The MPI: future of savings or snake-oil scam?

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A new financial personality is making waves in the marketing world with his innovative financial strategies. He claims to provide better performance than any investment – with none of the risk! Wowie zowie, can it be true?

Well, first I’ll have you check out his pitch for yourself. Click the thumbnail below to see the TikTok that got me thinking about this stuff in the first place:

This guy is the founder and CEO of something he calls MPI® Unlimited. Although the company is technically a life insurance outfit, their “Maximum Premium Indexing Secure Compound Interest Account” (or just MPI – whew) seems to do a lot more than that.

In fact, it sounds downright miraculous. So you may be wondering…

Is it a scam?

Not technically. But that doesn’t mean it’s the financial silver bullet it’s made out to be, either. Did you notice the layout of the whiteboard that Ray refers to? On the left is a column for IRAs, listing both pros and cons. On the right is a column for MPI, which lists… only pros. A lot of them.


If you poke around the company’s website, you’ll probably come upon this infographic:

Again, hmmmm. Safety and growth tend to work against each other, so any product that claims to do both is either a genuine game-changer, or (more likely) it doesn’t do both equally well.

Is it a miracle?

While I haven’t tried it myself, I’m sure that the MPI belongs in the latter category. That is, while it does have compelling features for both security and returns, it also involves some major compromises.

If you want a closer look at why that is, be sure to check out our accompanying blog post this week. For now, though, let’s look at a revised version of that pros and cons list:

Would it work for you?

In short, probably not. The MPI combines features of both insurance and investment – very different objectives that tend to work against each other. It’s just another version of the tradeoff between risk and return, and the best it can do is split the difference.

Sure, you won’t lose money to the stock market; but you also won’t earn very much thanks to the account’s limited growth. When you throw in its high premiums and minimum cash requirements, this seemingly foolproof method turns out to be more expensive than its worth. For many people, anyway.

As I’ve said many times before, no financial problem has a one-size-fits-all solution. So when someone pitches you a miracle cure, always ask yourself: “what aren’t they telling me?”

— Graham