Dentist Experience & Analogy ..

Am listening to Norman Levine’s audio whilst on my train ride & thought it would be good timing to start logging a ‘backdated’ entry ….

Had wanted to blog about my visit to the dentist 3 Mondays ago but did not get down to doing so. To briefly recap, the visit to the dentist was triggered by a dull toothache on my upper left, which affected my mood & ability to focus on that Friday & over the weekend (June Week 2). It was my 1st visit to the dentist in a pretty long while 😛 ….

To cut the story short, as suspected, the upper left wisdom tooth was causing the pain & discomfort (due to bacteria accumulated in the gaps). This was confirmed after an x-ray (that cost me $50+) …. and had some polishing to end off the 1hr+ consultation (after waiting for an hr!!) …… And yes, a wisdom tooth extraction surgery (on local anesthetic) scheduled for earlier August 😦

And so, what is the whole point of this analogy? When we visit a doctor/dentist, he/she has to do a proper diagnosis of the problem (i.e. toothachne) before giving a solution (scaling/polishing + wisdom tooth extraction) – and before that an x-ray (diagnostic test and review of results) to investigate and determine the problem.

Similarly when it comes to my work – financial planning …… we are in effect financial doctors trying to give a solution to our clients/prospects problems – be it the danger of outliving our current resources (read: retirement planning) … the danger of an accident/illness/hospitalisation erroding our financial resources (read: risk/insurance planning) … inflation erroding the value of our money … keeping to a budget etc. …… I believe these are the key financial problems/concerns that both you and I face ……

So financial advisory is all about ‘selling’ a solution to the ‘problem’ at hand isn’t it …… as versus to hard-core product sales which 2 key distribution channels (B___ and T____ A___) seems to favour. The problem has to be diagnosed before a solution can be prescribed (i.e. diagnosis in the form of questions, fact finding and information gathering, review of existing plans and identifying gaps etc.) ….. The frustrating part comes when some you meet prefer to be sold a lousy product as versus to investing time to do a proper financial planning that will benefit them more in the long run. And this is how B___ and T___ A___ can get away with selling lousy products that does little to meet the real needs of the consumer.

Example – why commit a large amount of cashflow to an endowment plan (with low protection value) when some do not even have adequate basic insurance protection to ensure that their families/dependants/themselves will NOT be in financial hardship in the event of an illness/accident/pre-mature death and disability that could significantly drain one’s financial resources. Isn’t insurance all about setting aside that premium amount to hedge against unexpected events that could have an impact on your economic life value (and property – for general insurance products). Pirioritisation baby!

Hence,always be a doctor and not a peddler …….

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