I keep doing this – keep asking the financial services industry the need for such a big variety of products while the customer needs only a few. Of course I do not get a satisfactory  answer except that “Financial products are not bought, but have to be sold – and that has to be incentivised.

Why do financial products have to be sold and are not bought? If the BFSI ‘sells’ to you DOES it mean they sell only bad and lousy  products to you?

Well many people rush to tell you that left to themselves, people will buy good products. Bull. People buy what they are habituated to buying. Cigarettes, fast food, unhealthy food, unnecessary surgeries, terrible health plans, bad gym packages – seriously there is no proof that man buys sensibly. I like to see how many sweet shops are there in any place vs the number of gyms in that location. SO PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME THAT ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE BUY RESPONSIBLY.

PULITZER prize winning books sell in ‘000s while Da Vinci code sells 60 million copies.

Fast food counters are crowded – vegetable sections are not crowded at all…

So when it comes to financial products people in India buy bank fixed deposits, LiC policies – one is a commissioned product, the other is not. What explains so much money in bank fixed deposits? Even the bank de-market this product, do they not?

So when a financial salesman offers you a product do not assume that the product is bad. Instead be clear about what YOU need and what YOU need to buy more.  If  you have a term insurance for an adequate amount why should YOU fall for a new, improved ULIP? You do not need the product. Stay away.

What is good for you and things that have enduring and intrinsic value are NOT EASY TO SELL TO YOU. Ask me when I talk about financial planning in every place some surgeon, physician or dentist asks me ‘Why should I not do direct equities’….well, well, many financial products are still suitable and good for you.

Instead of being concerned about a financial product being “sold,” consider why it is on the table to begin with. For example, if you attended a sales presentation focusing upon a specific product or particular type of product, be careful. On the other hand, if there was a financial planning lecture organised a life style company and the  product only came up in response to a need or problem identified and discussed with the adviser and the product specs solves the problem, be more open to it. Trust, but still verify.

I am spending a lot of time at a hospital for the past few days. A doctor diagnoses and suggests what action is to be taken. The patient does not really understand all the options. He is lost, confused, and wondering what to do. He just hopes that he is takriging a well I calculated decision and hoping it is right. I am not exactly REQUESTING or asking for a surgery, but if  my doctor convinces me that  I need it, I will go for it, AFTER TAKING a second opinion. I may EVEN choose a different suFirgeon and a different hospital.

Sigh. Alas, if Financial solutions were also sold that way, it would be sensible.


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  1. Sad to know that you’re having to visit the hospital. Wishing you a speedy recovery and the best of health, Subra !!

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