Are you a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors?
By Lew Nason
Insurance Pro Shop
Are you a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)? If not, you should be. Why? Founded in 1890 as The National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), NAIFA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest associations, representing the interests of insurance professionals from every Congressional district in the United States.
NAIFA is the original association representing the career agents in our industry. In the last 20 years, it has expanded beyond life insurance agents to include all the practitioners in the insurance-based financial services industry. NAIFA has become a critical part of our industry's survival.
Like many of the top financial services associations, NAIFA provides its members with world-class education, training and sales and marketing resources, but that's where the similarities end. Three important factors set NAIFA apart:
First, NAIFA is our industry's leading voice on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures. They are committed to protecting the careers of members and shielding their clients' interests from unfavorable legislation and regulation. NAIFA does this with support from APIC, its highly regarded grassroots political involvement program, and IFAPAC, one of the largest political action committees in the financial services industry.
Consider the attempts by the state and federal government to attack our products and services. These attacks include new legislation on split dollar; a proposed new tax on the inside buildup of cash values; a potential tax on death benefits; new legislation on COLI, BOLI and deferred compensation; and the creation and passing of Obamacare. And these are just a few examples. During each of these attempts, NAIFA was in the forefront of the industry action to prevent or limit the potential damage to our clients, careers and industry.
Second, the quality of membership is second to none. You'll have networking opportunities and access to great ideas and top-notch practitioners that you won't find anywhere else. NAIFA provides members with opportunities to network and share ideas with some of the most talented advisors in the industry. You can take advantage of the monthly meetings sponsored by local associations, as well as attend state sales conferences and their national convention and career conference.
Most local associations also offer LUTC and/or FSS classes, which I highly recommend. These classes provide members with practical, peer study group sessions that have been shown to dramatically increase production. I've attended and moderated many of the LUTC classes and experienced how they quickly helped attendees to gain essential product knowledge about the products they sell with basic planning concepts, while dramatically increasing their sales.
The American College and NAIFA jointly confer the LUTC Fellow (LUTCF) designation, which has been earned by more than 68,000 professionals. The LUTCF is a legitimate, industry-recognized designation.
Note: CE credits are available for many of the courses. All of the LUTCF courses are approved for self-study credit. Plus, NAIFA members can access a suite of cutting-edge sales and marketing resources, many of which may not be available to you through your company affiliations.
And third, NAIFA members receive a free subscription to Advisor Today, the official publication of NAIFA and a great resource for sales ideas and industry news for insurance and financial advisors.
Helping you grow your business is NAIFA's core mission. No matter how long you've been in the business or where your career is headed, NAIFA has programs and services to help your bottom line. And when it comes to great sales ideas, you'll get them at local association meetings, from Advisor Today and online. They’ll also help you grow your business through their impressive suite of sales and marketing resources, everything from a program to help you create a first-class Web presence to state-of-the-art client management software. Practice management advice and discounts on a wide range of business services help you run your practice efficiently and cost-effectively. It really is smart to belong to NAIFA.
I’ve been a member of NAIFA since 1983. What I've found in NAIFA is a group of people who work together to advocate for our industry and share our challenges and knowledge. Without NAIFA, I doubt my career would have worked out as well as it has. NAIFA is full of successful people who are great examples of how to get the job done and are also willing to share that knowledge.