Hi, your friendly insurance guy here again.
A few quick points:
1. Life insurance is not an investment. While some life insurance contracts include features like separate accounts with funds in the market, the insurance itself is not an investment and it's against regulations to present it as such.
2. The only typically used insurance contracts that have separate accounts in the market are Variable Life or Variable Universal Life contracts. Since the death benefit (the amount paid out to your beneficiary upon your death) changes with the performance of the funds in the separate accounts, it's generally a poor choice. Reason: the primary function of life insurance is to push risk away from the insured, meaning you. The risk life insurance pushes away is the risk of financial trouble for your survivors when you die (not if, WHEN). Having the death benefit fluctuate with the market pulls risk right back in your direction.
3. If you want to use an insurance product, Whole Life insurance is the way to go. You are young, and, if you are healthy, the premiums will be as low now as you will ever have them. It will allow you to secure your insurability and make sure that no matter how old you get, your surviving family will get something. If you choose this option, go with a Mutual company. Stock companies owe their dividends to stock holders first of all. Mutual companies are owned by the Whole Life policy holders, and those policy holders get the dividends. That means that, while no company can guarantee dividends, since dividends drive cash value growth in Whole Life you'll tend to get the best bang for your buck in a mutual company. Three of the strongest mutual companies are:
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
New York Life
Northwestern Mutual Life
All of them have scores of 99 or higher out of 100 on the Comdex rating system (which means they are financially stable, strong companies.). Last I knew, MassMutual had not missed a dividend payment since 1851 (155 years.) I think New York Life has a similar record. I don't know for sure about Northwestern Mutual.
All that said, while I believe it is a great idea for you to buy whole life while you are young, if your goal is to have an investment other options should be considered as well. Money Market accounts, ten year government bonds and other such options can proovide safe ways to sock away some cash. Higher yields will tend to require you put your money in higher risk vehicles, like mutual funds or high yield corporate bonds. Your time horizon is long enough that a market investment may be a viable option. Consult someone local, in person, and do a thorough needs analysis and risk tolerance assessment and learn from what that person does. It will help you understand the process.
Choose someone who is not beholden to selling a particular company's products so the input will be as objective as possible.
Do some reading. I know it sounds campy, but the Investing for Dummies book is actually not bad.
I'm licensed to sell life insurance and securities and work in this field.