How do I sign up for the program?
- First – please read the FAQs below.
- Second – You must sign and return the The IBC Practitioner Agreement Version 7 (downloadable PDF document). You can digitally fill out and digitally sign the user agreement, or I can accept a faxed copy or a scanned copy of the user agreement.
- Third – Once I receive the signed user agreement, I will schedule you for a live interview with the Nelson Nash Institute Board of Directors via Go-To-Meeting conferencing. This interview is intended to assess your expected success and suitability with the practitioners program; to ascertain your current level of experience in life insurance sales, and with IBC. The interview will accomplish two goals: (1) determine if you are a suitable candidate for the IBC Practitioner Program; and (2) if accepted in the program, determine if the IBC Practitioner Mentor Program is either a mandatory or optional requirement for the candidate prior to membership. All applicants will be notified whether the Mentor Program is mandatory or optional before their enrollment fee is accepted.
- After the board accepts your application into the program, you will be provided an online secure payment form. We accept checks and credit card payments.
- Once course enrollment payment is received, you will be shipped the signed copy of the Agreement, your receipt, and the IBC Practitioner’s Program Course Manual (350 page, three-ring bound book).
- Separately, you will receive an email with your enrollee USERID and PASSWORD to access the restricted program site, where you will work through the 13 lessons and take the final examination.
1.1 Q: What is the IBC Practitioner’s Program?
A: It is an educational program designed for financial professionals who wish to make the Infinite Banking Concept (IBC) part of their client relationships. The IBC Practitioner’s Program consists of online educational videos, a Program Manual, and an Exam. Graduates of the Program can be sure that they will possess a solid foundation in the theory and implementation of IBC, as well as an understanding of Austrian economics and its unique insights into our monetary and banking institutions.
1.2 Q: Why did you create this course? Nelson Nash already published two books and gives a 10-hour seminar.
A: Nash’s previous efforts focused on educating the general public. In contrast, this new Program is exclusively designed for financial professionals, including insurance producers but also attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, and anyone else who interacts with clients concerning their money. The purpose of the IBC Practitioner’s Program is to gather and nurture a group of trained and credible financial professionals that the public can trust for their needs related to IBC.
1.3 Q: What is the structure and content of the Program?
A: The Program is divided into three main sections: THE PROBLEM, THE SOLUTION, and THE IMPLEMENTATION. Within each section there are separate lectures, covering topics such an explanation of the housing bubble, an actuarial treatment of the whole life insurance product, how to read policy illustrations, and an overview of tax considerations in policy design. For a full course syllabus, click here.
1.4 Q: How long will it take me to become an IBC Practitioner?
A: The financial professional who enrolls in the Program must read the Manual (375 pages) and watch the series of online videos (approximately 12 hours of material), to prepare for an in-depth, online, multiple-choice exam that has a time limit of 2 hours. Once they have been admitted to the Program, enrollees can move through the online videos at their own pace, and can schedule an online exam at any time, but for most enrollees, it will take at least two weeks to absorb the education and adequately prepare for the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam with a score of 80% or higher, the student will be assigned an IBC Practitioner Mentor (see mentor program for details). (The student will be informed after the interview if he or she must complete the mentor phase prior to being granted membership status.) After successful completion of the mentoring phase, the student will be offered membership as an Authorized IBC Practitioner. the Nelson Nash Institute (NNI) website (if the graduate desires) will be updated to reflect the new IBC Practitioner, typically within one week.
1.5 Q: What are the technical requirements to enroll?
A: The enrollee needs a computer with an adequate internet connection to watch streaming video, and a webcam to allow for proctoring of the Exam, which will be provided by a third-party service. To review the technical requirements for remotely proctored testing, review this document.
1.6 Q: How much will it cost me to become an IBC Practitioner?
A: The initial enrollment fee for anyone who enrolls in calendar year 2017 is $1,295. The new enrollee will be provided with the course Manual, and access to the pre-recorded videos as well as any supplemental education that may be provided by the Program administrators. When he or she feels ready to be tested, the enrollee is responsible for paying the fees for the online exam directly to the testing agency (which will be approximately $25 per test, in 2017). After passing the Exam, and completing the mentor program as required, the enrollee is responsible for a Membership Fee of $520 to become an IBC Practitioner. Annual renewal fees will be required to maintain IBC Practitioner status, with the fee being $520. After this time, the “class of 2017” will then have a guaranteed ceiling on future renewal fees, which will rise according to the Consumer Price Index but with a cap of a 5% increase per year. There will be a similar fee structure for students enrolling in the Practitioner’s Program in future years, but the baseline enrollment and renewal fees (i.e. $1,295 and $520, respectively) may be adjusted upward for them. Once a financial professional becomes an IBC Practitioner, his or her renewal fee structure is locked in place, forever, with no additional payments for other products or services necessary to remain in good standing in the Program.
1.7 Q: Are there group discounts available to agencies who may sponsor/subsidize their insurance agents or other employees to enroll?
A: Yes. Parties interested in group discounts should contact NNI directly.
1.8 Q: Who was involved in the creation of this Program?
A: The initial creation of the IBC Practitioner’s Program was a collaborative effort between the discoverer of IBC Nelson Nash, the creator of the Nelson Nash Institute David Stearns, businessman L. Carlos Lara, and economist Robert P. Murphy. Throughout the process of designing the Program, its four creators sought the advice and review of various insurance actuaries, attorneys, and practicing producers to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the instruction.
1.9 Q: Why do you specifically mention “Austrian economics”? What does Austria have to do with life insurance?!
A: The creators of the Program felt that any professional advising clients on their money must have an adequate grounding in how the economy actually works. For decades, Nelson Nash has been a student of Austrian economics, which is the name for a certain school of thought (whose founders came from Austria) that specializes in the role of money and banking in the economy. Nash has described IBC as “Austrian economics in action.” It was particularly appropriate to incorporate the Austrian perspective in the IBC Practitioner’s Program, as one of the creators, Robert P. Murphy, has a Ph.D. in economics and has spent years educating the general public in this area.
1.10 Q: What is the relationship between the Nelson Nash Institute, and the IBC Practitioner’s Program?
A: The Nelson Nash Institute (NNI) is an educational institution with the mission of educating the public and financial professions about the Infinite Banking Concept, as developed by Nelson Nash. (The NNI website has the same URL as the previous Infinite Banking Concepts website.) The IBC Practitioner’s Program is simply one aspect of the NNI’s broader mission of consumer and producer education. Nelson Nash was personally involved with the transition from the original IBC online presence to the Nelson Nash Institute, and he was also involved in every aspect of the creation of the IBC Practitioner’s Program. One very important connection between the two entities is that only IBC Practitioners in good standing with the Program will be allowed to attend sessions of the IBC Think Tank, as explained more fully in Section 2.1 below.
2.0 BENEFITS TO THE IBC PRACTITIONER
2.1 Q: How does it benefit me to become an IBC Practitioner?
A: Once passing the Exam, graduates of the Program will be, if they desire, listed at the Nelson Nash Institute (NNI) website as “IBC Practitioner,” and will receive permission to use an official NNI logo on their website to advertise their new status. Not only will this lead to possible referrals from the NNI site itself, but it will also allow the IBC Practitioner to reassure potential clients that he or she has been through a rigorous educational program, designed in collaboration with an outside economist and insurance actuaries, validating the theory and implementation of IBC. Graduates of the Program will also receive customized excerpts of various materials from the course Manual, for use in client education. Furthermore, all graduates of the Program will receive complimentary subscriptions to the Lara-Murphy Report (LMR), which is a monthly financial magazine catering to those with an interest in IBC and Austrian economics. Issues of the LMR will often have articles of general interest to the public, and IBC Practitioners are encouraged to distribute the PDF copies of the magazine to potential clients to start conversations. Finally, in order to ensure that the public trusts the integrity of the IBC brand name, only IBC Practitioners in good standing with the Program will be allowed to attend sessions of the IBC Think Tank (in Birmingham, AL); only IBC Practitioners will be eligible for insurance-based seminars from Nelson Nash, Carlos Lara, and/or Robert P. Murphy.; and only IBC Practitioners will be allowed to make bulk purchases of Becoming Your Own Banker and How Privatized Banking Really Works from the NNI, as well as the sought-after Becoming Your Own Banker Seminar ProKit on DVD, featuring actual PowerPoint slides from Nash seminars. (Commercial booksellers will still be eligible for bulk book purchases.)
2.2 Q: What if I’ve been selling IBC policies for years? Am I going to actually learn something in this Program?
A: Yes! It’s true, the purpose of the IBC Practitioner’s Program is to provide a broad base of knowledge to ensure a minimal level of competency in all of the areas a financial professional needs, in order to adequately discuss IBC with his or her clients. Even so, the old pro will still benefit from the training. Veteran IBC producers already know that IBC works, but after taking the Program they are very likely to have a better understanding of why it works.
2.3 Q: If I join the Program, will I receive specialized computer software to show my clients, and/or other marketing tools to help me promote IBC?
A: No. The purpose of the IBC Practitioner’s Program is to train and educate financial professionals, not to create a “selling system” for IBC. The Program will not directly provide marketing tools, except for the specific items (listing at the website, excerpts from the course Manual intended for the general public, free subscription to the LMR, etc.) described above. The NNI or other entities may provide such IBC-specific marketing tools, but these will not fall under the umbrella of the IBC Practitioner’s Program, which is strictly educational. However, keep in mind that many of these other “tools” will be available only to IBC Practitioners in good standing with the Program.
2.4 Q: If I become an IBC Practitioner, will I be permitted to train other financial professionals in IBC?
A: No. The IBC Practitioner is someone whom the NNI will publicly recognize as trained to work with the general public in financial matters related to IBC. However, passing the Program’s online Exam is not sufficient to receive permission from IBC LLC to train other financial professionals in IBC. Going forward, the NNI will draw upon the ranks of IBC Practitioners for education of the growing community, including speaking roles at the IBC Think Tank and even contributing materials to the evolving IBC Practitioner’s Program itself. Naturally, being an IBC Practitioner will be a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for these opportunities
3.0 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE IBC PRACTITIONER
3.1 Q: What’s the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement?
A: When enrolling in the Program, the financial professional must sign the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement. This is a legal document between the student and IBC LLC, spelling out the respective commitments of both parties. This FAQ will summarize its essential elements. Click here to download a PDF copy of the actual Agreement.
3.2 Q: What’s the gist of the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement?
A: The Agreement specifies that IBC will provide a course Manual, a series of restricted-access online educational videos, and an Exam to become an IBC Practitioner. The student, in turn, will provide the initial enrollment fee and membership fee (for the first year), and then renewal fees in subsequent years. If the student is a financial professional who wishes to advertise his status as an IBC Practitioner, he acknowledges possession of the proper licensing and other legal requirements to practice in his industry. The student agrees not to reproduce the contents of the videos or the course Manual in any way, save for the customized handouts he will receive upon graduation. Finally, the student agrees for those clients who want an IBC policy, he will design it according to certain characteristics to ensure that these specific clients are getting a “Nelson Nash” policy, as described in his books and seminars.
3.3 Q: What does the Program mean by a client wanting an IBC policy?
A: If an IBC Practitioner is dealing with a client who asks for an “IBC,” “Nelson Nash,” “privatized banking,” or “banking” policy, or if the Practitioner recommends such a policy to the client, and/or if the client has come to the Practitioner by referral from his listing at the NNI website, then and only then the Practitioner must be sure to set this particular client up with a dividend-paying, whole life policy.
3.4 Q: Am I allowed to sell policies other than whole life to my non-IBC clients?
A: Yes! The restriction of a dividend-paying whole life policy applies only to those clients who desire an IBC policy, as described above. It is perfectly acceptable for the IBC Practitioner to provide other types of insurance policies for clients, so long as these clients do not believe they are receiving policies to serve the purposes conceived by Nelson Nash.
3.5 Q: If I join the program, but then eventually decide to stop my renewal fees, can I go back to my old way of doing business—which involved handing out Nelson’s book? By signing the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement, am I somehow restricting my future marketing strategies?
A: By joining the IBC Practitioner’s Program, the financial professional grants no more legal power to IBC over his practices, than what IBC LLC already owns. Specifically, IBC LLC already has the legal power—with or without a signature on the IBC Practitioner Agreement—to stop financial professionals from using its trademarks “The Infinite Banking Concept” and “Becoming Your Own Banker,” and/or reproducing or creating derivative works of IBC LLC’s copyrighted works without permission. Generally speaking, the “penalty” for an enrollee violating the terms of the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement is merely removal from the ranks of IBC Practitioners. The only additional penalty that could possibly emanate from the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement per se, would be the case where an enrollee takes material from the course Manual and/or its online videos, and attempts to reproduce it for the general public or other financial professionals, without permission from IBC. But with respect to Becoming Your Own Banker and How Privatized Banking Really Works (two of the texts for the Program), the IBC Practitioner’s Agreement does not grant the copyright owners of these books any legal rights that they don’t already possess.