Special deal for doctors!

As a person reading my blog you may be aware that I address a lot of doctors – should be in the 3-4k doctors that I must have addressed. So some of them do come and talk to me AFTER the lecture or in the form of an email and I have seen some real bad deals. I would like to call them ‘doctored deals’!! Seriously such ‘doctor deals’ are made only for doctors and the deals are really doctored to look good, and are a complete rip off.

When somebody makes you an offer to invest, you must do some due diligence – and if you do not understand, say NO very fast. To invest you need a lot of due diligence – to say no just one or 2 bad signals are good enough.

Here is one such deal which a doctor should have said NO when it was offered.

A time share offered by a foreign company. No no, not Mahindra Holiday Resorts!

A time share with ‘appreciation sharing’. Well doctors (like all of us) are now allowed to invest US $ 200,000 every year and there is no need to even tell the government what happened with that investing. Obviously you want to use the money when you travel abroad. What is the best thing to do? Buy a Time share which will allow you ‘life-time’ vacations, and after say 10 years allow you to sell it back to them at a fantastic price. Good offer?

I am not getting into the numbers – it was in the region of US $ 140,000 per installment payable for 3 years. Which means about US $ 420,000. Now this is a big amount (Rs. 2.9 crores!!) and obviously only the ‘elitist’ doctors were being approached. One doctor wanted to ask me whether the deal was worth doing. I have no clue whether he had done it all ready and wanted my ratification or he was genuinely asking me BEFORE he did the deal.

On digging the whole investment was so hollow that I laughed. Well almost. Like a typical time-share you had to pay for using the rooms when you went and stayed. YOU had to pay US $ 13500 a year over and above this amount for ‘using’ this time share. This was the guaranteed MINIMUM that you would pay for 30 days of ‘free’ usage a year. At US $ 450 a night. I once stayed in a luxury hotel in Rajasthan (off season, and paid by he client, of course) where a ‘luxury room’ was listed at prices in that range and it was real cool. Do I know of doctors who take vacations spending 30 days a year in such luxury? No, I do not, and this doctor was also not in that category. I asked him bluntly ‘How many nights have you stayed in a luxury hotel PAYING your own money in your whole life’ – he had not spent more than Rs. 8000 for a night stay and just 2 or 3 times. So this was not attractive.

Of course it was an asset he was buying and he had to pay a 1% Asset management fee – $ 4200 a year hurts and sucks!!

He could sell it off after 5 years – and he had to find a buyer himself.

He could give it to his friends – and that meant he would be docked $ 100 per night. Which meant his friend paid $ 450 for using the Luxury resort (breakfast free), for the lunch, dinner and other services and an additional fee of $ 100. How many doctors have such rich friends? I do not meet such docs for sure. I meet much poorer doctors.

The luxury resorts would be all held in a company registered abroad and owned by the same company which was managing it.

There would be an annual ‘independent valuation’ from the 5th year onwards. Wait a minute, the 1st year started after you had paid all the 3 installments.

By this time I had enough due diligence to say NO. Seriously, you do not need to do more research once you see some shit.

This was a recipe written ‘disaster’ all over it. I am sure there are docs who have parted with $ 420,000 and are licking their wounds. I do not move in their circles.

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6 Responses to “Special deal for doctors!”

  1. Many in the Marketing and Financial world know it is easy to trap doctors. Prop the ego especially when family is around, you have got the customer.

    I know number of Doctors who are stuck in Indian timeshare and Foreign timeshare. I live abroad and funny things is there is one Doctor forum here and they introduce one doctor or other to the marketing guys after he bought the holidays/timeshare membership even after knowing it was fully fraud.

    My close friend who is a Doctor got one of the above membership. He earned nearly Crore plus per year for several years and had left with only 20 lacs in liquid instruments when he lost his job in 50s.

  2. The story continues… these doctors then advice their patients to undergo unwanted procedures to recoup the the money lost. A bad financial decision by a doctor affects not just him but his patients as well.

  3. Partha you have a choice about which doc to go, so go to a doc who charges less and has a more inexpensive clinic. No doc tells you the amount AFTER the operation. They tell you before, make your choice.

  4. a doctor client whose finances had to be restored to health after some hard work told me that every other doctor from juniors to seniors tell him to change is car as it is 4 years old, or ask when is he buying the new iphone etc!. Seems that being a doctor is more about showing the world that one has arrived rather than being satisfied that one has salted away wealth for tomorrow !

  5. An apt response to Partha by Subra…its a typical Indian mentality of giving dowry to get the best son-in-law and despair when thing turn otherwise…why crib for paying fees to doctors when there are so many alternatives available..or just turn up at a Government Hospital for free if you are lucky.

  6. haplessTaxPayer on March 31st, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Nobody is cribbing about paying to doctors – everyone appreciates a good doctor.
    They are appreciated despite their fees.
    We all patients accept that doctors are there to earn money – nothing wrong in that.

    As a doctor if you are prescribing unnecessary tests/medicines [just because you have Sales pressure] – and that too inspite of high fees – well there is a problem.

    Also, doctor fraternity is strong/adult enough to defend themselves – why are you guys getting so worked up? Doctors themselves will accept the bad eggs they have in their fraternity that give docs a bad name.

    Again – no one is against doctors earning good money – but do not deny the unacceptable practices practiced by many doctors.

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