Normal salesman always attempt to appeal to the emotive side of my decision making process (which I leave at home while at work) when I specifically instruct them to come present and just stick with the technical details.
The most recent one just took place this evening. Dad had bought some policy on my behalf years ago and since he is now planning his retirement he was hoping that I took over the financing of this policy. I asked him for the details however he had no idea what it was, thus it happened that we arranged for the insurance agent to come present herself.
Question number one what is my ROI?
Yes. The interest rate per year for this account?
Oh. Sorry but due to regulations by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, we are not allowed to guarantee any interest yearly rates. However, this funds has been performing quite well and will definitely continue to perform well till your age of 55.
Ok then. What kind of portfolio is this fund used for maintaining?
Loans and financing of business operations, stocks and bonds.
I smiled at the back of my mind thinking “so basically the shit that is happening back room is masked from us and we are presented instead with a number that is written on paper.”
One experience like which got me into some really serious shit last year was more than enough. I have no inclinations to repeat that shit again.
I continued pounding the figures away on my excel sheet while she tried to distract me from my excel sheet.
Viola, I got the figures I wanted and it didn’t seem all that good to me. I finally focused my entire attention on her.
But your dad bought this for you, it is a gift from him. You should treat this as a gift and accept it, continue financing it.
Oh yeah, I replied once again smiling merrily, my dad is a good person. I respect him for that.
She smiled back too, thinking she finally managed to re-secure the deal once again.
So how do I close this account?
She got shocked. Why?
It is just 3% per year barely even enough to cover our inflation rate, I can get more somewhere else.
Ok then, maybe you should return this gift to your dad.
Yes I must.
Suddenly she focused her entire attention on my dad and brought out this new stack of paper about some new scheme which my dad so happened to qualify for.
“Thanks for your advice. I will consider it. My son should keep this funds for it.”
“Nope, dad buy your long dream about boat. You are retired now. ”
End of scenario…..
Start of next scenario…..
More capable salesman will come forth with a more logical looking proposal.
And here we have with us a product that will guarantee you lose your fats in no time. Here on this banner is one of our success stories. This person lost 19kg in 6 months out of which 70% are fat.
Wow. I am so impressed. He does look better after that. But wait what happened to that other 30%?
The salesman was momentarily caught off guard.
Oh man. 19kg * 30% = 5.7kg of something else that is not constituted by fats. Muscle mass? That is a lot of muscles too lose in just 6 months. Are you sure this drug of yours is safe.
End of next scenario…..
More capable salesman are like the 3 accursed witches in William Shakespear’s McBeth. They always tell the truth. Their truths are always so logical too. However it is just half truths.
What you know, won’t kill you
What you know you don’t know, might kill you
What you don’t know you don’t know, that will definitely kill you! (the black swan)
Thankfully most cases presented by capable salesman fall into the 2nd group (What you know you don’t know, might kill you) if you bother to spend time to sort through the whole logic of things.
I thank my stars for the instructions I have received thus far as well as for the instructions I have yet received through all the people I met and yet to meet. Each of them bring to me in their own ways some really valuable teachings whether they are consciously aware of it or not. It is always there right in front of your eyes if you just bother to spend time to put the pieces together.
Life is great and always an adventure!