How a Nasty Exchange on LinkedIn Led to a New Non-Profit

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“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

– Audrey Hepburn

After allowing myself to descend into a crude “comment fight” with an annuity hater on LinkedIn, I came away feeling that “Balkanization” is an apt term to describe the warring factions that exist within and outside of the asset management and insurance business silos with respect to annuities.

Too much energy is wasted arguing over issues such as compensation schemes, who is or is not a genuine “fiduciary,” or the relative value of various types of investment and insurance products.

That exchange of comments on LinkedIn led me to write an article on the experience. I titled it “The Tragic Politicization of Annuities.” The writing process was cathartic. Still, I was left with the feeling that I should do more to help improve a hostile climate.

A question emerged in my thinking: What problem could be solved or what issue or challenge could be addressed that would offer wide appeal to the expansive advisor community? The answer that made sense to me was financial education.