What is Tread Lightly? 

Tread Lightly is a guide to life insurance for the affluent client.  This book (including the guides and checklists) is a resource for any buyer or Client Advocate involved in the purchase or maintenance of large insurance policies.


What is a “Client Advocate?”

We extend the term “Client Advocate” to any professional that guides their clients through the insurance buying process. (But aren’t necessarily experts in this industry.)  Attorneys, C.P.As, Trust Officers, Fiduciaries, Employees of Family Offices and other like-professionals are examples of Client Advocates.


Why is the title Tread Lightly?

“Tread Lightly” is colloquialism we often use around the office.  For the uninitiated, it means that you better be careful about your actions because you could either recklessly or accidentally cause yourself irrevocable damage.

We see many intelligent clients and advisors make serious mistakes pertaining to the purchase and maintenance of life insurance.  We wanted to be clear in our warning – Tread lightly. Be careful. These mistakes are expensive.


Why did you write Tread Lightly?

Tread Lightly is meant to be a resource for advisors and clients who are purchasing or managing large amounts of insurance. The checklists and guides define the critical questions that need to be asked of an insurance advisor so that the buyer is an informed decision maker.


Who is Tread Lightly for? 

Any client, Client Advocate or advisor involved in the purchase or management of large amounts of life insurance.  Examples include:  estate planning attorneys, business lawyers, CPAs, trust officers, members and employees of family offices, insurance agents and anyone else acting in a fiduciary capacity regarding life insurance.


Who is the Author?

Mike Smith has been in the life insurance and financial services business for over 30 years, acting as a both an agent and agency manager.  Mike is currently the president of The Financial Partners Group and TFP Brokerage, which is a member of AimcoR (38 member national insurance marketing organization with offices across the US.) The Financial Partners’ broker dealer is Financial Telesis.


Who is TFP Brokerage? 

TFP Brokerage (tfpbrokerage.com) is a Georgia-based limited liability corporation with 4 member-owners.  TFP Brokerage is a life insurance brokerage business and specializes in strategic partnerships (tfppartnership.com) with commercial Property and Casualty firms and other industries interested in building a life insurance practice within their firm.


Do I need an agent when buying insurance?  

            We believe so.  Life insurance is an extremely complicated product with multiple  moving parts.  Having a properly qualified and educated agent that you trust is critical to a buyer achieving our definition of success when purchasing life insurance. 


What type of insurance do you recommend?  

            We believe a properly trained and knowledgeable agent can help you make a determination as to what is the right type of insurance that fits your need.  There is no “right” or “magic” product for everyone because all needs are different.

When making a decision regarding a product make sure the right questions are asked so that you are a properly informed educated consumer.


What carrier do you recommend? 

            While it is true that different carriers specialize in different conditions and products, we do not recommend any carrier specifically.  Again – there is a “right” type of life insurance for everyone, but that is determined by a very individualized set of criteria.


How often should I have my Insurance reviewed?

We recommend you have your insurance reviewed at least every two years.


What is a BGA?

A BGA is a Brokerage General Agency, which is normally affiliated with a national insurance marketing organization (in our case, AimcoR.) BGA’s are usually licensed with at least a dozen well known life insurance carriers and generally provide sales processing, policy placement and product support to advisors looking to broker an insurance policy to their client.


What is the book “not”? 

  • An attempt to sell a product or carrier’s portfolio.
  • A sales tool for anyone attempting to sell life insurance.
  • A presentation guide to help licensed insurance agents sell more insurance.
  • A reference guide to terms and definitions pertaining to life insurance.
  • An introduction for consumers to purchase and understand term and other less complicated forms of insurance.
  • A comprehensive guide for life insurance.