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I Help People have a Retirement by Leveraging Bank Money.


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Hello, I’m Jim Barlow of OakTree Premium Finance.                                                                                                                                                                        

We leverage life insurance policies to accumulate more assets for retirement. It is very similar to using leverage to finance buying a home.  This is a unique niche of the investing world.  In a sense I merge finance, investing and life insurance, creating a tax-free investment which I believe will be the best possible, safe performing investment of my client's lives.  I use this leveraged premium finance strategies not only to provide a private retirement income for my clients but also for business succession plans, wealth transfer plans and legacy plans. Two levels: 1. Leverage Now (Kai-Zen) (Maximum Fund plus 3 to 1 leverage) 2. Maximum Leverage (Leverage Now plus additional leverage. Collateral needed)

Merging Finance, Investing and Life Insurance.

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INNOVATIVE leveraged retirement income solutions

My Story

After 34 years as an investment advisor I sold my business, Jim Barlow Advisors (now Plan 4 Wealth), to my son-in-law, Scott Cheshire and a friend of mine, Darin Arnell.

While I loved working in the investment industry (It has been my lifelong passion), it was time for me to slow down and handle a unique niche of the investing world.

Jim Barlow  


My background spans many years beginning at IDS in 1983 and then EF Hutton in 1985 where I learned the profession of being an investment advisor and financial planner. After those introductory years, I went on to become a Vice President and Senior Financial Consultant at Zions Investment Securities, working there for well over a decade.

In June of 2001, I founded my very own investment advisor firm, Jim Barlow Advisors. For almost two decades, I helped a variety of individuals and businesses with every aspect of their financial and investment strategy.

During those years at Zions and later at my own firm I expanded my influence in the financial industry by being an adjunct professor at Weber State University. I taught the “Introduction to Investment” class for 13 years.

After spending many years in the investment advisory business, I decided to transition and start a new practice focused on leveraging life insurance policies to accumulate more retirement income from less accumulated savings. 

Services Offered


Keep More for Retirement

Lifestyle preservation strategies designed for more supplemental retirement income, life-insurance protection, and alternative tax advantage asset allocations.

  • Kai-Zen - Supplental income for those earning over $100,000
  • Enhanced Split Dollar- Supplemental income for those earning over $100,000 and working in a C-Corp or non-profit.


Taking Care of Business

All business leaders know issues such as recruit & retain, buy/sell, key-man, and succession plans are important. We have a unique solution for that.

  • Kai-Zen For Recruit Retain
  • Kai-Zen For Keyman Plan
  • Kai-Zen For Partner Buy Out
  • Kai-Zen For Succession Plans
  • Kai-Zen For future liabilities such as deferred compensation.
  • Tri-Zen -Pretax benefit for C-Corps and non-profits.
  • CashStream -100% financing to fund employee benefits.


Pass Wealth to My Heirs

Estate planning strategies designed to pass tax-free wealth to heirs and provide liquidity for estate taxes.

  • Life Strategies -Clients with a net worth greater than $10m, that need estate planning.
  • Multi-Gen -$25m+ networth, who need estate solutions over multi generations.
  • Premium Finance Rescue -Clients who are concerned with their existing plans.
  • Trust Revitalization -For family trusts worried about wealth dilution.

Services not offered: Mutual Funds, Managed Money, Stocks, Municipal, Corporate & Government Bonds, REITs, ETFs, and Structured Notes/CDs. For these products and services we recommend visiting my old company that  I sold to my son in law, Scott Cheshire and Darin Arnell, 'Plan 4 Wealth' at www.P4Wealth.com, 801-773-1644

Bringing You the Best

OakTree's Premium Finance strategyies.

In today’s world, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to build and protect your assets — for both you and your family.

While traditional life insurance helps protect you and your loved ones from unforeseen circumstances and ailments, Kai-Zen  premium financed life insurance helps you build your wealth with limited market risk while simultaneously generating potential tax-free benefits.

What is Kai-Zen?

Kai-Zen is a strategy that helps you maintain your current lifestyle in the event of a chronic illness, premature death, or an inability to sufficiently save for retirement.  Protecting your earnings is critical to insuring your ability to save for retirement. Due to limitations, traditional retirement plans are typically insufficient for high-income earners. If you want to maintain your lifestyle in retirement, you need a proactive strategy that puts more money toward protecting your future income without putting a drain on your current finances.

Kai-Zen is the ONLY strategy that uses leverage to help you acquire more of the benefits you need to financially protect you and your family. Its unique fusion of financing and life insurance offers you more protections and the potential to earn more for retirement than you could obtain without leverage.

How it Works?

The Kai-Zen strategy is simple. Premiums are jointly funded by bank financing and the participant or employer. The bank financing provides the majority of the total contribution to the plan, and the life insurance policy itself is the full security for the loan.  This strategy is specifically designed so that the participant is not required to go through financial underwriting or sign any loan documents.  As an additional protection, Kai-Zen’s structure is also set up to protect your benefits in the event of employer bankruptcy.

By using bank financing, the Kai-Zen strategy allows you to realize benefits beyond your expectations while keeping contributions within your means.

This concept is not much different than financing a house – you use a mortgage to leverage the assets you have on hand to buy more house than you could afford on your own.  Money is borrowed to buy more house, or with Kai-Zen, more benefits.  With Kai-Zen, you are buying a life insurance policy with a larger death benefit, more living benefit protections, and the potential for more cash accumulation without the risk of losses (due to declines in a market index).

To read more, download our Kai-Zen brochure, which varies by carrier: National Life or Allianz.

Business Applications

The departure or premature loss of a key executive can significantly affect a company’s bottom line. The Kai-Zen Strategy helps provide the additional funding required to address the following business situations effectively:

  • Executive Bonuses
  • Buy/Sell
  • Key Man
  • Partner Buyout
  • Succession Planning
  • Highly Compensated Employee Incentives

Kai-Zen Introduction                   Changing the Future of

                                                       Executive Benefits.                       Testimonials

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Awesome Information

Did You Know?
  • According to Retirement Success, How much you have to spend in retirement is mostly determined by how much you save, not where you invest it!
  • 90% of all households earning over $200,000 are chronically under saving for retirement in order to preserve their current quality of life.
  • Average savings rate in the US is 6.5%. Top 10% of income earners save on average 9% to 12%.
  • Required savings rate to maintain lifestyle for a 45-year-old is estimated to be roughly 35%.
  • Among current retirees, 43% said they had to retire earlier than they'd hoped, typically due to either health issues or losing their job, according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
  • 66.5% of all bankruptcies filed due to health-care costs. Why: High cost of care and/or time off work.
  • Majority of Americans are one medical emergency away from financial ruin.
  • Fixed life insurance products are safer to lend to than bonds.
  • One of the most significant advantages of life insurance products is their ability to accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis.
  • IUL products capture most of the upside of the market and none of the downside.
  • IULs and similar cash value life insurance products allow you to withdraw tax-free policy loans in the event of critical illness, critical injury, chronic illness, and terminal illness.
  • IULs and similar cash value life insurance products allow you to withdraw cash tax-free from the policy to supplement your retirement income.
  • Using leverage to buy life insurance is a common practice because it allows individuals to afford more of the protections they need for their financial futures.  When designed correctly, cash values in the life insurance policy eventually exceed the cost of borrowing.

What is Premium Finance?

What is Leverage?

Historically, leverage has been a financial strategy used exclusively by the ultra-wealthy.  With leverage, capital is borrowed for an investment with the expectation that the return on investment will be greater than the cost of the loan.


  • Using a loan to buy a bigger house
  • Purchasing an investment property to rent or flip
  • Expanding a business using a loan without tying up your cash flow

Put another way, you purchase items today using loans with the hope that they will appreciate in value.  This also allows you to enjoy more, sooner, and for a longer period of time.  While most people use leverage to expand a business, finance a bigger house, or purchase an investment property, OakTree uses the same concept but with life insurance.  Using leverage maximizes the growth potential in your policy so that you can enjoy more protections. When designed correctly, cash accumulation in the policy eventually exceeds the cost of borrowing.

Stress Test?

Quick Overview

OakTree and the designers of Kai-Zen conducts “stress testing” on all of our designs before making them available to the market. When stress testing, potential designs undergo simulations of The Great Depression and the high interest 80's, two of the country's harshest economic time periods. We use this testing to educate clients so that they can anticipate potential changes in the market. Most importantly, this rigorous process guides the selection of optimal products and loan terms, allowing NIW to deliver designs of the highest quality and durability.

Stress testing was not something that was done before NIW entered the market.  In fact, before, insurance companies used very little testing at all to ensure the safety of their designs.  When Kai-Zen was created, we wanted to ensure the reliability and quality of our designs and so stress testing has been done on every strategy.  Stress testing is now becoming a more common practice for insurance companies.

A Detailed Look at Stress Testing

The standard insurance illustration and our proposal show the projected collateral based on the lender’s LIBOR projections. While that is the forecast that the lenders see moving forward, it is their “best efforts” forecast and NIW wants to ensure that the client is prepared for economic fluctuations that would fall outside of these projections. This gives the client a good understanding of what their risk could look like given different circumstances.

Historically, the S&P will return 0% in 30% of years, which is something the insurance illustrations do not show, and why it is important to show a stressed scenario to every client. If the client is shown extreme stress testing (which is a very low probability event), they will have managed expectations in the event of low performance. In addition, the fact that the design still recovers gives the client increased confidence in the performance of the design and reinforces that anything less extreme is not a cause for concern.

The two worst time periods that would affect these financed insurance designs in the US economy’s history, are the Great Depression and the 1980s high interest rate environment. These two scenarios test different aspects of a financed life insurance plan. The Great Depression tests an insurance carrier’s policy, as 7 out of the first 10 years had a 0% policy credit, when the impact of contract costs are greatest. The 1980s covers the worst interest rate period in US history, and also very slow bond yield response inside of the product itself.

We’ve found that a client’s biggest concern about financed plans is the required collateral, which is why we show whichever stress test has the biggest impact on the amount they need to post. By doing this, the client can be comforted in knowing that they will most likely have the appropriate collateral the design will need to not only survive, but also to achieve the plan’s objective. We do this because we want to set expectations for the client about what they will get and what it will cost them to get them there. The benefit of a Kai-Zen financed design is that even in stressed conditions the collateral is frequently lower than the cumulative out of pocket would have been if they purchased life insurance conventionally. By showing the stressed condition compared to the conventional cost of purchasing equivalent insurance, the client gets a better understanding of the value of this financed plan. Bottom line, if the client merely needs to post more collateral (which is returned), then the value proposition of this plan is both clear and compelling.

Lastly, the stress tests provide another valuable benefit: they weed out weak design and weak product. Most illustrations look good on paper, but they don’t show the full picture of the risk factors involved. If the proper procedures are not put in place, risk factors are not controlled, and client expectations are not managed, plans that look good on paper will ultimately fail. Stress testing allows OakTree and the client to reject designs that are not suited for the client’s long-term strategy and choose the products and designs that work best for their financial goals and risk comfort level.

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As a high-net-worth individual or business owner, you deserve wealth planning strategies that offer benefits beyond the standard coverage.

At OakTree Premium Finance, I’ll help you build a private source of retirement income, build a legacy, protect your family and/or protect your business for years to come.

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