- sugary drinks: cause of about 180,000 deaths a year globally
- credit cards: 30% of customers don’t payoff their entire balance each month and 93% of the credit cards in Canada (257 of 275) charge 11.25% to 30% interest according to a handy government comparison tool.
Which Side?Sellers claim to be on our side, but are they really? We’re encouraged to
- drink responsibly (but still drink)
- follow the rules of the road (but buy vehicles which break them in commercials)
- eat a healthy breakfast (but include Nutella)
Money MadnessThe financial sector promotes financial literacy … but profits from our ignorance, inertia and limited choices. That’s not as effective as improving the products. We could be prevented from paying heavily on unpaid credit card balances if interest rates were lower. We could avoid the pitfalls of mortgage life insurance if poor products were not sold.
Until we live in perfect world, beware.
An ExampleWe were looking for a video tripod strong enough to support a camera, 15mm rod system, teleprompter and an iPad. The advisor at a well-known specialty store recommended tripods costing $750 or more! When I asked for a cheaper option. I was shown a $350 tripod with weak legs and a poor head. Then another $750 tripod.
Because I did my research, I knew that getting photography legs and a video head separately would be better and cheaper. The advisor — an expert — could have suggested this but maybe she got sales commissions or thought conventionally.
A StrategyProtect yourself with education. You can often learn the basics online from objective sources. That helps you ask the right questions and spot the wrong answers. You might find better solutions than those presented to you.
- How the financial industry profits from bafflegab (Rob Carrick)
- Should banks have a hand in promoting financial literacy? (Boomer & Echo)
- A challenge for financial literacy month
- Three reasons financial literacy eludes us
- The A-B-Cs of 1-2-3: the key to financial literacy / numeracy
- Do your advisors help with your financial literacy?
- image courtesy of geralt