This claim is frequently made by Dave Ramsey, who is a radio host with a very big audience, so it is notable. It is also featured in his website - http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-life-insurance/
His claim is, basically, that whole life insurance is a 2-in-1 package of insurance coverage + built-in savings account. However, he claims, paying for the same amount of term life insurance coverage and then investing the difference in fees in a regular bank account or mutual funds would give you better returns.
As an example, let's say that you buy life insurance coverage for $1,000,000 for $1,000 yearly fees, but term life insurance for $1,000,000 costs only $100 in fees, and you invest the $900 difference into a bank account or some appropriate investment vehicle. If an accident happens, you get the $1,000,000 face value both ways, but if no accident happens, according to his claim, you would end up with more money in your bank account than in your whole life insurance policy, while getting the same amount of actual insurance.
Is that true?