To Paraphrase Mark Twain…
”…reports of my retirement have been greatly exaggerated.”
This May, I wrote a blog entitled The Times they are a Changing as quite a bit was taking place in my professional life. There were three bullet points. The first one did say the word “retirement” as after more than a decade of helping clients with their home, auto, liability, and landlord policies, I made the decision to no longer offer those lines of business. I had affiliated with Elite Insurance Solutions as the principals, and I had a professional relationship prior to, and it was a great working relationship.
It all came about because I was blessed to have a strong business friendship with the founder of Village Real Estate since the early 1990’s. In 2011, he and the management team invited me to establish my agency inside Village to offer those insurance products to their realtors and their referred home clients. Needless to say, it was a very successful venture, and I enjoyed the hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities to help others with their insurance needs.
The second point mentioned “refocusing” my efforts with Stewardship Private Wealth Management. I have always maintained my life & health insurance licenses along with my Series 7 and 65 General Securities licenses. This since the mid-1980s. Through Stewardship, I work with my clients on their investment and financial planning, life insurance and long-term care policies, and helping them create retirement income strategies so that they can plan for the rest of their lives with certainty and comfort. Needless to say, given the volatility of today’s environment, our skills are needed more than ever before.
The third point is something that I am extremely proud of, and that is my new book Castles & Moats, Insurance, Investment, and Life Planning Simply Explained, available at www.castlesandmoatsbook.com.
I’ve blogged for close to 20 years now, as I find it helps me be that “professional explainer” with regards to all of the financial tools, concepts, and products that I’ve offered throughout my 40-year career. The book came about on the golf course, believe it or not. My dear friend Jonathan Merkh had founded Forefront Books, and through walking down many fairways and discussing my love of teaching and helping people make good financial decisions, he encouraged me to complete a rough draft that had been sitting on my PC for several years. After several meetings with his team, he motivated me to really get serious about it. I was somewhat of a slave to it in 2021. Working to get it as accurate as I could while making complicated topics as easy to understand as I could.
One of the nicest compliments I received was from my editor, Allen Harris, who said during our first meeting, “Normally I have to take an author’s original draft and either completely write the whole manuscript or rewrite it so that it flows for the reader. Brian, you can write, so this should be a fun project.” So yes, all of the 60,000 words are mine, but I couldn’t have done it without Jonathan, Allen, and the team at Forefront!
In a nutshell, it’s over 30 separate conversations on topics that I found myself having regularly with friends and clients. My goal was to break down as many of the “financial myths” perpetuated by the media, the financial entertainers, traditional thought, and to prevent people from following the “herd mentality” of all things insurance and investment.
It’s definitely not a cover-to-cover kind of book. I even share how you should read the book in the introduction. Pick a few chapters that appeal to you, check those as you read them, make notes along the way, and pick a few more. I always read with either a hi-liter, a pen, or both. Time I’m done with a book or an article, it’s marked up pretty well with thoughts and questions to go back and review.
It’s funny in that I’ll be having a conversation with a friend or client and a specific subject will come up, say Life Insurance, and I will say “It’s Chapter 8 in the Moats Section, and Chapter 16 in the Castles section.” Life insurance being one of the only financial products that provides a moat of protection for the beneficiaries while offering a way of creating tax advantaged wealth via cash values.
So, to wrap it up:
Retired? Yes, from selling specific insurance products through Elite Insurance Solutions. (First six chapters in the book)
Retooled? Yes, with my financial advisory practice. (Chapters 7 through 31 in the book).
Recharged? Yes, to continue to do all I can to help others with my spoken word through conversations and my written word through Castles & Moats.
“Son, I never worked a day in my life. I just got up in the morning, got dressed, and went out to try to help people.” – Dad
As always, thank you for your continuing readership and kind words when we see each other. If someone could benefit from my work, please don’t keep me a secret!