Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Benefits of Selling Segregated Funds: Insurance Advisors Take Note

When it comes to selling insurance, many advisors are heavily focused on the standard insurance products that they are comfortable with and that they are versed at selling. Sure, when a client calls you, the chances are they are usually looking to invest in some form of insurance – for a variety of reasons – but if you are only providing one product or a limited range of products, your ability to provide the service that best meets their needs may be limited.
If you work with a managing general agent, you already know the importance of maintaining your independence, and hopefully how to garner the benefits that should come from this type of partnership. But has your managing general agent discussed the benefits of selling segregated funds? If not, here are some things that you should know!
There are many benefits for your clients when they invest in segregated funds. Since segregated funds can only be sold by insurance advisors, it makes sense to diversify as much as possible and to add these important investment tools to your arsenal.

One of the major benefits of segregated funds is the low risk.  For those clients who may be a bit hesitant when it comes to investing, either because they shy away from the risk or because they have no investment experience, segregated funds offer an important opportunity. Since they are low risk, and managed effectively by an outside source, segregated funds may leave clients much more open-minded since their capital is protected.

Another benefit of segregated funds is that they have maturity dates. Clients are often unsure of how to approach investing and being able to provide them with a product that offers a timeline for their returns is useful. Being able to tell them that they are guaranteed a return if they hold a segregated fund until it reaches maturity will help those conservative investors realize that investing doesn’t necessarily need to be stressful. Also important, segregated funds guarantee a return on principle, and clients can lock in the market value every 3 years for the death benefit.

Your clients will also be happy to learn that segregated funds are guaranteed at death, so if they pass away, their beneficiary is able to claim benefits from their investment. This can be an important product for those clients looking to provide for their loved ones in the event of their death.

If you work with a managing general agent and only sell insurance, you are limiting yourself. There are major benefits to your clients to selling segregated funds, and since being able to provide the best, most diverse service to your clients is what will set you apart, offering segregated funds will only increase your credibility and reputation.

For more information about the benefits of selling segregated funds, or to find out more about working with a managing general agent that can help you get started, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Keeping Up: Has Your Managing General Agent Gone Digital?

Now, more than ever, the digital age dictates the movements of many businesses around the world. Even those businesses that are not directly linked to technology are highly influenced by it. Technology has heavily infiltrated mass media and businesses now need to be very aware of the importance of technology in everyday life. But what if your company is a bit behind the times? Has your managing general agent gone digital?
Knowing the importance of using technology to its highest advantage is all part of staying on top of the competition. So how is this done, and how can you ensure that your managing general agent is embracing those tech changes in order to give you the ability to perform at your peak?
One of the most important aspects of ‘going digital’ means being high tech. If your managing general agent can’t promise you the most advanced technology that gives you speed and quality, they might as well not give you anything. For example, in order to keep pace with change, your managing general agent should have updated systems in-house, should be running updated software, and updating that software on a regular basis.

What about a website? In today’s market, not having a website is like not having your number in the phone book, so your managing general agent should definitely have one, and give you access to it! If your clients are looking for you online but can’t find you, that is not good for your overall rep.

What about social media? Facebook and twitter are not just for high school students and celebrities – any reputable business needs to have a strong presence on social media, and use all social media platforms to their best advantage. If your managing general agent is absent, you are absent. In contrast, if your managing general agent makes a concerted effort to have regular engagement on the company’s social media sites, you will reap the reward because the brand recognition will result in more credibility for you. That’s if you’re a branded advisor – some advisors join an MGA as an independent, use their own brand and in this case these independents typically would handle their own marketing so the MGA’s marketing would have less relevancy.

Technological data protection is yet another crucial aspect of ‘going digital.’ If your managing general agent can offer you solutions like the one we use “No Panic Computing” it will ensure that all network data is protected. MGA’s who work with companies like No Panic Computing take confidentiality and your interests seriously.

Things like online newsletters and videos are just another few key aspects that prove that your managing general agent has embraced technological change. If they can offer these things for you to leverage then you know that they are not only interested in their own success but yours as well.

Don’t get stuck with a managing general agent that has yet to move into the digital age. Make sure that your managing general agent has gone digital and has embraced those changes that will make all the difference to your business and your future.

To learn more about how a managing general agent needs to provide the most up-to-date digital offerings, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Planning Ahead: Invest in Your Future with Segregated Funds

With so many different investment options out there, sometimes it can be difficult to wrap your head around the ones that are best to address your future financial goals. Sometimes investing itself can just feel like too much work, or involve too much risk, and so you avoid it altogether. If you want to invest in the future, an excellent solution is: segregated funds.
What are segregated funds? A segregated fund is an investment sold only by insurance companies that combines the growth potential of a mutual fund with the security of a life insurance policy. The life insurance company owns the segregated fund, but is required to keep it completely separate from all other assets - therefore protecting you. The value of segregated funds can fluctuate depending on changing market values, but, unlike other types of investments, segregated funds offer you guaranteed return on principal.
There are several benefits to investing in segregated funds. These include:

-       Segregated funds have maturity dates – This means that if you invest in a segregated fund and hold it until maturity (15 years for example), you are guaranteed to get money back – either the greater of the net investment or the current value (whichever is greater). Takes away the worry over risks, doesn’t it?
-       Segregated funds are guaranteed at death, the guarantee being either 75% or 100% of deposits or fair market value, whichever is higher, which means that even if you pass away, your beneficiary can benefit from your investments.
-       Segregated funds offer the ability to bypass probate and keep all of your financial affairs private. This saves your loved ones the added stress of having to deal with these issues upon your death that can often arise with other types of investments, as well as the added cost.
-       Segregated funds lower risk because you have the option of locking in market gains – and not just at the beginning of the fund. This can significantly increase the value of your segregated funds.
-       Segregated funds can be protected against creditors in the event that you suffer severe financial troubles in the future (however unlikely that may seem) because they are held as a contract with your insurance company.
-       Segregated funds are considered trusts in the eyes of the tax man, so a fund will allocate all taxable income and capital gains to investors. This means that you avoid having income taxed inside the fund at the highest marginal rate.

No matter your investment plans – whether you are planning for retirement or just want to try and make some financial gains for the future – it is important to understand the benefits of any type of investment. Segregated funds represent an important option for all types of individuals looking to invest, especially those hesitant about taking the risk.

For more information about the many benefits of segregated funds, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Distribute Assets Fairly with a Toronto Life Insurance Policy

It is comforting to know that if your family lost you that your loved ones would be protected. A Toronto life insurance policy can offer that comfort and also ensure that your family will not be fighting over the division of your assets, because you will have pre-designated your beneficiaries deciding “who gets what”.
As terrible as it is, distribution of assets after death is a problem that many people face, and often results in legal battles and years of resentment. A Toronto life insurance policy represents an important opportunity to fairly distribute your assets – thereby limiting the potential of family disputes arising once they have lost you.
Think about it this way. If you own your home, it often does not make much sense to leave it to several beneficiaries. If this happens, conflicts over keeping or selling the home, and any issues that surround these decisions can quickly ensue. Instead, leaving it to a single beneficiary often is a better choice. Doing this though can also lead to disputes since other family members may see it as an unfair distribution of your assets.

A good way to solve this problem is by purchasing a Toronto life insurance policy to be used as another asset to be distributed. By purchasing a Toronto life insurance policy that can be left to a loved one once you pass away, you can make sure that one family member does not receive a far greater dividend than any other. Leaving life insurance to one member and the large asset to another ensures that all members feel that you have divided your possessions equally – getting rid of the chance for resentment and bitter feelings.

If you have children or grandchildren that you know you would like to leave something to upon the event of your death, a Toronto life insurance policy is a great way to do this. By listing more than one beneficiary, or by dividing up the life insurance policy in your will, you can make sure that those family members you want to leave something to will get it.

Living with the secure knowledge that your assets will be divided fairly in the event of your death is important. Purchasing a Toronto life insurance policy now that will achieve this is a smart way to distribute those assets and save the added heartache once you are gone.

Here are some things to remember when you purchase your Toronto life insurance policy. If you are leaving an asset (house, business, etc.) to one family member, try to make sure that the value of the policy is relatively equal to that of the asset. Also, check it regularly, and if market values change, you might want to adjust the policy to reflect those market changes – that way both assets remain of equal value.

Don’t let an unequal distribution of your assets leave your family dealing with even more loss once you are gone. Take advantage of a Toronto life insurance policy and see your assets divided fairly.

For more information about a Toronto life insurance policy, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653 or visit