Emerging markets present opportunity for insurance and benefits industries — and the U.S.Blog added by Philip Eide on June 6, 2011
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Philip Eide

Shaker Heights, OH

Joined: December 12, 2010

I and my colleagues are getting tired of the national — and insurance industry’s — focus on doom and gloom for the economy and future of the United States. Especially we are tired of the pervasive commentary generated by politicians — Democrats, Republicans and tea party — who appear focused on getting elected rather than proposing solutions for our current problems.

The U.S. does have some major challenges — what's new? China, India, etc. are major competitors in world markets.

But I believe the U.S. will not only meet the challenges, survive and gain competitive ground over the next decades. We will thrive. China, India, etc. are a challenge, but not a long-term threat. They are the best opportunity the U.S. has had in years.

Currently our economy is slow, our governments on the national, regional, state and local levels are expensive and wasteful, and our national debt is outrageous.

Good decisions and belt tightening can change these facts. Electing talented officials will help.

We all may need to make sacrifices. These sacrifices will be minor compared to those made by the U.S. population to successfully emerge victorious from the first and second world wars as well as the Great Depression.

Current competitors and debt holders — like China, India, etc. — have much greater near and longer-term concerns and challenges. They will be forced to face the challenges we have successfully faced and conquered in the past. And the Internet will accelerate the process:
  • The working populations will demand greater compensation and benefits — commensurate with world standards.
  • Child labor will be a major issue.
  • Women will demand greater equality
  • Environmental issues will become a costly reality.
  • Government subsidies will become limited leading to greater taxation.
  • The cost of goods and services provided for worldwide economies, including the U.S., will increase dramatically — making them far less competitive.
  • The United Nations and other influential groups will begin to crackdown on the capacity of these countries to steal and knock off products and services.
  • Increased employee income in these countries will create incredible new markets for attractive and innovative U.S. products.
All of the above will make the U.S. more competitive while opening new markets for our products and services. Look at what happened with our relationship with Japan.

How does this apply to the insurance and benefits industries?
  • The employer, employee and individual markets will rebound and thrive. The marketplace will change and the needs of these parties will continue and/or accelerate.

  • The U.S. government regulations currently being implemented will open new and lucrative markets as employees and individuals demand methods to better protect their well-being, income and savings.

  • Employer, employee and individual confusion about new government plans will open new, as well as lucrative, markets for fee-based advising. The advising market has been doing well in the investment markets over the years as controls continue to increase.

  • Expanding world markets — like China, India, etc. — will open new doors for those with expertise and a willingness to utilize the Internet, social media, etc.

  • Those who focus on doom and gloom will probably leave the marketplace — opening doors for those who provide alternatives for employers, employees and individuals.

  • A rebound in the U.S. markets combined with expanding worldwide opportunities, a renewed emphasis on saving and the preservation of income will open new markets for those in the insurance and benefits industries who remain.
The United States is, remains and will continue to be the best place in the world to live, work, own a business, create a business and to preserve earned income. Keeping this in mind, I believe the United States is the best location in the world. Please share your thoughts and have a great week.
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