The day I mis-sold an insurance policy

About five years ago I had a couple in with me who were buying a home, I was helping them to determine their insurance needs and I realised that they had literally no protection if either of them ever fell seriously ill – not via their job/employer schemes or individually. So I suggested that they consider some serious illness cover, it would have cost them about €20 a month but they were insistent that they only wanted what was ‘cheapest and nothing more’.

As an adviser, it isn’t my job to always accept what people say they want because often, with adequate probing and understanding they actually want something entirely different, a skewed but simple way of understanding what I mean is that when saving or investing the majority of people want ‘high growth and high security’ – when in fact, these two features are normally night and day, if there ever was an asset that could deliver high growth with deposit account style security then everybody would pile in and the market would adjust accordingly, therefore you need to …

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The emotions of investing – Tanker shares

I have always liked shares, learning about them, finding out what various companies do and trying to spot trends, it all goes back to the time I spent in Chicago, I worked at a bar next to the board and many of the clients were options traders, then of course the annual stock traders convention was also hosted on the south-side at McCormick Place and apart from loving to drink those folks loved to share information, in particular with barkeep schmucks like me, because most of the highly successful traders didn’t have degrees from MIT or in some cases any university at all, most of them were gutsy practical types who read situations and made a call based on their belief, the kind that Krugman talked about in one of his recent articles.

Anyway, I still base a lot of investment decision on gut instinct, the technical analysis tells you certain thing, and for traders who can watch the hammers and candles all day that’s great, but for a …

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