There was one Sunday which my family visited a food court. There was a stall which claim to sell “Nonya” food. So my wife bought the Ayam Buah Keluak. The outcome turn out to be anything but Ayam Buah Keluak.
The stall did a short cut in the manner it cook Ayam Buah Keluak. The curry gravy used is meant for Asam fish. Before I continue, it is indeed true that the dish's gravy is indeed the asam fish but it should not taste identical to an asam fish dish. The reason is because once the buah keluak is cooked together with the dish, the gravy taste very differently. Apparently for this stall, they just added one buah keluak to it without cooking with it. The taste was horrible. The taste was far from the authentic ayam buah keluak. It tasted like sour curry chicken. In the sense, the stall misrepresented and cheated its customers. I am sure many customers who are unfamiliar with nonya food would never know they have been cheated.
While my wife was only cheated $5.50 and the financial lost is immaterial to us, many people are cheated with greater amount of money and the outcome is certainty not a mere lost of a few dollars. As a financial practitioner, I’ve seen countless individuals who have been cheated huge amount of their money without them even knowing. Examples of cheats are:
- Paying a four figure premium hospitalization insurance as a rider to a whole life policy. Regardless of how good this hospitalization insurance is, it can never be better than a three figure premium as-charged hospitalization shield plan. The former was probably recommended due to its high commission and the latter not recommended because commission was only sufficient to pay for a few cups of coffee. Imagine the client paying an amount 10 times that of an equivalent but more superior plan every year for the next many decades and you can imagine how much this mean in dollars and cents.
- Another area is with regard to critical illness. I’ve seen clients who have lots of critical illness cum whole life insurance and they though they have sufficient for hospitalization. They did not realized that a critical illness payout is never meant for reimbursing hospitalization medical bills. As a result, they don’t even have a shield plan.
- In terms of investment, I’ve also seen clients who were persuaded to put a whopping 6 figure sum into a single fund by their so-called private banker. There was a period of time which the hot fund was “Climate Change.” So this client of my placed a 6 figure sum into this Climate Change fund on persuasion of his private-banker who just show some presentation slides (which I also had). This is crazy – no asset allocation and no retirement planning (the client is a retired). What type of private-banker this is? Anybody with a gift of a gap can also do this kind of thing. What a low class private-banker.
- In another case I saw was also a retired person who sank a huge 6 figure sum into a property fund on persuasion of the bank person. His son persuaded him to seek my opinion to do some planning. To my horror, I found him to be lacking in insurance and does not have the finance to retire. He will run out of money eventually. To make matter worst, he suffered from leukemia but was in full remission. How could the bank did such a thing to be so unethical to get this man to buy a property fund in such a financial situation? Is there no law? Is there no God?
Thus, it is important for the individuals themselves to take some responsibility in research before they buy anything. Also always remember that if there is no commission to be earned, the product or advice will not likely be recommended. Commissions should be outlawed. It has caused significant harm to the industry as clients’ interests are not look after.
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