About Mark Pace

T. Mark Pace

When there is an immediate need for cash at the time of someone’s death, it has been my experience that life insurance, when properly acquired and managed, is one of the best tools ever invented for the creation and transfer of wealth. However, life insurance is rarely acquired properly and, because it is mistakenly assumed to be a "buy and hold" asset, it is never managed. The resulting financial disasters are far too frequent and completely avoidable.

If you would like to learn more about any Pig-in-a-Poke blog posts or discuss any other life insurance issues, contact T. Mark Pace at Mark@objectivereview.com


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Pace’s Pig-in-a-Poke

About Pace’s Pig-in-a-Poke

Pace’s Pig-in-a-Poke, provides an arena for sharing the four great passions in my life. My three foundational passions are:

  1. Invest in yourself first;
  2. The genius in all of us, and;
  3. We can all live a long healthy life.

These three support my life work and my fourth passion; LIPM™ (Life Insurance Property Management).

As the blog title suggests, my focus is on debunking all of the myths, misuse, and muddled thinking that has accumulated in the life insurance industry. And, from time to time, I will go outside of the specific world of life insurance and share my views on my other three passions.

I hope you find my blog worthy of your attention, informative, and occasionally inspirational. I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

Mark Pace

Are you selling or optimizing? Introducing the Six Pillars of Life Insurance Optimization.

The Poke

The complex life insurance environment within which advisors strive to succeed is an unpredictable, constantly shifting jumble of disparate and conflicting elements and forces.

The advisor’s personal needs and goals are constantly battered by financial expediency. The demands of the institutions they rely upon and must oblige are constantly changing with increasingly complex product design, economic and market forces, and an ever-shrinking amount of time. For those who hold themselves accountable to meeting their clients’ needs and contributing to the achievement of their clients’ goals, the battering can be intense.

As complex as it is, the life insurance environment provides few navigational tools. When last year’s guideposts are replaced by a new set leading in a completely different direction, the uncertainty created often forces advisors to take drastic measures to insure survival.

It is little wonder advisors too often only do what is easy and simple as they try to remain relevant and valuable in the eyes of their clients, their peers… and in their own estimation of themselves. Easy and simple usually means sticking to how they have sold successfully in the past which, paradoxically, often means selling the newest, most exciting products. Fed by competition between carriers who know products that illustrate well, sell well, advisors can feel forced to promote a continuous succession of legally optimistic outcomes that surpass those promised by previous products du jour.

In an environment where performance is measured by volume of transactions, face values and commissions, the situation is exacerbated. Forgive the pun, but turning up the volume makes it virtually impossible for an advisor to hear what their clients are saying. Besides, there’s no time for that anyway; the transaction must be concluded quickly so the next one can be teed up.

The Poke Exposed

The incessant battering inherent in the life insurance advisory environment leads to a form of lowest common denominator; the products that sell are the ones clients and advisors alike find most attractive. Clients love optimistic illustrations and advisors need healthy commissions

If you were to read the mind of an advisor under pressure to perform, the dialogue might sound like this: “Man! Selling life insurance is so darn hard, I deserve to make a lot of money for all the pain and suffering that goes on between each sale. I hear ‘no’ so often that when I eventually hear a ‘yes’, I feel I deserve to make the most I can without having to spend much more time on this case.”

For the advisor trapped in this mentality, wandering in an environment that is nearly impossible to navigate, there is nothing left to do but to sell quickly, and mercilessly.

Bottom line: Far too many policies have been sold in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.

Pace’s Poke Remedy

If the situation sounds hopeless, fear not as there is a great solution. But first we have to identify a set of core beliefs in order to create a foundation to stand upon. Primary of which is, in order to make life insurance work at its very best, you must believe that when there is an immediate need and desire for liquidity at the time of someone’s death, life insurance is the greatest tool ever invented for the creation and transfer of wealth.

If you don’t believe this… well, the battering will continue.

The next core belief that supports us in this nasty, brutish and short-sighted environment is that life insurance is a unique form of property – with complex and flexible internal property rights – that only performs at its very best when it is properly acquired and professionally managed. In other words, it is not a simple commodity your clients can afford to get and forget!

If you don’t believe this… well, perhaps football equipment is in order.

The third belief shoring up our foundation is a simple observation; people enjoy buying and they hate being sold.

Now, I know you agree with this one!

So let’s start with the concept of creating a buying experience. Future blogs will deal with the how and what, so for now, let’s look at the why. More specifically, why it is impossible to create a buying experience when you regard life insurance as a commodity. (The current drive to sell guaranteed death benefit policies is an indication the industry is gaining momentum towards commoditization.

Commoditizing life insurance leaves you with practically nothing to talk about except premium and benefit amounts. You have nothing to work with, no way to create a valuable or enjoyable experience for your prospects and clients.

On the other hand, if you regard life insurance as a unique form of property with complex property rights, there is a vast amount of information, insight and wisdom you can share with your clients to add value and confidence to their lives while empowering them to make life insurance decisions that are relevant to who they are, where they are and what they are trying to achieve.

Well, who has time to learn about all of these rights? Why would you want to anyway? Well (putting aside a desire to stop the battering), you would do this only if you truly believed life insurance is the greatest tool ever invented for the creation and transfer of wealth when it is needed most;  AND you held yourself accountable for doing what is best for your clients. In other words, you would take it on yourself to make sure their life insurance worked at its very best. You would make it your job to optimize the performance of the capital invested.

All right, we’re almost there. The complex rights within life insurance property requires a sophisticated approach.  And, in order to acquire and maintain the equilibrium needed to navigate the current aforementioned nasty environment, and apply a sophisticated approach, you need a consistent set of permanent navigational tools. In other words, the Six Pillars of Life Insurance Optimization.

The six pillars are:

  1. The appropriate amount and period of coverage
  2. Right product type or mix of types
  3. Correct underwriting class
  4. Rational internal pricing and crediting rates
  5. Effective funding level
  6. An ongoing management (an optimization system)

All great advisors are able to prove to their clients that all six of these critical pillars have been considered and applied to the acquisition and ownership of their life insurance.

So that’s it. I have introduced the Six Pillars of Life Insurance Optimization.  I will explore each pillar in greater detail in future blogs.

If you can’t wait for more blogs, I invite you to attend our next open webinar scheduled for

Wednesday, November 17 from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST

In the webinar, I will explain:

  • The critical role each of the Six Pillars plays in optimizing the return on capital invested in life insurance;
  • How the Six Pillars are used to rehabilitate existing, performance-impaired policies;
  • Why the Six Pillars are essential in the acquisition of new policies, and:
  • A process you can access for overcoming all the obstacles that typically prevent you from bringing the Six Pillars to your very best clients.

Register today by clicking here

About the author

Mark Pace
Mark Pace
When there is a need for immediate liquidity at the time of someone’s death, it has been my experience that life insurance, when it is properly acquired and managed, is one of the best tools ever created for the creation and transfer of wealth. However, in my 35 plus years of experience, life insurance is rarely properly acquired and never managed… thereby creating a monumental financial disaster for many individuals that should never happen.

If you would like to learn more about this Pig-in-a-Poke subject or discuss any other life insurance issues, contact T. Mark Pace at Mark@objectivereview.com


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