Is life insurance a good investment?

Insurance companies and insurance agents often market life insurance policies as an alternative to traditional investments (full disclosure, I am a licensed insurance agent).

Before we can evaluate life insurance as an investment alternative, we need a basic knowledge of how an insurance policy works. There is no doubt that some policies have investment-like characteristics, but are they good investments?

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte