by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
" Structured Settlements and Settlement Planning", Part 1 of the Patrick Hindert's recent commentary, offers little more than a "regurge" (right) of previous postings over the past few years in which he tries to frame the structured settlement industry.
I agree with Patrick Hindert's basic concept that a growing body of participants in what has long been referred to as the structured settlement industry, have become more well rounded consultants by increasing their knowledge, increasing their product offerings and expanding their professional networks, so they can provide more solutions.
On the other hand Hindert is:
A. Still pushing the definition of structured settlement in IRC 5891(c)(1) even though the Internal Revenue Code explicitly states it is only for that particular section of The Code dealing with the imposition of an excise tax on factoring discounts where the structured settlement factoring transaction does not meet statutory guidelines.
B. Highlighting Jack Meligan's poorly articulated, dated, "forgot to check my baggage at the door" introduction to settlement planning... "Settlement Planning starts from the premise that structured settlements are not the answer to everything that everyone needs or wants to do with their settlement dollars". No, settlement planning DOES NOT start from that premise. Meligan, who at the time of positing is President of the Society of Settlement Planners, knows better and so should Hindert.
C. Clearly not getting what K.I.S.S. means by highlighting chaotic concept maps and diagrams that bear characteristics of a "Charles Fazzino", yet which, in my professional opinion, define "diminishing marginal utility". What this inquiring mind wants to know "Is Babs Flabbed?" Hindert's mentor, Babs Bowen of Sound Knowledge Strategies, LLC, "the goddess of concept maps", has got to be "flabb-ergasted" wondering where did it all go wrong? In 2006, when Hindert "introduced" us to concept maps through his blog, the elements of the concept map actually had air between them. Dude, when it comes to concept maps think CMAP not "CPAP"
D. Still "bathing in the "DiGangis River" as if structured settlement industry "sins" can be washed away in these "holy waters".
So do we need a STATUTORY definition of settlement planning because those that are unqualified to use it are using the term to describe their business? Who sets those qualifications? Who enforces them?
In my opinion, the gift that successful settlement planners have is:
- The ability to ask the right questions
- The ability to listen
- The ability to obtain, organize and timely digest pieces of information obtained from disparate sources
- The ability to identify problems and formulate solutions
- The ability to recognize when another expert may add complementary value to the process; and, what is paramount to settlement planning
- To be able to explain complex topics in an easy to understand way, to engage multiple decision makers and influencers, who possibly possess multiple levels of sophistication and emotional readiness. We can intellectualize all we like, but unless someone says "yes", the settlement planner is a "settlement canner"