Wink is turning 10!
May 5, 2015 by Sheryl J. Moore
As we celebrate our ten year anniversary at Wink this month, I have been reminiscing about on how it all began…
I have worked in the research and development of these products for over a decade and am committed to the advocacy of the life insurance industry. My career started at a small insurance company that was the industry’s top seller of indexed insurance products.
While working there, I invested in the 401(k) plan as the company had a 4% match and there was a lot of pressure to participate. I didn’t understand where I should allocate my money so following the imprudent advice of co-workers, I went to the plan website to “just pick something”.
As a result, I wound up losing a ton of money when the Dot-Com bubble burst! I had no idea at the time that you could lose money in a 401(k) plan. So, after complaining to my boss that I didn’t want to lose any more money and he suggested that I buy an indexed annuity. I didn’t know what an indexed annuity was but, when he explained it to me, it sounded awesome!
This company was the largest indexed annuity provider in the country. As the company promoted their 401(k) plan, it didn’t dawn on to educate their employees so that they could make better investment choices based on their risk tolerance?! This made me mad! This would become the motivation behind starting my own company, as I wanted to help people make informed decisions.
After leaving the company to develop indexed products for a very large insurance company I knew after about eight months that the time was right to start my company. At 28 years old and a single mom of three babies; it wasn’t going to be easy to venture out on my own but I was determined to do whatever it took to educate the public on annuity products.
My experience at the insurance companies helped my quickly identify a need that was unmet in the insurance industry for competitive intelligence. In 2005, I began developing the AnnuitySpecs tool, then known as AnnuitySpecs.com, out of the dining room of my home in Des Moines, Iowa.
After spending endless days working alone into the early hours of the next morning, the realization set in that that I needed to grow a team. Demand for the website was growing and what I needed was a partner-in-crime. Victoria L. Peterson quickly stepped up to the plate and is now the Vice President of Operations for Wink.
Before we knew it the LifeSpecs tool was developed and we were presented with the opportunity to buy an established sales report from a former colleague (now, Wink’s Sales & Market Report). The demand for consulting services began to rise; we soon found that we were too big to be housed in my REAL “home” office.
Now in our own brick-and-mortar, with a full staff, an Italian Greyhound, and 125 gallons of salt water critters- we rebranded to the Wink name in 2013 and have become THE go-to-source for competitive intelligence in the life insurance and annuity industries!
Our Wink team of rock stars are committed to the advocacy of the life insurance industry, spending a great deal of our time educating the public, media outlets, regulators, and legislators on life insurance and annuity products, markets, sales, and distribution. We make insurance AWESOME!
What do we have planned for the next ten years? We plan to take over the world! The competitive intelligence world, that is.
We are sincerely thankful for all of our customers over the past ten years and appreciate your continued support!