What’s a VUL? The First Day I Knew Something Was Wrong

I was 3 months into my first role as a Financial Adviser for a large well know firm and something seemed….off

I met with my boss almost daily, but today he was excited to discuss a product I needed to learn about. Variable Universal Life Insurance or VUL. 

 “It’s a great product, it combines insurance and investments in one vehicle,” my boss said. 

“But the best part, it pays more commission!”

How could that be? We were providing identical products separately and getting a lower commission.

I asked my boss, “Wouldn’t the client be paying higher fees on the same products?”

“Oh don’t worry, the market goes up 12% on average every year.  The client will make it back.”

The craziness of that statement from my boss about market returns is one thing, but the higher cost of the same product really bothered me.  What is a VUL really (find out here) and what exactly is the cost of a VUL?  My boss couldn’t tell me, however I found out years later while working with a client.

This client had over $300K in VULs.  I asked to review his statement.  I found fees, fees and more fees!  The ever more complicated fee names and contract language pushed me toward contacting the VUL Company. 

After many confusing phone calls, I totaled up the fees…….slightly higher than 10% PER YEAR!

The fees are bad enough, but we found this client was vastly over insured and had not made any return for ten years.

VULs are simply one example of the confusing and misleading financial industry.  Do you have an example where something seemed off in your financial life?  I’d love to hear your stories of your most confusing financial moments.  Please contact me directly or share on our Facebook page. 


Josh W.