Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smart Alec and the dubious investment products

Some Smart Alec still hold the view, similar to our PAP leaders, that the ordinary people should be more carefully about their investments and deserve to be cheated if they venture into unfamiliar areas. These people overlook the following points:

  •  Some of the investment products are downright scams; other products are dubious and take advantage of the less savvy
  • The unwary investors were forced to consider other investments as the interest rate on bank deposits had fallen to nearly zero!
  • These dubious products are created by "talented" people who have no qualms about ripping off the unwary
  • The people who sell the products to their friends might even have been unaware about the toxic nature of these products
  • The dubious products are being sold under the banner of the financial institutions that they had trusted for decades.
If the argument of these Smart Alec were to be followed, then there is no need for the Government to test pharmaceutical products. The public should be careful about buying the products that are being sold to them. If they are not familiar with these pharmaceutical products, they should not consume them. 

We know that the argument does not hold in the case of pharmaceutical products, and that the Ministry of Health takes the responsibility to test and approve the products. They do not expect the doctors to take this responsibility.

One day, the victims of these dubious investment products will be the family members of these Smart Alec. Then they will realize what harm they have been causing to their loved ones.


Tan Kin Lian said...

Normally, I avoid using labels such as "Smart Alec" to any group of people. But, I have received the response from this type of people so often, and they think that they are right, that I wish to make an exception to my own standard. But, it will be an exception, as I do not wish to label people unfairly.

zhummmeng said...

Mr. Tan, you are not wrong to use the words 'smart alec' to describe some of these charlatan salesmen. There are so many of them giving dubious advice right in the insurance companies and banks.These smart alecs are glib tongue salesmen and women who con their own freinds, policy holders and relatives who trust them. This is how the smart alec operate their business. They have no conscience to rob them.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Shummmeng, I am not referring to the insurance sales people, but to the other people who stand by and said that these people deserved to be cheated, because they were greedy (to get a higher return) and did not make their own research.

yujuan said...

Let's put on our thinking caps.
Why the Authorities use different standards for investment and pharmaceutical products.
When people die after consuming medicinal products, Govt is held accountable for their deaths for being lax, so large sums of money and time are spent on engaging laboratory staff and buying equipments to test these drugs for safe human consumption.
As for dubious investment products, they dun want to allocate such expensive huge resources to vet them for sale to the public, so die die is your own business.
It all boils down to saving money first, then dun wan to be responsible, saving them the headache and embarrassment of another Lehman-like episode.
The money saved could be used to pay the regulator and other senior staff big salaries and bonuses.
It's the smell of money and pushing away responsibility that is the crux of the whole matter.
So folks, trust yourself first, and also read Dr Andy Ho's articles in the ST papers, regarding health matters, dun also trust our Health authorities blindly on what they approve for sale of drugs and supplements, paying attention on research of nano-technology being promoted in Singapore. Nano particles could be deadly to our bodies.

Tan Kin Lian said...

@yuyuan. It is quite easy to evaluate financial products, compared to a pharmaceutical product.

The impact of a bad financial product can be quite serious, as it may lose the loss of a large fortune that affect a person and the family for a long time.

The authority only needs to think out of the box, rather than to avoid taking responsibility and continue a bad practice blindly.

Singapore's 5 Minute Investment Diary said...

The starting point for any public servant is "to do the right thing" rather than "reduce cost" or "increase profit".

If "do the right thing" exceeds the government budget, then bring this to the attention of the public.

And let the public decide whether to "reduce cost" or "increase taxes so that we can afford to do the right thing."

sgcynic said...

Unfortunately, this government's mindset is to equate "to do the right thing" as "reduce cost" or "increase profit". The latter two are fundamental and precede all policy considerations.

zhummmeng said...

The dubious investment products are those scam limited payment endowment and cashback products. They are NO INVESTMENT or SAVING vehicles by any definition. You don't save to lose, right? These products prey on kiasu and ignorant stupid consumers and there are many including the smart alecs.

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