J.C. Penney’s Depression-proof financial strategy

by David Lewis

Most people don’t realize how terrible the Great Depression was (and how awfully close we are to another Recession/Depression).


That was like a bazillion years ago, right?

People singing for food.

People sleeping on in the streets.

The breadlines.

People standing in long lines at the bank… unable to withdraw money from their SAVINGS account (shout out to IndyMac Bank!).

But… it wasn’t just bad for middle America.

Wealthy businessmen had it rough too.

How rough?

Like… some of the most successful people in the U.S. were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Like… James Cash Penney.

Founder of J.C. Penney.

His investments all tanked and he almost lost his store.

Fact is… the Depression sent him into a very real personal depression of his own.

He was barely able to function.

If you’ve ever had the rug yanked out from under you, I’m sure you can relate.

Maybe your boss firing you at the most inopportune moment… or you’re riding high and business is going well and then… BOOM.

Everything blows up in your face.

Well… this is EXACTLY what happened to Penney.

By the 1930s, his name recognition was awesome and people trusted his brand…

And at the same time… he was having trouble keeping the doors open.

The one thing… the ONLY thing… that saved him was his $3 million life insurance policy.

He borrowed against it to pay salaries and to keep the lights on.

It is THE reason (financially-speaking) J.C. Penney is still around today.

It really should have failed.

But life insurance companies were some of the only institutions that were handing out money… because they were actually making a profit.

Not banks.

Life insurance companies.

So… he was spared.

Americans who didn’t own whole life insurance?

Or… people who opted for investments INSTEAD OF life insurance (instead of in addition to)?

Not so much.

And today… these same life insurers are still around financially STRONGER than they were in the ’30s.

Anyway, I teach clients how to take advantage of the same types of policies Penney used to save his store… today, they work a little bit better due to the customizability of the contracts.

If that kind of financial security appeals to ye, then come book an appointment so you can join the club:


Ready to kick things up a notch?


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About David

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.