Saving and investing are the cornerstones of financial planning. What gets less attention is insurance and its role as a risk-management tool. Yet, without insurance, any well-crafted financial plan is at risk of falling apart in the event of a catastrophe.

Still, many registered investment advisors (RIAs) don’t sell insurance because commissions-based products don’t fit their fee-only business models. Instead, they outsource clients’ insurance needs to outside brokers who may not have a grasp of the overarching financial plan.

The rise of fee-based insurance solutions gives RIAs a way to incorporate life, disability and long-term care and annuities into their clients’ holistic financial plans, says Jim Cooper, co-chief executive officer of Financial Independence Group.

“The insurance industry and the asset management industry are colliding fast and furious,” he says.

Last year, FIG and Carson formed a partnership to give advisors access to fee-based insurance solutions. This allows RIAs to include insurance in all phases of holistic financial planning – from accumulation to income to estate planning.

In today’s episode, Jim talks to Ana and Jamie about the importance of insurance in holistic financial planning; how insurance products have evolved to fit the fee-only model, how he’s building FIG’s culture by hiring people with passion and how a job in his family’s steel drum business steered Jim toward sales.

Key Takeaways

  • Insurance must play a key role in holistic financial planning. As fiduciaries, RIAs should incorporate it.
  • Historically, RIAs have steered clear of offering insurance because of their commissions. But that’s changing with the rise of fee-based insurance solutions.
  • To build a strong work culture, leaders should hire people with a career mindset, not just those performing a job.


“Insurance products have evolved tremendously. The annuity of today is drastically different than the annuity of 10 years ago, but there’s some work to do.” – Jim Cooper


Carson Group believes that insurance and annuities are key components of a holistic financial plan. Schedule a consultation to discuss how you can access fee-only insurance solutions that fit into your business model.

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