The Corner

Downside of Modern Life

Look, you know how I hate to grumble, but…

In the mail today I got a wee (actually, quarto-size) booklet (actually,

book) from my life insurance company (the Hartford). Title: “Stag Variable

Life Insurance Products — Underlying Funds.” The introductory page begins:

“Dear Policyowner—The enclosed updated funds prospectuses contain

important informationa bout the many investment choices within your variable

life insurance polcy…”

There follow 400 pages packed with small-font text, graphs, bar charts, and


I’m willing to believe that this stuff is “important.” Probably, if I

gave over a couple of weeks to studying it, I could improve my prospects of

having some decent retirement income. But who on earth’s got the time? Or

expertise — I only recently figured out the difference between a stock and

a bond.

I’ve always tried to do my best with stashing stuff away for

retirement/kids’ college/etc. (While, being a natural pessimist, always

nursing the dark suspicion that it will all disappear in some financial

catastrophe, or be stolen off me by the government somehow.) I’m not going

to read 400 pages of financial crap, though. Any Hartford directors among

the NRO readership? Will you please stop sending me this stuff?


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