Why didn't I think of that?
If you watch television, you're familiar with the
Aflac duck. Aflac (which originally was an acronym for the company's actual
name The American Family Assurance Company) is the 400 lb gorilla in the
voluntary benefits insurance niche.
Why bring that up? Well, regardless of what
industry he or she may be in, every entrepreneur has
come upon some interesting idea and said to him/herself more than once "Why didn't I think of that?".
In the insurance industry, Aflac's
success in terms of pioneering Cancer expense policies, its sales of policies
sponsored by employers and funded through payroll deductions via the
workplace through more than 74,000 agents nationwide is legendary. So strong
is the Aflac brand both here and abroad that the $25 BILLION in revenue they
collected in 2012 is more than their top four competitors' annual revenue
The original company was founded by three brothers named John, Paul, and
William Amos in Columbus, Georgia in 1955 and Aflac introduced cancer
insurance in 1958 as a result of the financial problems they watched their
own mother go through as she battled cancer. While it is a public company now with shares traded on
the NYSE (stock ticker AFL), the company is, for all intents and purposes,
still “family owned” with Dan Amos (son of co-founder Paul Amos) as current
Chairman and CEO, and heir apparent Paul S. Amos II (grandson of Paul Amos
and son of Dan Amos) currently serving as President and COO of the company.
They’ve made Aflac shareholders a ton of money over the years and have
clearly been successful in what they do.
My question to you is: Would you have had the good sense and foresight to
invest in Alfac before it went public in 1974?
And by now everyone has heard about Pet Insurance, but you may not know that
the VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) brand, the first Pet Insurance company in
the US, founded in 1980 by Dr. Jack Stephens DVM, still controls nearly 64%
of the US Pet Insurance market that is expected to top $818 million in
annual written premium revenue by the end of 2014.
"Dr. Jack" started VPI
out of frustration - after spending several years trying to convince
existing insurance companies to underwrite this new and innovative form of
insurance - with about $750,000 that he raised by soliciting friends and
family, and almost one thousand other veterinarians
for investment dollars at a Veterinary convention (a very early form of
Would you have been smart enough to be one
of those 1000 investors that got in before Nationwide bought out VPI in 49
And more recently, while simply a new approach to an age old product,
Esurance, was founded in 1998 as Silicon Seirra, Inc., with its first round of $5.5
venture funding taking place in May of 1999.
Esurance launched its website and started writing
personal auto insurance in four states in December 1999, and was one of the
early pioneers of online auto insurance. The
company website was also one of the first to offer comparison quotes that
allowed consumers to
prices with other leading insurance companies.
In less than a year, a large piece of the company was acquired by White
Mountains Insurance Group and then in 2011, Allstate purchased the company
for just under $1 Billion dollars, setting an impressive precedent for
the valuation of online insurance companies. And what that means is that
every $1000 invested in Esurance in 1999 would have been worth $181,818 in
2011, an 18,181% ROI.
Would you have had the vision to recognize
that something as "unsexy" as auto insurance sold differently could generate
that kind of return on investment?
My point is that very few real innovations have occurred in the insurance
industry over the last 50+ years. However, the ones that have became wildly
successful, niche creating behemoths that still control their unique market
and have generated hundreds of millions of dollars to their collective
So here’s my challenge to you. Do you think you're smart enough to identify
the next successful niche market insurance product, before it
becomes the next “big thing” and invest in it early on? If so, then read on.
We love skeptics
We think the Marriage Insurance market has all the earmarks of becoming a
main stream insurance product and we’ll be happy to show you exactly why we
feel that way. And we're not the only one. Fair warning though, if you think
you’re going to get some blue-sky fairy tale or be presented with financial
projections that have the phrase “and then a miracle happens” imbedded
somewhere in the formula, please be prepared to eat some humble pie. And if
you’re a skeptic…great…we LOVE
skeptics. Healthy skepticism is
a must these days, but be prepared to be converted.
Why this makes sense
we have the largest population of adults who come from divorced families.
Study after study shows that individuals who come from divorced parentage
are up to three times more likely to get divorced themselves. Anyone with a
modicum of math skills can figure out that based on that fact alone, the
divorce rate is unlikely to go down anytime in the near future. And despite
some reports to the contrary, the divorce rate is likely to increase around
the world. In fact, the
US Census is now predicting that, of people who marry today, only 33% will
ever reach their 25th anniversary. As a result of the
financial devastation that so often accompanies divorce, more and more
people will go into poverty. For example, in a study published in the Review
of Social Economy, it was found that 44% of American families go below the
poverty level after divorce. It's no wonder, since according to a study done
at Ohio State University's Center for Human Resources Research, based on
data from the National Longitudinal Survey that followed people's lives for
40+ years, results showed that, on average, people lose 77% of their total
net worth as a result of divorce. Consider those numbers for a moment.
44% go below the poverty line after divorce because on AVERAGE they
lose 77% of their total net worth.
Meaning just as many lose much more as lose less. Many never recover, which
means their children live in poverty too. Not surprisingly, supporting those
families puts a burden on all of us. In fact, according to the
Institute for American Values, Center for Marriage and Families, you and I
as taxpayers help foot a bill of over $112 BILLION dollars in Federal, State
and local taxes to support fragmented families every year, when, if given
the opportunity, most would rather support themselves. Help us change
that trend by generously rewarding people who work to succeed in their
marriage and, at the same time, providing a
financial safety net to those who find themselves facing what they
thought was unimaginable and who might otherwise become an unfortunate
statistic of divorce.
Still on the fence?
It's hard to recall it, but even Google started as a Beta test. Before
adopting a professional logo, Google used a logo created by co-founder
Sergey Brin. Tinkering one day with a free graphics program that was
tricky to employ called GIMP, Sergey created a color rendering of the Google
letters with an exclamation point at the end, mimicking Yahoo! He was quite
proud of the new logo, which was composed of the kindergarten-style block
letters in primary colors above. But it wasn't the look that meant the most
to him. He was more pleased that he had been able to teach himself how to
Now fast forward a little.
Unless you’re a seasoned venture capitalist or
an IT aficionado, you may not know who Andreas "Andy" von Bechtolsheim and
George Bell are, but I’ll wager you’ve heard of Google.
Well, back in 1998, when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey
Brin were still students at Stanford University (before Google was even
incorporated), Bechtolsheim (Stanford alum, cofounder of Sun Microsystems,
who was then the founder of Granite Systems), along with David Cheriton
(then a professor at Stanford who was also a partner in Granite Systems)
made the first investments in Google of $100,000 each.
Then, early in 1999, while still graduate students,
Brin and Page decided that the search engine they had developed was taking
up too much time and distracting them from their academic pursuits. They
went to Excite CEO, George Bell, and offered to sell it to him for
$1 million dollars. He rejected the offer and a few days later, when Vinod
Khosla (acting as a middleman for Excite's venture capital fund at the time)
negotiated Brin and Page down to $750,000, Bell rejected it again!
A few months later, on June 7, 1999, a $25 million
round of funding for Google was announced.
rest is history.
Talk about a goose that lays golden eggs, today,
Google’s total market capitalization is around $360 BILLION dollars. Based
on its subsequent success, Google is considered the 2nd most
successful startup company of all time by market capitalization, revenue,
growth and cultural impact. Apple is #1 if you’re curious, but that’s not
what’s really important here.
Andy Bechtolsheim is now a poster child for Angel
investment success, with several homeruns to his credit. However, to date,
the most profitable investment for Mr. Bechtolsheim was his initial $100,000
investment in Google, which, as of this last week is worth just under $3.4
billion all by itself. He is well regarded as a visionary by other savvy
George Bell? Not so much. While he’s still
considered a successful investor as part of General Catalyst Partners,
history was not as kind to George. Stalled when the dotcom bubble burst,
Excite went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. What remained of the company
was bought in 2004 by search engine Ask Jeeves, now Ask.com.
Nothing that Bell has invested in
since holds a candle to what could have been with Google.
So my last question
to you is: Are
YOU a Bechtolsheim or a Bell?
Help us change lives.
Get involved. It’ll cost less than you think. And do more good than
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming an investor in this
ground breaking company, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we'll send you the Investment Summary for your review.
Thanks in advance for
your time and interest. We look forward to hearing from you.
Read more about the
financial impact of divorce.
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