Talking Shop with David Hahs, managing director, the Hahs Group

Monday, May 10, 2010
David Hahs is managing director of the Hahs Group for the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

David Hahs, managing director of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network's Hahs Group, helps clients make financial decisions and uses his nearly 40 years of experience in the business to help develop new representatives at his company in Cape Girardeau.

Q: How long have you worked with Northwestern Mutual?

A: My father, Luther Hahs, recruited me to join Northwestern Mutual in 1972. Unfortunately, he had a severe stroke two months later and had to retire. I have spent the last 38 years helping my clients make prudent long-term financial decisions. As a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual, I help my clients achieve long-term financial security using a mix of life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance and deferred and immediate annuities. In February 2008, I succeeded my cousin Ron Hahs as the managing director of the local Northwestern Mutual Financial Network office. In that capacity I help select, train and develop new representatives for Northwestern Mutual.

Q: What did you do before holding this position?

A: I was a television anchor/reporter for KFVS12. I initially worked for KFVS Radio and Television while in college. Then I was a broadcast journalist for two years in the Navy before returning to KFVS in 1971. That was a full head of hair ago. Don McNeely was my idol then.

Q: Tell me about your educational background.

A: I lived right across the street from Trinity Lutheran School and went there for grade school. Interesting fact: My mother, my oldest son and I all had the same first-grade teacher at Trinity, Lulu Kelpe, who retired after she taught my son. I then went to Cape [Girardeau] Central High School and followed that by graduating from Southeast Missouri State University in 1969. Professionally, I have completed graduate equivalent studies to achieve the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC) designations.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: The purpose statement for the Hahs Group reads: "We are CATALYSTS, helping our communities become the most financially secure in the world, serving one person, one family, one business at a time. Every life matters." My greatest satisfaction comes from folks who became clients 30-plus years ago who tell me that it was the best decision they made, and only wish they would have done more. That gives me great fulfillment. I also enjoy seeing our new representatives experience the excitement of running their own business.

Q: What are some of the most important things people need to know about insurance?

A: Insurance can be intimidating, which is why we always encourage people to work with a trusted financial professional with the expertise to help. Do your research: choose a local financial professional who is backed by a strong organization with solid financial strength ratings from the major ratings agencies -- Standard & Poor's, A.M. Best, Fitch and Moody's. Making decisions about your life insurance needs is not a simple process. Coming to conclusions about how much and what type of life insurance you should own can only be made after you complete a full analysis of your financial needs and goals, and give careful consideration to all the product options that are available to you. You may also want to consider the type of life insurance company with which you want to work: stock or mutual. Stock companies are owned by shareholders, and mutual companies are owned by the policyowners. A benefit of working with a mutual company is that profits are returned to policyowners in the form of dividends, which can be used to decrease premiums or increase the value of your policy.

Q: What do you do enjoy doing when you're not working?

A: My wife Candy and I enjoy traveling, and have been all over Western Europe while she was a high school Latin teacher and took groups of students on trips. We also enjoy Cardinals baseball. I have a great passion for playing golf at Dalhousie Golf Club and while on trips with buddies. Finally, I have the wonderful blessing of participating with the Praise Team "Jericho" at St. Andrew Lutheran Church on most Sunday mornings. I get to be a doo-wop guy while the lead singers do their thing. I invite everybody to join us on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m.

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