Built for all times.

Strong, just like always.

Even today, the Great Recession lingers as a vivid and sobering reminder of what can happen when those responsible for managing others’ finances fall away from prudent practices.

Unchecked, risky, and/or unethical behavior usually reveals itself, and the consequences for consumers can be devastating. Many Americans have yet to fully recover from the impact of the financial crisis.

Yet, just as it has for generations, New York Life stands safe and secure. Throughout our history, our policyholders have been able to count on us during both good times and bad.

Back in 2008, New York Life CEO Ted Mathas said, “We were built for times like these.” It can also be said that New York Life is built for all times. Because even in less turbulent market environments, New York Life continues to provide unwavering value and security.

We are built on four basic cornerstones:
  • The necessity of financial strength to underpin all promises.
  • The role of mutuality in protecting policyholders’ interests.
  • The social and financial imperative of life insurance.
  • The value of our career agency system.

Top marks for financial strength.

As a consumer, it’s good practice to do your homework when purchasing life insurance. After all, what you’re really buying is a promise that the life insurance company will make good on its obligations to you. A life insurance company that has the highest financial strength ratings awarded to any life insurer from all four major credit rating agencies is clearly a wise place to start when looking for security.*

The mutual advantage: Putting policyholders first.

A mutual insurance company, simply put, is a company that is not publicly traded and therefore has no shareholders. With a mutual insurance company, clients who purchase certain “participating” products—such as whole life insurance—are entitled to vote in the board of directors elections and to share in any annual dividends that may be declared. These policyholders have the right to expect the company’s highest priority to be safeguarding their interests.

In contrast, publicly traded life insurance companies serve more than one constituency. Along with their policy owners, they must satisfy the needs of their outside investors. A primary responsibility of these companies is to provide the best possible return on their shareholders’ investment.

Mutuality at work: New York Life’s investment strategy.

We rigorously control expenses, and we publish financial reports for our policyholders and other stakeholders. In other words, we combine the results-driven culture of a publicly owned company with the policy owner focus of a mutual company. For a copy of the 2017 Report to Policyholders, click here.

At New York Life, our investment philosophy is based on careful risk-return analyses. We believe the guiding principles and disciplines that form the basis for sound investing include:

  • Maintaining diversification. No matter how attractive an investment opportunity is, we avoid outsized stakes in any single investment. Because of this, we have had very low levels of exposure to individual firms. New York Life is not immune to what occurs in the financial markets, but because we maintain diversification and adjust credit limits depending on credit quality, no one single troubled investment should cause us, or you, undue concern.
  • Conducting our own research. Rather than relying on ratings agencies such as S&P or Moody’s to do our work for us, we independently make our own investment decisions based on our own bottom-up research.
  • Insisting on getting paid for taking risk. If we do not think a security is priced right, we will not invest.
  • Taking a long-term view. We invest for the long term because we make long-term commitments to our policyholders. We will and do forsake the potential of short-term gains in order to preserve long-term safety.
  • Maintaining ample liquidity. We ensure we have enough liquid assets to meet our obligations to our policyholders.
  • Avoiding blindly following the crowd. We have learned over the years to avoid the frenzy of overheated markets and to avoid panic when markets tumble.

Your agent and client support.

New York Life’s career agency system is the heart of the company. As evidence of the quality training and expertise of our agents, New York Life agents have led the Million Dollar Round Table (the premier association for excellence in the life insurance industry) for 61 consecutive years. We believe our policy owners should always be able to rely on top-level service from their agents.

Held to the highest standards, your agent’s mission is to ensure you are given the greatest possible attention and to assist you both today and as your needs change, well into the future.

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