November 17, 2012


What's Plan B for James Bond?Now see James Bond in his most deadly role ever, INSURANCE AGENT: No one gets out alive.

In the 00 section, the mandatory retirement age is 45. What happens then? Sherlock Holmes became a beekeeper. That doesn’t look like the fit for James Bond.

A secret agent knows about life and death. Why not become a life insurance agent? You may think that’s too boring but Ian Fleming said:
“I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened.” (Wikipedia).
Surely insurance is dull enough. Let’s examine the fit.


James is extremely well-trained and resourceful. He's required to  stay fit and up-to-date. That's how he got his 00 designation and keeps it.

Advisors can get designations but are allowed to sell without them. For life insurance, the test has multiple choice questions. Even then, too many fail. Primerica has a novel solution: make the tests even easier (Wall Street Journal, April 2011). Imagine M asking for less skilled agents.


James gets gadgets from Q and learns how to use them. He also has support from M (unless he's disavowed and getting shouted at).

An advisor gets presentation tools that make what's sold look ever-so-enticing. There are even iPad apps. When there's a live case, there's lots of support available to help with the closing. The only tough part is getting the prospect.

The Real Boss

James is an agent for his employer MI6. Although he's paid by the taxpayers, he doesn't work for them directly. His cheques are signed by M. James is a fiduciary for M.

An insurance advisor is an agent for the insurer. Although you pay, the cheques are signed by the insurer. An advisor isn't a fiduciary.


James has a license to kill. He’s ordered to get results by any means, even if questionable.

click to read: Tom Hanks is a victim of a huge insurance scamAn advisor has a license to sell. Results mean getting the sale. The methods may be questionable. Tom Hanks' agent had a clever approach: charge Tom more than list price, send the insurer the right amount and keep the difference (in addition to the regular compensation).

Secret agents and insurance agents can be double agents.


The world of MI6 is secret. James knows the inner workings but we don't. This is for our benefit.

The financial world — especially life and health insurance --- is opaque. The sellers still know more than the buyers. Try figuring out how a dividend for a  whole life policy got calculated. You'd benefit from transparency.


James does what he's told even if he disagrees. He's not to question why. That’s ideal in selling too.

Given the similarities in work, wouldn't James Bond make a great insurance agent? With his skills, he can also thwart the actuarial mortality tables and hasten death claims — a real boon for beneficiaries.


click for article on Screen CrushAge is no guarantee
of efficiency.
— Q (Skyfall)
In the movies, the actor playing James Bond keeps changing. As the actor ages or loses appeal, he's gone but the character goes on. The replacement is more suited to the times.

In insurance, the actor playing an advisor can keep that role until retirement (and there’s no mandatory age). There's no real judgment of current skill even though mental faculties may deteriorate. Is your advisor still suited to the role.


Podcast 195

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PS An insurance agent would have a much tougher time becoming James Bond.

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