As a journalist, I’m not an optimist by nature. My eye’s trained to look for the dark side of the story—you know, the old motto: “If it bleeds it leads.” But I can’t help but see a silver lining for annuities in this whole Occupy Wall Street business. Ah, but more about that in a minute.
I’ve been following this story like many of you—from afar. I’ve seen the protestors shouting through bullhorns about fat cat corruption, corporate greed, anti-capitalism and the like. Started by the Canadian magazine Adbusters, the whole Occupy Wall Street thing went viral through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Then the usual suspects, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon popped up. Even our own Bill Coffin, editor in chief of National Underwriter, Life & Health, joined the melee to cover it. Coffin got to the ground level of the protest with a slide show to capture the event in its nascent stages. It’s since spilled out around the country, including into my hometown of Denver where protestors have pitched their tents at the State Capitol.
In a recent New York Magazine survey of 100 protest participants:
- 46 percent believe that capitalism “isn’t fundamentally evil; it just needs to be regulated.”
- 37 percent believe that capitalism “can’t be saved; it’s inherently immoral.”
- 17 percent did not answer the question.
When asked about their thoughts on President Obama:
- 40 percent said they “believed in him, but was let down.”
- 1 percent said “he’s doing great.”
- 22 percent “said he’s doing the best he can.”
- 27 percent “never believed in him.”
Just for a minute, take a leap of faith with me. Let’s say on at least a certain level the protestors have a point about corporate greed and government corruption. OK, let’s make that leap together to prove this point: The community-based, independent advisor can bulletproof himself from the stain of big government and Wall Street greed.
How? Make yourself the trusted brand in your community. Your clients know you. They know you’re that rock who’s going to provide them with sound financial advice. You’re not a website or a computerized voice providing them access to go dialing for dollars. You’re the person they see at the kids’ ballgames, the PTA meetings, at church. They have lunch with you. They sit across the table from you. They invite you into their home.
Remember that as you provide them safe annuity product choices. Your clients will thank you for it. And your clients will never mistake you for a greedy fat cat.