The shabby secret of proprietary financial planning apps

By birfday is coming up soonly and that can only mean one thing: presents.

When Yours Gluteny was just an obnoxious teenager, I would beg my mom to go to the Renaissance Faire. If you’ve never been to one of these things… it’s a place where actors re-enact various aspects of life during the Renaissance period… usually in England.

They dress up in period clothes… have funny cockney accents (or proper English accents if it’s the Queen)… and so on…

The one near where I grew up was 35 acres… an actual town that they’d built… and where people worked and yada yada yada…

Anyway… the faire brings in a lot of talent… blacksmiths… goldsmiths…book binders and printers… glassblowers… woodworking experts… candle makers… storytellers… stage actors (who do Shakespeare)… and stuff we’d probably call “freak shows” today…

One of those shows is Johnny Fox.

He’s a commedian-slash-entertainer-slash-magician-slash-sword-swallower.

Anywho, he has this cool magic balls trick he does at every show.

At one point he holds up a red ball in his right hand, between two fingers… grabs the ball with his left hand and pulls it away… then opens his left hand… and the ball has “magically” disappeared.

It doesn’t disappear of course and he laters shows the audience how he “palms” the red ball in his right hand and fools everyone.

Later on in the show, he ends up swallowing swords — for realz.

It’s one of my all-time favorite acts and he’s one of my all-time favorite live performers.

Anyway, point?

Point is there is no magic, only magicians.

And some of those magicians exist in the financial industry, showing you the same red ball-“sleight of hand” when it comes to life insurance, investment, or heck any other kind of fees.

But unlike Johny Fox, they don’t make it explicit that what they’re doing is (or isn’t) magic.

They show you illusions as though they are real.

Sometimes the illusion is simple… like comparing pretax returns to after tax returns (which is a big no-no and tells you nothing about the goodness or badness of either stratgy).

Sometimes it’s more subtle, like not compounding investment fees… or comparing DOLLAR-weighted returns of an investment or insurance strategy to TIME-weighted returns of a stock market index (this happens ALL THE TIME, even in major and “respected” industry publications, personal finance blogs, etc. etc.)… or using unequal cash flows or time periods…

And so on.

All these illusions are set up to make one strategy appear better or worse than another.

It doesn’t matter what kind of product an advisor is selling… you can make all of them look good or bad.

Life insurance.

Mutual funds.




Real Estate.


Honest math is very rare these days.

Which is why I mostly work with publicly-available financial calculators and tools… and try to focus on showing the VALUE of life insurance instead of focusing primarily on tearing down investments (or insurance, for that matter).

… which is something else that’s very rare.

Most financial planners, insurance agents and advisors, and investment professionals use proprietary software and tools that aren’t available to the general public.

They spend a lot of time comparing this investment to that… tearing down some investments in favor of others.

I take a different approach. Yes, I do think whole life insurance is a very valuable financial tool. But it’s not the only product in the marketplace and… as a financial tool… it’s incredibly helpful if you use it in conjunction with other tools… so… I might argue that whole life is the most important product you can own… but it’s not the ONLY product you can (or should) own.


Rather than use proprietary calculators… I’d rather use calculators and tools that are available to anyone… and break down those calculations (if ye be so interested)… stuff you can test and prove (or disprove) yourself.

Don’t believe me?


You don’t have to.

You can run the numbers yourself.

And, if you want to see a live demo of the type of insurance and financial planning I do, well we can arrange that too.

And, you can be “in the driver’s seat” telling me what numbers to plug in and where.

But first… you need to join my email list (below)

David Lewis, AKA The Rogue Agent, has been a life insurance agent since 2004, and has worked with some of the oldest and most respected mutual life insurance companies in the U.S. during that time. To learn more about him and his business, go here.