“Free? No thanks!” or “Free? Do tell! I actually understood all that.”

The financial world is full of people out to make a living. Like many other professions across many other industries, free stuff are usually used to promote services.

Recently I got a call from a credit card company offering free insurance.

“How much do I have to pay?” I asked

“Nothing, sir.”

End of the month I still got billed for the insurance, purely because monthly installment plans on credit cards are considered outstanding and therefore insurable.

There is no free lunch of course, but to illustrate the complexity of financial terminology and what triggers what.

And it is a good experience because now I understood how credit card insurance works first hand. There are many innovative ways the financial world is earning a living and it is always evolving.

Just recently a client was shocked to find out the new free insurance he’s enjoying is actually paid from cash value from an existing policy. The mechanics and paperwork need to be signed certainly is complicated, and there are many sleigh of hand needed to not alert the client as to the duplicity. Finally the client found out thru the online insurance portal and with the help of professionals reading thru the policies.

We can debate the terminology of free vs the intent of the promoter but the point is not to shy away from the financial world just because it scares you. Just recently another client share her fears that registering for direct debit payments will open her account up for unlawful withdrawals. So the utility bills continued to be paid thru the post office.

Most people are scared to interact with the financial world and it resulted in many people holding on to rules of thumbs that do not reflect on the true intent of the financial products. ‘There’s no free lunch’ overpowered ‘you get what you paid for’.

Instead of approaching money with the great zest that it is part of our wellbeing, we live in constant fear of being cheated. Do we want to be a turtle of an eagle? If so we must come out of our shell and interact with the world.

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