While I am long and sympathetic, you are confounding the success of the management at increasing the value of the co (from $172 to $350 in tangible book value over the time you indicate), with the appraisal by the investment community of financial assets. To my mind, that says "buy"!
If you bought MET in March, 2002, you were in the negative for 10 years until the recent move up starting the end of January. Or worse yet, you could have bough LNC and you'd still be down 50% from March, 2002.
Like paterson0918 says, management is doing a pretty good job of growing the book value in a conservative manner and not making the big mistakes some of these other lifeco's have.
Reality is, people don't trust lifeco's now and are wanting income - 2 strikes against NWLI, but they are far not the only undervalued lifeco out there and I really don't think you can blame management a whole lot - they've been doing the same thing for 20+ years and the stock eventually does respond.