Financial cheats or Oil skin salesmen

There are many ways of getting rich. The quickest way is to sell something that you can buy for Re. 1 and sell it for Rs. 500. Then create a sales force which sells it for a 10% commission. The better the quality of sales force the greater will be your profits. The more such products that you can buy, the greater you become.

Of course the salesmen you employ need to be backed by fantastic ability to sell – it could be a great product, protection by the government, compelled by the government to buy, etc.

The greatest is of course selling to pride or fear. Both work well, fear works better. Almost every day I get the following unwanted mails in my Inbox:

You can get rich in 15 days with my $199 tape course! Buy now!
We can eliminate 70% of your debt immediately! Call 1-800-
Inflation will ruin your stocks and bonds! Invest in commodities, NOW! Call!
Gold is the only thing that will save you when the economy fails!

Get the drift? It is not as though there are no Indian examples, but perhaps they are not so persistent on email. On television you see them screaming how you can reduce the size of your waist (or whichever part you wish to!), remove all the pimples, or pass all exams by joining a great course. Of course in the morning there are subtle ads by God-men peddling health and happiness.
There are millions of thieves (I do not call them sharks – I have more respect for animals than I have for some human beings) that want your money. One powerful technique for selling you something you don’t need is to prey on your fears. Perhaps you fear the government’s long term future (please do not watch too much TV). Perhaps you fear immediate personal financial failure. Perhaps you fear your professional failure – especially if you have been selling mutual funds and life insurance!)

People will prey on those fears. They try to do it all the time. Commercials telling you that you can eliminate your debt. Three fund houses (obviously with Gold schemes) talking about how great an investment gold is. Three fund houses saying why all your money should be in Infrastructure Funds only!

Smooth talkers telling you about their “program” for quick income at home. One of them is now targeting Independent Financial Agents and telling them that they should attend a seminar NOW so that you can survive the ‘NO-Load’ mutual fund sales. Funnily one email from the same group was boasting how they were the brains behind the elimination of LOAD. I was impressed, and reminded me of the Charlie Chaplin movie, you know which.

Almost all of these plans are expected to do two things. They grab onto your fears and they combine it with some sort of widely-spread myth. The best thing to do is to use the delete button extensively. If possible mark all that s*&^t directly to thrash.

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