Code of Ethics

  • A code of ethics can help the Adamsson Associate to define his or her professional goals: it can articulate ethical goals in specific terms; it can establish a guide against which to make decisions; it can provide a written guideline of business expectations for those working under or with the Adamsson Associate; and it can provide a benchmark of periodic review and self-evaluation.
  • The practical steps to building one's code of ethics include:determining those tenets that are critical to the professionidentifying any personal obstacles to a strong moral codedetermining strengths, recognizing limitations, and agreeing to take personal responsibility for living up to one's codedefining the code in specific termscommunicating the code to others
  • A code of ethics should be written down or recorded so that it may be easily accessible for use as a decision-making tool.
  • The utilitarian theory of ethics calls for one to act in such a way as to provide the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people.
  • The deontology theory is based on the view that the individual should act for duty's sake.
  • The moral rights theory is based on the principle that all individuals have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • The individualism theory supports doing what is best for the individual in the long run.
  • Protecting one's personal integrity means staying true to ethical principles even when pressured to do otherwise.

Unethical Practices Defined

Laws provide clear minimum legal requirements that must be followed; acting ethically means choosing the best option when there is more than one legal option possible.
• Twisting occurs when a producer misleads the insured into cancelling existing coverage and purchasing a new policywith another company when it is clearly not in the client's best interests to do so.

• Churning is similar to twisting except that the insurance policy is replaced by another policy written by the same insurance company for the purpose of earning additional premiums, fees, commissions, or other compensation.

• Sliding means adding ancillary coverage to a policy and implying to the client that the coverage is required by law or included at no extra charge; it also includes charging for additional coverage without the consent of the applicant or client.

• Rebating means that something of value, which is not part of the policy, is given as an inducement to purchase a policy.

• Unfair discrimination occurs when applicants or insureds are treated differently than other applicants or insureds who share the same risk characteristics.

• Advertisements for life insurance and annuities must be truthful and not misleading and may not imply that the client will receive something other than a policy. Terms may not be used to imply that the producer has an area of expertise that he or she does not.

• Advertisements may not include incomplete or unfair comparisons of products of other insurers and may not disparage other insurers, producers, policies, or marketing methods.

• An agency relationship is a legal relationship under which one individual (the agent) is authorized to act on behalf of another (the principal). Insurance agents are agents of the company or companies they represent. Insurance brokers are agents of their clients.

• A fiduciary relationship is a type of agency relationship recognized under common law that requires a higher duty of care than that required under an ordinary relationship. A fiduciary has the duties of utmost good faith, trust, and loyalty.

Professionalism Defined

• The expectation of professional and appropriate conduct is, in a broad sense, the intent of a code of ethics. Acting with professional and appropriate conduct means to act in compliance with laws, regulations, and contractual agreements, and to show professional respect for others.

• Integrity and trustworthiness are shown through a commitment to honest dealings and a strong moral code.

• Consistency means showing constancy and uniformity in action.

• Fairness means that the Adamsson Associate acts in the best interests of all clients and provides complete information to all qualified applicants.

• Adamsson Associates should strive to stay current on issues in their area of expertise and to seek continuing education opportunities. Associatess should also be aware of their limitations and work with more experienced producers as needed, including referring clients to others when appropriate.

• Adamsson Associates should hold clients' personal and sensitive information in the strictest confidence and should only release information as required by the company and with the consent of the client.

Adamsson Associates walk a fine line between providing expert advice and the unauthorized practice of law. It is highly unethical for an Adamsson Associate to imply that he or she is trained to act as legal counsel on behalf of the client. State laws permit producers to:

  • solicit, negotiate, or place insurance or annuities on behalf of an insurer or a person seeking insurance or annuities
  • advise other persons about insurance needs and coverages
  • advise clients about their needs and coverages (which implies explaining and interpreting insurance contract provisions)

However, unless they are also lawyers, an Adamsson Associate should not:

  • conduct any legal research on behalf of the client
  • draft any contracts or legal documents for the client
  • define the client's insurance needs couched in legal terms

Adamsson Associates should also avoid providing any tax advice or investment advice (unless certified to do so). When Adamsson Associates work with clients on issues relating to estate planning, retirement planning, or business planning, it's very important to avoid giving unqualified advice and to avoid the perception of having expertise that the Associate does not have—both actions are considered highly unethical. Adamsson Associates should encourage clients to work with their tax advisors, attorneys, or other appropriately qualified professionals to ensure that they receive qualified opinions or advice.

Addressing the client's rights

The Right to Professionalism and Competence

  • I will strive to establish a relationship with clients through dialogue and deeds with the aim to provide products and services that will benefit the client.
  • I will demonstrate to the client that I have attained the experience and knowledge necessary to provide appropriate and meaningful products and service.
  • I will refer any client or case that I do not feel qualified to work with to another Associate who is qualified, or seek assistance from a qualified Associate.

The Right to honesty and trust

  • I will openly describe my professional role and how my products and services can benefit the client.
  • I will disclose any instance or circumstance that could pose a conflict of interest for me or the client.
  • I will ask the client to engage in full and honest discussions so that I can best address the client’s needs.
  • I will encourage the client to ask questions.

The right to full disclosure

  • I will discuss my background and experience with the client.
  • I will present product recommendations openly and honestly, disclosing all material elements and explaining both the benefits and the limitations.
  • I will disclose to the client how I am compensated.

The Right to Product Recommendations Based on Needs and Resources

  • I will strive to engage in a consultative approach to fulfilling the client’s needs.
  • I will review and analyze the client’s needs and resources with the intent to present or recommend only those products that best serve these needs and resources.
  • I will thoroughly understand the products I represent and recommend, and will be able to explain all of a product’s features.
  • I will recommend and place only those products that are suitable for the client, and will explain the suitability factors that support a product recommendation.

The Right to Privacy

  • I will hold in confidence the information the client shares and will use that information only for the purpose of fulfilling and servicing a product’s placement.


The American College of Financial Services®

CODE OF ETHICS

To underscore the importance of maintaining ethical standards in financial services, the Board of Trustees of The American College of Financial Services adopted a Code of Ethics in 1984. Embodied in the Code are the designees’ Professional Pledge and eight Canons.

The Canons

  • Conduct yourself at all times with honor and dignity.
  • Avoid practices that would bring dishonor upon your profession or The American College.
  • Publicize your achievements in ways that enhance the integrity of your profession.
  • Continue your studies throughout your working life so as to maintain a high level of professional competence.
  • Do your utmost to attain a distinguished record of professional service.
  • Support the established institutions and organizations concerned with the integrity of your profession.
  • Participate in building your profession by encouraging and providing appropriate assistance to qualified persons pursuing professional studies.
  • Comply with all laws and regulations, particularly as they relate to professional and business activities.

The Professional Pledge

“In all my professional relationships, I pledge myself to the following rule of ethical conduct: I shall, in light of all conditions surrounding those I serve, which I shall make every conscientious effort to ascertain and understand, render that service which, in the same circumstances, I would apply to myself.”

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)

CODE OF ETHICS

PREAMBLE: Helping my clients protect their assets and establish financial security, independence and economic freedom for themselves and those they care about is a noble endeavor and deserves my promise to support high standards of integrity, trust and professionalism throughout my career as an insurance and financial professional. With these principles as a foundation, I freely accept the following obligations:

  • To help maintain my clients’ confidences and protect their right to privacy.
  • To work diligently to satisfy the needs of my clients.
  • To present, accurately and honestly, all facts essential to my clients’ financial decisions.
  • To render timely and proper service to my clients and ultimately their beneficiaries.
  • To continually enhance professionalism by developing my skills and increasing my knowledge through education.
  • To obey the letter and spirit of all laws and regulations which govern my profession.
  • To conduct all business dealings in a manner which would reflect favorably on NAIFA and my profession.
  • To cooperate with others whose services best promote the interests of my clients.
  • To protect the financial interests of my clients, their financial products and my profession, through political advocacy.

The Rest Of Our Retire Early More Often Story

Looking for a sabbatical lifestyle?  You might consider becoming an Adamsson Associate for the support and encouragement you and yours are going to need.  It can be hard living counter-culturally.  On top of that, we don't have all the answers, even after 3 complete business cycles. 

Every sabbatical year has been unique.  Every six-year business cycle has been imperfect.  Despite that, we don't beat ourselves up when we fail.  We choose to approach this all as a gift, and with a sense of humor, instead.  Recreationally, really.  Why?  Well . . . isn't that our purpose?  To re-create?

"I'm gonna figure this sabbatical-thing out, even if it kills me."  Look, rather than die trying, might we suggest living, instead?  The last thing we want to be is heavy-handed.  A formulaic approach seems antithetical, untenable.  It simply won't lead to the sustainable, generational transformation that we, and our clients, desire.

We're simply pointing out that if you start early enough, you could get seven tries to retire early more often.  Maybe eight.  Seven or eight tries-- a retirement, every seventh year.   But, only for a year . . . and, only if you want to.  One way, (if you want to,) would be to join us in delivering

our RestEquity portfolio of financial services:

R isk Management
E xecutive Compensation/Employee Benefits
S afe Money Places for Lifetime Income, Longterm Care, and Legacy Planning
T rust Funding for Special Needs, Charitable Giving, and Completely Private Bequests w/o Probate

Or, perhaps you're in another industry simply looking to limit threats, leverage opportunities, and leave a legacy of living sabbatically for your next generation.  So that they, also, can limit their threats, leverage their opportunities, and leave their legacy of living sabbatically for their next  generation.

So that . . .


Whether you dream of becoming an Adamsson Associate, or simply working with one, Download our Financial Picture form, as a first step.  Fill it out completely, save it to your system, then return it securely using our encrypted document transfer.  Or, don't.

Providing this document is  not necessary to get on our schedule, of course, but it certainly will help us make the best use of our time when we get our first chance to chat.

Customer satisfaction: just might be the best insurance for business money can't buy.

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