I grew up on our family farm in Hudson, Ohio, located in NE Ohio's Summit County. In the middle of my last high-school year I asked my parents to give their permission for me to enroll, as a 17
year-old minor, in the US Naval Air Reserves "weekend warrior" O-2 training program at the Akron, Ohio Naval Air Station. I graduated near the top in class of forty-seven graduates from high-school in Hudson, Ohio. After spending part of the summer on active training duty I commuted from home to Kent State University and to NAS Akron. The following summer my Navy Squadron flew an east coast logistical air wing based at Norfolk, VA Naval Air Station. I have fond memories of flying at 17 - 20 years of age in these Navy propeller-driven airplanes: PBY, SNJ, SNB, TBM, and R4D.
In 1976 I decided to go into business for myself and to return to my mid-western roots. In the course of a year I built an early Century-21 real estate franchise into the SE Ohio region's leading office in all areas: recruiting, listings, sales, and profit. Bored with that business, I began to study the way that personal financial products were marketed, especially "savings-type" or "money-back" life-insurance. These were financial contracts that I could never fully comprehend.
After sending away for The Consumers Union Guide to Life Insurance and reading it carefully, it became obvious to me that accurate information was needed from other than the industry's trained salesmen and their clever General Agents. I then studied several books on the subject, including Norman F. Dacey's What's Wrong with Your Life Insurance, G. Scott Reynolds' The Mortality Merchants, the classic chapter #13 on life-insurance in Venita Van Caspel's Money Dynamics, and Randal A. Hendricks definitive study, "A Legal Analysis of the Sale of Life Insurance", [The Houston Law Review 810 (1969)]. I decided to recruit and train a marketing organization that would accurately inform consumers, enabling them to make financial decisions in the interest of their families rather than in those of already financially bloated life-insurance companies. I met and joined forces with a couple of older highly successful and experienced sales executives, the men who introduced the marketing of mutual funds to the American public. Together, over the next several years, we worked with the progressive insurance companies for which they designed products my own company marketed.
In 1980 I wrote and self-published Financial Recovery. Advertised in full-page ads in "Life Insurance Selling" magazine, where it received a favorable review, thousands of copies were bought by individual agents and agencies across America where it helped to create substantial industry changes. From 1980 to 1985 I built, owned, and managed a company that became one of the top volume diversified brokerage agencies in America, marketing selected financial products nationally including tax-deferred single-premium annuities before the tax-law was changed from FIFO to LIFO effective Aug. 14, 1982 and selling attractive unregistered tax-sheltered investments before the IRS eliminated them with TEFRA. Before the personal computer age I struggled to learn how to program the TI-59 in order to provide responsible agents throughout the country a means of calculating and presenting replicable and accountable financial product analyses for their clients at the point of sale.
P & L objectives of financial corporations constitute a conflict of interest with savings and retirement interests of working men and women. It is obvious today that corporate government and
crony capitalism have triumphed over democracy and the American people.
In April of 2005 I published at BigEye.com The New American Slavery, written by Jolly Roger and containing the information, "This economy is going to crash like a freight train." Before home values plummeted I unlocked millions of dollars of what I referred to as "phantom equity" and put it into the pockets of hundreds of senior homeowners in Florida by means of then "controversial" reverse mortgages. Although I no longer originate reverse mortgages myself, I refer persons who inquire about reverse mortgages to someone who has been in the business for more than a decade and who I know provides honest and capable advice and service.
As others my age I miss those who were close to me and have departed life, especially my brother and a special lady. I greatly enjoy meeting new people and value a few friends I have made locally over the years. Personal time is spent reading, listening to WSMR (streaming online worldwide at www.wsmr.org) - the amazing classical music station to which I am proud to contribute as a "founding member". I also write columns as a freelance journalist for publication on progressive web sites such as
Since selling my sailboat I have returned to working at my own pace, sharing with others some practical things that I have learned pertaining to safeguarding money within families. My current financial services website is at StewartOgilby.com