Category: Politically Incorrect

Politically Incorrect; Thinking of Selling Life Insurance? Don’t

They Only Want To Sell Your Friends And Family

If you are in your mid fifties, and have to re-invent yourself, a lot of people look at selling Life Insurance as a possible career choice, but don’t do it, and hears why. When it comes to hiring new agents, Life Insurance companies, LIE. The only thing, Life Insurance Companies are interested in, is your circle of friends and family. They look at new agents as Sales Funnels to new business. These companies have no incentive to limit hiring, they offer jobs to anyone interested and hope that a small percentage will at least be able to sell their friends and family. But Let’s start at the beginning.

Licensing Is A Cottage Industry

The whole Insurance licensing procedure, is a cottage industry in and of itself. In order to sell Insurance you need to obtain a license from the State in which you want to sell. In order to obtain such license, you need to pass the States Insurance examination. An exam based on a fifth grade reading level and can be passed with a few days of study. There are numerous testing companies approved by the State to give the examination, they charge anywhere from $90.00 to $125.00 each time you take the examination. Before taking the examination it’s strongly suggested, especially by the Insurance company, that you complete an on-line training course, there are many of these available on the internet and they charge anywhere from $100.00 to $200.00, depending on the license you’re seeking to obtain. Once you pass the test you are required to get finger printed and your background checked, this usually this costs anywhere from $15.00 to $25.00.

They Hire Almost Anyone

Most Insurance Companies prefer a College Degree but this is not mandatory. And while they prefer that you already be licensed this is also not mandatory. Actually a lot of Companies will help you become licensed, and it just so happens that they have the perfect on-line course for you, they may even offer a reimbursement, after you make your first sale. This should be illegal. They will often allow you to start training on their products before a license is obtained. All training is at your expense, and this should also be illegal.

You Don’t Get Paid

The majority of Agents work on a commission basis, which means that the pay is directly related to the sales you close. Most Insurance companies pay on a strictly commission basis with no base salary. All the training you attend comes at no cost to the company, they love not having to pay to train, this is also where they start pressuring you, to think about who among your family and friends, could use the policies being discussed. The trainer is required to go with you on any appointments you make, with your friends or family, and usually takes a piece of your commission if a sale is made. This is the sales funnel.

Like Working For A Call Center For Free

Most Insurance Companies state that they provide hot sales leads to their agents, this is a LIE. If the new agent doesn’t have a book of friends and family to start working, they are giving lists of names to start calling. These lists are bought wholesale by the Agency, and have normally already been worked by numerous agents for months, sometimes years. In essence the Insurance Company creates a free Call Center, using new Agents, with all the abuses of the worst Call Centers, with a bell to announce appointments made, creating a competitive environment, while insinuating, if your not willing to make at least 300 calls, and work an eight-hour day, at your expense, that your not really hungry enough, or dedicated enough to succeed as an agent for them. This practice should be illegal.

Selling An Intangible

The products that the Industry sells are basically solid, experts project a 22% growth in the industry through 2020, with the strongest segment being in companies that sell Long Term Care and other health related policies as the population ages. These are not impulse buys and the customer usually knows what they want and has already researched what they are looking for. These customers call Insurance companies looking for information they are not a good call center or door to door prospecting target. Even if you locate a good prospect, the product itself is hard to sell. While an intangible is always a hard sell because of the health questions insurance is even more so.

95% Of New Agents Fail Within One Year.

Industry Analysts place the burn out rate for 1st year Life Insurance Agents at greater than 90%. Fewer than 1 in 10 people who embark on a career selling Life Insurance remain in the business beyond one year. If your in a position to where you have to reinvent yourself do yourself a favor and don’t try to do it selling Life Insurance.

As Always, thanks for visiting. Dave

 

 

 

 

Politically Incorrect; Assisted Living A Scandal Waiting.

Looking at the Options

Being the product of a divorced home, I’ve had the inevitable opportunity, to see two sets of parents, go through the Assisted Living experience. I want to share with you my Dad’s experience.

My Dad developed Parkinson Disease probably in his early to mid sixties. The disease progressed steadily for the next ten years to where he could no longer live independently. Not being in a position emotionally to care for him myself, we started looking to find Assisted Living Facilities for him.

Price the Same No Matter Where You Live?

Like everything, you have your Good, Better and Best options. Obviously wanting the best for Dad we started looking at the Best Facilities. We toured a number of facilities,both in Indiana where Dad had his home and in Nevada, where I lived. I was surprised right at the start to find that the facilities in rural Indiana charged the same as facilities in urban Las Vegas, Nevada. This has never made sense to me since the median price of a home in Indiana was around 150,000 and in Vegas it was around 350,000. It was obvious that the cost of living of a particular geographical area had no impact on the cost of Assisted Living. The Assisted Living Industry has standardized the price throughout the U.S. This Industry is dominated by a few major Corporations. We are talking BIG money and these corporations call the shots.

The Best

While it’s true that these facilities follow the good, better, and best formula, these are totally based on socioeconomic guidelines. The best facilities are for the wealthy, better is for the middle class, and good is for the poor. While Dad would be considered wealthy by most, in touring the best facilities, he felt uncomfortable. The idea of wearing a sports coat to dinner under chandeliers, with classical music playing in the background just left him cold. And while he could afford the basic cost (no assistance) of $4000.00/month for a studio was affordable, it just didn’t suit him.

The Better

So we started to look at the next tier of facilities, the better, designed for middle class sensibilities. We found these to be more to his taste, very nice without being ostentatious, comfortable well appointed living rooms, large and airy dinning rooms, theaters and libraries and even bistros for midnight snacks, some even had swimming pools and spas. With the basic cost (no assistance) of $3000.00/month for a studio, this seemed to fit Dad’s needs. He upgraded to a one bedroom for only an additional $200.00/month. After his initial evaluation, it was determined that he didn’t need any special assistance dressing, bathing or feeding himself so his cost would only be $3200.00/month for a one bedroom. These rooms had a sink, a mini refrigerator and a microwave.

After six months the nurse practitioner decided that Dad needed too much assistance dressing, so they tacked on $500.00 a month. Dad was often frustrated that it took forever to get anyone to help him dress. It would take him 45 minutes to get his shirt on by himself. This became a constant irritation to him. After a year of being frustrated, over little things, Like Staff never answering repeated requests for help. Dad wanted to look at different Families, to see if he could get better service cheaper. It’s at this point that my education about the Assisted Living Industry really began.

The Good

We had seen the best and the better so now we were going to check out the good. The facilities designed for the poor. The larger facilities in most cases had the feel of hospitals. The studios could only be described as better appointed hospital rooms, with the lobby, dinning rooms and recreation areas all with the feel of a nursing home. With a basic cost (no assistance) of $2000.00/month for a studio, appealed to Dad’s frugality, it obviously wasn’t what he was looking for. It’s at this point that we started to look at Group Homes.

Free Referral Service?

The Assisted Living industry has all types of services, available at no cost, to help families, find suitable arrangements. These services, I’m sure, are paid on a commission basis, by the group homes, for finding and directing qualified prospects to them. But I have not really investigated that side of the business. Most referral services have a number of homes they work with though, they know the price structures of each home, and the applicants’ ability to pay. While the whole industry needs to be scrutinized, special attention needs to be placed on Group Homes, this area is ripe for abuses to occur.

Group Homes

Group Homes follow the same socioeconomic breakdown of good for the poor, better for the middle class, and best for the wealthy. Always looking for a deal Dad insisted on looking at a Group Home that cost $2000.00/month. Our referral assistant knew of a home that had an opening for one male. She took us to an average looking house, in an average neighborhood, from the outside it looked like a normal three or four bedroom house. Upon entering, we were meet by the operators of the home, a husband and wife team who had satisfied the State requirements to manage a Group Home. We came to find out that an individual can have one or many Group Homes and because it’s very lucrative the more the better. It’s an Industry that gets very little attention.

Very Lucrative

Upon entering, we found nine people, sitting or milling about the living room, watching TV. They showed us the bed they had available for Dad, he only shared the bedroom with one other man, two of the bedrooms had three beds in them. This turned out to be a five bedroom house with the master being used by the operators. They could handle ten people, which at $2000.00 each comes out to $20,000.00 a month. Very lucrative indeed.

Kitchen enclosed with a Chain Link Fence

We noticed that the kitchen had been enclosed with a chain link fence with a lock on the door, when we inquired about it we were told that residents weren’t allowed in the kitchen in order to prevent possible fires due to residents putting styrofoam containers on the stove or cans in the microwave. That meals were provided three times a day. After walking the house for a few more minutes, wondering how twelve people could live there comfortably we left. The referral agent told us we could move in immediately and that the rent would be prorated, we asked her if this was standard for $2000.00 a month, she said that there were homes that didn’t have as many residents, but that it was pretty standard. We asked her if she knew of anyplace for maybe $3000.00/month. She knew of a number of homes at that price and after visiting a few, Dad found a nice Home, where he could have the master bedroom and garage access, and that only had one other resident. All for only $3500.00 a month. Dad ended up living there for almost a year until a slip and fall in the shower sent him to the hospital from which he never recovered.

The Next Big Scandal

It’s my belief that the Assisted Living Industry is the next big scandal waiting to hit the headlines. I inquired about the average time a person lived in Assisted Living and was told it’s between two to three years. At those prices I wondered if it was because the resident died or just ran out of money. All one needs to do is Google Assisted Living Scandal to see that it’s an issue that is calling for investigation and possible over site. It’s time we look at these national organizations who have obviously colluded to set prices across the country but to especially look at these Group Home entrepreneurs who are making huge amounts of money with very little if any oversight.

As always, thanks for visiting. Dave

 

 

 

 

Politically Incorrect; Thinking of Setting Up an Antique Booth?

Thinking of setting up an Antique booth in an Antique Mall as maybe a little side hustle? Don’t and I’ll tell you why. There are so many systemic weaknesses in the business model it’s almost hard to know where to start. The first systemic weakness is that the Antique Store as a going concern, has become something you do, as your waiting to go to lunch. It’s become like a tourist attraction, where people walk through with no intention of buying anything. And if on the off chance, they happen to see something they like, they quickly pull out a phone and research it on Ebay, where they can quickly get an education and the good, better and best price. Nowadays most Antique Stores list a large part of their inventory on Ebay, and it’s not surprising to hear that 50-75% of their business comes from their on-line postings.

The second systemic weakness, is the way the Antique business has trained their customers, not to pay the marked price. You can casually walk a store and hear over and over the same weak enticement, “if you see something you like, let me know I’m sure we can work something out”. They create the impression that they are desperate to sell almost at any price. After years of this type of behavior, customers look upon Antique Stores and Malls, as not much better than a flea market or garage sale. It’s like it’s “Let’s Make a Deal” and the dealers are Monte Hall.

The third systemic weakness is the rise of the Antique Malls, with their mistaken belief, that there is strength in numbers. The only people making any money are the Mall owners. This is such a sucker deal that it has to be discussed in it’s entirely. First off they charge anywhere from 1.50 to 3.00 per square foot of space. So a 10’x10′ booth can run anywhere from 150.00 a month to 300.00 a month depending on where the booth is located in the Mall. Booths near the front or on the corners can even demand more.

In addition to the rent, most Malls take a 10% cut of anything they ring up at their registers. Side deals or off site transactions are strictly forbidden. The Mall is only interested in sales and has no incentive in maintaining the gross margin of a booth owner. Since the Mall makes 10% on anything you sell, in a lot of cases they even volunteer to call the owners, to see if they will accept a lower price on behalf of the customer. The Mall owners often develop an adversarial relationship with the booth owners, if they refuse to answer their calls or constantly refuse to drop their prices, even for the most ludicrous offers. On top of the rent and the 10% override many Malls require the booth owners to work one or two days a week, for free.These 8 hr shifts constitute free labor for the Mall, and they love free labor.

Malls advertising budgets are often small and ineffectual or non-existent. They relief in large part on the booth owners use of their own social media platforms, to advertise the Mall for them. After all how do you advertise your booth without telling them where it’s at and as such advertising the Mall. The Mall owners love this free advertising and will actually criticize you if your social media presence is weak.

It’s these three systemic weaknesses, that have made setting up an Antique Booth a losing proposition. You better off building a website and creating an on-line store, but when you factor in the cost of shipping and handling this puts additional strain on profit margins that are already very low. You basically (depending on your cost) making pennies on the dollar. That’s why the Affiliate Marketing business model makes so much sense. Choose from millions of products to promote without the hassle of maintaining inventories or shipping. In addition to that depending on the products you promote there are many opportunities for residual payments, and who doesn’t like the idea of being paid over and over for making one sale.

If, you have never considered Affiliate Marketing I encourage you to take a look at the Wealthy Affiliates Platform. It’s free, but whatever you do don’t try setting up an Antique Booth, the industry has killed itself.

https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=e78a81fe

As always, thanks for visiting. Dave

 

 

 

 

 

Forgive College Loans

When Education became Big Business

In the 60s a belief started to form that a blue collar job was bad and if you wanted to get ahead in society you had to have a white collar job, and you needed a college degree, in order to get it. As this belief started to spread you started to see more and more high schools eliminating there technical training classes and replacing them with college prep classes.

Slowly the perception started that tech classes where for the slow minded and kids started to look down at classes like auto tech or woodworking tech. As interest in these classes diminished, they slowly started to disappear in high schools across the country. Denying millions of kids, who would have been more than happy,learning the basics of a trade, out in the cold

Big Finance saw an Opportunity

With the changes in 65 by the Johnson Administration, Student Loans became Federally backed and made available to everybody, no matter what the families income. This played right into the hands of Big finance, who took advantage of this dis-empowering belief, and with there unlimited advertising muscle, and the control of Congress have been able to turn millions into Debt Slaves.

Why has the Cost of College Skyrocketed

Colleges and Universities have been and still are prime supporters of this dis-empowering belief for obvious reasons, the business of Education has become big business, as the tremendous rise in Tuition will attest. The rapid rise in tuition is directly linked to the easy access to loan monies, they have been co-conspiritors with big Finance and have been more than happy to see families and young people go into great debt, without remorse.

They are lying to us

It can no longer be said, if it ever was,that Colleges and Universities teach the critical thinking skills that people need to get ahead in society. These skills are inherent in everyone and only need enlightened guidance and good practices to bring them out. These same colleges and Universities are guilty of false advertising and have not fulfilled there obligations, they have become bastions of elitists, that talk diversity through the sides of there mouths. They stifle free speech and can not tolerate anyone that doesn’t hold there exalted views of themselves.

Student Loan defaults at all time high

Even now Student Loan defaults are at an all time high and rising. Isn’t it interesting also that it’s one obligation that can’t be dismissed through bankruptcy. The Government should do something for the millions who have fallen into arrears and do something about the inflated cost of higher education period. A market adjustment need to happen. We saw it with the Stock Market, Banks and Real Estate. Something needs to be done for the millions of families who suffer under the hardship of loans they will never be able to repay.

Big Business calls the shots

Why is Government always willing to bail out big Finance and do nothing for the average citizen? Our whole foreign Policy is based on what’s good for big Business. We spend Trillions in the Middle East while ignoring our own infrastructure and our own citizens. To many politicians are looking to capitalize on there relations with big business.

Education for the benefit of educators not students

And nothing will change until people start getting mad enough and demand that Higher Education in America is not for the advancement of the students, it’s for the advancement of Education, for the school administrators and the faculty. And especially for the benefit of big Finance, that sit’s there rubbing there hands like the proverbial “Fagan” in Dickens, asking how much do they owe us now.

Conclusion

I’ve asked a lot of people why they think the cost of a College education has gotten so expensive, and most people don’t have the foggiest idea. It’s because of the liberal access to loans that you can’t get out, of even by declaring bankruptcy. Anyone looking at College Campuses today can plainly see that the last thing they are interested in is the students. They are only interested in there own self-interest. Big Education is Big Business and something has to change.

We must realize that a College Diploma does not guarantee success today or in the future. It’s only important to Big Finance, and is a dis-empowering belief that’s being pushed by Big Finance and Big Education. An empowering belief is that there are other avenues available, and it’s not worth turning you and your family into Debt Slaves for life.

Big Education is quickly pricing themselves into irrelevancy and I’m happy to bring it to your attention

As always thanks for visiting, Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

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