After 35 years in the insurance and investment business…with a lot of wisdom gained…often, the hard way, I’ve come to some realizations. The biggest one is that most Americans are totally confused as to the how, why, what, when, where of managing their finances, insurance needs, and asset management.
“It’s not what you know that hurts you. It’s what you know that just ain’t so.”
– Satchel Paige, Member, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame
When I started in the business in the early 1980’s, there were no IRAs or 401(k) plans. There were no “financial planners.” Mutual funds were just becoming available to the average person. Whole life insurance was still considered a valuable tool for protecting families and growing cash values. People saved money in three ways: savings accounts or CD’s at the bank, payroll deduction for US Savings Bonds, or cash values in their life insurance policies. Only rich people bought stocks, and only through a stock broker. There were no college savings plans. We just worked summer jobs or worked part time while taking classes. Dad worked at the same place for 40 years and retired with a monthly pension check that would be there for the rest of their lifetimes.
Today, because it’s on the Internet, it becomes truth. You can find virtually every financial product, concept, tool, or product you could ever want by a quick search. You can also turn on your television or radio and get information from all the “financial entertainers” as well. Tons and tons of financial information….but virtually no education on how these financial tools work…and no personal financial planning.
Amazingly, whereas Mom and Dad had insurance agents, stock brokers, and bankers to ask financial questions…today, you still need someone to help guide you through the minefield of your own personal finances.
The title is a metaphor that I’ve used for years, and it’s the foundation for my belief system and for this e-book. If you’re going to build a big castle of financial wealth, you better build equally sized moat of protection around it!
Just to be clear about my motivations for writing this, it’s not a “bucket list” item. It’s a tool for me to use to take the best of my 35 plus years of experiences, knowledge, and wisdom and give it to you so you can understand “the method to my madness” when we are working together.
I find myself saying the same things over and over to different people on each chapter in this book. One of my realtor friends, who overhears me on the phone when I’m working in his building on occasion said to me: “Brian, don’t take this the wrong way, but how many times a day do you talk with people the way you do?” We laughed, and I took it as a compliment.
So, let’s get started…I’ve always said I was a “professional explainer” of insurance & financial concepts…now I must live up to it!