Was reading a news story recently about an obscure law in North Carolina, where I live.
The law prevents doctors from owning a permanent MRI machine. They must rent it from a hospital.
Hospitals have a monopoly on MRI machines and diagnostic testing involving said machines.
Thus, people in this state pay between $1,200 and $24,000 for a scan.
A doctor is suing the state to repeal the law but… hospitals are fighting him. They argue it’s to protect patients from unnecessary scans, but methinx there’s a deeper philosophical reason for this.
By having a monopoly on services, hospitals can (and do) charge whatever they want for MRI scans.
The doctor fighting to repeal the law wants to offer scans in his private practice for $500. This obviously creates unwanted competition for the hospitals and exposes their little scam… which is what they’re really fighting against.
If they were really concerned about patients, they would only be concerned about delivering the best patient care, not about blocking other doctors from running their own practice.
As they say, if you blow out someone else’s candle, it doesn’t make yours shine any brighter. It just makes the room a little darker than before.
Why do I bring this up?
For years, the financial planning industry has relied on licensing laws and professional designations to edge out newcomers and create a high legal barrier to entry.
The exception to this is the life insurance business. It has the lowest barrier to entry. There is still extensive prelicensing education and exams, but there are no prerequisites for these courses and you can “test out” in most states if you really want to.
What determines competency and professionalism in the insurance business, for the most part, is your track record and your ability to protect your clients from financial harm using insurance, not the letters behind your name.
This makes insurance the odd man out and one of many reasons you don’t see the same respect for insurance professionals as you do for Certified Financial Planners.
There’s a concerted effort in the industry to discredit life insurance as a valuable financial planning tool.
Mayhaps you have run into this yourself. When is the last time you asked your financial advisor about the value of whole life insurance? How did he or she respond? Probably in the negative… but with no real rational argument. Instead, you are offered surface-level logic and arguments which boil down to “whole life insurance is a defective product and your agent’s motives cannot be trusted,” but with no real proof of either assertion.
Can you trust my motives?
I’ll let you decide that.