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THE NEW PLAN..
BY JOSEPH BOWES. I think the officers of the Equitable Life Assurance Society may confidently commit, as Abraham Lincoln did the Emancipation Proclamation, their new plan for the payment of commissions to agents, "to the blessing of Almighty God and the enlightened judgment of mankind.” It is certainly quite remarkable that it should be reserved for the men connected with the Equitable to work every revolution in the life assurance business tending towards its popularization, its enlargement, and the vindication of the rights of policyholders, which have taken place within the last forty years.
I understand, however, that the plan which is to go into effect Jan. 1, is merely the crystallization of the thought, the desire and the hope that have been uppermost in the minds of the best men connected with the interest of life assurance for many years past. The conviction has been irresistibly forcing itself upon the judgment of the most thoughtful and experienced in the business of life assurance that a new basis of compensating managers and agents was absolutely necessary, in order to redeem the business from some of the wrongs which were connected with it, and to maintain the credit and character of the profession. But the company having the courage and capacity to formulate a new plan to work the revolution needed was wanting until the Equitable threw itself into the breach; and in this new departure the present executive force have proved themselves to be the worthy successors of the men who in the past made the Equitable what it is, and who have led the advance of modern thought on all subjects connected with the interests of life assurance for the past forty years.
It is acknowledged on all hands that the expedients heretofore adopted for dealing successfully with the rebate evil have been absolutely worthless; but here is a remedy which cannot fail to result in at least a mitigation of the evil if not in its absolute extinction. But not only is the rebate evil dealt effectually with by this step, but the establishment of a new relationship between the Society and the great bulk of the forces in the field has been consummated,
a relationship that must work out a most satisfactory result to the Society itself and to all connected with it. It may, of course, result in the loss of agents; it may result in a diminished business; but the agents who are worth retaining will be retained, and the business that will be secured by it will be worth having. Only the free lances, the rounders; only those who enter the ranks of life assurance solicitors for a season, will be lost. Heretofore, the companies have in nearly all cases limited the luxury of a renewal contract to managers and others controlling definite territory. Now, however, the Equitable furnishes the opportunity for giving every sub-agent an inte est, more or less permanent, in his business; thus attaching him to the business secured, and also to the Society he represents. This is what the man who has entered the field of life assurance as a profession has been longing for. This is the condition necessary to enable him who “plougheth" in the life assurance field “to plough in hope;” to enable him that "thresheth in hope to be partaker of his hope." The bane of the life assurance underwriter heretofore has been tue giving to him at once the entire fruit of his labor. This practice has filled the field with an army of spendthrifts on one hand, or with an army of paupers on the other. It has done more to foster the infamous system of twisting policies than anything else; for, heretofore, it has only been necessary for unscrupulous agents, finding their interest in the business placed in one company to have lapsed at the end of a year, to attempt to turn it over to another company; or, failing to do this themselves, to put other agents upon it who are willing to make the attempt.
We know that the Equitable, having put its hand to the plough in this matter, will not look back, and we believe that through it a new era will dawn upon the life assurance agent and manager. It is known throughout the life assurance world that there is no company that guards with so much sacredness the interests of its agents in their renewals as the Equitable; so that the solicitor who has a renewal interest here, as far as the Society is concerned, has one of the most secure and available assets for the future that it is possible to possess.
THE EQUITABLE NEWS
It is an infinite pleasure for me to co
operate with the other officers of our SoAn Agents' Journal.
ciety in adding a few words of greeting to
the readers of the first number of this FRANK F. EDWARDS, Editor.
paper. The beginning of anything is alJANUARY, 1900.
ways interesting, and the beginning of a
paper like this is more than interesting. There are too many newspapers. There We at the home office hope that it will beis hardly room for another. But here, come one more link in that strongly forged nevertheless, is one more. It is to be chain which connects, and should forever hoped, however, that this is indeed the connect the home office with the agents. very last. Even now we launch the
We will endeavor in every way to make it “Equitable News" upon the Sea of Let a success, but this end cannot be attained ters only because it is impossible to hold unless the agents, who are the base and it back. There is a demand for this paper.
foundation of the Society, also co-operate, It has become so overwhelming that resist
as they have agreed to do, and as we know ance is no longer possible. Besides it is they will. fitting that the managers and agents, who
The Equitable has always been known represent in the field the interest of the
as the agents' company, and we trust it many hundreds of thousands of policy
always will be. The spirit and the loyalty holders constituting the Equitable Society,
with which our vast agency corps have asshould have a journal to represent their sisted our present administration in iis aim views, report their movements, record their to uphold the righteous object of purifying, experiences, and carry to them tidings of reforming and elevating the life assurance interest regarding their Society.
business towards that high standard it
should always have is the highest tribute The best company for the policyholder
any company could ever be paid. There is the company which best manages its always has been between the administrabusiness for future results, and not neces tion at the home office and the agents in sarily the one which makes the most at the field a sentiment that has undoubtedly tractive offers for to-day.
done much for the Society, and it is this The aim of the Equitable management is spirit of loyalty on the agents' part to the to adhere closely to those principles which Society, and of the officers to the Society will go for permanent strength and the which it is so important to preserve. largest returns in the future.
This year of 1900 is going to be a reI have been an officer of the Equitable
markable one—the ending of the nineLife for over thirty-three years, and I teenth and the beginning of the twentieth have never seen the condition and pros century, and we hope, we feel, we know pects of the Society in such splendid shape.
that the Equitable through its many If our agents believe the foregoing, it is arms will be made to stand where it always the greatest possible lever with which to
has, foremost in the eyes of the world for obtain business. We are not trying to its many achievements gained by its honest stimulate our agents by decrying our
policy, and carried out by its heart and neighbors or criticising the officers of
soul-the men in the field. other companies. Our business is to husband the resources of our own Company, and plant deep for the future.
In addition to the foregoing, the officers of the Equitable propose to maintain the vigorous handling of the business in the field which has characterized the past history of the Society, and to increase it if The "Equitable News" is launched with
the idea that it is to be a real and actual
medium of exchange of news and views famesevaleaanden
among Equitable agents. The "Record"
will hereafter be devoted wholly to policyholders, and this paper is undertaken in the interest, and for the benefit, of the agents.
Relying upon the co-operation of every representative of the Society who is willing that others shall profit by his knowledge and experience, we hope to make it a strong tie of interest between the agents of the Equitable from Maine to California. We expect every agent to feel that it is his paper, and that he will take a special pride in it; that when he runs across something that is new and worthy of note, he will let us have it; that when he has had an experience worth relating, or that may, perhaps, help someone else in a similar case, he will communicate it to the editor; that when he happens upon something funny in the pursuit of his daily work, he will permit all the rest of us to laugh with him. In short, it will be an agents' paper, and so we must depend largely upon the agents for the material to make it interesting.
We hope particularly that you will tell us of your pleasant experiences. We would rather have the paper full of sunshine than of clouds. There is a way of slipping over the dark places in life and dwelling on the pleasant spots, and that is one of the faculties we are going to try to cultivate.
If every one will give these matters some thought, and occasionally contribute a mite from his abundant experience, we shall soon have an "exchange” that will be not only a source of enjoyment, but a real help to the agency force of the Society.
confined to the agencies located in the United States. Letters have been received from the managers of foreign agencies expressing pleasure that such a paper was to be issued, and the hope that the brethren in foreign lands would not be forgotten. We have told them that we were very sure that the agents here would be happy to hear of interesting doings in foreign countries, and that we would be pleased to have contributions from them from time to time. The agents in the United States may be inter sted to know that at the time of the Fortieth Anniversary celebration we were very pleased to observe that the names of many of our managers in the United States were household words to the managers in Europe. The “Equitable News" ought to be a means of bringing all of the agencies in the various parts of the world closer together. Its success, however, depends mainly on you. We at the Home Office are with you, heart and soul, in this, as in every other good work that facilitates, enhances and dignifies the work of the field officers of the Society.
All honor to all life assurance agents in all lands, and to the agents of the Equitable in the United States in particular! Because of the work they have done and are doing the world will be happier and better, and their work will live in the homes of America, long after the work of all of us on earth is ended.
I wish you one and all a Happy New Year.
Too. 3. Vilson
Cordial greetings to the grand army of Equitable workers in the field!
In company with my colleagues, both in the field and in the Home Office, I hail with pleasure the issue of the “Equitable News” as one more means of keeping in close touch with one another. This "touch" "makes all the (Equitable) world kin," and is one of the props of that splendid esprit de corps which has been such a characteristic element in the upbuilding of our grand old Society.
The interest in this little journal is not
THE ACTUARY'S POETIC CONTRIBUTION.
The agent said to William W8
HOLD FAST TO YOUR POLICY. It is not an infrequent occurrence for agents to find that some of their policyholders desire, on account of a temporary stringency or for some other reason, to drop their life assurance for a while and take out new assurance later. Here is an object lesson of the unwisdom of such a proceeding, that might well be brought to the attention of such policyholders:
In May, 1899, a policyholder of the Equitable surrendered for cash his policies Nos. 372,414, 643,161 and 643,163, making $50,000 in all, but keeping in force his $20,000 policy, No. 252,752.
This assured was a man of wealth and could easily have continued all of his assurance, but he said he could do better with his money for a year or so while times were so prosperous. He died suddenly in November, and his family received $20,000 instead of the $70,000 which the payment of one more premium would have secured to them. “Penny wise and pound foolish” is an old and trite saying, but it is as appropriate to-day as ever.
"I can take care of myself.”
GOVERNMENT BONDS AND SAVINGS
BANKS. Did you ever consider that (apart altogether from the assurance benefit) an agent of the Equitable can offer two contracts, one of which is better than a Government bond, and the other better than a savings bank? and these contracts are guaranteed by the strongest financial institution of its kind in the world?
Take, for example, the endowment form of the gold debenture. Figure out eve y advantage connected both with it and with a Government bond, and see which, all things considered, is really the more advantageous.
Or, take the double endowment, and compare it with the returns from a savings bank. For example, allow that the deposits in a savings bank will be compounded for twenty years at 3 per cent interest, and then see how the double endowment will compare with it as an investment.
And moreover, no savings bank will guarantee to pay 3 per cent interest for twenty-or even for ten-years.
FABLES FOR AGENTS 1. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.
A certain Squirrel, who was in the life assurance business, once took a "friend's certificate" from a Field Mouse, whom he had assured, to a near relation, who lived in the town.
But the Town Mouse refused to assure. "It is all very well,” he said, "for my country cousin, who is exposed to many dangers, to protect his family in this way, but I have a safe retreat within the walls of the house in which I live; frost and iamine have no terrors for me, and I am secure from birds of prey. I can take care of myself.”
On the very next day, the Town Mouse, while eating some hot-house grapes, slipped, and fell into a great bowl of rumpunch, and was drowned.
Moral: Death often "accepts” safe risks and rejects those that are impaired. But this is a truth which the life agent can never persuade some people toros to believe until they are dead.
THIS IS NOT THE PORTRAIT OF F. P. CHAPIN,
but it is the portrait of a friend of his-one of his advertising ents. Chapin does good advertising,-and he finds that it pays him. Why shouldn't all other agents advertise—and make their advertising pay? Every agent of the Equitable has the same company to advertise. But some say, “Chapin's advertising pays because he spends so much money; I cannot afford to advertise as extensively as that.” But as a matter of fact that is not where the shoe pinches. Anyone can afford to advertise if it pays. No one can afford to advertise if it does not pay. If an advertisement does not pay there is some reason for it. It is either because it is not properly displayed, or because it is not convincing to the mind, or because the proper medium is not chosen; or because it is not backed up by the right kind of work. The value of all rewspaper advertising is relative. You can afford to spend $10,000 in advertising if it brings you in a clear profit of $10; but you will lose money if you spend $10 in advertising and are out of pocket 15 cents in consequence.
IDEAS. "Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear, Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.” Full many a brilliant advertising gem is hidden in limited territory, and does not, as it should, shine for all. Take, for example, the advertisement reproduced on the back cover of this issue. It is one published by A. F. Aird, the Society's manager in Buffalo, N. Y. This advertisement might have begun, continued and ended in the Buffalo agency so far as its good to the Society's managers in general was concerned. However, Mr. Aird forwarded it to this office, and we now reproduce it for the benefit of all. It is proposed in this, the “Equitable News,” to reproduce every month some of the best advertisements of the various agencies, and stop the waste of good advertising material by printing the ideas of one for the benefit of all.
This can only be accomplished, however, by the co-operation of managers and agents, and we invite them to send to the editor of this paper a copy of any advertisement they may issue from which they derive benefit or which attracts attention. If this is done, we will each inonth select those which in our judgment are the best, and reproduce them in the columns of this paper. Thus the best ideas of the managers individually will every month be reproduced for the benefit of the managers collectively.
THE AGENT'S PSALM OF LIFE.
Selected by E. N. Pratt. Get a wiggle on, my lad,
Don't walk at a funeral pace; Don't stand lazy, moping, sad;
Don't sit with that drowsy face.
A MISCELLANEOUS CARGO. A Western inanager writes: “The other day I heard an agent talking life assurance in such an indirect way that it reminded me of a paragraph in a novel which I once read, and which ran:
“ 'All of a sudden the fair girl continued to sit on the sands, gazing upon the briny deep, upon whose bosom the tall ships went merrily by, freighted, ah! who can tell with how much joy and sorrow, and pine lumber, and immigrants, and hopes, and salt fish!
"I send this to you, trusting it will be an object lesson.”
We trust there is no sinister meaning in this reference to an object lesson, together with the "I send it to you." Our correspondent certainly cannot have reference to the products of our busy pen. No! Perish the thought!
Push out; don't stand idly by;
Elbow forward, push and squeeze; You will get there if you try;
Swing your shoulders, brace your knees.
Get a wiggle on, my lad;
Get a bustle in your talk; Get a rustle on; get mad;
Get a hustle in your walk.