Recent Assignments

  • A business school professor asked for help in deciding how to structure a new low-load variable universal life policy. ("I am very very happy with the services you provided. You have been a pleasure to work with. Very professional and very responsive. No one should buy permanent life insurance without consulting an independent fee only advisor.")
  • The compensation committee of a credit union asked me to review a proposal to use indexed universal life insurance to fund a deferred compensation plan for their new CEO. I prepared a report to help the committee members reach a decision about the proposal. ("Thank you for an outstanding engagement. I deeply appreciate having you in our corner on this project.")
  • The owner of a traditional whole life policy wanted help in deciding if it was worth keeping. ("This appears to be exactly the information I was hoping to get.")
  • The trustee of a trust that owned a flexible-premium universal life policy asked me to recommend a premium schedule to follow.
  • A software engineer asked me for help in shopping for term insurance. He used ESPlanner to estimate his current and future life insurance needs, and then I helped him choose an appropriate policy.
  • The owner of a term life insurance policy asked me to estimate its value in a life settlement.
  • The beneficiary of a life insurance policy asked me to help her decide which settlement option to elect.
  • A car dealership owner asked me to review an existing whole life policy. I showed him why the policy was worth keeping.
  • An attorney asked me to give her an overview of the types of insurance products that could provide financial security for her special-needs child.
  • The co-founder of an investment company needed life insurance to pay estate taxes while he used other techniques to move assets out of his estate over time. Agents' proposals required big outlays (with big commissions). I showed him how he could create the functional equivalent of second-to-die term insurance with low-load second-to-die universal life policies, with low outlays and the option to keep the insurance in force for life.
  • The owner of a $1 million policy on her father came to me after receiving a $225,000 gross offer from a high-pressure broker who wanted a $60,000 fee. I prepared an independent valuation and explained how her policy worked. After she realized that her broker had made many false statements and that the future premiums would be lower than she had thought, she decided to keep the policy.
  • The owner of a $1 million policy on her mother came to me after receiving a $280,000 gross offer from a high-pressure broker who wanted a $57,000 fee. I prepared an independent valuation, and with my help she obtained a $330,000 offer from a broker who charged a $33,000 fee.
  • The owners of an Alaskan air cargo company asked me to help them and their advisors understand an eight-year-old no-lapse universal life policy. I constructed a model of the shadow account to explain the details of the no-lapse guarantee, and I showed why a full understanding of the no-lapse guarantee is essential for making decisions about the timing and amount of premium payments going forward.
  • A graphic designer asked me to review a whole life policy that had a large loan. She was thinking of cashing in the policy and paying the income tax due, but I showed her that the policy could provide an attractive rate of return if she paid down the loan.
  • A couple nearing retirement asked me about the pros and cons of electing a single-life pension option and using life insurance to replace the spouse's benefit. I explained the factors involved in making an informed decision about this irrevocable choice, and they decided that they needed to do more research.
  • A retired U.S. Army officer asked me to review a universal life policy that he had owned for many years. I explained the possible uses of the policy, including the option to receive a life income that would be higher than current market rates and mostly income tax free.
  • An investment analyst in Hong Kong asked me to review a no-lapse universal life policy that was in the free-look period. I helped him understand exactly how the no-lapse guarantee works, and I showed him that he would pay thousands of dollars in unnecessary charges if he followed his agent's recommended premium schedule.
  • An economics professor asked me to review a life insurance purchase that she was considering. I suggested an alternative policy to look at, and we discussed the pros and cons of the two policies, as well as the suitability of life insurance for her goals.
  • A state insurance department retained me as an expert to assist them in terminating the activities of an annuity lead generation firm.
  • A retired attorney asked me to review a no-lapse universal life policy that he had just purchased. When I constructed a model of the policy's shadow account, I discovered that the cost per the contract should be about $80,000 less than the illustrated cost. The insurance company argued that the contract was wrong, but my client persuaded them to honor the contract and accept the lower premium.
  • A middle-aged man with a high but volatile income asked me to review his agent's proposal to convert his term insurance policy to a cash value policy. After seeing the short-term and long-term rates of return, he decided to stick with term insurance and invest his money elsewhere.
  • An attorney retained me as an expert in a FINRA arbitration about the unsuitable sale of two variable universal life policies. Using Monte Carlo simulation, I demonstrated that the policies could not have satisfied the buyer's financial objectives. The buyer obtained restitution in a settlement.
  • A private bank asked me to review six existing life insurance policies with a total death benefit of over $70 million. I provided an analysis and explained the options available for each policy to help them fulfill their fiduciary duties as trustees.
  • An attorney retained me as an expert in a FINRA arbitration about a blended whole life policy. I prepared a report that explained what the agent had not disclosed at the point of sale. After the case was settled satisfactorily, the claimant told me that "there should be a warning label on these policies."
  • A retired couple asked me to review an existing universal life policy that was costing about $6,000 a year to keep in force. I explained four options: hold it as an asset for their heirs, sell it in a life settlement, use it as a fixed-income investment alternative, and use it as a tax shelter by exchanging it for an annuity.
  • A businessowner asked me to review his proposed purchase of a whole life insurance policy for insurance and investment uses. I explained the positive and negative investment aspects, and I worked with the insurance company's home office to get information that the agent had not provided. The businessowner chose a different version of the policy that had a much lower commission and better values.
  • A financial planner asked me to review two life insurance policies and an annuity contract that named a widowed client as beneficiary. The insurance companies had provided confusing information, and I explained what the beneficiary should receive.
  • The owner of two whole life policies wanted to know if she should replace them with the no-lapse universal life policies that her financial planner was proposing. I concluded that the whole life policies were providing good value for the money; indeed, one of them had a cash value growth rate that handily beat other safe fixed-income investments. She decided to keep the policies.
  • The owner of a second-to-die variable universal life policy wanted to know how much he might get in a life settlement sale. He gathered the necessary documents, and I prepared an estimate of the life settlement value for a range of discount and mortality rates. We discussed his options, and he decided to keep his policy in force by paying the minimum premium.
  • A middle-aged entrepreneur was thinking of paying a single premium for a large no-lapse universal life policy, and he wanted to make sure that he was doing the right thing. I explained the pros and cons of no-lapse universal life and the economics of paying now versus later. This information filled in the gaps in his research and helped him reach a decision.
  • A term insurance policyholder on a disability waiver of premium claim wanted to know if he should convert his term policy to a whole life policy to take advantage of a continued waiver of the premium. We discussed his options, including one that his agent had not presented, and he decided to convert.
  • The executive director of a nonprofit organization asked me to review a variable universal life policy that she had bought on her agent’s recommendation a few years ago. She suspected that she had made a mistake in buying the policy, and she wanted to know if she should keep it or drop it. I explained the key provisions of the contract, including all of the charges and the right to adjust the premium payments, and I showed her that the declining surrender charge created a big incentive to keep the policy for at least a few more years. She decided to stop paying premiums while waiting for the surrender charge to disappear.
  • A businessowner asked me to review an agent’s proposal to replace two existing universal life policies with a new no-lapse universal life policy. I concluded that he could earn over 4% per year on his money in the existing policies while waiting for the surrender charges to disappear, so it would be better to buy the new policy with other money. After the new policy was issued, I explained the details of the no-lapse guarantee, and I showed him that the insurance company paid no interest in the first year. He decided to pay minimum monthly premiums until the end of the first year, so that he could keep his money outside of the policy for as long as possible.
  • Working with two actuaries and an underwriter, I helped a pension fund estimate the value of a $350 million life settlement portfolio that it planned to buy. For the no-lapse universal life policies in the portfolio, I created a model of each shadow account to determine the optimal premium schedule.
  • A businessowner asked me to review an agent’s proposal to replace an existing second-to-die variable universal life policy with a new second-to-die whole life policy. After confirming that the existing policy was too expensive and should be replaced, I focused on improving the agent’s proposal by reducing the commission and increasing the policy values for the same premium.