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Fun with Whole Life Agents

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  • Fun with Whole Life Agents

    One of the more interesting things that I have had the opportunity to see as a blogger these last 5 years is the reaction of insurance agents, particularly those who are "true believers" in cash value life insurance to the 10-15 blog posts I have written about whole life insurance. The comments threads run hundreds of comments (even before most posts started going dozens like they do now) for literally years afterward. Most of these threads are only followed by 10 or so WCI readers so this is almost completely an interaction between the agents and myself. It usually goes about like this. They put in a comment, with a reasonably nice tone, trying to "correct" my errors. I'm not sure why. Probably because they really believe the stuff their company taught them and think they have a duty to make sure everyone else on the internet believes like they do. I respond explaining why I disagree. Then they start posting comments that are literally longer than the post itself. 3 or 4 of those go by over a week becoming more and more "ad hominem" as they realize I'm not going to agree with them. Then eventually, I ban them and block their IP addresses from further comments. At that point, they start sending me hate emails until I block those too.

    I wonder if many of them come on the site after a client fires them after reading the site, or starts asking them questions after reading the site. They're frequently so mad I figure they must have lost thousands from something I wrote. They just can't quite grasp that not only are they not the target audience, but they are actually the people that I am warning my readers about! The whole point of my blog is for them to lose business. So naturally, I don't really care what they think and I'm not writing articles in the hopes that an insurance agent will come by and teach me about whole life insurance.

    The best part is that many of them are well-established in their career, often in their 50s or 60s, and aren't quite so internet-savvy. Usually, if you're going to go troll someone on the internet, you don't use your real name nor your real email address. These guys aren't that smart (obviously since they think whole life is the solution to all financial issues.) So from the first comment, I know exactly who these guys are, who they work for, and if I bother to look up their IP address, pretty much where they are at within a few miles. You see, with their first comment they rarely disclose the fact that they're an agent. I usually have to call them out on it.

    Why do I bother interacting with them at all? Well, I've had a lot of readers tell me they enjoy reading the back and forth and that they learned a lot about the sales tactics these guys use and how to combat them (hint, stand up and walk out) from the interaction. But I do it a lot less now than I used to. I'm just a lot faster to ban them. Where I might have used to go back and forth 10 times, now maybe only 3 or 4.

    At any rate, I had a particularly funny comment in the most recent one that I just had to share:
    So, yes I really want folks to load up only on whole life. Whatever you know everything and I’m an idiot. Your hubris is appalling and off putting. I read your comments about investing $150,000 a year and I call total b.s. on that.

    You are a typical hand to mouth doctor who has all of his money tied up in qualified accounts and bounces checks at the country club.

    I thought regular readers would get a kick out of that.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

  • #2
    I'd say that I've learned more on your site about permanent insurance products than anything else by far.  A fair amount of the knowledge has come from the discussion generated by these agents.  Although they are certainly deserving of ridicule, they are actually serving a useful purpose.

    Also, do you have a link to the full comment or preceding posts.  It would be nice to see that comment in all of it's full contextual glory.

     

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    • #3
      I counted at least four grammatical errors in five sentences. And, to which country club do you belong?



      PoF

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      • #4
        He would have really gone off on you if he knew you had a boat  :lol: ! I also vote yes along with @AR - please share the link to the full conversation.
        Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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        • #5
          Here's another fun one from today (different agent) which I deleted right after banning him because it was neither novel nor clever:
          If Dr. White Coats your doctor you better have life insurance.

          Requested link to the previous comment: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/debunking-the-myths-of-whole-life-insurance-part-2/#comment-437415

           
          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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          • #6
            This is both so funny and sad. But their rage makes me optimistic that you are really making a dent here. Maybe the history books will say that WCI was instrumental in making whole life insurance obsolete

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            • #7
              After reading the whole thing, I don't think that guy is even in the top 10 of worst whole life shills in the various comments section of the site.

              I'm not saying that he had any good arguments.  It's just that I remember many that are even less coherent and more ad hominem.

              Also as an aside, while I see you borrowed the whole living room vs sidewalk philosophy from MMM, I hope you don't start applying it the same way.  I've found on his site he is extremely intolerant of the viewpoints of those who disagree with him.  It doesn't matter how respectfully the dissent is presented, he'll often just get rid of it along with whoever posted it.  You clearly don't do that (it takes a lot more for you to react similarly), and I find the fact that you don't is far preferable and is a real strength of the site.  I hope you keep it that way.

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              • #8




                After reading the whole thing, I don’t think that guy is even in the top 10 of worst whole life shills in the various comments section of the site.

                I’m not saying that he had any good arguments.  It’s just that I remember many that are even less coherent and more ad hominem.

                Also as an aside, while I see you borrowed the whole living room vs sidewalk philosophy from MMM, I hope you don’t start applying it the same way.  I’ve found on his site he is extremely intolerant of the viewpoints of those who disagree with him.  It doesn’t matter how respectfully the dissent is presented, he’ll often just get rid of it along with whoever posted it.  You clearly don’t do that (it takes a lot more for you to react similarly), and I find the fact that you don’t is far preferable and is a real strength of the site.  I hope you keep it that way.
                Click to expand...


                I don't have a problem with opposing viewpoints. Much of what I write about is controversial. I also have a lot more tolerance for a doc or other high income professional or long time reader to argue. But a whole life agent who showed up on the blog yesterday in the comments section for a whole life article? Becoming less tolerant all the time. I simply have better uses for my time and energy that do more good and pay me better.
                Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                • #9
                  Thanks for sharing WCI. I had a continuous laugh/head-shake while reading.

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                  • #10
                    I went in for an annual meeting with the guy that does my disability insurance. He tried to sell me on their financial planning, including the tax benefits of whole life insurance. I was very polite but declined his services. And then I thought long and hard about looking for a new disability insurance provider. If he's willing to screw me on whole life, what does that say about my disability policy???

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                    • #11
                      The lengths some of these companies go through to make sure you don't forget about them is ridiculous.  I had an advisor, an AXA guy.  It has been 2 years since I was purchasing disability though his company.  Each time I met him he pushed whole life.  He seemed to believe in his product and I never felt too bad about him but politely declined each time.  I can say however that he died recently and his company made sure to send me a notice...including updated contact information for their office.  I haven't used them for 2 years and the opportunity they chose to remind me of their presence was to tack on their info to a death notice!

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                      • #12







                        After reading the whole thing, I don’t think that guy is even in the top 10 of worst whole life shills in the various comments section of the site.

                        I’m not saying that he had any good arguments.  It’s just that I remember many that are even less coherent and more ad hominem.

                        Also as an aside, while I see you borrowed the whole living room vs sidewalk philosophy from MMM, I hope you don’t start applying it the same way.  I’ve found on his site he is extremely intolerant of the viewpoints of those who disagree with him.  It doesn’t matter how respectfully the dissent is presented, he’ll often just get rid of it along with whoever posted it.  You clearly don’t do that (it takes a lot more for you to react similarly), and I find the fact that you don’t is far preferable and is a real strength of the site.  I hope you keep it that way.
                        Click to expand…


                        I don’t have a problem with opposing viewpoints. Much of what I write about is controversial. I also have a lot more tolerance for a doc or other high income professional or long time reader to argue. But a whole life agent who showed up on the blog yesterday in the comments section for a whole life article? Becoming less tolerant all the time. I simply have better uses for my time and energy that do more good and pay me better.
                        Click to expand...


                        Yeah, I wouldn't suggest wasting time responding to these guys.  All I was saying that you don't have to ban or censor most of them. There's enough traffic around here that garbage posts will mostlly be exposed for what they are without you really having to do anything.

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                        • #13
                          Perhaps.  It seems unlikely that anyone trying to learn about those products would just read the very last agent comment without reading any of the preceding comments. At this point anything that these guys bring up will have been addressed already

                          If the problem is mostly from the whole life post comments, maybe that discussion could be moved to the forum.

                          But at the end of the day it's just personal preference as far as how WCI wants to handle it.  I think where he is right now is fine.  Maybe slightly too restrictive for my taste, but not enough that I really mind.  He really does foster discussion and alternative views and engages those he disagrees with (or allows them to be engaged by others)

                          If he ever achieves MMM levels of sensitivity (which is what his specific comment made me think of) over what people post, then I think it would be bad.  That guy, despite all of his admirable qualities, has a very cult mentality.  You either buy into the message or you're not welcome at all.

                           

                           

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                          • #14
                            I had an invitation to come speak (for pay) to some life insurance agents this week about return of premium insurance. I thought that was odd. I turned them down though. If I'm going to burn a couple of days off to speak to a group, I want to speak to docs. Agents are definitely NOT my target audience! Maybe I'm being too nice in my articles if they actually want to hear from me.
                            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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