by Harlynn Bjerke, LUTCF
Let’s all go to Minot for our
State Convention on April 30th, May 1st
and 2nd. Our Minot Association always puts on a great
convention. Thanks to Rick Wallace and all who have helped him
in setting up this year’s convention.
Kicking off the event will be
the Freedom Builders Golf Tournament, and a tour of the Minot
Air Force Base. Please check our web-site,
www.ndaifa.org for the time and place of all events.
Remember to register by April 11th to get the early
registration fee of $125.
Among the issues we will be
voting on this year, will be a retiree membership rate
structure, and next year’s convention date and place.
Membership-membership-membership. As of March 28TH,
our Fargo-Moorhead Association is number 1 nationally for medium
sized associations at 91.19% of goal with 36 new members.
Special thanks to their membership co-chairs David Middaugh and
David Klemisch. North Dakota is number 3 in associations of up
to 899 members at 79.14% of goal. Let’s keep working right up to
June 30th so we can be at 100% or more. Thanks to
Jeff Case and his co-chairs, and all the local membership
chairs, and to all who have helped sign up new members and renew
Congratulations to Jay Burgad,
our State IFAPAC Chair, North Dakota is number 1 in the nation
in the percent of our members belonging to IFAPAC, the
Fargo-Moorhead Association will be receiving the Award of
Excellence, and Missouri Slope and Lake
Region will be receiving
the IFAPAC Leadership Citations.
As my year as president is
coming to a close, I would like to thank all members state wide
for their support throughout the year, with special thanks to my
Executive Committee, Nancy Buechler, Al Fabricius,Ted Haugan,
Keith Phillips, Jeff Case, David Klemisch. The Local
Presidents, David Bjornson, Jason Middaugh, Kevin Vistad, Alan
Vandelinder, Jay Gotta, Bonnie Baglien, and Dee Stroh; and the
State Committee Chairs, Bonnie Baglien, Todd Otto, David
Middaugh, David Falk, Elaine Fremling, Hank Prien, Jay Burgad,
Norbert Mayer, Jeff Case, Traver Silbernagel and Pat Saltsman.
See you in Minot.
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NDAIFA State Convention Update
Ted Haugan, President Elect NAIFA-ND
Welcome to spring in North Dakota.
Springtime has been traditionally time to think to our state
convention held this year in Minot. Our featured speaker is
Scott Brennan from South Bend, Indiana sponsored by the M.D.R.T.
foundation. Scott will describe how he built his business and
share concepts to help us grow our business and become of more
value to our clients in the future. Additionally, we have four
break out speakers scheduled on Thursday afternoon.
Presentations on topics of life insurance, annuities, long term
care and college funding concepts and sales ideas will be
available. However, due to time constraints you will be able to
attend only two of the presentation, of your choice. Just one
concept or sales idea can make us much more than the cost to
attend this state convention.
arranged discounted room rates at the Grand International Inn in
Minot but you must tell them you are with N.A.I.F.A.N.D. to get
the discounted rate upon reservation and or arrival at the
convention. The number to reserve a room is 800-735-4493. The
discounted room rate is $65.00 per night, but is available only
if you inform them that you are with the convention.
Friday morning you will absolutely want to hear Dr. Bob Edwards
use humor and energy to remind us that we are always
accountable. The work we do has such a tremendous impact upon
our clients and their families that we must strive daily to help
as many as we can to do all they can to prepare for the future.
your convention registration, make your room reservation today
and I look forward to seeing you at our state convention in
Minot on April 30th to May 2nd.
[Click here to Register]
[Click here to view Speakers] [Click
here for Schedule]
Freedom Builder Fund -
We would like to
invite you to come to Minot for the Freedom Builder Fund Golf
Outing. We will play golf at the Minot Country Club on April
30, 2008. This will be a fun event to kick off the 2008 NDAIFA
State Convention. If you have not had an opportunity to play
this course, it is one of the top 5 courses in the state as
rated by Golf Digest.
Our format is designed
to be enjoyable for golfers of all levels. Those of you who
have played little golf will have just as much fun as those of
you who play often. You can check out the Minot Country Club
Golf Course at
http://minotcountryclub.com/Holes/Hole01.htm. The donation
to the NDAIFA FBF is $150.00. This covers your green fee, cart,
use of the practice range, meal and drink. We hope to see you
play and have fun while enjoying one of the most beautiful golf
courses you will ever play. Your entry form is included in the
State Convention Registration and you can also sign up to
sponsor a hole, go to:
AFB Tour -
If you are not a golfer,
please join us for the Minot Air Force Base Tour on Wednesday,
April 30th. We will leave the International Inn at
1:00 p.m. This is an exciting tour that you won’t want to miss.
Please notify the state office by April 16th if you
are planning to go on this tour, as your social security number
is needed for a background check to be conducted prior to the
Local Association Reports
Jason Middaugh, President
almost done with the year and we are looking forward to spring.
We are still first in the nation in percent of goal met for
medium sized locals. We exceeded both the January and March
benchmarks for membership. We are lucky enough to have some
great individuals heading our membership, chairs Dave Middaugh
and Dave Klemisch have done an outstanding job this year.
forward into 2008-2009 year we have plenty of reasons to be
excited. We have a great incoming President in Traver
Silbernagel. Tim Deitemeyer has agreed to be our
Secretary/Treasurer for the upcoming year. He has been a great
asset to the board over the years and we are looking forward to
him taking the next step. We have a couple of people who are
stepping down from their board positions and they will be missed
but we have got some capable people replacing them.
events for us include our local golf tournament June 30th
at the Moorhead Country Club which of course any member in the
state is more than welcome to attend and of course we are all
looking forward to the upcoming state convention in Minot April
30 through May 2nd. Sounds like an exciting State
By Jay Gotta, President
our association hosted Insurance Commissioner, Adam Hamm, at our
monthly meeting. By all accounts, it was a wonderful
opportunity for members and the commissioner to get to know each
other better. We look forward to a continued good relationship
with the commissioner's office.
Slope continues to strive to meet membership goals by conducting
monthly membership blitzes. We have had good success in
recruiting new members by dropping by a prospective members
office, as a group, to extol the virtues of membership.
association is in the process of planning a bike run to benefit
for the Freedom Builder's Fund. Tentative date is May 17th.
Dust off your Harley or favorite Roadster and make plans to
participate. Contact Kim Brandner at
for details or to sign up.
by Dee Stroh,
NAIFA Roughrider has added 2
new memberships. We had our March meeting in Bowman and I am
confident we will obtain 3-4 new members. Timothy Sadowsky,
Attorney provided our Continuing Education hour and the
information was very informative.
NAIFA Roughrider would like
to have 2 members attend a LILI Class per year. Kathy Johnson,
Todd Schweitzer and Todd Otto (LILI graduates) are in charge of
After the meeting in Bowman, 8
of us traveled onward in a limousine to Deadwood, SD for an
afternoon and evening of fun.
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by Norbert Mayer, Chair
By now we are aware that this is an
election year. We get so tired of the endless campaign
commercials and constant news coverage of the campaigns, but in
spite of all that, this is still the best way to elect our
leaders. If you don’t believe that, just try living for a few
years in a country controlled by a dictator.
So now is the time to get involved in
helping the candidates of your choice by making campaign
contributions, hosting fund raisers for them, posting lawn signs
volunteering for their campaign etc. Getting elected and then
re-elected is a top priority of our politicians. Few people get
involved in their campaigns; in fact many don’t even bother to
vote. This of course gives them a license to complain because
they did not support the politician who is now making all of the
NAIFA-ND needs your involvement now so
that when our issues are debated and ultimately voted upon at
the 2009 Legislative Session we have the politician’s ear.
There appear to a lot of retirements from our ND Senators and
Representatives so there will be a number of new faces in the
Please get out and make a difference by
getting acquainted with your candidates, make them aware of your
concerns, so that when we need their favorable vote, you can
help deliver that vote.
This is also the time for you to bring to
us any issues of concern for our industry that should be
considered at the Legislative Session. Please forward your
issues to our Executive, Nancy Buechler at
See you at the State Convention in Minot.
Insurance and Financial Advisors Political Action Committee
(IFAPAC) is a term used to describe collectively the PAC
sponsored by NAIFA at the federal level and the PACs sponsored
by each state association. Each PAC is a fund that supports the
campaigns of candidates for public office who understand issues
important to insurance agents and financial advisors. IFAPAC’s
goal is to help the associations advance the legislative and
regulatory interests of the members of NAIFA. While any U.S.
citizen can contribute to IFAPAC, only members of local NAIFA
associations may be solicited to do so. Contributions must be
voluntary. Contributions are not tax deductible for federal
income tax purposes. Of approximately 3,700 political action
committees registered with the Federal Election Commission,
IFAPAC ranks in the top 1 percent. IFAPAC is the largest
insurance PAC in the country. In the last election cycle, the
national IFAPAC and the 50 state IFAPACs contributed
approximately $2.5 million to federal and state candidates and
IFAPAC network is needed even in years when there aren't federal
elections. The candidate evaluation and support processes go on
all the time. PACs that have the resources to make contributions
when candidates need them most are highly visible in the
political arena. IFAPAC occasionally makes debt-retirement
contributions following elections and some states hold elections
in odd-numbered years.
national level, a panel of ten NAIFA members, appointed by the
Executive Committee of NAIFA, determines which candidates for
federal office will receive PAC contributions. This group is
called the Candidate Selection Group. On the state level,
contributions to candidates are made via a similar process
through our State IFAPAC board. Input from state and local
association officers and current contributors is vital to the
ability of state and national selection committees to make
informed decisions regarding which candidates to support. IFAPAC
encourages contributors to provide factual information on
candidates. If you would like to make a contribution or obtain
more information on becoming a contributor, please contact our
state office at 701.258.9525 or email:
Make a difference
Even if you've never run for office, if you don't know much
about politics or elections, you can still make a big difference
in the way the legislature votes on legislation important to
insurance and financial services professionals.
How? By being an effective constituent. Nothing matters more to
a member of Congress than how his or her constituents feel about
issues they care about. That old adage about the customer always
being right is even more true with elected officials. Their
customers – the voters – are always right!
To stay in office, legislators must do a good job representing
the interests and views of those they were elected to serve.
They value the input of knowledgeable and concerned constituents
like you. That gives you a lot of clout! Clout that can have a
big impact on matters that affect you and your clients.
APIC: Creating a
Network of Active Constituents
Active, informed constituents communicating directly with their
members of Congress – that's what APIC (Advisors Political
Involvement Committee) is all about. Your involvement can range
from responding to an Action Alerts on legislation affecting
your business, signing up as a legislative contact (if you
personally know a member of Congress). The level of involvement
is up to you.
To sign up as a legislative contact, contact State APIC Chair
Todd Otto, or Federal APIC Chair Dave Middaugh - or our office
for further information and assistance.
10 Rules for Reassuring Clients in
by William F. Nicklin
When markets are volatile, we’re more stressed and so are our
clients. That’s when it’s more important than ever to articulate
our recommendations and provide reassurance of a positive
outcome. Here are 10 rules of effective language.
At no other time is it more important to communicate with
clients than when what you've been telling them is being tested.
That time can arrive when markets are calm but the way you've
helped clients structure their portfolios seems a little out of
sync with what they're reading in the newspaper or hearing on
CNBC or Bloomberg TV. Effective communication is needed when
volatility that expresses itself in dropping markets causes
clients to worry that their financial expectations may be in
It’s then that clients are most reliant on our reassurance that
what we’ve told them will hold up and that our recommendations
will provide the positive outcome they expect. We need to convey
this in a very effective way if we’re to maintain our
credibility and perceived value to a client. Even more
important, if it’s time to make changes in our recommendations,
we must effectively communicate why those changes are a better
course of action than the one that seemed appropriate before the
commotion in the market.
Because we’re a little more stressed in volatile markets (and
our clients are too), it's more important than ever to know
exactly what we want to say and express it in a way that clients
will hear. For help in this area, I offer up some advice from
Dr. Frank Luntz. He provides his thoughts with his “10 Rules of
Effective Language” list in his book
Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear.
The intended audience for this book is policymakers and business
leaders, but what Luntz has to say can also help us communicate
with clients when our words take on more importance than usual
because of volatile markets. Following are Luntz’s 10 rules (the
applications to advisors are mine):
Rule 1: Simplicity—Use small words
Try to use words that clarify rather than obscure. Clients are
already a little confused and on edge when things are not going
their way and they're not sure why. Adding complexity with words
that obscure the true meaning of what you're saying only makes
matters worse. I try to stick with words that I’ve used in the
past to describe my advice and how that advice will lead to a
positive outcome. This introduces familiarity with past
expectations and reassures clients.
Rule 2: Brevity—Use short sentences
Clients can’t easily absorb a treatise when their heads are
already spinning. Try to use short sentences in your
communications with them. These sentences will stick in their
minds after the conversation. When the news is blasting them
with 100 different opinions of what is happening and why, your
sentence will be easily recalled.
Rule 3: Credibility is as important as philosophy
Do not try to contradict the facts. If things look lousy, you
cannot gloss over them. Explain in concise terms what you
believe about the circumstances at the moment. You have likely
incorporated your philosophy into clients' portfolios. There is
no need to dwell on that philosophy. Simply state how what
you've said in the past is working out in the current
environment, good or bad.
Rule 4: Consistency matters
Consistency and credibility go hand in hand. Consistency is
achieved through disciplining your mind to stick with your basic
underlying beliefs and not to be pushed around by events. Your
value is added because your clients are not paying as close
attention to what is transpiring as you are and their emotions
are more easily whipsawed.
By incorporating what you are seeing into the philosophy you've
been espousing all along, you will be providing a calming and
comforting effect that has value. The most credible people are
those who are not flip-flopping all over the place. They are the
people who stay on message.
Rule 5: Novelty—offer something new
Every situation offers something new, some new insight. Find out
what you can regarding current events that support your
consistent philosophical views, and use that as an add-on to
your past thoughts and advice given to a client. Give them a new
take on an existing idea. This will show that you are paying
attention to what is going on and that you are on top of your
Rule 6: Sound and texture matter
Because clients are more stressed than normal in volatile and
declining markets, we need to place more emphasis on the parts
of a conversation we want them to remember when events start
swirling through their heads. I like to raise my voice and
repeat two or three times a thought I want remembered while
watching the financial news shows or reading the paper. I also
like to use phrases such as “game changing” when they’re
Rule 7: Speak inspirationally
Stick with delivering thoughts that offer clients a positive
outcome. We need to convey what clients want to hear in a way
that does not compromise our philosophy. We can do this by
saying, “If we look at the situations this way, and conduct
ourselves in this way, we will do just fine.” I also like to
incorporate insight into the current situation from people who
have been successful in the past, such as Warren Buffett. When
going through individual stocks in a portfolio, I offer up what
the CEO may have recently said in a conference call or an SEC
Rule 8: Visualize
Take a similar situation from the past and project it onto a
potential positive outcome in the future. For instance, the
market got killed in the October 1987 crash, but it ended up for
the year. Paint a picture of how the market might act if
corporate profits drop and the Fed cuts. Project further how
components of a portfolio might act if that happens.
Rule 9: Ask a question
I like to say, “We have been through markets like this in the
past. How did things work out for us?” Or, “Take a look at each
investment in our portfolio. How much confidence do we have in
that investment? Would you like me to walk you through my
thinking on each?”
Rule 10: Provide context and explain relevance
Luntz puts it this way: “You have to give people the ‘why’ of a
message before you tell them the 'therefore' and the ‘so what.’”
In my experience, this is the most important aspect of client
communication. If clients don’t know why their portfolio is
structured the way it is, they will have no idea of what might
affect it (therefore) in a way that produces a positive outcome
(so what). Structure conversations in this sequence: We did this
to the portfolio in the past (why) so that in situations like we
are experiencing today, our portfolio would perform like it is
(therefore) and put it in a position to come out of the current
situation in better shape (so what).
We all take our client relationships and the advice we give
seriously. One way we show this is by being diligent in how we
form those relationships and that advice. We should be just as
diligent in giving thought to what we say and what our clients
are hearing when we say it. Our future depends on it.
I can learn from you. You can learn from me.
Bill Nicklin is a partner in a full-service brokerage and
investment management firm providing advisory services to
high-net-worth individuals and families, institutions, and
COMPLIANCE ALERT & DISCLAIMER
NAIFA reminds readers that it is your responsibility to ensure
that the manner in which you solicit and sell insurance and
other financial products, and the advertising and sales
materials you use, comply with applicable state, federal and
NASD/SEC requirements, and the compliance rules of the insurance
and other financial companies you may represent. While NAIFA
tries to provide accurate information, the accuracy and
timeliness of the information herein is not guaranteed, and the
generic nature of this information may conflict with specific,
and frequently changing, state and federal laws and regulations
and the rules of insurance and other financial services
companies. If in doubt about compliance issues, check with your
company. The material herein does not constitute insurance,
financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting or other
professional services or advice by NAIFA or by any individual or
entity identified herein. The content herein represents the
views of the individuals identified and does not necessarily
reflect the views of NAIFA. NAIFA does not endorse any products
or services offered by the individuals or entities identified
herein and NAIFA disclaims all liability for any claims or
damages that may result from their use.
NAIFA-North Dakota - 1811 East Thayer Avenue - PO Box 5010 -
Bismarck, ND 58502 (701) 258-9525 email@example.com