These days it is reminiscent of the hay days of the Internet Bubble. Back then the statement was:
Profits don’t matter. It’s eyeballs!
90’s Internet Bubble Investing Credo
That drove the 90’s Internet bubble. When you read that I am sure you smirked or laughed how insane that reads, but it was the gospel of investing in the 90’s. We saw the explosion of that bubble, and the associated side effects (i.e. loss in wealth for day to day investors).
I like my women, like I like my coffee. Respected in the workplace and compensated at an equitable and fair level.
Big Cajun Man 2020
I wrote an article in 2005 about Experts? It’s your decision where Harry S. Dent Jr., back in 2000 advised how great the Internet was as an investment. This was written as the Bubble Exploded.
Index Investors, who purchase Canadian Indexes need to remember they are Highly Exposed on Banks. Banks hold a high portion of most major Canadian Indexes.
You need Two Key Investment Strategies, if you plan on investing for the long term. The first is easy, when to buy, but what might be the second?
I have written many times about if you don’t ask the answer is always no, but the title of this post is also a good turn of phrase. Too many times folks feel they have no one to ask for help, so they just give up. Most of the time that is exactly what service companies want you to do.
Many times return procedures are convoluted, complex or just downright silly, but it is to stop you from returning things. If you keep it, but don’t want it, they have won.
A good example is, if you want to use TD E-series mutual funds, inside your TD Mutual Fund account, it is not an easy procedure. You must apply via a written form, and wait for the “OK” from them to be able to buy them. Once you are granted permission, you then must figure out which funds are the E-series funds. If you wish to cash the E-series Funds out of the account, you must first go on-line, transfer them to a Money Market account, and then go into a TD Branch, to do the cash out?
This is the question. If you do not ask for what you want, you will rarely get what you want. You may sound like a pest, you may upset whoever you are dealing with, so be polite, but ask for what you want. The worst they can say is, No.
It dawned on me after reviewing my post on I’m Not Paying My Debt. Still, I am Saving Money that while Savings and Investing have some attractive points to them (i.e. much more glamorous to say you are saving than paying off debt), debt has a few particular traits associated with it that cannot be ignored:
Debt never goes away all by itself, you must make payments on a debt for it to disappear (unless it is a family debt where someone is kind enough to forgive the debt).
Debt grows no matter how good or bad the economy is, in fact it may even grow faster in a growing economy (if interest rates go up). Debt growth without servicing it is inevitable, and can be quite explosive.
This is in contrast to savings and investments:
Investments and savings can disappear like a fart in the wind, given some bad circumstances. Savings maybe not as volatile (although the folks with Savings accounts in the Savings & Loans in the 80’s might disagree), but any money that is invested can lose it’s value.
Growth of your investments or savings is not guaranteed (unless you buy a GIC, I suppose), in fact when you invest you sign documents saying that you realize this is the case.
Isn’t that interesting? So the sure thing to invest in is to pay down your debt since you know pretty much how much you will save by having your debt paid off, and this is the only way to make it go away.
Yes, I know I am overly simple in my arguments, but something to keep in mind if you wonder whether you should save Money or pay down debt.
A favorite read of mine is The Pessimist blog, and this week they have a very interesting philosophical statement, which is nothing says Success like selling your “secrets of success” . The heart of the concept is that being over-confident in your own skills makes you seem much more successful (according to Forbes, the Kardashian effect). If you are a shameless self-promoter and over confident you will be successful (or at least appear to be successful).
After reading over many different posts lately for a lot of reasons (not just for the Carnival of Personal Finance), and I tend to agree with the concept that: Shtick seems to overrule Skill™.
I realize that most Leaders have a degree of Chutzpah or Brashness in them, but the number of “get rich quick” schemes out there clearly out strips the money to be made from them (except for the person selling the Get Rich Quick scheme).
How Do I Make Millions?
So the implication seems to be that you:
Claim to be a financial Success
Create a “methodology” about how you became “successful”
Whore, shill, and sell this until the cows come home (with the correct legaleze disclaiming any claims that it actually works)
Wait for the money to roll in
Success is the result of this function, not the catalyst. Stay tuned I’ll need to start marketing: The BCM Make a Million Bucks as a Personal Finance Blogger™.
Another story from 2013 and when my dealings with Rogers concluded. Remember you must follow through if you threaten to leave.
This is an expression my Father on occasion used to describe someone claiming they would not help you. The actual expression is “Screw You, and the horse you rode in on“. The shortened version (“And the horse you rode in on”) is much more palatable in polite circles, though.
I found out later where my Father may have acquired this phrase. Donald Regan, who was Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan from 1981 through 1984 used it. Evidently one of his favorite phrases. My Father must have picked it up from a story William Safire wrote about Regan. Editor Michael Seidman recalls hearing the phrase while growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s. This could be the root of my Dad’s use of the expression as well.
I had one of these experiences when dealing with Rogers, talking to a very nice young woman. Rogers was offering a $10 “unlimited internet” option on their new bundles program. I figured I’d call to ask whether I (a valued customer of many years (IMHO)), could avail myself of this self-same program.
The young woman while very sympathetic said that the deal was only available if I added my Home Phone to my Rogers bundle. If I wanted to add it to my existing package that would cost an extra $30 a month. I mentioned Customer Retention more than once, hoping she might take the hint, however, she finally said, “they most likely won’t want to talk to you about this”.
In my humble view of Customer Service this is the same as saying, “Screw You, and the horse you rode in on“. I finally asked her to please connect me to customer retention. She warned me again, but did try to see if they might talk to me.
Did she actually talk to them? Not sure, however she did finally come back and say, “Your current deal with the Internet is all they can do for you, so they don’t wish to talk to you”. I thanked the young woman for her help. As a last question I asked what the penalty was for breaking my “great deal” early with Rogers, as I do have Bell beating down my door about their Fibe Program. She said it was $20 a month and the deal is until August 2014, I did a quick calculation and said, “…so about $260 to break this deal? OK, thank you.”
There are Consequences No Matter What the Response
While I understand the message that I already have a good deal, and shouldn’t ask for more, responding to a customer with, “I won’t talk to you”, is really a slap in the face to anyone. Having someone from “Customer Retention” deliver this message would have been much more palatable. I would have felt less annoyed by the response.
Did I expect to get this deal? Unless I asked I knew the answer was no, so I asked, however, answering, “No and go away!” is a bit more than I expected. Am I saying Rogers is being unreasonable not offering me this deal? Absolutely not, it is within their prerogative not to give me any more deals. My issue is with how the message was delivered. Even unreasonable, needy customers must be treated with a level of respect by giving them a clear and polite response (even if the response is no).