January 12, 2013


Adventures of Pinocchio (1996)I'm at Best Buy to pickup wireless speakers I bought online. Another customer is trying to return a camera. She says she paid $290 but has no receipt and doesn't remember when she bought. The store agrees to give her $190, which was the lowest price during the return period. This seems fair. What if she bought on sale and now wants to earn a quick $100? Maybe she bought the camera somewhere else.

There's plenty of discussion about how the financial sector could improve. In 2012, bank fines topped  $10 billion (CNN Money) or $20 billion (RT.com).

What about the buyers? The customer isn't always right ... or honest.

Time Wasters

Some people get potential advisors to do work without any intention of buying from them. This includes attending expensive-to-host dinner seminars only for the food. The free recommendations can then be shopped around. It’s then easy for another advisor (including the incumbent) to propose a different product — not necessarily better — with a lower price or more features.

Advisors can avoid time wasters by prescreening clients and advising for a fee instead of for free.


Whatever happened to the truth --- the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth?

When you go to your doctor for treatment, don't you describe all the symptoms? If not, you risk side effects from the wrong diagnosis. You lose by holding back facts even if you don't think they matter.
Do you give your advisor enough information?

If not, you won't get the best results either. Maybe you're reluctant to disclose because you don't trust your advisor and fear getting sold more. While you may have trouble finding another doctor, advisors are plentiful. You may be further ahead by going through the hassle of finding an advisor who warrants your trust.


You may think a pre-existing condition doesn't matter when you're applying for insurance. You aren't the one to decide. Your role is to answer the questions accurately. The consequence might be higher premiums or a denial of coverage. At least you'll know in advance, which gives you the opportunity to shop around.
click to read CBC News articleTwo seniors are starting the New Year with $100,000+ medical claims denied under full coverage travel insurance (CBC, Jan 7, 2013). We don’t know the facts.

If you don't understand a question, ask for clarification. Using a qualified independent advisor may be better than dealing buying directly from the insurer (or an advisor who's restricted to selling products from only one company).

Better And Better

Logitech Wireless Boombox: the bluetooth pairing didn't work wellI'm back at Best Buy to return the speakers with a receipt. I'm served within minutes. They ask no questions and don't even open the package. They're trusting that the box doesn't contain a brick or missing parts. They’re right.

Maybe better buyers beget better sellers? And vice versa.


Podcast 202

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PS My favourite Pinocchio was Disney’s 1940 version

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