Category: Todd Langford

The 7 Figure Success Secret of Top Producers

“Success leaves clues.”
~ Tony Robbins

Question: What do —

  • Patrick Donohoe, founder of Paradigm Life, one of the largest U.S. financial services firms that focus on whole life insurance,
  • Michael Isom, a seven-figure wealth advisor and co-author of What Would the Rockefellers Do? 
  • Garrett Gunderson, New York Times best-selling financial author and Wealth Factory founder, and
  • Kim Butler, top-producing advisor, author (and Todd Langford’s wife and lovely assistant)

— all have in common?

Answer: Besides their success, they have each attended MANY trainings with Todd Langford, perhaps more than any other advisors we could name.

They devoted themselves to learning how to master the use of Truth Concepts software and understand the financial truths it reveals. Then, they started teaching others what they had learned, through presentations, videos, webinars, and books.

We caught up with these folks this week to ask why they have attended so many trainings, and what did they get out of them?

Learning from Mentors and Colleagues

Patrick Donohoe makes room in his busy schedule for Truth Training, a three-day event led by Todd Langford with Kim Butler (Todd’s wife, also a top producer whom Donohoe names as a mentor) at least once a year. When asked why he’s attended about a dozen trainings in less than 10 years, Patrick says he “keeps going because there’s so much information it’s impossible to absorb all at once.”

Each time he attends, his business is in a slightly different place and he has new questions. He walks away with something different, depending on what problems he’s trying to solve for his clients at that given time, also who else is in the room at Truth Training and the questions they bring to the table.

A couple years ago, Donohoe began hosting Truth Trainings in the Paradigm Life office, partially for his own convenience, but also to encourage the local advisors who work with his firm to attend as well. “There’s a value to learning together. There’s a bigger presence, a tremendous value that comes from sharing insights, questions, and collaborating with others,” observed Donohoe. “Everyone looks at the world differently, so I can learn from other perspectives and opinions.”

Donohoe also observed of the financial industry, “There are a lot of advisors out there selling that aren’t knowledgeable,” he lamented, voicing his desire for the industry to retain it’s integrity. He believes that being able to use Truth Concepts has shaped his ability to educate others, which is why he advocates other advisors gain skills in using the software and sharing the stories and concepts they illustrate, as well.

“You can do anything with the calculators: prove, disprove, plan, compare, etc.,” says Patrick. Becoming proficient with the calculators “gives you confidence that what you are doing is superior… sure, you’re selling, but you’ve got to have confidence that what you’re teaching and recommending works.”

Passing on the Financial Education

In particular, Patrick uses the calculators to “demystify the sales rhetoric of traditional qualified plans, mutual funds and the stock market.” He also finds it’s just as important to “reinforce the benefits of whole life insurance objectively, rather than just talking about it.” Particularly when recommending strategies that are outside the mainstream, he believes that clients need numerical proof to give themselves confidence to try something new and stick with it.

While Donohoe occasionally still uses Truth Concepts in individual client consultations, he also leverages his time by recording videos and webinars that are used extensively in Paradigm Life’s client education process as well as in their marketing.

The Wealth Architect

Best-selling author Garrett Gunderson, author of Killing Sacred Cows and co-author of What Would the Rockefellers Do? calls himself the “Chief Wealth Architect” of Wealth Factory, which provides comprehensive financial education for entrepreneurs. He shared with us the difference that Todd’s trainings made for him:

“I have never considered myself a software or tech person, yet after attending Todd’s courses over and over people thought I was a tech whiz. The reality is that I attended over and over because he is an amazing instructor of finance, analyzing strategies, verifying what is truth and discovering what is fiction.”

Known for his own desire and ability to educate others about how money works, Gunderson adds, “I became a better teacher because of Todd. I made more money, had more confidence, and learned more every single time I was there.”

We saw a lot of Garrett for awhile… it seemed no matter where in the country we were training, there he’d be! “I think I attended 10 courses in two years,” he admits. Was it worth it? Apparently so… Garrett calls the trainings a “Game changer.”

The Top Producer Habit

Owner of Optic Financial and co-author of What Would the Rockefellers Do? with Gunderson, it was no surprise that Michael Isom attended the inaugural Summit for Prosperity Economics Advisors, as he had been attending trainings with Kim and Todd for the previous 15 years.

Kim and Todd have both been mentors of mine in this industry since 2000,” Michael shares. After all these years — and since establishing a highly successful financial practice — why does Michael continue to attend Truth Training? He says it helps him “stay at the top of my game in communicating the truth about all things financial,” adding, “There is nothing out there at this same level.”

“I use Truth Concepts and the calculators with EVERY client I assist. I want to provide the truth about all things financial to my clients. Truth Concepts is the most complete source for that — period.”

Yes, the trainings take an investment of time and money, but Michael is clear that it is more than worth it. “When I do this, I ensure that I will consistently generate over 1m + a year in revenue as a result. No joke either, the last 3 years (I’ve earned) $ 1 million+ as a result of the regularity of my Truth Training attendance.”

Sharpening the Saw

But it’s not all about the numbers. One reason that advisors attend again and again is for the personal benefit they receive… the camaraderie with other advisors, the chance to grow as they learn.

Stephen Covey coined “Sharpening the Saw” in the quintessential success manual, The Seven Habits and Highly Effective People. As the Steven Covey website explains, it means “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life.”

Isom shares one reason he goes to Truth Trainings is to “Be inspired and inspire at the same time.” He adds, “My personal courage and confidence is increased dramatically as a result of TC.”

And although Truth Training is part of our business, those are the same benefits that make us look forward to each training… we love to sharpen our own saws, and the advisors who come and the conversations we have (during the training and also during the meals we share) help us do that!

A Skeptic Converted

When Kim started attending Todd’s trainings back in the 90’s (long before they dated or married), she was a “typical” financial planner and a skeptic about some of the concepts presented. Was whole life really a better option than “buying term and investing the difference”? Was a 30-year mortgage really more beneficial than a 15-year mortgage? Kim wasn’t convinced.

“It took me 4 or 5 trainings before I bought into it myself,” Kim shares. She attended several times in the first two years, oftentimes being “the only woman in the room,” although it’s never bothered Kim to be a pioneer!

Then, convinced of the value, she started sending assistants as well as going back for additional training at least every other year. “It was actually one of my assistants that used calculators to pull apart the mortgage discussion to show me how it was right, because I had always believed a 15-year mortgage was better.”

Since Todd’s new software (Truth Concepts) was released in 2008, Kim estimates she has attended 30+ trainings. “I am so grateful for that time, because even MORE, I have confidence and knowledge and increased ability to share with my clients the whole truth about whatever their financial question is… because I know those calculators inside and out.”

Kim claims she is “not a calculator person!” and admits that although she rarely uses them in client meetings these days, she says, “You don’t have to use them in front of clients, what matters is that you know and have confidence in what the software demonstrates.”

Kim uses a few of the Whole Truth videos to save herself time, such as the funding calculator (“The Truth About Whole Life Insurance Returns”) to prove the IRR of whole life, which she emails to clients to watch between meetings.

No matter what software system you use, learn it well. Learn it thoroughly. Become confident in using your financial software, and pay special attention to mastering the stories — the narrative — that make the numbers meaningful to your clients.

And whatever you do, don’t struggle in isolation or frustration! Gather together with other like-minded advisors to learn, grow, and to encourage and be encouraged. Together, we make a bigger difference!

It’s never been easier. This February, it’s never been more convenient or more affordable to attend Truth Training, because February 15-17, 2017 we’re offering Truth Training via LiveStream! Patrick, Michael, Kim and Todd will all be there live, and we’d love to have you join us virtually.

Want to attend a Truth Training live? We recommend it as the BEST way to learn and gain confidence using Truth Concepts. Get the details, see the dates, and register here. We’d love to have you, whether it’s your first Truth Training or your tenth!

Read More

Direct Recognition Vs. Non-Direct Recognition

Which is better when it comes to life insurance – direct recognition or non-direct recognition?

Pros and Cons Debate

There is a debate going on in the insurance industry… and Todd Langford sheds some light on it for us!

In case you’re not familiar with the debate, we’ll share this description from a previous post on the topic:

There are two different methods insurance companies use to handle the loaned cash value — direct recognition and non-direct recognition. In a non-direct recognition company, the earnings rate on cash value is totally unaffected by any loans against cash value. In a direct recognition company, the earnings rates on loaned cash value are affected both positively and negatively when the cash value is used as collateral.

Below is a transcribed conversation between Todd Langford and participants in The Whole Truth About Money event in which he discusses direct recognition vs. non-direct recognition life insurance companies.

(By the way, this is the event where we filmed the most in-depth “client-friendly” presentations Todd has ever given. See more information about The Whole Truth About Money videos here.)

Todd:  The question was, what about the difference between direct and non-direct recognition? In getting there, the insurance industry is the competition for everybody else. Everybody else figured that out, they don’t fight each other, they fight the insurance industry. The insurance industry is smart enough for that so they fight each other, my company has got non-direct, you’ve got direct.

We’ve got particular companies that put out all this stuff about how if you are buying any insurance from a company that is direct recognition you are getting ripped off. The reality is direct recognition is actually more fair than anything else. In the end, does it matter? No, it’s just a different way of doing the calculations. This is the way it works and we really need to understand this. If you have a fixed interest rate you have to have direct recognition.

Kim:  A fixed interest rate?

Todd:  On the loans. Fixed loan interest rate, you have to have direct recognition. This is why, so let’s think through this. Insurance companies, to me, their job is to make it fair for everybody else. We need to take ownership in our life insurance companies and we need to have our clients take ownership in it.

Since I owned my life insurance company at some piece, do I want my insurance company to be profitable or do I want to find some way to get to them? We want to be profitable, right? Is that different from my home owners’ insurance? Do I want my home insurance company to be profitable?

No. They are charging me too much. I own my life insurance company. I want them to be profitable. I expect them to make decisions to make themselves profitable and to make it fair for everybody. So let’s talk about how they do that. Why do I have to pay interest on my own money?

Participants:  It’s not yours.

Todd:  Right – It’s not my money. So why do clients think that? Because we told them that, exactly. When we use words like “borrow your cash value,” we just told them what – that it’s their money they are borrowing. They are not borrowing their money. Life insurance is a very logical tool if we talk about it in the right way. If you look on the web and you Google life insurance professionals, these guys have 4, 5, 6, 10 designations after their name and they all talk about borrowing your cash value. Is that what we do?

Participants: No.

Todd:  How can the public think anything else when we use that kind of language? Why are they confused? “Wait a second, this is so weird, you mean I get to use my money, I borrowed my money out of my policy and it still grows?”

Participants:  No.

Todd:  But you can see why they think that. That that’s weird, but it’s not weird. If we borrowed against it then we didn’t take it out in the first place, that’s no magic. It’s the same thing if we did that with the CD at the bank. If I put my CD up as collateral and I borrow against it, am I astonished that my CD continues to grow? It should be the same way with my life insurance policy.

But actually, one of the reasons it’s hard for people to do that is because we have a gray column over there, it’s called Net Cash Value. It’s awful because people think that is the amount of cash they have that’s growing. So when they borrow against it they see the net cash value go down, “Oh I must be earning less money.” No, we don’t have a Gross Cash Value column unfortunately, that’s what the earnings are coming off of, not off the net but off the gross, aren’t they?

Let’s go back to the direct versus non direct. Where does the money come from when they make a loan? It comes out of the (insurance company’s investment) portfolio. What does that portfolio do when there’s not a loan against it? Right, it’s their investment dollars that are earning money in the marketplace, correct? So if I have a policy with a life insurance company and my neighbor borrows money and it comes out of the general portfolio and they are charging nothing for it, did my dividend just help pay his loan?

Participant:  Yes.

Todd:  How do they keep that from happening? They charge him interest and the interest rate needs to be at least whatever the portfolio rate is. If the rate on the loan is not as much as the portfolio rate then guess what? Everybody else is paying for that guy’s loan. The loan rate has to be at least whatever the portfolio rate is. What happens when we have a fixed interest rate?

Let’s say we’ve got a fixed interest rate of 6% and now the portfolio rate is 10%. If the portfolio rate is 10% and they are having to loan money at 6%, what happens to my dividend? It’s not as big as it should have been, is it, if they are getting 6% instead of 10% that they should be getting in the marketplace? With the direct recognition company they can fix that.

Why? Because the individual that gets the 6% rate only gets a dividend of 5 while everybody else gets the higher dividend based on that 10% that they are getting in the marketplace. It fixes it and makes it fair for everybody else. If direct recognition wasn’t there, everybody would be paying that loan.

Participant:  But they only get the lower dividend rate on the amount that they borrowed.

Todd:  Correct, only against the collateralized balance, absolutely. It keeps everything fair. If it wasn’t for direct recognition it would not be fair. So what happens with non-direct recognition companies? Well, they have a variable interest rate and the ideal of a variable interest rate is it needs to ratchet up as the portfolio does in order to make sure it’s the same.

The problem, though, can be this. They can only I think change that rate a half a point a year.  On most companies I know of… when they get the charter for the insurance company in a particular state, the variable rate they have to have a formula for how it’s calculated as part of the charter. They can’t just make a number up, there has to be a formula. Typically, it’s tied to Moody’s.

So let’s say we’ve had this terrible economy that we’ve had. Everything is down, portfolio rates are down. We’ve got variable rates of 4% and all of a sudden the economy gets fixed and we see potential portfolio rates at 10%. What happens to all those loans they have at 4%? They can only ratchet them up half a point a year. Everybody is only paying for those loans until that catches up.

Even though most of the times people criticize the direct recognition idea, it’s actually the most fair. It keeps everything in line. In the long run does it matter? No, sorry, but yet we have to find something to fight against amongst ourselves instead of looking at where the real enemy is.

We hope this was helpful to you! These are the types of discussions we love to have in our trainings.

Trainings with Todd Langford

Truth Training is our most comprehensive training, a live 3-day training in which you get hands-on help in a small group. Truth Concepts Academy is our 24/7 virtual training platform that features over 20 videos from live Truth Trainings – a perfect way to keep increasing your skills and confidence.

Read More

The Power of Liquidity: Capitalizing with Cash

(Adapted from an article originally published on Please feel free to share this page at with clients, or see the Content4Clients program for content marketing resources you can use for your own website.)

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
– Bobby Unser, Indianapolis 500 Champion

Liquid AssetsAre you locking up your assets, or keeping them liquid? Do you have access to cash on demand? The answer may be influencing your prosperity more than you realize.

Most investors focus on the ROI of an investment or a savings vehicle. However, locking up your money can actually severely limit the possibilities for lucrative returns! This is because some of the best opportunities cannot be capitalized on (literally!) without access to cash.

Read More

More Truth Quotes!

Truth-quotes-2We published some “Truth Quotes” awhile back… comments and sayings compiled from a Truth Training (mostly Todd Langford’s).

At a recent training in Salt Lake City, a new list of quotes heard at a Truth Training was compiled. Unless otherwise noted, the quote came from Todd Langford (although we don’t guarantee that he was the source of every quote!)

“There is usually some basis of truth in what is said about money, but the analysis of the data is skewed.”

“What should the average person do? All they can.”

Read More