On February 7, 2019, I was invited to speak at this year’s Nelson Nash Institute’s Annual Think Tank. It was my pleasure and my honor to be given this opportunity. Below is my presentation.
The Long Road To IBC: Sheer Persistence Guarantees Success
My name is Pedro Palicio and it is a pleasure to address my fellow IBC colleagues, IBC students and distinguished guests.
Topics I Will Be Discussing: Leaving communist Cuba, my early years in a new country, looking at challenges and converting them into opportunities, my calling to financial services, the process we use and how we get our clients, and a case study on helping a client solve two problems.
- Leaving Communist Cuba
- My Early Years In The USA
- My Calling To Financial Services
- Our Process And How We Get Our Clients
- Case Study: Helping A Client Solve Two Problems
This slide shows the areas I am going to cover.
First of all, I would like to thank Nelson, Carlos, Bob, and David for giving me the opportunity to share my story with you.
Why was I invited to share this story? I believe that there are many ways to reach your destination, that is, being here with you today, and perhaps my route was quite unusual.
Leaving Communist Cuba
I was born in Cuba and attended a private school in Havana where I graduated from high school at about the same time that Fidel Castro took over the political power in the island nation.
Once Castro took over, he and his associates consolidated power by nationalizing and taking control of all private businesses and property and establishing very harsh punishments, including death, to those who defied his decisions.
As freedom of expression and civil liberties were continually curtailed, it became obvious to my parents and to me that we as a family had to leave Cuba and that I was in more danger as I was a young male ready to serve in the Cuban military service. We applied for tourist visas to visit the United States and were put in a very long waiting list. The idea was to visit the Unites States, and once in US territory apply for political asylum.
Given the fact that I wanted to study Engineering, and I was waiting for my US visa to be approved, I started writing to several American universities expressing my current situation and also mailing them my high school grades that were pretty good. To my surprise, I was accepted by several major universities including Columbia University and other Ivy League Schools. I was extremely humbled that such great American institutions had accepted a young man from a communist country without even interviewing him.
The next issue I had to face was the fact that we were not allowed to take much money out of Cuba and therefore, the only way to study in any of these universities was to obtain a scholarship. Guess what? Columbia University offered me that scholarship as well as free room in their dormitories. I was ecstatic.
I was the first one in my family to get a tourist visa to leave Cuba and once in the US, I applied for political asylum. A few years later I became a very proud American citizen. The United States is indeed a very generous country.
My Early Years In The USA
When I got to the United States, I went to Columbia University in New York City. Once I was at Columbia, I started to look for a part time job as I needed money to pay for meals, haircuts, etc. The first job they offered me was to work at the university cafeteria and I accepted it. If they only knew my lack of ability with anything related to food or kitchen duties, they would have rescinded that job offer right away.
As you could imagine, my English was poor, and my first job was to answer an intercom where people at the cafeteria, on the first floor, would tell me via the intercom at the basement kitchen what food was in short supply upstairs, so I would load whatever was needed in the dumbwaiter and send it up. For some reason, the orders were barked into the intercom and the only word I understood was “soup” and therefore I sent an enormous amount of soup upstairs. Next to me in the kitchen was a really overweight cook who heard all the soup commotion and very proudly told me “I think my soup came out quite good today” and I nonchalantly responded, “I guess so”.
Next day, I don’t know why, they gave me a new assignment in the grill line in the cafeteria. Not only I burned my knuckles preparing grill cheese sandwiches and hamburgers, but when someone asked me to prepare his hamburger well done, I didn’t know what that meant, and I told the old gentleman that everything I did was well. He looked at me with an expression of “where did this idiot come from?” I really felt like Rodney Dangerfield: “I got no respect”.
Meanwhile, I did quite well in my studies and a professor of Engineering Drafting liked the work I did in his class and offered me a position as his assistant for the following year. I never learned if the cook or the cafeteria supervisor convinced the Drafting professor to offer me a job, so they could get rid of me at the cafeteria, but in any case, I was very happy to get out of the kitchen.
After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I started to work for IBM in New York City while attending evening school at Columbia to obtain my master’s degree. Once I finished my master’s, the Dean of Engineering approached me and told me that based on my grades I should consider going for my Ph.D. which I did while teaching graduate-level courses.
With a Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Mathematics under my belt, I got a few job offers, and I accepted a position doing strategic analysis for a Think Tank of the U.S. Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. That Think Tank sent me to an Executive MBA Program also at Columbia University. I attended classes every Friday for two years. I commuted every Thursday evening from Washington to New York City and returned to Washington every Saturday. A few years later, Ford Motor Company offered me an interesting position in Strategic Planning at their headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. From there, I went to Ryder System also in Strategic Planning responding to the Office of the Chairman in Miami, Florida.
My Calling To Financial Services
Since I knew the enormous benefits of Financial and Strategic Planning to a corporation, I assumed the benefits would be equally great for an individual business owner and I started my career in insurance and financial services. I started with Equitable Life that was just been acquired by AXA Advisors. I did quite well and was promoted to Regional Vice President in South Florida. We were trained to sell variable life insurance of which I don’t feel proud at all. In 2001, New York Life offered me a better position and I made the transition.
During all this time, my wife Isis who had consulting experience in the banking sector started assisting me with my employees and she also became a financial professional. In 2005, we realized that to better serve the needs of our clients, we needed to become independent insurance brokers and investment advisor representatives and we started our own company, Universal Wealth Managers LLC in Coral Gables, Florida.
We were quite successful insurance brokers and financial advisors until the financial debacle of 2008. We personally suffered high losses in the real estate and stock markets as well as our clients, many of them ready for retirement or to send their children to college. We started to investigate what we could do to control our destiny and just by chance, an old colleague from AXA came to see us and brought with him a copy of Nelson Nash’s “Becoming Your Own Banker” and gave it to us.
I started reading that book and the more I read it, the better it sounded. At times, it sounded too good to be true and to do my due diligence I called the phone number listed in the back cover of the book to ask a few questions. To my surprise, it was Nelson Nash himself who answered the phone and after proper introduction he explained all my questions in a very eloquent fashion. Since then, my wife and I have become evangelists for this concept. That conversation with Nelson convinced me that most of my financial education and experience was based on faulty premises and that the only way to control my financial future was to control the banking function myself. It has provided me, my family, and my clients with financial independence and peace of mind. Thank you, Nelson.
Our Process And How We Get Our Clients
I would like to explain the process we follow to practice Infinite Banking and to obtain new clients.
We have a website, InfiniteBankingSimplified.com, to which we do Search Engine Optimization, so it ranks high in Google searches related to Infinite Banking and we publish videos, podcasts and blogs pertaining to Infinite Banking. We also use Infusionsoft to manage our clients as well as e-mail campaigns. Just an observation to some IBC Practitioners: you need to have a professional-looking website where you highlight your knowledge and experience in IBC. For example, we were contacted by a prospect from New England during the Christmas holidays who we closed really fast. When we asked the client how he decided to contact us, he said: “your website really shows that you guys know Infinite Banking”.
Many of our clients come to us from the Practitioner Finder section of the Nelson Nash Institute website which is very good. With time, many of the new clients are referrals from existing clients, and our book of business amounts to several hundred clients, all learning to practice Infinite Banking.
When a prospective client contacts us either by e-mail or by phone, we try to get back to him or her within a few hours and try to schedule a time to talk on the phone. During our phone conversation we try to determine the prospect’s knowledge and grasp of the Infinite Banking concept and learn if they have read “Becoming Your Own Banker” and “The Case For IBC”. If not, we encourage them to read both.
Once we determine that they have a basic knowledge of IBC, we ask open-ended questions including a modified Dan Sullivan question which is:
- “If you were to purchase an IBC policy now and we meet three years from today, what would that IBC policy need to accomplish for your personal and financial life for you to be very happy with your decision?”
We keep silent and let the prospect talk for as long as they want. They really tell you a lot and we note the phrases they use to explain their concerns and describe their financial goals.
We also provide our prospects with e-copies of the articles written by Carlos Lara in the Lara-Murphy Report,
- “An IBC Tax Strategy, Parts I, II and III”, Lara-Murphy Report from January, February and August 2017.
They are excellent for business owners and highlight the cashflow management ability of IBC. These articles are mostly responsible for closing a few business owners with nice IBC policies with annual premiums of over $100,000.
When we determine, based on our discussion, that the prospect has a high probability of becoming a client, we do a preliminary fact finder and invite the prospect to a second personal or virtual meeting. Right now, 20 to 25% of our clients are local and prefer to meet face-to-face and 75 to 80% are virtual, all over the country.
With respect to the insurance companies we use for IBC, they are all excellent and highly-rated mutual companies, but we concentrate on Guardian, Penn Mutual and Mass Mutual. For high early cash value, Guardian and Mass Mutual are better. For high long-term cash value, Penn Mutual is better. For PUA rider flexibility, Guardian and Penn Mutual are better. For customer service, Guardian takes first place. Our final choice depends on several parameters.
We ask the prospects if they need a review of the Infinite Banking concept, in which case, we start the second meeting with a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation that mimics the contents of “Becoming Your Own Banker”.
Then we proceed to a personalized solution where we show the prospect how a properly designed dividend-paying whole life policy would address their concerns. We don’t show them the complete illustration, but some key numbers lifted from the illustration and we highlight how we are proposing to solve their concerns. When we answer all their questions, about 80% of the prospects ask us “What is the next step?” Of the remaining 20%, about 10% call us within a week to proceed with the next step and the other 10% decide that IBC is not for them.
Phrases that we use during our presentations include:
- “The cash value that you accumulate in your IBC policy should be used as your opportunity fund.”
- “When cash is available, opportunities will seek you out.”
- “With IBC you take advantage of leverage and OPM, or Other People’s Money. Two key ingredients in creating wealth.”
- “You should invest in assets that generate cash flow.”
- “What is the most important asset that you should be investing in? It is you and your business”.
- “You are wealthy not necessarily because you have a nice net worth but because you have assets that generate cash flows in a consistent and reliable manner that are larger than your expenses.”
- “Invest in assets uncorrelated to the stock market that provide you opportunities for growth and income.”
- “The more things change, the more we need to depend upon those things that never change.”
This bullet point is important to me, because during my presentation I have shown you how I continuously take challenges and turn them into opportunities. There are nevertheless, some things that will never change for me and they are my faith in God, in my family, and in the Constitution of the United States.
I will now take a moment to express very personal concerns that I have. I cannot believe that in the richest nation in the history of mankind, there are individuals in the Halls of Congress and in the Senate of this great republic that advocate socialism when it has been proven beyond any doubts that it enslaves people, that it doesn’t work. I continually pray to God for this nonsense to end because in God We Trust.
Case Study: Helping A Client Solve Two Problems
An individual who owns an engineering firm that specializes in heat, ventilation and air conditioning equipment installation for hospitals, businesses and hotels is based in South Florida but operates through Latin America and hires local engineers to complete his projects. He has three female employees in his headquarters in South Florida who submit bids for businesses, manage the operations and have worked for him for many years.
- Business owner, age 55, uninsurable.
- Problem 1: Needs cash up front to start projects.
- Problem 2: No money saved for his old age.
This individual, who was an old client of ours, approached us five years ago when he was 55 and told us that as a result of a costly divorce and a business gone bad, he had lost all the money that he had saved for his old age, although he was not ready to retire any time soon and he had just remarried. He explained to us his operation in which he bids for new business and once he gets the contract, he purchases the equipment and hires the local engineers to complete the project. When the project is completed and inspected, he gets paid. This process requires him to spend cash up front and he would like to see how the Infinite Banking process would help him with this issue as well as saving money for his old age. An important detail: he was not insurable.
- Purchased five IBC policies; two on his wife owned by him and three on his employees owned by his company.
- Has money to start projects.
- Has over $500,000 saved for his old age.
Based on our recommendations, he eventually purchased five Infinite Banking policies paying an annual premium of approximately $20,000 each. Two policies on his new and much younger wife and the other three, one on each female employee. He is the owner of the two policies on his wife and based on the advice of his CPA and his attorney, his company is the owner of the other three policies and there is a written agreement that benefits the three female employees’ beneficiaries if they pass on while they work for him.
When he bids and wins a contract, he takes policy loans to purchase the equipment and pay the local engineers, and when he completes the project and gets paid, not only he repays the loans, but he normally has enough capacity in his policies to accept extra cash in the form of PUAs. He is extremely happy with the performance of his policies, he has over $500,000 in cash value in his policies, and in his own words he has “never felt like this financially speaking”. He has referred us to six other business owners of which five are already IBC clients.
This concludes this presentation. If you would like to contact us, this is our contact information.