Quite glad that an article I have been helping a writer with has finally been published. The November 2014 issue of Her World carries the article Start Investing With Only $500, and I am pleased that it even found a little spot on the cover page.
I also realised that it is quite challenging to write an article for a magazine, and also very different from writing on this blog where I have full editorial control. The article would have been quite different if I wrote it from scratch, but I suppose the end product is more fitting for a magazine. (You can view the article at the end of this post.)
A friend tweeted something one day, and it was along the lines of him not understanding the concept of a fat fitness trainer and the idea of a poor financial adviser. It is seemingly logical and I suppose most people would agree quite readily, but I couldn’t help but cringe at the rather misguided view.
A fitness trainer must be fit himself in order to be able to help his trainees become fit, right? Therefore, shouldn’t a financial adviser be wealthy in order to help his clients become rich?
I came across this video and somehow got reminded of a phenomenon that occurs with insurance agents. The video shows a man — who identifies himself as a Senior Brand Manager of a vacuum cleaner company — cleaning an area of the dirty floor of a subway station with his vacuum cleaner before spilling food over it and eating the pieces off the ground. He then proclaims his upmost faith in his product’s effectiveness.
“Eating one’s own dog food’’ describes what he has just did. The phrase refers to a situation in which someone uses their own product to demonstrate the quality of it and their own personal conviction in their product. Such a practice is actually quite prevalent with insurance agents.
I’ve had a few friends who went through breakups with their significant others over the past year, and incidentally, two of them had boyfriends who are in the financial advisory industry. Coincidentally, both are from the same Licensed Financial Advisory (LFA) firm. While better than tied insurance agents because of their capacity to recommend a good and proper financial portfolio, I regard this company (like many others, actually) to be a sales-focussed firm. They even made the newspaper for certain dubious business practices.
I have always been curious about the kind of recommendations my friends’ boyfriends would give them, and I have not had the opportunity to find out until their break ups. I was shocked but perhaps not entirely surprised to see that both had poorly constructed financial portfolios. One of them was underinsured and encumbered by the monthly premium obligation. The other was quite adequately insured but at a high cost, and her investment portfolio consisted largely of endowment and investment-linked policies that had very high charges compared to the alternatives I can think of. She too could not keep up her premium obligations despite having a relatively well-paying job. Both of them eventually lapsed some policies as they could not keep up with the high financial obligations.