Why Midland National is My #1 Recommendation
In my career I have shied away from industry conventions. The last time I went to one was in San Antonio in 2017. I stayed away from that type of gathering for one specific reason that many long-time readers would understand. I don’t necessarily align or assimilate with other advisors in this business. Many people who have followed me for a period of time will know that I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about other advisors. When I learn something new I will always share it with you.
So, I agreed to go to a conference with Midland National Life. It’s a company I have shared with you, either by product or simply affinity, but I have enjoyed doing business with them.
Based on my past experiences, I didn’t really want to go. But I liked the people I knew at the company and thought this might be a more focused group so it was worth a shot. I also went to the Midland home office last summer for an event and met several peers who seemed to have the same mindset as me. They were new friends so it would be fun to see them again. One of them was even a subscriber to my podcast before we even met.
I was fortunate to have dinner with the chief investment officer the first night. We shared a table with a top level advisor from Chicago. It turned out to be a great conversation and I learned a lot about how strong the company is. Sure it has an A+ rating and strong financials but understanding how that happens is not necessarily public information. This certainly set the stage for my overall impression of the company.
In addition to the gentleman I had dinner with the first night, everyone else I met seemed to have come to this company for the same reasons. I only started using Midland about five years ago and that means it took me about 15 years to find the right company. My path may have been different from the others but there was a professionalism amongst the attendees at this event that was clearly missing from the others I had been to. These were the types of guys I wanted to spend time around.
This starts with what I have said before, in that Midland is an agent-direct company, which means I deal with the company using no involvement from a third-party. Almost every other company uses an intermediary organization to handle sales and marketing. There you’ll find really aggressive sales tactics and typically lower quality service because most agents don’t have much of a relationship with the insurance company itself. I spoke about this directly in Episode 3 of the podcast: Annuity Sales and Distribution.
When the third-party organization is cut from the equation it transfers to more for you and more for me. It often but not always shows up in yield but more importantly translates to something that helps us all sleep at night.
One of the most valuable things I learned about the company is that it is structured as an Employee Stock Owned Plan (ESOP). The parent company was started more than 100 years ago and when the founder died, he left Midland in trust for the benefit of the employees. Because of this the company is exempt from taxes and has more cash available to make it competitive. In the long run you want a profitable company backing your money and a successful advisor directing you. If that’s not the case then your priorities are out of line.
For years I have picked apart bad ideas. There are no bad annuities, only bad recommendations. Many people criticized me for not offering a better alternative so I started doing that to some extent. Here is my formal recommendation for something positive: If Midland is even close, take it without hesitation.
Check out the podcast at the link below for a little more detail and make an appointment if you want to go into more detail.