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          I remember holding a policy that was tattered and yellow with age. The creases barely held it together and the print style looked as though it was handwritten personally for the insured. The face amount was just a few hundred dollar's and the policy number was about the same. It had been issued by a fraternal organization that has long since merged into a modern day life insurance company. I have never again had the opportunity to review a life policy with exclusions for death from Indian attack, or exclusions for territories of the West not yet recognized for statehood. It was like holding a piece of history in my hands.

Although changes have been rapid in the past few years, that old policy carried the same theme as today - the promise of money at the death of the insured. Life insurance was basically unchanged for about 150 years.

In 1951 the Emeloid decision issued by the U.S. Court of appeals created a vast new market for life insurance. It clearly established that the success or failure of a business was more dependent on key personnel with special skills than on buildings and equipment. It concluded "A company has the right to protect itself against the loss of a key person." This opened the flood gates for life insurance entry into the business market and created the concepts of split dollar, deferred compensation, executive bonus, etc., as we know them today.

About the same time, the payment of estate taxes created a second gigantic market. The income tax free status of the death benefit is particularly unique for solving problems where death creates a need for large amounts of cash.

Many agents do not realize that these marketing concepts are barely fifty years old. I mention this to point out the extraordinary ability of our business to adapt to new markets. The computer age has thrust our marketing skills and opportunities to horizons not even imaginable a few year ago.

When I entered the business, there were certain features that appealed to me. I believe they are still valid and I would like to share them with you.

You have no restrictions on your market place. Almost every person is a prospect and you have the privilege of selecting your clientele. You can do this without a major investment in plant, equipment warehousing or inventory. You do not have an account receivable, which can turn into a trap that mortgages your future. You have no restriction by territorial boundaries. You have no limitation for the delivery of your product due to strikes or obsolescence. Competition from foreign companies with cheap labor does not affect your prospects buying decision as it does in auto, steel or electronic industries. You have the freedom to work as much or as little as your income needs require. You have the opportunity to reach any goal you set for yourself.

You are representing the most amazing financial institution ever created. Today you are riding a wave of this industry, much more vital, creative and challenging than it was when that old tattered policy was issued so many years ago. The boundaries for your personal success are unlimited.

-Frank Walliser


Contact Walliser Associates Insurance Agency at (831) 476-4384