Some might say the deck is stacked against us.
Internal Revenue Service Notice 2001-10 put a crimp in split-dollar sales; repeal of the estate tax is a possibility; and another attack on the inside buildup of cash value life insurance may be ahead. Whats more, we are all enjoying a wild ride in the market, and “unpredictable” doesnt begin to describe our current economy.
What to make of all this? For every major tax regulation that negatively impacted life insurance, there were those who said the insurance business is doomed. Yet, the business continues to survive and even thrive in new environments. Companies have built new and better products. New markets have presented new opportunities. And out of chaos has come opportunity.
Likewise, despite todays seemingly stacked deck, I still see huge opportunities for the executive benefits market.
Yes, the stock market has had its tumble. All indications are, however, that chief executive officers still have a positive outlook for the future. And if you ask key executives in the corporate-owned life insurance market, some are saying that sales are up and they expect the trend to continue.
Where does this optimism come from? I think there are several reasons for this thinking.
First, the current environment is not a deal-killer. Yes, the stock market dropped, but this is not the first–and it won’t be the last–time for this kind of market swing to occur. And while a few investors saw the downturn as a sign to get out, many others saw it as an opportunity to get in at a low price. Indeed, the market is already rebounding and gaining new strength.