Monday, 22 April 2013

Are You Getting the Right Support? Your MGA and Professional Training

We all know that support is crucial no matter what industry you work in, but if you are an independent advisor in the insurance industry, working with an MGA, that support is even more important. It is critical to have someone at your back who can offer you what you need to achieve your goals and further your own career. A major part of this is consistent and ongoing professional training. So, are you getting the right support?
Modern Prospecting Strategies: The first step to building your portfolio is prospecting, and so you need to be aware of the newest techniques and strategies for finding and building your network. Lead generation training is crucial here, and your MGA should offer you training on the latest and most effective methods for generating leads and referrals.

Sales Techniques: Do you have access to, and training on, the most up to date sales techniques? In order to succeed you have to be able to sell. The right MGA should offer training on how to get clients interested in the products you sell and closing deals.

Time Management and Work/Life Balance: Sometimes it can be hard to traverse the fine line that makes up the work/life balance, and so having the support behind you to help you develop techniques to overcome this is crucial. Your MGA should support you on this as well, providing you with the mentoring to achieve that equilibrium.

Product Training: When new products are introduced, your MGA should make sure that you are well informed about each aspect of these products. If a client wants to purchase a product and you don’t know enough about the product to effectively sell it that can equal a loss for you. Make sure that you are up to date on all of the latest products.

Maximizing Revenue: Once you have landed a client and secured their business, the opportunities don’t end there. Does your MGA teach you how to get the most from these relationships in the form of maximizing revenue? Your training should include points on how to keep clients engaged and the different insurance products that can be pitched to them and their various benefits.

If your MGA or insurance company is not offering the support that you need in the form of professional training you may be losing out. Not being able to generate leads or offer the best products and services to clients is a big problem for many insurance advisors, so make sure that you overcome this by working with an MGA that offers effective training on all the things that will let you serve your clients – and yourself – to the best of your ability.

For more information about how professional training offered by your MGA is important, please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

High Yield Bond Investment Returns Against The Risk

Over the last few years there has been an increase in the number of people who are nervous about taking a financial risk with any form of investment. However, with the economy stabilizing, many Canadians have once again begun thinking about investing. Segregated funds, offered specifically by insurance advisors, have become an attractive option for many who have a low appetite for risk. But what if you are looking for a bit more return? A high yield bond offers many attractive benefits with a higher end yield. Whether you are looking to generate income for retirement or just want to invest with less risk than equity investments, a high yield bond is a great option.

What is a high yield bond? Like all other bonds, high yield bonds are debt securities issued by different organizations in order to raise funds. By purchasing a bond, you are effectively lending your money to that organization in exchange for interest and a guaranteed return of either all or a significant portion of your initial investment.

Demand for these fixed-income investments is steadily increasing, often because of their various benefits. Some of the benefits of a high yield bond include.

-        Higher interest rates - Since high yield bonds are accompanied by a higher level of risk, they pay higher interest rates than investment-grade bonds in order to compensate.

-        Win-win scenario - When the company that you invested in makes gains, bond prices increase, thereby increasingly the value of your investment.

-         Measure of stability - The income component of the return of a high yield bond is larger, meaning that your risk is lessened.

Still, the risk is there, and if you are still a bit hesitant a high yield bond segregated fund might be something to consider. A high yield bond segregated fund, which holds bonds issued by several companies, allows you to invest without putting all of your eggs into one basket. At the same time the benefits remain, as does the return.

What if you want to invest but are unsure as to how to go about doing it? High yield bonds can be tough for the average investor to navigate, especially if you have no previous experience. That is why it helps to have someone in your corner that can both talk you through your investment options as well as manage them. An experienced insurance advisor can offer you the advice you need and assistance you want to get your portfolio started.

For more information about investing in high yield bonds, please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Staying Competitive: The Importance of Processing Insurance Applications Quickly

The old adage time is money is nowhere more truly accurate than in the insurance industry. Taking your time and dragging your feet won’t put money in your pocket. If you are a serious insurance advisor you know how important it is to get your applications processed quickly. Competition in the insurance industry is as fierce as ever, and one of the only ways to stay competitive is to get things done quickly. 

When a client calls you to set up insurance, they are likely thinking that the process will be a quick one – especially with the online insurance options, online quoting and the ability to arrange insurance online all available at the click of a mouse. Once the client has selected an insurance plan and the paperwork is filled out, the rest is in your hands. How you handle your client from here on out is crucial.

But what if it really isn’t in your hands, and instead is in the hands of your insurance company and they are the ones that decide to take their time. What if they drag their feet when processing your applications? This is something that you may have very little control over – but that doesn’t mean that the impacts are not very real.

In this competitive environment, while some loyal clients may wait on you, other less patient clients simply won’t and why should they? After all, there are countless other companies out there that can easily offer the same or similar products without the wait. There really is nothing stopping a client from turning to the competition if you take too long processing their application. Taking too long will mean lost business and a decrease in customer retention.

The internet and the sheer abundance of online insurance companies offering quotes make this competition even stiffer. It is a very simple thing for a client to jump on the internet and find a quote that they feel meets their needs and offers the same benefits as the plan they originally chose from you.

The impacts of processing times are not just short term. Processing applications quickly can also mean a big payout in the end in the form of future business. Even if you manage to land your client even after providing a slow turn around, if a client feels unsatisfied with their initial dealings, when the time comes to purchase additional insurance products they may look elsewhere. However, if they feel as though their needs were met efficiently and effectively, and all in a timely manner, they will not hesitate to turn to you with their business in the future.

If you work for an insurance company that takes forever processing insurance applications, or if you work with a managing general agency that does not recognize the importance of expedience, maybe it is time to consider switching.

At IFCG we appreciate the importance of time, and if you want to learn more about our process and its many benefits, please contact us by calling 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Is an Online Life Insurance Quote the Best Way to Go?

In today’s digital age, the conveniences of the internet are well known. Online shopping, online movies, e-books, etc. all make getting what you want that much easier. These days, so many people turn to the internet to compare prices and try and find the best deal. Life insurance tends to be a favourite here – but is an online life insurance quote really going to get you the protection that you want? 

Surfing the web for an online life insurance quote may seem like a smart idea, but is it really the best way to go? 

Getting an online life insurance quote may not give you the same level of personal service and guidance that you would get by speaking with an advisor. Pre-made forms that only ask certain questions without probing you to consider what other products and coverage may be relevant to your future goals. For example, how do you tell an online life insurance form what your financial plans are? You can’t. Can you discuss your future goals when getting an online life insurance quote? No. Can an online insurance quote provide you with the answers to your questions or offer advice? Not likely in any great depth. Life insurance is an important investment, and so making sure that you get what you want and need should mean talking with an insurance advisor that can cater your insurance specifically.

Another problem with an online insurance quote is the fact that you can’t really be sure that those quotes being offered are actually for the exact same product. With insurance, so many factors contribute to the building of an insurance policy that it is very difficult to compare apples to apples on an online stage.

Commission rates vary company to company, and so getting an online life insurance quote does not necessarily mean that you are getting the lowest price. That being said, price should not be the only determining factor in your decision to buy – there are many things that need to be considered, and so talking with an insurance advisor will help you determine what those are.

Instead of leaving your life insurance in the hands of a machine, think about why you are getting that online life insurance quote to begin with. If you are looking to purchase life insurance, chances are you are looking for financial protection for yourself or your loved ones for the future.

Looking for online life insurance quotes is not the same as looking for an online car insurance quote – there are many more things to be considered. The best way to ensure that that protection is as it should be is to seek out and speak to an insurance advisor. They will be able to work with you to find the best product to meet your individual expectations and the price for the insurance will be the same. 

For more information about life insurance and why an online life insurance quote isn’t always the smartest option, please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit