Usualy anti-insurance folks compare everything based on ROR. Based on that, we should really all invest in private equity and hedge funds, even buying the SP 500 is not a good idea. The ROR comparision misses out risk adjusted returns. It also misses out on access to money. If you put 50K a year into index UL versus managed account, by age 65 of course the managed account would be much higher. Now if you needed a million dollar suddenly at age 65, a withdrawal from managed account would trigger taxes and access to indexed UL will most likely have no tax consequences. Both the VUL and managed account strategy suffer from what we call sequence of returns during retirement. If you accumulate funds and the first week of retirement we have a war and the market tanks, the indexed UL will be fine, managed account or VUL won't be.