Two industries which I have come to despise are the media and insurance. Both are necessary evils. Insurance is required in case something happens and the media spreads the news. Both have a dark side. A dark side that cost us money.

The insurance industry adds lots of bells and whistles. Take life insurance for example. Life insurance comes in various forms, term, whole lofe, universal life, variable life. Term is simple, the insurance company will cover your life for a set period of time for a monthly fee. This is a great way for a young family to protect themselves in case something happens to the bread winner. Whole Life the insurance company adds a savings program into the policy, but beware if you die your family only gets the insurance and not the saving program. If you borrow from the savings program it is deducted from the insurance. So let me get this straight under whole life the family only gets one or the other not both, well why not invest in term and save the rest in a savings account? Great question that way the family gets both.

Now in the mid-1980s the buy term and invest the difference was the battle cry of a company known as A. L. Williams. This company was started by Arthur Lynch Williams and is one of the greatest success stories of the business world. This company has become Primerica. They simply teach what the insurance companies have been doing to us by adding savings and insurance and then somehow keeping one or the other from us. Universal Life became the theme of the industry to battle the buy term and invest difference philosophy. Let’s use Wikipedia as our expert on Universal Life per their website – The real truth behind universal life insurance is that you give up control of your money to do two things: insure yourself and save money, and it fails to do either well. A better strategy would be to invest in low cost term insurance and invest the difference in a myriad of choices that are available to the consumer.

Now let me add, having experienced a house fire in 2004. The insurance company was had for 17 years sent out an adjuster, fortunately this adjuster was honest. He stated upfront he worked for the insurance company not us the insurance company customer. So we had to go out and find a company to work for us and in Brackmann Construction we did, but it was battle after battle to get the insurance company to pay for what was in the policy. Then after all the battles the insurance company cancels us, after 17 years of paying their premiums.

The media is just as bad as the insurance companies. The media will jump to report a story whether they have done their homework or not. How many people are influenced by the first report only to find out there is more to the story? The media dissects people, twists their words, and sometimes get used by governments. Take Larry Moore, formerly the KMBC Channel 9 news anchor. In 1972, after 4 years at KMBC, Moore became the primary news anchor until 1979. He had a brief stint in 1980 as a weekend anchor for WLS-TV, the ABC owned-and-operated station in Chicago. In October 1980, he incorrectly reported (three nights in a row) that a deal was in the works to release the American hostages held in Iran. This information was leaked by someone in the Carter administration and when it did not occur Moore returned to Kansas City.

The difference between perception and reality all depends on the angle sold to you, and whether you believe or not. Isn’t that why we say “Innocent until proven guilty”. There are people who will stop at nothing to utilize the media to vilify someone. We have seen it with business developments, innocent school administrators, innocent school teachers, innocent celebrities, and various other portrayals of innocent people being guilty. Even weathermen are media and cost us, look at last year the cancellation of the ASCS race at Lakeside Speedway because of the 90% chance of rain prediction. Shouldn’t there be a price for them to pay for incorrect information, shouldn’t there be a price for them to pay when a perception is sold and the opposite is true. Shouldn’t the media report the full story not part of the story? It is time we all speak up before too many people are controlled.

Two industries which control our lives we need to learn to speak up and challenge and get back to let’s just hear the truth and nothing but the truth.