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NAIFA Members Provide Financial Security for All

Mark Acre, LUTCF, is a Missouri State Alumni and has been a member of NAIFA since 2009. Acre owns his own company in Missouri, One Insurance Group, which he describes as a “one-stop shop” for all your financial planning needs. Housing 23 advisors under one roof with each specializing in a different field truly is an anomaly in the industry.

Acre is on the national Board of Trustees, a Young Advisor Team (YAT) member, and a former YAT Leader of the Year. Acre’s success is something to be admired, however, this was not always the case. After graduating from MSU, Acre got a job (amusingly describing this initial career choice as “Just Over Broke”) at a hospital where he felt undervalued and underpaid. It wasn’t until he read a series of mass emails from different insurance companies recruiting members that he finally made the leap. Acre reflects on the moment that swayed him, “I picked [my friend’s] brain, [who] was in the insurance business, and asked him what he thought, [and he said] Acre you will do great at it, give it a shot.”

There are many facets of the job that Acre enjoys, the compensation, the challenge, and the ability to rely on only himself. He elaborates,

I came from an athletic background and played college sports and I am willing to put in the work. The harder I work, the more I would be getting paid. [Being a financial advisor] gave me the ability to really perform and build something of my own. There's no ceiling so this industry doesn't cap you, it gives you the ability to succeed as much as you're willing to put in.

Acre's decision to join NAIFA initially was a result of his eagerness to learn. He was a new agent having just started his own insurance business and found himself searching for answers. In his quest for answers, he found that the best way to learn how to make it with his new business venture was to learn from those who came before him, stating: “I've always thought the smart people learn from their mistakes and wise ones learn from mistakes of others [and] a lot of folks in that room made [...] mistakes, I could learn from.” He encourages those who are reluctant about NAIFA to consider joining for not only the educational aspects but for the comradery as well. Acre credits the comradery of NAIFA and its members for connecting him to his two closest friends.

NAIFA advocacy efforts are also critical to Acre, he describes the association's dues and thus their advocacy efforts as job security. He also credits NAIFA with protecting his clients from the potential legislative threats that could harm them. Specifically, Acre finds NAIFA’s 131-year fight to protect life insurance policies from taxation to be their most significant.

He recounts a conversation he recently had with Congressman Jason Smith in relation to the SECURE Act and a client of his. A feel-good story that both Acre and congressman Smith we’re very proud of and is a reflection of the importance of advocacy within our industry about a woman in rural Missouri who never made over $35,000 a year, retiring with over $1 million in the bank, by participating in the company's 401k plan and purchasing preferred stock options. “The best part?” Acre says, “She had no idea!”

It is Acre's hope that stories like this will encourage other members of NAIFA to get involved and view advocacy as an obligation and insurance to the profession. Acre ensures his fellow members, “legislatures want to hear from us. [You could] maybe even change the mind of a person who makes decisions that are going to impact mainstream America.”

Thank you, Mark, for your loyal service to our industry and association. We’re proud to call you one of our own.

 

 

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