What A Clear Thinker And Gifted Writer Is Jack Bobo

To The Editor:

Its amazing how I continue to learn from Jack Bobo. I love his comment in the Nov. 24 “To The Point” column about whole life: “Such questions never arise in Denmark because rather than cash value, people use the term repurchase value, which has an altogether different connotation.” What a clear thinker and gifted writer he is. Our industry is fortunate to have him.

Let me relate a true story about Jacks personal influence on me. Until I called him on the phone about 10 years ago to thank him, Jack never knew that he was the person who inspired me to give up smokingcold turkey!

The date was May 18, 1978. My wife and I were dining with the New York State Association of Life Underwriters (NYSALU, now NYSAIFA). Jack was our guest speaker. The dining room was packed. Back in those days smokers could light up. My wife and I were seated in the back so I could see all the smokers (including myself) lighting up as Jack began his talk over coffee and dessert.

Ive been a public speaker since age 13, so I thoroughly appreciated the clarity of Jacks delivery and the intelligence he communicated. I said to myself, “This guy, Jack Bobo, has such a clear mind. I love the way he expresses himself.” As he spoke, I observed a contrast: the dining rooms air, dense with smoke, and Jacks clear voice communicating brilliant ideas. That inspired me!

As an expression of gratitude to God for giving us clear minds like Jacks, I put out my cigarette and vowed it would be my last. The next morning I struggled as I jogged a mile, but I kept my promise. Having smoked a pack a day for 23 yearsLucky Strikes from age 15 to 38I quit, for good!

Another clear-minded thinker like Jack, a Connecticut Mutual Life actuary whose name I dont recall, helped me understand whole life, the role of cash value, whole life compared with term, and what it all means to policy owners and beneficiaries.

I posed this question: Suppose 100 healthy males age 50 each applied for and obtained $100,000 whole life and paid the annual premium until death. Each insured designated a charitable institution as beneficiary. Using current assumptions for mortality, what would be the number of expected deaths annually? And what would be the expected dollar amounts paid to the institution each year?

The actuarys reply taught a young life insurance agent two important lessons:

1. The pot will never receive as much as it gives.

2. We cant do this with term insurance. We need cash values to level out the cost. With term the gifts would become unaffordable.

What a mechanism! There is no substitute for “repurchase value.” Thank God for clear thinkers like Jack Boboand whole life!

ROBERT L. COYLE, CLU, LUTCF
FSC Securities Corp.
Albany, N.Y.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, December 5, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.