“There is a trend in the financial planning industry toward asset management,” says Joseph Maczuga, founder of the Fee Planners Network, “but comprehensive planning and insurance planning on a non-commissioned basis has become a black hole in the industry.” During the Fee-Based Insurance Strategies and Comprehensive Planning Symposium on March 27-30 in Las Vegas, Maczuga will argue that comprehensive financial planning is not complete unless it includes no-load life insurance.

With you being the lead presenter at the symposium next month, what do you hope to accomplish?

The symposium is structured to bring to the advisors concepts and strategies in comprehensive planning as it relates to estate planning, business planning, and comprehensive planning for the individual. Then we integrate those concepts and strategies into design applications in terms of no-load life insurance, but not in the traditional commission-type product, but instead through the advisor designing the plans on a fee-based platform. What we have found over the years is that there has been a trend toward asset management, but comprehensive planning and insurance planning on a non-commissioned basis is really a black hole in the industry. With the consumer looking for impartial input and planning advice on a fee basis, comprehensive planning has been let go. But you can’t fully do comprehensive planning without integrating life insurance. So where do you go to get comprehensive planning on policy, design, and concepts that is not biased toward the commission approach? There is just nowhere to go.

What should planners expect in 2003 in terms of comprehensive and fee-based planning?

I think the consumer is going to begin demanding more of an asset management approach. They are becoming more and more aware of the fact that there are no-load policies available and they are going to want more disclosure, flexibility, and control over that element of their comprehensive plan. For example, in the past few months we have gotten calls from a number of advisors and planners who are traditionally commission-based, saying that after giving client presentations the client asks, “How much in commission are you getting from this?” or “Why aren’t you showing me a fully disclosed no-load product?” So clients are becoming more and more aware of this.