Your protection when buying Financial Products

Your protection when buying Financial Products

Many pseudo financial service providers sound legit when they sell you all kinds of insurance contracts and loan facilities.  This last week it was a selling organisation by name of Mzansi Money that came to the fore.

Today we will look at the way that you should react to their and similar presentations.   Each time we fall for one of these offerings we are robbed of savings.  These savings can buy your baby a car when they graduate one day, or provide more comfort to you in your old age.

The Mzansi call centre agent nearly promised a pre-approved loan.  To qualify for the loan you had to buy an income protection policy.  The agent was asked what would happen if the loan was not approved, to which he replied, that you then at least have the insurance policy.  In this instance the sale of a product could be secured on the promise of a loan.  Continue reading “Your protection when buying Financial Products”

Tips for Christmas

Tips for Christmas.

It is hard to believe that we are one month and two weeks away from Christmas.  I really love this time of year and to see the goodwill of people, one toward the other.  Few realise the sweat that follows early in January when the credit cards had been maxed out to prove the goodwill.  Let us make this year better and financially rewarding.

Today I want to take a lighter view and look at methods of extending the goodwill without breaking the bank.

I start with a story from my own life, to prove how people appreciate it when you give of yourself; and, how to save a fortune on your budget.  Later we look at what can be done with some of that savings to make 2011 a much better year.

My mother passed away at the end of 2008.  She wanted me to take the doorstop I made for her back in 1985.  This doorstop represents the cheapest presents I ever produced and I remember the event well.  Continue reading “Tips for Christmas”

Consumer Actions

Consumer actions

A past colleague of mine had a favourite warning to ‘not accept a FREE offer as it is creating an opportunity to sell for the advertiser’.  To this we can now add the ‘low premiums’ and ‘best buys’ or ‘best brand’.

I start the illustration with a story from the handy man I employ from time to time.  In 2015 he bought an old bakkie for his business that cost R30 000 – the price for an old Nissan 1400 in good usable condition.  He insured the vehicle with Budget insurance having secured the best rate there.

At the time I warned him that he must beware that the direct insurers reflect the sum insured as ‘market value’ and that he had no guarantee that they accepted his value.  He may get far less in event of write off or theft.  In December this happened and he received a pay-out of R7 000; the value according to M&M ‘value bible’.  He had no argument and had to accept.  Even the ombudsman office would have agreed with the insurer as they were technically correct. Continue reading “Consumer Actions”

Choose a Life

Choose a Life

Don and Ros met for the first time when they went to university in the 1970’s.  They followed similar life and earning patterns but made different life choices and today, both past the age of 60, look very different.  We will contrast these two people in the choices they made and hope that some of our younger readers will learn from this and make their own best choices for their lives.

The names are fictitious but the events are real.  We will later add Rob and his life pattern to show a further contrast.

We are early in the year and an adjustment to your life choices will even have a visible effect by this year end.

Don and Ros both married within a year after completing their studies and both earned the same income level as did their newly wed wives.  Ros always was a natural saver and within five years after getting married bought his first home.  Don at this time had changed jobs and was earning more than Ros, yet could not yet afford a house. Continue reading “Choose a Life”

Well rested – well prepared

I wish all my readers a happy and prosperous new year.  I hope that you are starting 2016 well rested and well prepared.

If you are starting this year not well rested, you must already plan a few small breaks during the year if one long break is not possible.  Start planning that today.  We often forget the value of being well rested.  It makes you strong and able to face everything.  I am one of those who love work and seem to never stop, however, toward the end of last year realised that I was not coping too well.

We started the holiday period by going off to Dullstroom for a week.  There was not much to do but eat and sleep.  We did that and could feel our strengths return as the week progressed.  It set the tone for the holiday and on our return we were so relaxed that we became pretty useless for the next two weeks.

The planned repairs and maintenance ‘had to wait till tomorrow, or the next day’.  We did very little but at least started the year rested and rejuvenated.

The painting job that seemed too much during this period got done over this last weekend in just two days, illustrating how much more is possible in less time – the two main benefits from being rested. Continue reading “Well rested – well prepared”

Buyers Beware

Buyers Beware

We are again entering the silly season, the time when the myriad of retailers entice us into their stores with promises of big savings.

We often get caught out when we are unaware and do not pay attention to what was quoted in the advertisements presented by the retailer.  This time it was I that got caught out because of being inattentive during the billing phase of my purchase.  The culprit: Mr Price.

My wife and I were enticed by their advertisement in a magazine that showed “two ladies short trousers for R100”.  This is what she needed and I was certain that they may also have some gents’ specials.

Normally very astute I noticed a whole shelf of shirts “take two for R80”.  Being of larger build with fairly broad shoulders I had to rummage through the piles for the few XL on offer.  Finally I located two.

When we got to the till I was distracted by one item that was not price labelled.  As they would not believe me that the price was R79.99 I had to get proof from the shelf and another pair.  I had to go and fetch the example, not them. During this time they rang the other items.  I dutifully presented my card and made payment. Continue reading “Buyers Beware”

Employers can help

Employers can help

We’ve all felt that a little pay rise wouldn’t go amiss. Most of us don’t do much about it, but every so often a handful of people decide to speak out against their, in their opinion, low pay.

I followed last week’s strike avidly. In a radio interview, one woman described that she needs an 8.5% pay increase because her husband lost his job. She wrongly believes that because one member of the family is now in a poor financial position, the employer of the other family members should somehow compensate and make up for that lack.

The problem that the average civil servant experience is a simpler economic one. There is not enough money.  They are overextended on salary and a 6% increases will not relieve the problem and they must push for an 8.5% increase. They strike until their demands are met, causing harm to the economy.

The civil servants are a peculiar group and their demands have more direct impact on the macro economy.  They are paid from tax income; so now taxes are raised; then it becomes more expensive to run your business because of the higher tax burden and prices must increase. Your staff are affected by the higher prices of all products: and, they too demand a pay increase. Continue reading “Employers can help”

Career in Insurance Sales

Career in (Insurance) Sales

This time of year is the time that many of us start to think about our lives; what we are going to do from the next year; and may even be considering a career change.

Over the last year I received several CV’s from our readers, people looking for work.  I cannot help most as they are trained in unrelated fields, but today I want to introduce readers to an opportunity in sales and, more particularly in insurance sales.

Those interested can then send their CV’s, that I will onward transmit to many interested FSP’s that I am in contact with.

The reality is: that a salesman is not born but made.  Most of us are afraid of sales and think that it is impossible.  For many it may be but many will have the correct profile to enter a very lucrative career if exercised correctly. Continue reading “Career in Insurance Sales”

Beware of Indentity theft

Beware of Identity theft

There are a lot of numbers connected to you; your phone number, your identity number and your bank account number. These all identify you as they are unique to you. You can lose a lot of money when you lose your identity.  This has become a problem, globally and I believe it will hit South Africans much harder as we are so trusting.

A recent event in my own life has made me wearier. I will share the bank call centre practices; suspicious conduct; the impact if I complied with requests; and, possible ways to overcome the problem in future and to protect you.

Banks call centres will not divulge any account information unless they have verified your identity by asking you about your personal information.  They will not, even after properly identifying you, divulge all their information to you but will accept you changing information with them.  They record all calls made to the call centre and thereby cover themselves under the law.

I one day asked a bank official what my listed cell phone number was when they claimed that they had tried to contact me but could not.  The lady was more senior than a call centre operator and told me that their systems could be hacked and that she will confirm the information to me by the listed e-mail address (also not divulged) and I could then confirm by return email.  I tested her claim and could not even pry an account balance from her by phone.  Continue reading “Beware of Indentity theft”

Keep it real

Keep it real.

In two separate informal surveys, they wanted to determine who the top supported teams were in Rugby and Cricket.  I was amazed when the results showed that it was the Lions and Highveld Lions for the two respective sports.  Perhaps this is because most people live in the Joburg municipal area and through pure loyalty continue to support their local teams.  Where are your supporters, I wondered?  Is it fair on these supporters if they in turn are not rewarded for their support?  How many current or past Springboks and Proteas are in these teams?  Do not worry if you do not pass counting them down on the fingers of just one hand, your answer is possibly accurate.

We support businesses, people and teams that are not always deserving of our support and loyalty.  Sometimes the owners/managers should ask themselves the question, what are we doing for our supporters?

Many will darn a jacket of respectability and give the impression that they are on your side.  This is more often than not nothing more than a marketing ploy to get you to support them more without giving back in real value terms.  The greatest supporter of the supporter earns massive amounts from competitions at R2 an SMS and are giving a R1 000 food voucher as prize – when only 50 will cover the cost of the prize and the rest is profit to fund ad campaigns. Continue reading “Keep it real”