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May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

John Wheeler

John Wheeler is an accomplished Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with a wealth of experience in the financial services industry since 1969. He has earned several impressive designations, including Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF), LACP, and CLTC. In his current role, John supports his firm through seminars, advanced joint sales work, recruiting, and developing financial planning services. He is a highly respected speaker in the financial services industry and has also taught various certification programs such as the CRPC and CFP.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • John Wheeler explains what inspired his pursuit of the insurance industry 
  • The value of education in the financial services industry
  • The relaunch of the LUTCF program 
  • John talks about the importance of joint work
  • Communication tips for young advisors 
  • Why is it important to volunteer as a leader in the financial services industry? 
  • How John transitioned from being a mentee to a mentor 
  • John shares his unique communication method others have coined as “Wheelerisms”
  • Benefits of supporting organizations affiliated with the financial services industry 

In this episode…

As a financial advisor or an insurance agent, you know that the financial services industry can be challenging — but rewarding when done right. What fundamental skills and strategies should you have at your disposal to thrive in this space?

John Wheeler says most financial services professionals fail because they lack the education to help them maneuver the industry. They need to invest in education. He also recommends learning to communicate insurance jargon to clients in layman’s terms to build trust and establish strong relationships. Additionally, they should work together to avoid mistakes and join communities to stay current with the latest trends and best practices. With these strategies in place, financial professionals will thrive as insurance agents.

On this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with John Wheeler, an accomplished Certified Financial Planner (CFP), to discuss how agents and advisors can flourish in the financial services industry. John explains how he got into the insurance industry, the value of education, communication tips for young advisors, and the importance of volunteering as a leader in the financial services industry.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services.

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20

Hi everyone, welcome to Advisors Today podcast where we focus on the growth and development of advisors out there all around together for NAIFA. So, I'm here as well as one of your co-hosts with our wonderful other co-host, Suzanne Carawan. Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne Carawan 0:36 

Hey, Chris. Good to be here.

Chris Gandy 0:38 

So happy to see you. And we have a wonderful guest today. But before we get to our wonderful guests, Suzanne, can you tell us who our sponsor is for today?

Suzanne Carawan 0:46 

Yeah, today's episode is sponsored by The Limited Extended Care Planning Center, which is one of NAIFA's centers of excellence. And everybody take out your pen right now you want to mark the day this easy to remember, October 31 Halloween, we're doing a special three-hour virtual event on dopey scared of long-term care. We've done this for the past couple of years, it's super popular, we're looking at all the ways you can fund Long Term Care, help bust some myths about what you might think is long-term care nowadays, so we can get more coverage for more Americans. So that's gonna be October 31 is going to run 12 to three o'clock, completely free, brought to you by NAIFA's Limited Extended Care Planning Center, that invite will be in your mailbox and your NAIFA Member It probably this week. And if you're not, hopefully you'll come to our website and think about one joining and then two being part of don't be scared for long-term care.

Chris Gandy 1:35 

All right, Suzanne, thank you so much. And so we are super excited about our wonderful guests today. Suzanne, I don't know if you want to make an introduction. But if we had the Mount Rushmore of advisors and NAIFA advocates, I would say that this young man is one of those individuals and also a personal friend, but also someone who is a steward to the industry.

Suzanne Carawan 2:02 

Yep, we have none other than Mr. John Wheeler, that we all affectionately call wheels.

Chris Gandy 2:09 

So Mr. John Wheeler, welcome to the Advisor Today's podcast, it's been a long time. We're happy to have you here.

John Wheeler 2:17 

And happy to be here. Thanks.

Chris Gandy 2:20 

So John, many people know of you but many people don't know you. Right. So John, tell us a little bit about when did you wait, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Those who are going to congressional conference, I got a new look swag NAIFA, we're here. So John, we can get you one of these if you don't want. So with that being said, John, tell us a little bit about how you started in the business, and kind of what really launched your success.

John Wheeler 2:53 

Well, it's a very interesting, right how I got started in business I often talk about when I got into the business. And then when the business got into me, because it was two different dates. I actually got into the business on my 18th birthday. They hadn't even admitted multiple choice yet. The exam was legal size, handwritten questions. And the only place that you could take the exam was in the State Capitol in Springfield. So on my 18th birthday, I drove three and a half hours to go to Springfield to take my exam, right? You say why in the world would you do that? Well, I grew up in a town of 54 people. County population was 6000. So I haven't always been a city slicker. And my father made $10,500 the last year of his life and that's the most money I've ever made in his life. And so there was this guy in the county seat, which was a MacLean’s Bro, always dressed nice, drove a nice car. Everybody liked him. I said, what's he did, well, he's in the insurance business. I said, well, I guess that's as good as anything. I just knew I didn't want to stay there where I was. And as I was growing up, in small town, USA, unless you were an absolute superstar athlete, or you knew somebody, you didn't get scholarships, and I had a fight 4.85 grade point average. I was a good student and all this, but I couldn't do that. So, I went to a technical school to have something. But during that process, I started in the insurance business. And I started with a company who you'd never would have heard of. I didn't know anything about insurance companies or insurance. And it was a startup company out of Springfield calls Roosevelt National Life. They had one product to sell it was sold in units. It was 50% Whole Life 50% 20 year and download and or 25% 20 year and downloaded 25% 20 year decreasing return. And Ghana was getting on the ground floor that was the message and so on. And I mean, it's so didn't leave was somewhat of a ballot product. But it wasn't the most competitive thing that there was by a longshot, but I didn't know the difference. So I started out and I was full of energy and everything else. And the second month of the business, I was number one in the company, which sounds like a bigger deal than it was because it was still a small company. And I decided when I started the business that I wasn't going to impose on friends and family. If I was going to make it, I was going to make it on my own. So unfortunately, after about the third month or so, in the business, one of my close friends was killed in a car accident. He was a little bit older than me. When I go to the wake and Becky's crying on my shoulder, I'm crying on her shoulder. She said, Jeff knew that you were new to the business, he knew we needed life insurance. And he said, well, when John gets settled, he'll talk to us, I wish he'd had a chance to. And his wife and the two little kids lost their home, had to move back in with her parents. That was my fault. So after that time, I had a lot of energy and so on to talk to anybody. I even went out and talked to one of my old girlfriends families, which is in a small town real courage. So he was 58 years old at the time, he had never bought life insurance. He didn't believe in life insurance. And I went to see him and he said, look, I know you're in the insurance business, because in small towns, things travel fast. And he said, I don't believe in it I want to talk about and I told him about Jeff. And I said, I care about you and your family. And with all due respect, I don't love that monkey on my back. All I ask is that you give me 20 minutes of your time. If you still feel the same way you do. That way, if God forbid something were to happen, I can at least say I tried. About 45 minutes later, he was signing an application for $250,000 of whole life insurance, which in 1969, was a pretty big sale on a 58-year-old. Right? Yeah. After that time, about six months later, he was out on the tractor one day at heart attack. But he didn't die. I got CL waiver of premium work. About a year and a half later, he had never heart attack this time, he didn't make it. Now at the wake what his wife Ruby's crying on my shoulder, and I'm crying on her shoulder. She said as if it hadn't been for you, we'd lost firm. Still tender. And that's been 54 years ago. But by the same token, that's when the business got into me, when I saw the difference that you really make in people's lives. It's not a matter of making sales. It's not a matter of pushing product. It's the difference within without, unfortunately, I experienced both. So that's how I got started.

Chris Gandy 8:01 

So John, you mentioned how you got into the business, and how the business got into you. I think so many advisors are always looking for what I would call that moment, that epiphany of like, you know what, this business is, is my calling. I think people have to look inwardly for that. So John, take us beyond that, though. I mean, you look up and everybody, like I said, knows kind of the Wheeler, right? And you've mentioned at times you have more letters after your name that in your name, tell me why education was so important to you. And if I'm a new advisor, why do I need to go down the education path along my journey in this financial services industry?

John Wheeler 8:50 

Well, there's a phrase I often use when you're green, you're growing. And when you're ripe, you're running. When you get to the point, you think you know it all, you're in trouble. Now at 18 years old, I certainly didn't know at all didn't even claim to know at all, but I needed some way to provide more credibility if I was going to talk to someone. And the advantage of having those letters after your name. Number one is you'll learn something number two, means that when you give someone a business card, and there's lots of letters after your name, there's almost always an instant reaction. And as a result of that, that first five minutes of introduction is over, but our industry is continually changing. And you have to get outside of the nine dots. You've always heard the expression think outside of the box. Well, thinking outside of the box is good as long as you remember where the box is. Because the bottom line of it is you still have to continue your learning. It's an ongoing process. And I made a commitment when I started the business that I would spend an average of an hour to an hour and a half a day, improving my Mallard drew my skills. I've done that 54 years. Now that doesn't count every day. But by the same token, at the end of the week, you have to balance up. And I will always have continually more C credits for all of the designations and everything that I need well in advance. But by the same token, it's critical that you improve your learning. Why I started teaching the CFP certification program, I would have teachers, I would have CPAs, I'd have attorney stressed officers, insurance people, all walks of life. So you learned how to communicate differently, because you understand how they understand. And if I don't understand where you're coming from, and what your experiential base is, I may be talking foreign language. So the great thing about having knowledge is knowing most of the time, you don't have to use it. The advantage is now how do I make it simpler, instead of more complex?

Suzanne Carawan 11:04 

John, let me ask you because we're relaunching LUTCF, and I know you're a big fan of that program. Yeah, just plug away on that one of like, what that is, and then why it's coming back and style, and more people are looking to really take it?

John Wheeler 11:21 

Well, LUTCF that was the first designation that I got, that's what helped keep me in the business because of it. And then from IFA, and LUTC, I probably wouldn't be here now. Because even after I started with Metropolitan Life, a few years, or about eight months after I started with a startup company, still, all of the MDRT producers that I'd knew, unfortunately, I didn't have respect for them, because I felt that they were not really credible in the way that they did business. So I learned how to communicate with LUTC. And then when I went into management at the age of 22, part of being on my team was you would have your LUTC within three years, or you'd no longer be on my date. And I think if we could get more managers to have standards, as opposed to just hiring people for the sake of hiring them, I said, if you want to be on my team, there are standards, you will be a NAIFA member number one, because you're not going to connect yourself as a professional without being part of your professional association. And now LUTC is important because that's the entry-level where you need to get grounded on language and what you're doing. So when the American College bought LUTC from NAIFA, they kind of went away when the American College dropped. And Diane Powers who was the head and the Education Committee, which I was the chair of that time, she said, look, I know that you're involved with the college for financial planning, do you think they would be interested in helping us relaunch LUTC. So I said, let me make phone call? Well, we got that relaunch. And that was worked for a little while. Now we're in the process of bringing it back is a wholly owned, NAIFA program, which we are in totally control of. And I think it's critical for a new person in the business, or in fact, even someone who's been in the business for a while and has gotten a little stale. Because like I say, when you think you know it all, is when you've got problems, and you've often heard the old statement, well, this works so well, like we're doing it. Sometimes we need to be reminded, LUTC can do both of those.

Chris Gandy 13:20 

We are super excited about the LUTC app, there's the beta testing going on in the first class. So I think I'm enrolled and I know, I'm enrolled in the first class. So I'm super excited about getting started with that. So with that being said, John, one of the things that the industry war is everybody believes they got to come in and sell the case, right, especially young people. Can you give some perspective on that, and the importance of joint work and just creating that culture where it's really mentoring and teaching others through not only learning but also doing. Can you speak to that because I know you're big joint work, advocate.

John Wheeler 14:37 

I am because, here again, there's two ways that you learn by your own experience or the experience of others. The second is a lot cheaper education, if you will out, a lot of people have the attitude, well, I don't want to share Well, 100% and nothing is still not as good as a 50% or something. So it's not just a matter of financially, it's a matter of what you're going to learn. Even the best athletes still have coaches, the best golfers have a Swing Coach when here they are on the tour, but they still have a Swing Coach. So it's the little things that make the big differences. And if you want to go out elephant hunting, and that's all you want to do, you're gonna get hungry. And you may starve out with the business unless you're going out with someone that has a tree elephant gun, that knows what they're hunting for. But in the meantime, you need to get grounded on your conversation demo in your language. I mean, Chris, you know I'm all about the questions. If you make fewer statements and ask more questions, God gave us two eyes, two ears and one mouth. If we use them in that proportion, we're a whole lot better off. So getting your language in less critical situations and some respects from the intimidation standpoint, I mean, by critical, because someone who is having trouble having two nickels to rub together still has a need, and they still need to be served. So you can learn how to communicate, while still serving Main Street America, to position you to where when the time comes, and you bring in a joint work partner until you're ready for that you're much better position.

Suzanne Carawan 16:31 

So what advice do you have though, John, for our young advisors out there, when you say stuff like work on your language? Like what are kind of some practical things you could give to them right now to help them to say, okay, what does that mean? Where do I start?

John Wheeler 16:46 

Well, I mean, obviously, as you know, NAIFA does a webinar every month. And you listen to people who are doing, you listen to people, and they will teach you some of the language. And here again, you need to be an avid reader, you need to learn how to learn. Because here again, if you just go out and do things a certain way, I mean, when I started again, in the business, early on, I went to this young couples house, and there was a program that Matt had at the time called you and your family. And you went through the dependency period, then you went through the widow or widower blackout period, and then the retirement period, I had my language down. I knew my part. But at the end of the conversation, apparently they didn't know there's. So I did what I've been taught to do. And I went back a couple of weeks later knocked on the door. Why came to the rear said we were not going to be buying the insurance you were talking about, I said do you mind if I ask why, was there something I didn't explain properly? Oh, she said you did a wonderful job until you were here the other day. I didn't know it. No, my husband didn't love me. I filed for divorce. I think I have it's now become a homewrecker. Now, what happened? I thought I knew what the solution was, before there had even really been a diagnosis other than numbers. Because I assumed that since he was a full-time working dad, she was a full-time mom with two little kids what happens? It's not rocket science to figure out that the paycheck doesn't go home, there's a problem. What I didn't do enough questioning about in a subtle way was to find out what was meaningful to him. So if we don't know what someone cares about, and what they're concerned about, and how they want to be remembered, none of the other things that. So every conversation I has around those three premises. What's important to you, what are your care about? Now, if he had said right out the gate, my family is what I care about, which I never asked that question. It probably wouldn't have been his number-one response in that situation. So the bottom line is, you need to know who you're talking to, and what's important to them. Now, if he had come across saying, well, making sure my retirement is secure, and so on and so forth like that, I could still have structured something which would have helped protect the family without that, but I wasn't talking what mattered to him. So that's what I mean by learning the questions. Learning the questions is, again, by doing joint work with people who are not just successful because some successful people don't do business necessarily the right way. They're what I call peddlers. But by the same token, if you find someone that you can respect, and that you can relate to doing joint work with them, asking lots of questions, attending every educational conference that you possibly can, and reading everything you possibly can going through the LUTC program, the LAC program, things of that nature to begin with, before you jump into the heavier courses makes a big difference.

Chris Gandy 20:16 

John, you've got us structure that secret sauce, right? I guess if you follow others along the path of success, you'll have opportunity to have success along the way. So, John, you are a volunteer of volunteers. I mean, there's not too many committees, subcommittees, organizations, groups, whatnot that you have not yet volunteered for? That comes from service of self. So tell me a, where does that come from? And why is it so important to jump in the deep end and just get involved and not just sit on the sidelines and say, hey, yeah, I'm here, call me if you need me. You want to lead from the front? Why are those two things super important? So that's kind of a two-prong question.

John Wheeler 20:59 

I've never felt that being a spectator only gave you a full understanding of the way things really were. You're a professional athlete in the past, Chris, when you're sitting in the stands, you can backyard quarterback, anything. But when you're actually out there, in the heat of the battle, it's a little different. So until you get involved, you really don't understand all the nuances of everything involved. So I always was a fanatic about willing to know everything about the inner workings of whatever. And I was always passionate about something that I cared about, and maybe to a fault, because I'm probably the last person that thinks of me instead of something that is important to me. Because like you said, I serve on lots of committees. I'm on the Government Relations Committee, helping to rewrite the LUTC program. I was the chair of the Education Committee when we did LACP. I'm on the grassroots committee. Yeah, I get involved. I have always been involved. I've gone through the chairs in the Illinois, I went through to local chairs in Illinois. Now I'm on the Texas State Board. So I believe in getting involved. But by the same token, at this point in my career, I believe that it's very important to have people that just don't say you should bet let's do.

Suzanne Carawan 22:32

Oh, I love that. Not you should, let's do,

John Wheeler 22:36 

Because, again, I was fortunate enough to have a manager with metropolitan that was involved with NAIFA. And that's how I got involved in NAIFA. And how I got involved in the LUTC program. And in my opinion, we don't have anywhere nearly enough managers today that lead by example, in that regard. Because if we say let's, as opposed to you should, a lot of people get the hair up on their back when you say you're telling me what to do, and you're not doing it yourself. So I've always been a fan of leading by example. I never asked anyone to do something I hadn't done or wasn't currently doing.

Chris Gandy 23:21 

So John, there's only one you so how do we replicate the John Wheelers? And obviously, following your footsteps. I mean, those are big shoes to walk in. I mean, I have my gavel, I brought it out. You can see I've served my time, I made sure we've had a forum. But let me ask this question. How do others, I think I know a lot of people view you as, that's John Wheeler, though, of course, he's done all that right. But how do I get started? Right? How do I get started? Is it participating in a committee? Is it joining NAIFA? Is it being a part of leadership? Like how do I get started if I'm new to this brand new, how do I do that?

John Wheeler 24:10 

It's first and foremost, join NAIFA. You don't know if you like Kool-Aid until you taste it. And then, a lot of people when they go to their first meeting on the hill, whether that's locally or whether that's on a national level, that's when they really see hey, maybe I can make a difference. Because I was one of the slow learners in that regard. I didn't believe in political action committees of all I thought, oh, you're trying to do is buy votes. My money's not going to be enough to carry anyway. When I finally got it through my thick skull, that what you're doing is buying audience and if someone is going to explain our position, I'd rather it be me or someone who understands our position, than allowing or anticipating someone else is going to do it adequately. Because politicians understand two things, they understand votes and they understand money. But by the same token, at the end of the day, when I'm buying audience, now all of a sudden, I have an opportunity to explain the unintended consequences sometimes of well-meaning bills that they haven't thought it all the way through. And the fact that, if you look at the dollars that our industry provides, and then you look at Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, now underfunded it is, if our industry was destroyed, have bigger problems the government have met. So we're not part of the problem. We're part of the solution. But it took me a while to understand that. But when I began to understand it was the first time that I actually went with another made NAIFA, member to that congressional meeting. And then I got to know legislators and so on, and to where now we could be a resource for them. So, mentoring, as you know, has been part of my life forever. Because I believe God put us here for more than just ourselves. And I was at the MBRT meeting one time I heard a speaker talk about, well, what you need to do is write the epitaph for your tombstone, I thought, that's a craziest thing I've ever heard, and in my 20s, at the time, last thing at 20 years. Thinking about is, what do you want to read have written on your tombstone? Well, it kept coming back to me and coming back to me. And finally, I came to the fact that you don't want to and my dad said about the, the world was a little better because he was here. That's it. And every day, when I get up, my goal is to make at least one person's life better than it was yesterday. And I think if we have that type of minor focus, all the risk comes in. But the old definition of luck, as you know, is when preparation meets opportunity. So a lot of times a lot of opportunity come along, and if you're not prepared, it's going to pass you by. So that's going back to the education portion, the learning portion, the joint portion, that all works together.

Suzanne Carawan 27:20 

So, John, when in your career, did you kind of make that transition to all of a sudden say, well, I'm now not just a mentee, like I need to become a mentor, like, when did that happen where you realized, okay, because you've mentored, I daresay, hundreds of people, it's probably at this point, right? And so is there a point at which you realize, or somebody just started seeking you out? And you went, oh, my goodness, it's time for me to start paying it forward?

John Wheeler 27:45 

Well, I guess it kind of happened by accident to some degree, because the more people that come to you, and ask you, how are you doing this are the more people you do joint work with, you get born out of giving, then getting, the Good Book says that bet a lot of people don't believe that. And this is until you've experienced it you really don't understand. But it is fact, you get I get more pleasure from helping someone go to a different level today than I do doing it myself. And I've had a pretty reasonable level of success in my career. But by the same token, I still believe in that. But by the same token, when you see someone who has the talent that has the desire, and is struggling, it's pretty hard not to if you care about people, because this is a people business. And then when I got to have the bandage with bet, I took over an agency that was 63, out of 68 in the region. So we had room to improve. And within three years, we were number three, and 70% of my agency at that time was female, which was unheard of. But again, I didn't look at who you were, what you were, I looked at what you cared about what your attitude was, what your capabilities were, that's how you find stars, stars don't just come in one color or one flavor or whatever, you have to have people who care about what they do. And when I went into management at the age of 22, 13 of the 15 agents had been in the business longer than I've been alive. But I'd already out-produced all of them. So there had to be a certain level of respect. But I didn't just take that for granted. I still worked harder than they did. I tried to help in every way that I could. And mentoring just kind of came naturally I guess.

Chris Gandy 29:45 

So John, let me let me shift gears let me shift gears for a second. You are always dressed the part. I'm gonna shift gears and go down a different path. You know, you're always dressed apart doesn't matter where we are what we're doing, you're always prepared, regardless of what it is, right? And I can speak to this because I've spent probably more time with you. You're always prepared. Right? And you're known for those who don't know, you're known for the Wheelerisms, right? That's why we've coined them. There's the Wheelerism, right? And you're known for a couple of those that are just everybody knows, right. The one about volatility and getting on a roller coaster and having a different effect. So would you share with us some of the wheeler isms? And then question of, where did they come from? Right? Well, where did you come up with these ways of giving a message with very poignant words?

John Wheeler 30:50 

I guess, I've always had somewhat of a knack because I think from teaching for the number of years that I did, and understanding the different experiential bases, I think the biggest mistake most insurance people like or at least many, if not most, you talk insurance jargon. And the average person doesn't understand insurance jargon. And if I don't have your attention, you're not going to listen to me. So as you refer to the Wheeler isms that sometimes I've come up with is ways of keeping you engaged, and helping you visualize something that you might not otherwise the one you mentioned about volatility is, not everybody can eat tacos and given them a roller coaster and have the same experience. So I'm fine, they don't have the stomach for the ride. Now, anyone who's ever been on a roller coaster and had any queasiness can relate to that invariably. So when I go into my hands are up in the air, and boy, this is we, we, we, and then depending on how big the drop is, and how steep it is, where my lunch is, it's no different in the investment world or anything else. I mean, when the market is going great. Oh, it's super. But by the same token, then when it drops, do I still have a radio tuned to Billy Joel, keep in the face? Because that's the time to get in instead of get out, right? Because if I buy on sale, and then the other analogy I use in when talking about that is I'll ask somebody, what's their favorite department stores? I'll be talking to the husband and wife. I said, what's your favorite department store? One of the more common answers may be Nordstroms. All right, if you got a sale bill from Nordstroms, that said for the next year, everything's 50% off, would you toss it in the garbage and say, Boy, I'm gonna wait till that's over? And they'll live? Well, no, well, guess what, if the market just dropped 50%, it's on sale, unless you think America is going down. And I believe in America, I get concerned sometimes about directions that we're going and things that we're doing. But overall, I still believe in America. And I don't think America is going to fail. So if I can buy something and 50 cents on the dollar, it's on sale. All I've got to do is have time. Because time in the market is more important than the timing of the market at times. But again, the cheaper I buy something, the more it makes sense.

Chris Gandy 33:31 

So John, I'm gonna hit you with a couple of scenarios and objections that people may have. And this may be one of our most highlighted and most reviewed session here. So I'm gonna hit you with a couple objections. I'd just like to hear how you would overcome some of those specifically, because you have a way of saying it in a very unique way. Is that okay? Sure. Okay, great. So I don't believe in permanent life insurance, that term is the only time I would buy and yeah, why would I buy permanent life insurance? What's the point of that?

John Wheeler 34:04 

Well, the point of that really depends upon what's important to you. Do you own your home? Or do you rent it? Why did you do that? It cost more to buy it than it would to rent it. And if you own it, now you're responsible for all the maintenance, all the upkeep, all the taxes and everything. Yeah, you could avoid that by renting it. So why didn't you just rent.

Chris Gandy 34:32 

Didn't make sense.

John Wheeler 34:34 

Well, tell me why you felt it didn't make sense.

Chris Gandy 34:38 

Because I'd rather invest the money versus renting.

John Wheeler 34:42 

Well, if there was like a life insurance product that was guaranteed to increase every year that you owned it. And anytime there was upside potential, you could never lose it. And at the end of the period of time, it was yours. Wouldn't that make more sense than something that term insurance may be cheap, which there's a difference between cheap and inexpensive, because any company's term insurance is actually priced the lapse before you do. So unless you cooperate and die early, you're going to pay more for your term insurance, then you're ever going to get an death benefit. Does that really make sense by comparison, as opposed to something that even if you stopped midterm, you could still have a reduced paid-up contract, and there would be something there? Because insurance is a lot like religion, you have to give it when you think you don't want it to have it when you really need.

Chris Gandy 35:38 

So it sounds like I need to get to religion. All right, John, let me give you another one. So, it's too expensive. I mean, I don't want to spend that much money on an insurance product.

John Wheeler 35:54 

I understand. But did you buy your homeowners insurance and you just can't wait to see your home burned down to see how good your insurance was? The fact that to happen? No? Or do you buy your car insurance because you're expecting to have an accident to have your car totaled? No, is medical insurance as expensive? But is it more expensive to not have it if you need it? So, cheap, things don't have value and valuable things don't come cheap.

Chris Gandy 36:26 

It's a good way to put it. So John, last one for you. So, I'll just rather invest in stocks. Because you know what, at the end of the day, if I'm not here, my wife can figure it out, even though I'm not here.

John Wheeler 36:46 

Well, first of all, if you really don't care about protecting your wife, perhaps that's the right thing to do. But the key question is, do you care about protecting yourself also? Because the one thing you can guarantee about the stock market is it goes up and it goes down. Now, if it goes down at the wrong time, where does that leave you? So I mean, in any world, we talk about diversification, so having something that has guarantees of I can have a fallback on. And if you had permanent insurance along with your stock portfolio. Now when the markets on sale, you could borrow from your insurance to buy an on-sale. Now you've got the best of all worlds.

Chris Gandy 37:33 

Never thought about that. All right. Good. So John, I'm gonna shift gears one more time on yet and I know this, you are a big believer and supporting the organizations in which we affiliate the industry? Why is it important? I put my dollars and cents, behind the brand behind the name, why is it important, I just don't eat here. You know, we have a lot of people, memberships super important in NAIFA. Bringing new members new blood into the business, bringing in other people, my call out from stage was that if everybody invites one person and makes one person a member we double in size, right? And so it's super important that we become active, but why is it important that we financially support our endeavors, this career, even though it's an association? Why is that super important?

John Wheeler 38:35 

Because as you've heard me say countless times, I believe that membership in NAIFA career insurance, and I love finance people, do you believe in insurance? Well, if you're in the insurance business, and you answered no to that, first of all, I don't necessarily need to talk to you. Because you're not going to make it anyway. But if you say you believe in insurance, well, why? Why do you believe in insurance? Well, at any point in time, we could be legislated out of the business, I do a lot of fee work as well. So I probably would survive a whole lot better than a lot of people. But by the same token, as you know, in the UK, and Australia and a number of other places, commissions are illegal. So are you in a position to be able to switch to theum only, and in a competitive world like we are where even fees are getting pressure to come down. So if you believe in insurance, all that is is insurance because the old definition of team is together each accomplishes more in their strength in numbers. There's a reason that the education is always a part of the discussion nationally, because the teachers association is one of the largest ones. Trial attorneys say in vain. So if we want to have relevance and we want to have power, we need to be at the table and being at the table that strengthen the numbers is really what talks?

Suzanne Carawan 40:03 

Yeah. Well, Chris, you know what, it's that time

Chris Gandy 40:09 

Really quickly. So Suzanne, before we get to the lightning round here, hey, John, just really quickly, why is it important for people to come to DC to participate, and to show up, show out and also let their voice be known?

John Wheeler 40:25 

Well, it's important because number one, it showed effort. Number two, you're not just going as a representative of yourself, you're going as a representative of all of your clients, who are also their constituents. And as I said, politicians understand to things dollars and votes. But again, if you care enough to reach out to them and offer to be a resource over time that can develop into a relationship that's meaningful. There was one representative that Illinois that the first time that I went into his office, you get to have meat in the room, it was such a cold reception. Now all of a sudden, he calls me on a first-name basis, all of his staff come out, one of the staff members is actually became a client. And it was from a diverse standpoint, I wasn't the person you wouldn't have expected that from. But still yet it was showing true caring, true concern and listening more than you're talking. Unless a question they asked, you're answering. All you're trying to do is be a resource, so they shouldn't come. Because again, if we don't, who will?

Chris Gandy 41:42 

Suzanne, we've heard some Wheeler isms today, that's just scratching the surface of a couple of them. You can play this back and try to repeat that, I'll guarantee you it's a hard, it's a hard one to kind of formulate those. But John, those are always great to have in your back pocket to be able to pull them out. I've used the one about the roller coaster on a regular basis. And people always laugh. It brings a little laughter into what sometimes a dry subject. So I appreciate that seed, that, it's no longer yours anymore. By the way, it's borrowed and repurposed. That's what NAIFA is all about, we can borrow and repurpose it on our own. Matter of fact, people asked, are you the author of that? Did you come up with that? I actually heard this somewhere. Right. So it's really good. So with that being said, let's move to the lightning round. Susannah, do you have anything before we get to that part of.

John Wheeler 42:33 

Before you mentioned that, Chris? If you'll notice right behind me there, you can't see it. But that's an autographed dollar bill from Ben Ville. One of my early mentors. It's in a frame. It's autographed dollar deal. And he came up with the term discounted bouts, and learning language, that was where I learned the language that he used that helped me become successful in my career. So guess where it was? It was at a NAIFA meeting. That's great.

Chris Gandy 43:08 

You lead that into borrowed and repurposed. So that's one of the greatest things is we have the gift to help each other through collective learning. So with that...

John Wheeler 43:17 

Plagiarism is the finest form of flattery.

Suzanne Carawan 43:19 

Yeah, r&d, r&d, rip off and duplicate. That's right.

Chris Gandy 43:24 

All right, we're gonna move on to the lightning round. John. Listen, I'm not going to ask you about what you had for dinner last night. But we're going to talk a little bit about get know you, us first thing off the top of your head. I know you don't have one these swag hats yet. We're gonna get you on. So with that being said, let's move to the lightning round. And like Suzanne, if we had audio, well, we don't. That's okay. So with that being said, John, I'm going to ask you some questions. First thing off your head is that's the first thing we're gonna go with, okay? Don't overthink it. It's okay.

Suzanne Carawan 43:58 

Now you just get fitted. All right, so he's gonna ask you favorite food?

John Wheeler 44:06 

That's hard. Probably flounder.

Suzanne Carawan 44:12 

Wrinkled flounder. I did not think you're gonna say it, thought you'd say something Italian. Yeah, you do.

John Wheeler 44:18 

I can think of countless Italian foods that are right up there. But I'm trying to cut back on the carbs because they love me so much. They never want to leave.

Suzanne Carawan 44:28 

All right, so we had favorite food, Chris.

Chris Gandy 44:31 

All right. You did. Okay, cool. So it looks like something's going on with our technology here. I apologize. So with that being said, John, we are in favor of food was Italian perfect. John, your favorite book?

John Wheeler 44:44 

My favorite book is probably Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Chris Gandy 44:50 

That's a decent one. You know that?

Suzanne Carawan 44:54 

Yep, there you go.

Chris Gandy 44:55 

That's right. So that's a good one. All right. So John. Oh, I'm your favorite whiskey. Mr. Glenlivet.

John Wheeler 45:03 

Glenlivet, you knew that.

Chris Gandy 45:07 

I had to ask that.

John Wheeler 45:09 

Anyone that knows me knows that.

Chris Gandy 45:12 

So, John, if you could go back in time and have dinner with anybody, whether past or present, who would it be more?

John Wheeler 45:24 

Probably Abraham Lincoln. Why? Because of the challenges that he dealt with? And because of the forethought that he had. And the stature that he maintained throughout, how do you deal with all you're dealing with, which is one of the most tumultuous times in our history? And I have the utmost respect for him. And not just because I was formerly from Illinois. But, the more you learn about Abraham Lincoln, it'll be great to have conversation.

Chris Gandy 46:04 

John, and then the last question is your proudest moment that you've had in your years in the business, what would you say is your proudest one?

John Wheeler 46:19 

Well, the proudest moment was probably the year that I was asked to join the Executive Committee of the forum 400, which will then become president, because it was a very elite group. And thinking that in the peers eyes that you have the utmost respect for, that they want you to lead was probably one of the most proud moments in the industry.

Chris Gandy 46:48 

And, John, I'll just hit you with this. This last one, one last message those who are out there thinking about joining NAIFA, what message would you give them?

John Wheeler 47:01 

Well, my father used to say, if you think that means you don't know, you need to know you should belong to NAIFA. Because again, if you don't believe them, what you do enough to invest to protect what you do then I would ask you how committed you are to what you do. I used to give a talk at all of the leadership conferences, when I was still with Country Financial, about the three stages of a career, the first stage of the careers, you've starry-eyed enthusiasm, you've come in, the manager told you all the flexibility, you're gonna have all the trips, you can go on all the money you're gonna make and everything. And then you go out and you get your nose bloodied a few times. And now all of a sudden, you say, well, it's because I didn't know enough. So now you move on to the sophisticated complication, where vinyl may have 13 graphs and 22 charts, I can't make a presentation. And then as Zig Ziglar would say, you would have paralysis by analysis, if you can finally make it to the third stage, which is sub-sophisticated simplicity. That's when you've made because, again, it's again, back to the questions instead of making statements. And that's really what it's all about. It's being able to relate to people in what matters to them, according to things that they care about. And if you can do that you can be a success. If you care about people at all. And if you don't care about people, you shouldn't be in this business.

Chris Gandy 48:37 

Well, John, we care about you. We love you, man. Thanks for being here, a member of a longtime member of lifetime member of NAIFA. And, Suzanne, do you have anything else before we wrap up and I close this out?

Suzanne Carawan 48:52 

I was just gonna say thank you again to John for belonging. And we please everybody come to naifa.org/join. And if you haven't joined, you know you need to do now, now because of Mr. Wheeler.

Chris Gandy 49:04 

Mr. Wheeler. Any final words before I close this out?

John Wheeler 49:07 

I can say if you're not a member of NAIFA my first question is, why do you want to be more successful because it's proven that NAIFA members earn more money, they earn more money because of sharing, call it plagiarism or whatever. But when you learn language from others that are successful, you will be more successful to yourself. Because the thing that is like one of my old heroes, Charles tremendous, Jones says, the more people that you help, the more money you make.

Chris Gandy 49:37 

That's true. That's true. Thank you, Mr. John Wheeler, I will give you a round of applause. Thank you so much for sharing, and also showing that you care. Thank you Suzanne are wonderful co-host, it's always a pleasure to be here with you. I'm one of your co-hosts that Advisor Today's podcast where we uplift and promote the advisor of tomorrow and by supporting each other Are through collective learning. So thank you so much. We'll see you next week. Go get you some NAIFA Swag. I know Suzanne talk to call Suzanne. They know how to get it to you some good stuff. We'll see if and four weeks but thanks for tuning in. We'll see you soon. Thanks, John.

John Wheeler 50:15 

Take care. Bye.

Outro 50:19 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes and if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know.



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