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Dear Santa,

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I know you must be busy this time of year, what with all of the children’s lists coming in. Before I continue, let me apologize in advance for the outrageous list of demands my own two kids are likely to send your way. They both appear to believe that you are operating on a limitless set of resources. But as I told my son, Santa may be magical, but he’s not so magical to give you a pet alligator. It’s just not happening.

Anyway, I was hoping I could sneak in a little list of my own this year. You see, 2010 has been a pretty wild time for us in the life and health industry. I have only been on this scene for about half a year now (how fast time is flying!) and even in my short stay so far, I’ve seen enough turbulence to know that 2011 probably won’t be any less dramatic than 2010 has been. So while my list of requests is ambitious, please know that this isn’t just for myself; it’s for our readership as well.

Smooth implementation. Health care reform and financial services reform make up more than 4,000 pages of hastily written laws that will pretty much reshape a substantial portion of the L/H industry. Any chance you could try to keep the nasty surprises in these things down to a minimum, either by helping folks implement them smoothly, or by granting our fearless leaders the wisdom to spot and fix bad laws as they surface? Otherwise, these bills will be cures worse than the disease. A lot of folks think they are already.

Bi-partisan work in Washington. Nobody will blame the Dems and the GOP for refusing to work with each other when the new Congress first gets into session. After all, there is a lot of bad blood to get out into the open. But after everybody throws their introductory hissy fits, it would be great to see our legislators reach across the aisle. That goes double for President Obama.

A collective wakeup call. For some reason, people can find the money to insure their cars, their homes and their health, but not their lives, and that’s just plain crazy. The industry’s been trying really hard to get folks to open their eyes on this one and insure themselves properly to protect their families, but it’s not getting the results they need. Anything you can do to help that doesn’t involve a widespread catastrophe would be awesome.

A great, big chill pill. This one is mainly for the SEC, but also to any other federal regulators who think it’s time to apply a heavy hand to the financial planning side of the L/H industry. Surely as life settlements come back, some tin star looking to make his or her name will shoot from the hip at perceived abusive sales practices. But even if not, the fight we saw over 151A was proof enough that financial planners of all kinds will do better if the Feds weren’t trying to pull the rug out from under them all the time.

Well, that’s about it. I don’t have the space to ask for more, and I doubt that you could do anything about it if I did. I understand if you can’t get me everything I’m asking for this year, but if you could at least set me up with one or two of these things, I know a lot of hard-working people who would really appreciate it. Thanks, and be careful flying that sled of yours this year. Every time I hear on the radio or see on the Internet that you’ve been picked up by NORAD radar, I worry that somebody in an F-15 might shoot you down by mistake as you’re approaching New York or Washington. Which reminds me…you should probably check with Mrs. Claus to see if you’re adequately insured. A guy like you shouldn’t be taking any chances.


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