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“I’m not going to be one of your stories.”
You’ll find the quote above in the introduction of Investments Don’t Hug. It was part of a real conversation between a woman named Jenny and her friend and financial advisor — the author of this book, Mark Bertrang. At the time, Jenny was fighting for her life; it had been five months since the discovery of a cancerous tumor in her body.
Jenny was referring the stories Mark often tells to his clients. Contrary to the typical analytical financial advisor who explains concepts with numbers, graphs, and charts, Mark always found the best way to explain why any particular option should be considered for a client’s financial situation was to share a true story about a real client (of course, using made-up names to protect their privacy). Jenny and her husband, Brian, had listened to many of Mark’s stories about how life actually plays out, and had made the empowering and loving decision to purchase a life insurance policy as part of their financial planning efforts.
Sadly, the cancer eventually took Jenny. Life insurance didn’t change the outcome of her death; what it did provide was the elimination of financial concerns for her family, so Brian could focus on raising their two young children.
After Jenny passed, Mark began to think about the countless other clients he had lost to death over the many years of his career. He soon realized they could tell the stories of how life insurance works better than he could. And so, that is how Investments Don’t Hug came to be. The book contains a series of stories, each with a message of how the decision of owning the simple product of life insurance provided the promise of financial certainty for many families. Mark was there at the beginning of each story, through the middle, and there at the close of his clients’ lives. Interspersed between the stories are explanations of the inner workings of life insurance in simple layman’s terms.
While working on the book, Mark went back and visited the families of many of his clients who had passed, and was surprised to find most were open to sharing their stories. Only a very few names have been changed, but all of the stories in the book are real. Mark believes he will be forever indebted to his clients for the many close relationships he has made throughout his career.
Take Charge of Your Life
The goal of Investments Don’t Hug is to open a conversation between you (the reader) and a qualified financial advisor or life insurance agent to achieve the specific goals outlined by your own values, for you and your family. Jenny’s story and all the other stories contained within the book should help provide a blueprint to more fully understand the benefits of owning this unique product.
Some people have never heard a story about how life insurance works. Mark believes financial advisors are missing an opportunity to be embraced for the work they do, and clients are missing an opportunity to embrace and add certainty to their lives. Along with helping husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers see the importance of the promise of financial certainty life insurance can provide, he hopes his book will reach advisors and insurance agents who would like to reacquaint themselves with this sometimes misunderstood or simply forgotten product. They should feel comfortable passing along the book to clients to help them grasp the importance of this asset and how it can work.
A recent study indicated that most financial advisors don’t want to talk about this non-investment product, because they find it too complicated to understand themselves and too complex to explain to their clients. Mark wants those advisors to know that “investments don’t hug.” In order to truly serve their clients, their friends, and their family, financial advisors need to “embrace the life insurance asset.” Mark’s hope is that he can make this complex topic easy to understand for all.
Investments Don’t Hug is available in paperback or on Kindle via Amazon. An audio version of the book is also available on Audible.
To request Mark to speak at your event, click here.