Steven Stratton, Principal of SMS Insurance & Financial Services, Interviewed on the Influential Entrepreneurs Podcast Discussing the Importance of Life Insurance

Steven Stratton discusses his journey into financial services and the power of being of service in the insurance industry. 

Listen to the interview on the Business Innovators Radio Network:

Steven Stratton entered the financial services industry after owning a small trucking company in Southern California. In the late 70s, he and his business partner operated a trucking company that specialized in transporting motion picture films around Hollywood. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when his partner died in a car accident, triggering their buy-sell agreement. Regrettably, Steven did not have an advisor or insurance in place to fund the buy-sell agreement at that time. Consequently, he had to compensate his partner’s family for his share of the business, which ultimately led him to sell the company to his best customer, an air freight company. This experience dealt a devastating blow to Steven as a young entrepreneur, but it also served as the catalyst for his transition into the financial services industry. A few years later, his life insurance agent suggested that he consider joining the industry. Still grappling with the loss of his company, Steven made the decision to embark on a career change and explore opportunities in the life insurance sector. He began his journey as a customer service clerk, assisting orphaned policyholders who had insurance but no agent. This initial experience of providing service laid the groundwork for his successful career in financial services.

The podcast episode highlights the significance of being of service and delivering value before expecting anything in return, drawing inspiration from the book “The Go-Giver.” During the episode, guest Steven Stratton shares his personal journey in the life insurance industry, emphasizing his initial focus on providing service to orphaned policyholders. This approach aligns with the principles discussed in “The Go-Giver,” which emphasize building relationships based on trust and mutual benefit through a focus on helping others and delivering value. Adopting this mindset shift can lead to more fruitful interactions and ultimately contribute to long-term success in business.

The episode also underscores the importance of life insurance as a vital component of asset protection and accumulation strategies. However, it highlights the unfortunate reality that many individuals neglect to insure their lives or income. While people often prioritize insuring their cars or homes, they fail to recognize the significance of insuring their own lives and income. Steven suggests that individuals should prioritize life insurance as a fundamental cornerstone of financial planning, just like homeowners’ insurance and auto insurance. Neglecting to insure one’s life or income can leave individuals vulnerable to financial risks and potential losses. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals to recognize the value of life insurance and ensure they have adequate coverage to fulfill their commitments to others and safeguard their assets and accumulation strategies.

Steven said: “Life insurance is probably one of the most important parts of protecting one’s assets and accumulation strategies. It can be used for both. Oftentimes we’ll insure our car, but we won’t insure our life or we won’t insure our income. At least individuals aren’t talking with somebody to explore those things. Life insurance beneficiaries never ask what kind it was. So, the kind it is isn’t that important. The amount is what’s important. A beneficiary just wants to know that the insured person paid the premium. So, I start as a fundamental cornerstone of planning to make sure that, people have homeowners’ insurance and auto insurance and that they’re efficient with what they’re purchasing and then to make sure that they have life insurance to fulfill their promises to others.”


 About Steven Stratton

From 1979 to 1984, Steven owned a small transportation company in Southern California. He lost his business partner in a tragic auto accident. Unfortunately, he had an “Unfunded” Buy-Sell agreement and was forced to sell their company to pay his business partner’s family and fulfill his partnership obligation. He has leveraged this experience and other life events to assist his clients and colleagues since 1984.

Since 1984, he has been a licensed Life Insurance, Long Term Care, and Disability Income Specialist.  Additionally, he is an RIA, Registered Investment Advisor representative working with Individuals, families, and small business owners concerned with protecting those they love, care about, and are responsible for. He focuses on the design and implementation of protection and wealth accumulation strategies.

Investment Advisory Services are offered through Cornerstone Securities LLC.