If you have an investment portfolio, chances are you’ve heard of a 60/40 split. 60% equities with 40% bonds and you’ll be safe. However, do you realize that the 60/40 split recently had the worst year ever because of the inverse relationship between interest rates and bond prices?
With the rising interest rates in the market, prior to last year, bond investments had a run like no other. For 40 years, bond interest rates came down, which means the prices went up. It didn’t matter. When you got in on the bond train, you made money. Those days are over. The reason this happened is because interest rates, again, steadily came down. That’s probably not going to happen for a long time.
We all know that interest rates are on the rise. They’ve been on the rise for a while. And they’re going to continue to go up until inflation gets under control. With a small interest rate increase last year, the 60/40 portfolio split had its worst year ever. That’s not even taking into account the rise in interest rates since January 1st of this year.
Now, the point of the 60/40 split in the portfolio is to have some riskier investments and bonds to balance it out with some more stability. However, what happened last year was we had volatility in the riskier investments, as well as volatility due to the interest rate rises in the bond market.
So this bears the question, if bonds aren’t stable anymore, and we’re adding them to the portfolio for stability, what do we use to replace the bonds to add stability and keep our money safe?
Most investment managers talk about diversified portfolios, but how do we diversify our portfolio in a way that introduces stability to our portfolio? One way may be with a specially designed whole life insurance policy designed for cash accumulation and you may be wondering, what does whole life insurance have to do with investments?
Whole life insurance is a terrible “investment.” And that, in fact, is true because typical investments inherently have risk. But with a whole life insurance policy, it’s actuarially designed to get better and better, year over year. The fact of the matter is that whole life insurance is uniquely positioned to take advantage of increasing interest rates -which will work out in your favor.
You see when interest rates rise, the insurance company doesn’t have to sell the bond. They’re going to hold the bond to maturity. They can utilize the bonds that are maturing to reinvest into higher interest-rate bonds, or they can utilize those bonds to pay expenses. So it’s an old money, new money type phenomenon.
But the point is, because the insurance company has that option, they don’t have to sell the bonds before maturity, and therefore, realize a loss. In essence, what you’re doing is you’re giving the interest rate risk to the insurance company (instead of taking on the risk yourself -as in typical stock investments) which is uniquely positioned to accept that risk because they don’t have to sell the bonds.
Here’s the long and the short of it.
In rising interest rate environments, the insurance company is able to take on that bond interest rate risk and come out better on the other side. You’re able to transfer that risk to the insurance company.
But what happens in low-interest rate environments?
Well, whole life insurance policies designed for cash accumulation are a great way to warehouse your wealth due to their many benefits. We have tax-deferred growth within the policy. We have an actuarially designed policy that’s guaranteed to get better and better every year. We have dividends that, once they’re credited, can never go away. We also have tax-free access to the policy cash values via the policy loan provisions. And then at the death of the insured, we have the opportunity to recapture all of the costs associated with the death benefit costs, as well as any loan interest that you paid throughout your life. You have the opportunity to recapture that and keep it within your family at the insured’s death.
You give the insurance company the interest rate risk. You give the insurance company the portfolio risk, And you give the insurance company the opportunity cost risk. They’re accepting all the risk because they’re uniquely positioned to accept that. And it adds stability to your portfolio, plus, you get a death benefit.
If you’d like to learn more about this positioning, schedule your FREE strategy session with us.
Remember, it’s not how much money you make. it’s how much money you keep that really matters.