Some call her the “Annuity Rockstar.” Others favor the moniker “Life Insurance Nerd.” The title notwithstanding, Sheryl J. Moore is passionately and relentlessly obsessed with insurance products.
Nearly 20 years ago, she was a young, suddenly-single stay-at-home mom with three babies in diapers. Having previously managed a grocery store, she wondered where she could find a stable career in Des Moines, Iowa. Given that Iowa is the 2nd largest insurance capital in the United States, and 3rd largest in the world, a future in the insurance industry seemed imminent. Sheryl took an administrative position with a life insurance company that enrolled her into her first non-Employer Sponsored Ownership Program retirement plan; something called a 401(k).
Sheryl didn’t know about 401(k)s, and when she asked for help, she wasn’t given much direction. Yet, one message was repeatedly thrown at Moore: “You MUST contribute to get the 4% match, or else you are throwing away free money!” So, Moore, a woman who couldn’t afford groceries, broke her back to make the match. She swelled with pride as she watched her retirement fund grow.
…until it didn’t.
When the dot com bubble burst after the turn of the century, Moore’s 401(k) became a 201(k). She lost A LOT of money. The problem was- she hadn’t known you could lose money in a 401(k)!
When researching how to remedy her situation, she complained to her boss. After listening to her grievance, he inquired of her:
“Why didn’t you buy an indexed annuity?”
She worked in the life insurance division of this company. She had never heard of an annuity.
“What’s an annuity?” she asked.
Her boss responded, “It is a retirement instrument that can help you accumulate interest until you are ready to retire. When you do retire, an annuity guarantees that you will receive a paycheck every month, for the rest of your life- no matter how long you live.
Sheryl thought it sounded intriguing. She was concerned about outliving her retirement fund.
“Well, what’s an indexed annuity?” she asked.
Her boss replied, “It’s just an annuity that earns interest in a manner that is just like those indexed life products that you’re fascinated with.”
Now, this sounded GREAT! Sheryl understood that the interest on indexed life was based on the performance of the stock market, but didn’t require investing IN the stock market. Credited interest was limited, but the indexed component never allowed for a loss of value due to the market’s performance; you were always guaranteed to receive no less than 0% interest.
Convinced that this was the solution for her retirement dilemma, Moore inquired:
“Where can I purchase an indexed annuity?”
Her boss just looked at her pathetically, and thoughtfully replied, “The company that employs us is the #1 seller of indexed annuities in the country.”
WHAT?!? How could this be? Sheryl was upset. Why would her employer bully her into a 401(k), but not even tell her about a product, which they were experts at selling, and was better-aligned with her aversion to risk?
Moore began to research. She wanted to find out more information about indexed annuities, prior to making her purchase. However, her efforts were largely fruitless. The library offered no resources. Her internet searches returned nothing useful to aid in her decision. None of the resources she tapped-into even mentioned indexed insurance products!
She understood that indexed products were only a few years old at the time, but how could the average consumer find information on indexed products? Then, Moore grew concerned when she realized that what had happened to her could happen to her grandparents…and everyone’s grandparents!
It was then and there that young Sheryl Moore decided that she must work, in some capacity, to ensure that Americans would have the opportunity to learn about indexed insurance products.
And there you have it. She did what any self-respecting single gal in Iowa would do. She cashed-out that 201(k), and started Moore Market Intelligence.
Today, Sheryl J. Moore is committed to her mission more than ever before. So, if you want success in your indexed annuity and/or indexed life insurance sales- you’d do well to arm yourself with the knowledge, experience, and passion that only Moore can offer.