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Having a sound financial plan requires knowing which insurance and investments products to buy. But there are literally tens of thousands of insurance policies, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, etc. from which to choose. That's where a qualified insurance agent or other financial advisor can help. LIFE is affiliated with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the nation's largest financial services membership association. With almost 70,000 members nationwide, you can find a NAIFA member almost anywhere.

Locate an Insurance Professional or other Financial Advisor in your Area
You can search by name, ZIP code or city and state.

Search Hints:

To search by name, you must enter at least the first two letters of the first and last name. A search of first name "ja" and last name "ed" would display all names that begin with "ja" and "ed."

To search by zip code, you must enter at least the first three digits of your zip code. For example, "208" will locate members in all zip codes starting with "208." A search of "2085" will yield all active members in zip codes that begin with "2085."

Also, you must include a city name when conducting a city/state search.

Tips for finding the right agent or other financial advisor

It's always advisable to get referrals. So a good way to start your search is by collecting the names of several agents through recommendations from friends, family, business associates, or perhaps your lawyer or accountant. If that doesn't pan out, you can find a complete list of agents in your local phone book or by contacting your state insurance department. When interviewing an agent, find out:

Is that agent licensed in your state? A licensed insurance agent in your area can provide information and recommendations on coverage options and cost-saving measures. Agents may represent one company or several companies. All insurance companies and agents are regulated by state insurance departments, and most states require agents to take continuing education courses to remain licensed. Agents who sell variable products must also be securities licensed and registered with the NASD as well as have additional state licenses.


Does the agent have any professional designations? If an agent has one or more professional designations, it means that person has sought advanced training, passed rigorous exams and is serious about his or her professional growth and development. Keep in mind, though, that professional designations are just one factor to consider when choosing an agent. There are plenty of excellent insurance agents who haven't earned professional designations, so don't assume that one agent is better than another simply on the basis of earned designations, which are generally displayed as initials after his name.

All the same, professional designations do indicate a commitment to professionalism and higher learning that you may want to factor into your decision-making process. Designations that life insurance agents may earn include Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). Agents who also are advisors and, as such, offer financial planning may have other designations, such as Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), or Member of The Registry of Financial Planning Practitioners. Other designations yet include Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and Fellow Life Management Institute Program (FLMI).

Is the agent a member of a professional association? Ask whether the agent is a member of a professional association. Membership in professional groups is often a sign that the agent is actively involved in developing his or her skills and staying on top of the latest industry trends and developments. The largest association for agents is the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) represents an elite group of highly successful insurance producers. Members of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) specialize in helping clients with complex insurance planning needs.

Bottom Line
Initials after a name can only go so far. Make sure your agent has the experience and knowledge necessary to see the big picture. A good agent will take the time to understand your objectives, help you construct a financial game plan, and then work with you to find the right insurance products for your specific situation.

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