This article appears in Atlanta Business Chronicle.
As a high-net-worth individual, you’ve likely harnessed the expertise of a top-tier team of advisors who have deftly navigated the maze of wealth management for you. Your financial success story reflects the effectiveness of their advice and strategies. However, a robust wealth management tool might have eluded your team’s attention and yours — private placement life insurance (PPLI).
PPLI is a life insurance policy structured for high-net-worth individuals. It is designed to provide tax-efficient wealth transfer, asset protection and investment growth opportunities. There are several reasons someone might choose PPLI as part of their wealth management strategy.
PPLI combines the benefits of life insurance with investment opportunities and various tax advantages. It extends a death benefit and offers an efficient structure for tax-free investment growth and tax-smart access to funds. PPLI accommodates a broad array of assets from traditional investments to alternatives including private equity, private real estate and private credit — all institutionally priced to bypass insurance go-betweens and fuel-efficient wealth growth.
So, why might such a potent instrument go largely unmentioned, even among successful investors?
5 potential explanations for the silence around PPLI
1. Requirements for specialized knowledge and interdisciplinary expertise: PPLI is a specialized product requiring in-depth knowledge and multidisciplinary expertise in investment, insurance and tax/legal planning. Not all advisors are well versed in PPLI, nor do they operate in firms offering this integrative expertise. PPLI sits at the intersection of these disciplines, often touted as a novel planning tool but finding limited success in activation due to the specialized knowledge and collaboration it demands.
2. Niche audience: PPLI is tailored for high-net-worth individuals with substantial taxable investments. As a result, it doesn’t fit every investor’s needs and might escape general wealth management discussions.
3. Regulatory complexity: Navigating the regulatory maze of PPLI requires specific expertise. Your advisors might refrain from discussing PPLI if they lack confidence in understanding its regulatory landscape.
4. Misconceptions: Public perception often labels insurance as expensive, which might discourage the exploration of PPLI. However, many PPLI policies from firms like SignatureFD have stripped out distribution costs, surrender charges and penalties. Moreover, insurance is typically associated with limited investment options. In contrast, PPLI offers complete open architecture for public and private investments, countering this misconception.
5. Need for a strategic approach: Incorporating PPLI into your wealth management strategy calls for a holistic view of your financial and personal life goals. It’s not just about wealth growth; it’s about aligning your wealth with your life aspirations and values.
Overall, a combination of limited familiarity, complexity, restricted access, regulatory concerns, cost considerations and client suitability factors can contribute to advisors missing or underestimating the potential value of PPLI in their clients’ financial planning strategies.
While PPLI offers potential benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. We recommend consulting with insurance professionals, financial advisors, and tax experts to determine if PPLI suits your needs.
PPLI remains a mostly under-recognized tool in wealth management. Yet for those ready to venture into this innovative strategy, PPLI can be transformative. SignatureFD, a pioneering financial design firm, stands ready to guide you.
SignatureFD’s commitment to humanizing wealth shines through our trademarked Net WorthwhileTM approach. This philosophy focuses on transforming your net worth into a tool that helps support the life you aspire to live. PPLI is one strategy that can help you grow, protect, give and live, aligning your wealth with your life goals. Discovering PPLI’s power with SignatureFD could be your next step towards a fulfilling financial journey that transcends financial success to achieve personal fulfillment.
Do you have questions about integrating private placement life insurance into your wealth management strategy? Contact us today.