Sidney C. Walker
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November 2008

Are You Feeling Taken Advantage of
by Greedy People?

by Sidney C. Walker

 


60 Minutes did a great piece on derivatives. They were outlawed 100 years ago because they caused major problems then. Amazingly, with deregulation they slipped back into the system to cause major problems once again. Here is the link for those of you who may not have seen it.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4546583n
 

Also interesting, here’s a list of the earnings of the CEO’s from 2005-2007 of companies in trouble. As David Lettermen says, “Something doesn’t smell right here!” (Source: MSN Money Columnist: Michael Brush)

 

      Countrywide: Angelo Mozilo, $361.7mm

      Lehman Bros: Richard Fuld, $186.5mm

      Merrill Lynch: Stan O’Neal, $86mm

      Fannie Mae: Daniel Mudd, $11.6mm

      Bear Stearns: Jimmy Cayne, $42.3mm

      Citigroup: Charles Prince, $41.5mm

      WAMU: Kerry Killinger, $36mm

      AIG: Martin Sullivan, $25.4mm

      Wachovia: Kennedy Thompson, $16mm

      Freddie Mac: Richard Syron, $12.9mm

 

Finally, in talking to my clients who are well-meaning financial advisors, there is an underlying theme of feeling like you are doing the best you can to give the best advice possible and along come a few people that really mess up the system. Advisors can feel taken advantage of, lied to, etc. The system is supposed to work within certain perimeters. We have to patiently believe that we will get this mess fixed and get some regulations back in place to prevent another financial disaster.

In the meantime, it is more important than ever to demonstrate you are on the client’s side. The most powerful approach is to ask questions, encourage them to talk about their thoughts and feelings and not judge or “make wrong” whatever they say.

Here are some questions you can ask that show you care about their point of view whatever it is, and that you want to thoroughly understand their point of view.

 

      Tell me what would be most important to you?

      Why did you pick that one?

      Why do you say that?

      What makes you say that?

      Have you had an experience that makes you feel that way?

      Can you give me the short version of what happened?

      You seem to feel strongly about that, tell me more!

      How important is that to you?

      Is that something that would be nice or is that something you
       
 really want?

      If you could do anything you wanted with that situation, what
       
 would you do?

      What would be a home run?

      Are you open to creative ideas or do you like to stay with the
       
 more conservative solutions?

 

Remember, your clients goals haven’t changed, just the resources available for reaching them (in most cases). They need you more than ever!

Have a productive November,

Toll-free: 877-985-3297
sid@sidwalker.com
pat@sidwalker.com

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