We recently published a blog titled “(Grim) reaping the benefits of life settlements?” The blog detailed a Slate magazine article that stomped a mud hole in the life settlements industry. Written by a self-proclaimed New York writer/dancer, the diatribe compared the life settlements arena to the Wild West, a place where people make and live by their own rules.

Let’s just say the piece stirred up a hornet’s nest and provided us with some of the more colorful comments we’ve come across in a while. Listed below are two examples of the comments we received:

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One of my life settlement clients sent me the article yesterday, so I was glad to see you address it so quickly. After having been in the industry for over 40 years (the first 22 also securities licensed), I think life settlements are one of the finest investment products I’ve had to offer my clients…When the situation fits!

If someone talks an 80-year-old widow into putting her last $50,000 into this product he should be tarred and feathered, but not because the product has no merit, it just doesn’t fit the scenario of being proper for the client. The answer is not necessarily more regulation, but proper application of the product to the situation. We have the same problem in the marketing of FIAs and VAs.
- John Reagan

I worked with agents, senior, brokers and funders for several years. I find it interesting that a “dancer” thinks he has an educated statement on life settlements.

Does some regulation need to be in play? Yes. However, too much regulation will not be good. There are a few bad apples out there doing life settlements, but the legitimate brokers and funders will win out and regulate themselves. That is how the basic business world operates.

Do we really want too much nosy federal regulation in our business? Kind of like the SEC wants to regulate indexed products? Does Madoff ring a bell? Bureaucrats generally have NO idea what they are doing. C’mon people, let’s keep the government out of our business.
- Steph Wilson