The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Sheri Wilson
1. View your insurance premium as an investment and a relationship with your agent or carrier
2. Review all insurance coverage with your agent every year
3. Talk to your kids about money
4. It’s never too late to learn something new, to fulfill a dream or a goal
5. It’s never too early or too late to create a financial plan
On this episode of the Person Behind the Professional, we were honored to have Sheri Wilson with us. Sheri is a Farmers Insurance agent in McKinney, Texas. She started her agency in 2015 and before that was a financial advisor and planner. One of the big things discussed in this episode is Sheri’s book, Do I Have To?, which was released in February 2018.
Within her agency, she offers Auto, Home, Life, and Commercial Insurance (and more) through Farmers, but can also shop through a brokerage if Farmers doesn’t offer what the client needs. She is also excited to be able to offer securities and financial planning through Farmers.
Her book, Do I Have To?, was inspired by her experience and passion for financial planning, and is specifically targeted toward millennials and Generation Z. When she was a financial advisor, she was working with some client’s kids that had recently graduated and was teaching them how to put their financial house in order. Through this, she realized that millennials are knowledgeable and making money. However, they generally don’t worry about managing it, and instead just use it to buy what’s in front of them. Based on her personal experience, she encourages young people to engage in conversation with mentors and elders, like parents and grandparents about their financial successes and failures. With her book, she aims to help millennials and even the younger generations manage their money more efficiently.
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Thanks for listening today. My name is Keagan with BriteBee where insurance quotes just don’t sting and today on the personal behind the professional, we are excited to sit down with Sheri Wilson, Farmers insurance agent McKinney, Texas. Sheri started her agency back in 2015 and before that was a financial advisor. She just actually just came up with a book in February of this year called do I have to, which we’ll hear more about in a little while. Hey Sheri, Thanks for being on.
Hi Keagan. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here today.
Well, I am too. Will tell us just a little bit about you and your agency.
Well, I, um, became a farmer’s agent in late 2015 in November. Prior to that I was a financial advisor or a financial planner and that means that we help clients with their cash management strategies that look at investments, retirement, college funding, life insurance for income protection. Things like that, um, and what a lot of people don’t realize about farmers is many agents are securities licensed and cannot still offer types of financial planning, cash management strategies. So it was a really good fit for me when I wanted to become a business owner. So that’s kind of why I picked farmers
to partner with the best of both worlds. So you’re still offering the financial advice and advising but, but also being able to sell some additional products.
Yes, yes. It’s, it’s, you know, in financial planning we look at expenses and we look at income and you know, adding the auto and home is just another expense that I get to look at and help my clients reduce their expenses, make sure they have the right coverage to match with their asset level. So it’s a, another big broad look at their insurances and a different way.
And financial advising. One of the big things is considering your insurance. That’s, I mean that’s one of the first things that you do, you think about and talk about right in financial advising is making sure that you have the proper insurance in place. So it’s something that allows you to help them versus you having to recommend them go somewhere else.
Yes, yes it is. So and being able to look at their assets, you know, they’re not just coming to me to shop their insurance if I’m working with them on their financial planning, I’m looking at everything. How having the right coverage or not having the right coverage can affect their future income, their current budget, if they have enough money in their cash reserve to pay deductibles if they have total losses. So it’s a totally different way of looking at someone’s auto and home and life.
So do you believe people walk into your office and they’re looking for home and auto insurance and then you try to help them understand that you do offer more? Or is it the other way around?
It’s typically exactly how you stated. They come into us because everybody knows farmers is really good at auto and home when they walk in our door, the first thing that we want to do is solve the first problem they come in to us to solve and that’s typically their auto and home. And then we talked to them and yes, we uncover everything that we can do for them and a lot of people are surprised that we were able to help them in so many different ways.
Definitely. And one of the questions I would have, and, and you know, we know home and auto insurance is commissioned based, you know, every, everyone knows that that’s, that’s usually how insurance agents are making their money. But what about on the financial side? You know, I know some financial advisors take a fee, but also a lot of financial advisors just, um, are, are commission based as well. What does that look like for a farmer’s insurance agent?
Well, at farmers is set up to meet the Middle Middle America main street investors. We do not charge a financial planning fee. Many of our funds are directed fund, so there’s, we’re kind of cutting out the middle fees that are involved. So we’re actually a really inexpensive model for someone who has, who’s the middle America that is trying to save for retirement, uh, reduce the amount of fees that they have so that they can put more money toward their future.
Well, I know that’s somewhat of a personal question, but I think also people like to know how people make money because it’s a mindset of when they go in there are there, are people just trying to sell me something or are they actually trying to help me? Um, and I think that’s a fear for a lot of people. Do you, do you experience that when you talk to people about financial advising?
Yes. It doesn’t matter how much money someone has to invest, whether you have a few million to invest or if you have $50,000 to invest or $50 a month, everybody that is investing in any type of investment vehicle does not want to spend all of their money on fees. So everyone wants to find the best solution that’s going to give them the best return for the last less amount of cost. Farmers just has a really good model for everybody we can work with behind that individual, but we’re perfectly positioned for that middle investor
sense. Usually the middle of the middle class, which were a lot of us, a lot of us are, so that’s great. So tell us a little bit about your agency philosophy in the way you serve people.
Well, we offer an insurance review for whether someone’s a prospect or if they’re a client, if they’re a prospect, we first look at what they have in place and then we look at their premiums, how much they’re paying, and if it makes sense to move to farmers, we’re saving them money then then they move over to farmers if they don’t, if it’s not saving them money, then we offered them advice or recommendations to improve their coverage with their current company. So whether they come to farmers or if they stay with their current company, they’re better off when they had a conversation with us then if they had never called her office.
So adding value all the way around.
Yes. So, and with our current clients, are our services geared around following up with them at every renewal, whether it’s a six month auto or an annual auto, uh, we follow up at every renewal, we review with them what changes have occurred, if any, and then we adjust their coverages to align with either their new asset level or whatever change that may have occurred. If they have a new baby, maybe they’re ready for life insurance, whatever that is. Um, we review their changes and we make modifications to their coverage to keep up with those changes.
Definitely everyone knows a little bit about insurance and a lot of people don’t like to talk about insurance. But I think something that’s very interesting with you is that you’ve written a book. Do I have to, and I want to get into that a little bit because that is very interesting and we don’t see many insurance agents writing books. I have talked to a few recently since I talked to you last, which was very interesting, but why in the world would you be writing a book?
Well, I’m the kind of started the idea for the book started when I was a financial advisor and it just kind of didn’t really come to fruition or the meat of it didn’t come to fruition until after I had already left my position as a financial advisor and was beginning the process of becoming a farmer’s agent. Um, and it came about while working with some clients, children, they recently graduated and they asked me to sit down with them to talk with them about how to put their financial house in order so that they can, a stat of dead bees. Been wisely and see for the parents would stay off my payroll, right. We parents, we want to get them off our payroll as soon as possible because the more time that we spend, the more money we spend on them. It can interfere with our plans for retirement.
What I found in this, this group of recent graduates, the millennials and the Gen Z, they are so smart, they have so much knowledge at their fingertips and they’re making a lot of money. They’re coming out making some really good money and they don’t always know how to put that structure in place. They also, with that knowledge, comes information you at their fingertips. They can see what the Kardashians are buying, what the next piece of electronic equipment that’s coming out and they want. You have all this money that they’re making. It’s almost like winning the lottery. What can I go buy and spend and we have such an instant gratification society that it’s, Oh, I see the Kardashians have a new electronic items. I got to go get it. And so we see when a phone, a new phone comes out, we see these long lines of people going in drop a thousand dollars on a phone.
Well, you know, when their phone that they have works perfectly fine. Um, and so what the book is designed to do is to start the conversation around some of the fundamentals that they need to consider before going out and getting in line for that new phone or running to the mall. Because Kim Kardashian is wearing some new fabulous item. It’s aligning their spending with their values, helping them identify what their values are, what the principles are, and understanding what stewardship is all about. The other piece that’s in the book is engaging in conversation with your parents and your grandparents and mentors in your life and talking to them about their financial successes and failures, learning from their experiences and when you do that, you can save yourself a lot of time and money if you take their advice.
I can attest to that is we do have a wonderful relationship and I’m so thankful and grateful for because I know that’s not always how it goes and I have taken many pieces of advice regarding the financials and you doing it while I’m dragging my feet all the way to the car after going to their house and it has saved me multiple times. And so do you feel like this book is helping spur on more conversations like this to where yeah, they’re not easy conversations but it. It definitely could be more beneficial later on.
I think so, and I give examples in the book of conversations that I had with my parents. The way I got started with those types of conversations was, you know, my dad is getting older, he’s 87 now and um, I realized he’s been giving me advice all throughout my marriage, raising my kids with finances, with children, with their education, but I hadn’t written it down. So there was a family event we are going to, we go back to my hometown, which is in Kansas, everything’s Gimme. And so this thanksgiving, about four or five years ago, I decided I was going sit down with him and start writing down his wisdom. And so I just asked him for two pieces of advice, two of his most important things that he would give me or share with me that I could pass down to my kids. So that started every time I met up with them, whether he was coming down here or up there, it started a trend that he would have two more for me and two more for me and two more for me.
So I started writing them all down. So I share some of those in the book and at the very back of the book I have a section called nuggets of wisdom that you can take to your parents and grandparents and go start talking to them and say, give me two pieces of advice and in the back of the book you can write down what they gave you and who gave it to you. You can put a date there if you want to. So you start to build your references from your parents and your grandparents and your mentors. It doesn’t have to be a family member. It could be a mentor from college or high school or you know your church. Wherever you find that you found someone that you respect and value their opinion and you would accept their advice. Just write it down
and start this community of young people looking more towards their family, to their mentors and seeking that advice because that seems. That seems like a hard task.
It’s only as hard as you make it because we are all walking around and the cell phone companies and people who sell a cell phone, they. Their whole advertising is about staying connected. So use your phone, use your technology to stay connected with your family. My mom is 78 years old. We got her an iphone and she texts and she is on facebook just like everybody else. So stay connected with them. Share photos, ask questions if that’s how you like to communicate and the millennials and Gen z is like to communicate through text. Then do that. Whatever you need to do to stay connected and go visit them. So take time to go visit your family. I think that’s so important to stay connected.
And you’re going to be doing a book signing in Dallas this coming week weekend, right?
Yes. August twelfth from noon until they kicked me out. I’ll stay until people stop coming or you know, it’s also back to school. So there’s going to be a lot of people out there. So I’ll stay until, you know, Barnes and noble tells me you’ve got to go.
Okay, so tell us, tell us where exactly and we’ll make sure to put this in our show notes as well at where exactly are you going to be at Barnes and noble and Dallas.
It’ll be at the mall it stonebriar centre and. Okay,
fantastic. Okay, well that’s going to be great and they can actually purchase through your book there as well and then have your autograph as well, right?
Awesome. That is so great. Well let’s jump back over to insurance real quick and just tell me quickly, I know you already talked a little bit about this, but tell me quickly about the products you offer and any other companies that you offer.
Okay. We go, you know, I am a farmer’s agent so I partnered with farmers for reason. They pay their claims. They have a fabulous claims team, a catastrophic claims team that they deploy when there’s no hurricane harvey or tornadoes. We’re in Texas, so we have a lot of different catastrophic events that happened. So I partnered with farmers for a reason. So farmers is my go to for auto home farmers does all offer a fabulous commercial products for a lot of different categories, but if they don’t offer it for that category of business, then I do have the opportunity to become like an independent shop through a brokerage and then I can go to other carriers like the Hartford, Liberty Republic, a lot of different carriers are available on the commercial side. We also have specialty lines for landlord policies, condos, boats, rvs, jet skis through foremost is a part of farmers. So it’s our specialty products or three foremost, which is a company that is owned by farmers, so it’s still in the farmers family. And then we also have our financial products through farmers financial solutions and it is variable products for life insurance and annuities. And then we also have the major fund companies that we can sell American funds, Putnam, Franklin Templeton, black rock. There’s just a whole bunch of them, um, to dimension Voya products that we sell axa annuities. So we do a lot of ways that we can serve our clients through our agency.
So one thing we always like to end up with is five key takeaways from Sherry that you want to share with everyone else.
High five takeaways. I’m going to start with the insurance. Number one is to view your insurance premium as an investment in a relationship with your agent or your carrier. A return on that investment is how they pay their claims. And so for me, it’s farmers and they’re one of the best in the business in my opinion. Um, number two is review of your insurance coverage with your agents every year at renewal. And if your agent is an offering it or doesn’t do it and just expects you to renew automatically, then maybe it’s time to find someone else who will keep up with your, your ever changing needs. Keep your best interest in mind. My third takeaway would be talk to your kids about money. You know, as a parent, I never wanted to share my failures with my kids. I always wanted to look good to them and tell them all the great things I did in that right.
They’ll learn more from our failures than they ever will. Our successes, so share it with them. A number four is when it as it relates to money and setting goals and that’s part of financial planning is it’s never too late to learn something new to fulfill a dream or a goal. So write it down, find out what it is that you really care about, write that down and start working towards it. Then I never thought I’d be a business owner, but here I am and that started a whole new way for me to dream and fulfill a goal and you know, find my success. And then number five, it’s never too early and it’s never too late to create a financial plan. You know, the main thing is that we just have to get started.
Yeah, definitely. Share what’s the best way to reach out to you if people are looking for financial planning, if they’re looking to learn more. A little bit about your book or just home and auto insurance will, where can they find you?
I have a website. It’s Sherry Wilson, agency Dot Com and there’s a, there’s a contact us sheet. I have a blog on that website also that kind of relates to financial planning more than it does to insurance, but you can contact us through the website. You can contact us at our office and our office number four, six, nine, nine, nine, eight, seven, four, nine, four. And we will always pick up the phone. I don’t like to have to call people back so we do have voicemail, but we don’t like to use it. We like to answer the call right away. Get to your knees as quickly as possible.
Well thank you again for being on today and giving us a little insight on your agency, you and also on your book. I’m really excited to, to come. I’m actually going to be in Dallas and I’m really going to try to be there to at least get a book signed, uh, for, for me and my family. My kids are a little bit younger, a five and three, a three today. And you know, it’s, it’s always good to start saying, right,
exactly. It’s never too early and never too late.
That’s right. So we’ll just start counting our pennies with them. And start teaching them that way first before I have to hand out hundreds of dollars. Excellent. That great. Well, we want to remind everyone to make sure to subscribe to the podcast and also give us a review on what you thought about Sherry Wilson. Don’t forget if you are looking for insurance quotes that don’t staying, make sure to go to [inaudible] dot com and give us a chance and click get a quote type and Sherry Wilson’s name and you’ll find her there with her bio and many more pieces of information about her. Everyone have a wonderful day and we’ll see you all next time.
Buy Sheri’s Book at Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/do-i-have-to-sheri-a-wilson/1127957511?ean=9781945507809#/
Find Sheri’s Insurance Agency: https://agents.farmers.com/tx/mckinney/sheri-wilson
Find Sheri on BriteBee: https://app.britebee.com/agents/sheri_wilson_106