The Silicon Review
“Our retirement and estate planning system, Wealthy and Wise®, is getting serious attention due to President Biden’s intention to eliminate many estate planning techniques.”
InsMark, a financial services software company, is dedicated to producing transferable marketing techniques for a wider group of producers. The success of InsMark has been phenomenal as over 100 companies have sponsored InsMark products, utilized by over 30,000 producers.
The company was established in the early 1980s and is headquartered in San Ramon, CA.
To highlight and further understand what InsMark stands for and seeks to explore in this segment, I sat down with Robert B. Ritter, Jr. (founder), who serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
Below is an excerpt.
Q. What's your story? And what led you to the establishment of InsMark, Inc.?
I graduated from Williams College. While going through the interviewing process with several companies, I realized no career appealed to me. I knew one of the leading, high-end, General Agents for Mass Mutual in New Jersey and decided to join his organization. I was disappointed with the sales presentations available to me — not the concepts, the presentation formats. So I designed my own, which worked very well. From that point on, I prepared all my presentation materials — initially for myself, but later on, for my group of agents at my own MassMutual General Agency.
In 1980, I got my first personal computer and soon realized I could automate my presentations. That project was so successful that many of my friends in the business wanted copies. So I taught myself to program and developed my first system, the InsMark Illustration System. I soon had to devote all my time to my software business, which grew far beyond my expectations.
All this occurred because I was not too fond of MassMutual sales presentations when I first joined them.
Q. Tell me about a situation where you were under a great deal of pressure because of numerous demands competing for your time and attention. How did you handle it?
I was making a presentation to the senior sales management team of a major life insurance company and could not convince them of the value of my InsMark Illustration System. I asked if I could make a presentation to a group of their General Agents who were visiting the Home Office at the same time. They gave me an hour, after which every one of the attendees insisted that they needed the software.
Q. Who do you look up to and why?
My wife—Laurel! She is the most perceptive, charming, creative person I have ever known. While not active in my business, her perception of what I do is extraordinary. As a result, she has become a central sounding board for me on several significant projects that have proved quite successful. For example, she encouraged me to develop an advanced version of Wealthy and Wise®, our retirement and estate planning system, which is getting serious attention due to President Biden’s intention to eliminate many estate planning techniques.
Q. About InsMark, Inc., how does the company help consumers and financial service professionals accelerate their marketing services?
We do so by providing them with unique presentation material that simplifies their case preparation and client interface. For example, cash value life insurance (CVLI) is disliked by so many financial advisors that “buy term and invest the difference” has become a real roadblock to the successful presentation of CLVI to many clients.
Click here to read one of my blogs that deal with this issue, including one of our presentations on the subject featuring one of the modules in the InsMark Illustration System.
Q. InsMark's Symposium is the insurance industry's #1 marketing conference. Sounds Exciting! Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?
Major life insurance companies host most life insurance conferences. There are usually several motivational speakers who have no particular background in selling life insurance. Home Office officials who have never sold a life insurance policy also make presentations. At an InsMark Symposium, we feature only specific ideas that pertain to the sale of life insurance presented either by InsMark staff (including me) or high-end producers who use our software. We are told again and again by attendees that our Symposium is their #1 marketing conference.
“InsMark has created without question the best suite of software for our industry that has ever existed. I personally have been using their software for almost 30 years, and it changed my career. The InsMark Symposium will expose you not only to this unique and user-friendly software but to real-life applications for your business that will add many thousands to your income for as long as you’re in business. InsMark makes me look good.” — Simon Singer, CFP®, CAP®, RFC®, International Forum Member, InsMark Platinum Power Producer®, Encino, CA
“The InsMark software is indispensable to my entire planning process because it enables me to show my clients that inaction has a price tag. I can't afford to go without it!” — David McKnight, Author of ‘The Power of Zero’, InsMark Gold Power Producer®, Grafton, WI
“I always get at least one idea which can make me a lot of sales over the next year.”— Robert Sowerwine, InsMark Power Producer®, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
“InsMark is the Picasso of the financial services world — their marketing savvy never fails to amaze me.”—Doug Peete, Past President, Top of the Table, InsMark Silver Power Producer®, Overland Park, KS
Q. What plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant?
It is pretty easy for us to remain relevant as almost every presentation we provide (and we have eight different systems available) is based on current U.S. tax law. Every time the tax law is changed, it provides us with new opportunities.
Currently, we have examined all of President Biden’s proposed tax changes and are prepared to make all our presentations compliant with them. One of our best skills is “What do we do now?” rather than “Phooey, look what the government has done to our software.” Our customers expect us to be at the forefront of ever-changing tax compliance.
Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?
Yes, I want you to understand the power of Wealthy and Wise®, our retirement and estate planning system.
Wealthy and Wise® helps producers become more effective in the retirement planning market. The system’s Good Logic vs. Bad Logic® analytics calculate the optimum use of liquid assets to produce desired retirement cash flow coupled with the maximum possible net worth. The algorithm used in this calculation is unique in the financial services industry.
One of the greatest features of Wealthy and Wise® is its ability to optimize your client's Net Worth simply by testing the best order in which your client should use their assets to fulfill their precise financial goals. This is a detail that is almost impossible to calculate manually and is typically ignored.
Click here for detailed information about Wealthy and Wise® which includes a 17-minute video by mega-producer Simon Singer that highlights the amazing planning features of this software, including its capacity to enhance fee-based consulting. We have many customers who charge clients several thousand dollars for just the analysis with product sales following.
Robert B. Ritter, Jr. | President, CEO, and Founder
Bob Ritter has been in life insurance sales and sales management for over five decades. He started with Mass Mutual in northern New Jersey. At age 26, he was appointed General Agent by Mass Mutual in Oakland, California — the youngest General Agent ever appointed. Three years later, he took over a New York City agency for Mass Mutual. He twice received the National Manpower Award, the company’s most prestigious award for developing sales leaders.
He is a life member of MDRT and was a qualifier for Top of the Table and International Forum until the growth of InsMark required all of his time. A dynamic and entertaining speaker, he has spoken at hundreds of industry seminars and conventions and has been featured at several MDRT, Top of the Table, and International Forum meetings.
He is a past member of the MDRT Foundation’s Board of Directors and a member of the Split Dollar Sub-Task Force of the Association of Advanced Life Underwriters (AALU) during the lead-up to the Final Split Dollar Regulations issued in 2003. He is also the founder and past President of the Diablo Advocates dedicated to youth opportunities.
He graduated from The Lawrenceville School and Williams College. While at Williams, he also played lead cornet in the first college jazz band ever to play in Carnegie Hall. Called the Spring Street Stompers, this Dixieland jazz group won the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout show on CBS (#1 in the ratings at the time), appeared on the Tonight Show on NBC, and frequently played at the top jazz clubs in Boston and New York.
Bob and his wife, Laurel, live in Alamo, California. They have eight children, 22 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.