • Formal written plans increase client confidence and help bond the planner to the client as someone who better understands their needs.
  • Clients who get a written plan are more likely to refer you to others.

For all those reasons it is a good idea for the planner to offer a written retirement plan.But more importantly, the written plan is the key for getting your client to retirement in a positive way.

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The Greatest Sales Person Ever

I have a friend who is in sales and he is very good at it. In fact, he is one of the most respected real estate sales person in his area. Last month he was telling me about his brother in-law who is a business owner. It seems his brother in-law has a bad opinion of sales people. He feels that what he does is far more important and valuable than anything a sales person can do or has done.

As we chatted about this he told me more about his brother in-law. It seems the brother in-law has a start-up company that has been funded by Venture Capitalists. Over the last 12 years he has asked for and received funding 7 times for more than $18 million dollars. In that same 12 year period the company that he owns has lost close to $6 million dollars and has never made a profit. But still, the VC community continues to give them funds.

When we looked at it from a different perspective, we realized that his brother in-law might perhaps be the best salesman of all time. It was he who convinced the VC community to give him the funds- and if that is not sales what is?

That reminded me of the story Tom Freeze tells in his training. When he was trying to recruit a new client he was asked who he thought was the “greatest sales person ever?” As he explained, he had two choices for an answer. The first choice might have been to say himself. Since he is an author and a sales trainer it would make sense to promote himself as the best ever. Of course that might come off as arrogant. The second choice could be to name someone else and show his humility,  but then he risks downplaying his own importance and giving credibility to a potential competitor. In the end he came up with the better solution-

“The greatest sales person ever has to be Mrs. Bill Gates. By tying the knot with the richest man on the planet she increased her net worth by billions of dollars. I consider myself a pretty good salesman, but I’ve never matched that in one deal”

In the end, keep this in mind. No matter what we do, no matter how we do it, sales is a part of our life and our world. In some way shape or form we are all sales people. Once we recognize this we can work on our craft and get better. Like Mrs Gates.


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