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Practice Matters 2009 Edition One

Toll-free (800) 965 5234 Online


A Message from the President

A Message from the president

For more than 20 years I’ve believed that an advisor should only move their broker-dealer relationship for true, profitable business reasons. To say the least, the last few months have been a learning experience moving LBFG to INVEST. We moved for all the right reasons, but the ability to promote business development in our practices Gary Richardson was the primary purpose. The fact that our reps did President, Life Brokerage Financial Group not all transfer simultaneously means that many of you are at different stages. One thing has proved certain during the transition - it is very important to maintain well-organized and thoroughly updated client files.

Spotlight: Brian Berkowitz GDC Top 20 Technology and your wealth ltc: a good place, now EOE Tips

Redtail University - Chicago Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Redtail U is designed to bring users to an advanced level. In doing so, your office will become more efficient and productive.


A broker dealer may treat you transferring your book one of two ways: some embrace it and others fight it. In either case, all LBFG reps should have their client information readily available and in the best form possible. Let me compliment an office that has all of their data very organized. . . Nick Ruggeri’s office and his staff (Cheri and Rennie) maintain their client files and information in impeccable order. It is our goal to help each of you become similarly organized, and a technology driven platform will provide an organized, efficient, and portable practice. For those of you finishing your transition, you will soon start to see why we moved to INVEST. You will soon become familiar with branding and marketing support, client communication with C3, practice data results, resume building and more. LBFG is also planning branch meetings to introduce you to these new support features, as well as provide new marketing strategies and concepts that should deliver value to your practice. As always, I’m happy to discuss any developments with you. Phone: (800) 206-5030, option 7

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7/21/2009 11:41:33 AM


Spotlight: Brian Berkowitz Life Brokerage Financial Group has many outstanding quality producers who are true leaders in both their profession and communities. From Florida to California and from Minnesota to Washington, top producers fill our ranks. Each quarter LBFG will highlight one of these outstanding individuals and ask them to share one idea that may help you reach a higher level of success. Our first Spotlight introduces you to the dynamic President and Co-Founder of South Florida’s The Insurance Design Group, Brian Berkowitz. Brian and his wife, Lynn, of more than 20 years, are the proud parents of Navy Varsity Baseball Team first-baseman, Jonathan Berkowitz. Brian is a graduate of the University of Florida (with Honors) where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance and an Accounting minor. Brian is a die-hard Gator fan and both he and Lynn enjoy skiing, traveling, and most of all watching their son, Jonathan play first base for the Naval Academy. Jonathan’s leadership was recognized this past fall by serving as a Squad Leader for his company. He will begin his senior year this fall and awaits commissioning as a Naval Aviator upon graduation (Class of 2010) where he would like to fly jets or helicopters. Brian has worked in the life insurance industry for over 23 years, but in the last 15 years he has specialized in the custom design, implementation and funding of advanced estate planning and wealth transfer planning strategies. He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and has been a member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) for the last 22 years, qualifying for the prestigious Top of the Table (TOT) 8 times. As a current member of the Top of the Table (TOT), he is amongst the top 4% of the elite MDRT members who represent less than 1% of the world’s best insurance producers. He has demonstrated leadership having served on numerous MDRT committees including the Top of

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the Table Advisory Board and has held other leadership positions within the organization. Brian has placed over $1,500,000,000 of life insurance in force protecting the lives and welfare of hundreds of clients. This is an amazing accomplishment by any standard of measurement.

Brian Berkowitz The Insurance Design Group

Brian operates from a very simple business philosophy, “You have to understand people.” Brian’s emphasis on networking and helping those in his network has been instrumental to his success. He says, “You have to feed your referral sources several times before they feed you. Network with law firms, CPAs, Stock Brokers and Insurance Agents to enable access to referrals and their clients. This is a long-term process. It’s important to feed somebody several times before they feed you. Develop networking relationships and help those in your network often. Your network will hopefully provide you with many favorable introductions.” Brian takes an unselfish approach to networking. He helps others and doesn’t always expect any immediate reciprocation. “At times it may seem that you are doing all the feeding, but by going the extra mile you will reap future rewards.” Brian is always looking for unique ideas, strategies and products to share to his referral sources. For instance, Phoenix has a first to-die life insurance product that can be used to “Fund” Buy-Sell Agreements with a single policy. Since this product offers a different twist on the traditional approach of using multiple policies, it can help open doors which may eventually lead to a sale or an opportunity to present other estate planning concepts. Establishing your referral sources and continually providing those referral sources with new ideas, strategies and products of interest is a day-to-day, long-term task, but overtime will substantially support your success.

7/21/2009 11:41:40 AM


The Top



1) Jeffrey golubeff 2) greg Corrie 3) Michael zigler 4) troy wold 5) Matthew Bumstead 6) ray Arias 7) leroy glaum 8) Mark Bell 9) tony Matise 10) danny Bruza 11) garyn Angel 12) phillip krause 13) Craig Jergenson 14) Charlie richards 15) elizabeth hughes-Jenkins 16) fred hoffman 17) william Baumner 18) rodger slutz 19) Van Brown 20) katherine hart These rankings are based on production from February 2009 through July 1, 2009

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A “NO” VOTE TO TECHNOLOGY CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR WEALTH In this current environment advisors are seeking ways to operate more cost effectively while maintaining or even increasing the level of client service. Here to help save the day is technology. Yes, it’s times like these when your investment in computers, software and other tech equipment provide a true return on investment. Let’s examine a few of these components. Hardware: Your computer is like an employee who can work 24/7, rarely takes off, never asks for a raise, and can manage many tasks simultaneously and often much faster. Let’s face it, computers and technology are here to stay, so we might as well embrace them. Besides, these days a more than adequate computer configuration can be purchased for less than $1500 and even if it lasts only a year or two, where can you get an full-time employee to work past a month for $1500? Software: The next step is to provide this “new employee” with tools to operate with. This is where your software comes in. The foundation starts with a good customer relationship management (CRM) program, such as Redtail. Saving time and money starts with having all information centrally located and having the ability to integrate or share data with other programs. Think about the days when we had to turn to the file cabinet to find critical client information or simply find a birthday. Having client information readily available and accessible via a CRM program allows for us to respond to clients’ needs in a timely fashion, which not only helps with client retention but also helps us to identify other services they may need. The next tool in the arsenal is the document management system. Now, even though it would be nice to do everything electronically or paperless, the fact is there will always be a need for some paper documents. Think about the search time and the time to keep the files

Ricardo D Thomas, CDFA, RFC Thomas-Waddell & Associates

organized, not to mention space issues and costs when it comes to years of accumulating file cabinets. Having the ability to eliminate file cabinets and link client documents to the client database electronically also brings efficiencies and ultimately cost savings. Rounding out the software or tools area is to have a good office suite. The office suite should include key components like a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. Again, the suite should integrate or communicate with the other tools in your arsenal. Finally, we’ll address the ability to print, distribute or scan information or documents. It is essential to have the ability to fax, print, scan and copy information. Fortunately, we are now able to do all of these with one piece of equipment and have these features available to more than one user at a time. These all-in-one units are very affordable and pricing is dependent upon features like speed and color printing options. When you put all of these pieces together, you’ll find that you’ve laid the foundation for a very effective and efficient operation. In the short term, it will lead to cost savings by reducing overhead due to savings in labor costs. Over the long term you’ll see greater profitability by allowing you to effectively serve a larger client base. Remember, in business it’s never good to be penny-wise and pound foolish!

7/21/2009 11:41:43 AM


Where is a good place for your money, now? Have your clients asked you, “where is a good place to put money now?” With all the financial turmoil it’s a difficult task to make the right suggestion, but here is a safe and often overlooked place for your client’s money: long term care insurance.

John Mitchell, CLTC LTCI Brokerage Director

No one knows how long it will take for the markets to recover their lost value. Some say one, maybe two years. Others think it will take longer. With portfolios down 35% or more, what would happen if the client needed long term health care? The cost of care currently averages over $74,000* annually and is expected to double within the next decade. You could ask your clients “if they needed long term care tomorrow, where would they get the money?” Most would prefer not to have to sell their depreciated stocks or mutual funds at this time, but what alternative would they have? Long Term Care insurance protects all assets, stocks, bonds, real estate and bank accounts. In states with Partnership LTCi Plans it also protects assets from Medicaid spend-down. With proper planning the policy can be structured so the benefits can grow within the policy to keep pace

with the rising cost of care. Insureds can depend on growth regardless of market activity. Also, safe guards and government regulations protect insured’s interests when LTC carriers run into trouble. If a carrier defaults or can’t pay a claim state guaranty funds that exist in every state will pay the claims. The answer to your client’s question, “Where is a good place to put money now?” It could be long term care insurance. Protecting what’s left of their investment portfolio, real estate holdings and bank accounts could well be worth the monthly premium paid for their long term care insurance policy. Whether the most appropriate coverage is through traditional long term care insurance, or a cash monthly policy or one of the linked benefits policies your clients need to start planning today. * John Hancock’s 2008 Cost of Care Survey

EOE Tips One of the biggest challenges our advisors face with their transition is becoming acclimated to the EOE system. Nobody likes dealing with shifting procedures, especially during the midst of moving their practice. At INVEST, EOE is a Mark Duran necessary tool for processing Co-OSJ Branch Manager business. Fortunately, INVEST and LBFG provide a number of training opportunities for you to master EOE. Navigating EOE • Participate in one of INVEST’s frequent EOE webinars • Save a copy of the EOE manual from the INVEST website • Enter all New Account Forms into in EOE.

Tidbits By entering your NAFs into EOE you’ll generate one pdf with all the necessary forms. It is a wonderful safeguard for forgetting forms. Please note it will not pull up the Pershing to Pershing transfer form, change of BD form, or ACAT form. Once a client is submitted into EOE you no longer will need to add the client again and will use the copy feature to create additional accounts based on registration.  Clearing Firm Prefixs * 5HT – retail account * 5HZ – retail managed account * 5HX – retail managed account (broker pays ticket charges) * 5HU – retirement account * 5KZ – retirement managed account * 5HY – retirement managed account (broker pays ticket charges)

For broker dealer use only - Not for distribution to the public.

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7/21/2009 11:41:46 AM

LBFG Newsletter 2009  

LBFG Newsletter 2009