Let us not even begin to count the number of times we have banged our phones on a banking solicitation because of their random calling patterns and over-exaggerated sales pitches that make us feel like we’re nothing but prospective dollar bills for them. In pursuit of financial relief, cash-strapped Singaporeans often end up jumping the shark and sign up for predatory schemes in hope of their ‘get-rich-quick’ dreams coming true.
Although the DNC (Do Not Call) Registry has given Singaporeans some relief from such sales calls; however, it has not been able to completely free us from them.
The scare of being cheated by the offers offered to us by banks is always there as they always, without fail, have a secret source of extracting money from the customers. But with the abundance of information all around us today, we may easily do research and avoid being taken for a ride by these over smart money consuming associations.
For your convenience, here is a comprehensive list of sales pitches that are a total waste of time and must never be entertained:
The “Steady Savings Plan with a 5%+ Interest Rate” Pitch
One should beware of this plan, especially if one is young because in simple words, this plan means getting your money locked up. It does save up your money but you do not get any access to that saved up money. The more you are attracted by interest rates that are above 5% or the more your insurer urges you to take up this plan, the more cautious you need to be.
Most plans like these are endowment plans that are going to be in place at least for the next 20 years, which means you will not be able to access your money for important expenses like your wedding, buying a home or car until the plan matures.
The “Exciting Investment Opportunity with Guaranteed 20%+ Annual Returns” Pitch
This is a polite way of selling a high-risk investment. Basically, the banks present a very honey coated version of the reality because safety and high returns never go hand in hand. Returns are always directly proportional with risks. The more risk we take, the higher returns we get.
As we all know that what goes up must come down, it is the same story with returns. It is not possible for returns to always be on the rise and they keep fluctuating. If one pays attention, one would notice that banks generally sell such a pitch mostly when returns are low. So we must keep a close eye on the fluctuating market because investment is all about timing.
The “Free of Charge Seminar + Bonus Gifts Galore” Pitch
Always remember that in life there are no free lunches. Seminars are more glamorized versions of phone calls. They are at an advantage because there is no risk of people banging phones on their faces. They lure in customers because we are all attracted to the word “FREE” and they make use of that.
Mostly, the seminars end up with the organizers persuading you to buy the products of whoever the sponsors of that seminar are and they have a higher chance of succeeding in it because you tend to be more impressed with their offers in person.
The “Balance Transfer Facility with a Dirt Cheap Interest Rate” Pitch
A low interest rate is good. It is good because it saves money but it is bad because the low interest rates are usually promotional offers and do not last more than a year. They would last a year only if we are lucky.
If you are ready to transfer you money, you must keep in mind that transferring balance usually has a 1% of the balance taken up as fee. One should take it up keeping all financial expenses in mind, including the interest rates that would need to be paid after the promotional low interest rates expire if one is unable to pay off your balance within that time period.
The “0% Interest for the First Year of Your Personal Loan” Pitch
0% interest rates also have expiry dates. This is one of the biggest tricks played by banks as one ends up paying much more than one bargained for. The interest rate might be zero in the beginning, but it takes a huge leap as soon as the zero percent interest rate is over. This often ends up with us spending more than double the amount of the personal loan we have taken.
So let us not be victims to attractive one-liners thrown at us by bankers and fully understand the pitch they are offering and how it will unfold in the long run before making any decision.
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