Who doesn’t like a free lunch?
Wait, what I mean is who doesn’t like a “free” lunch?
Years and years ago when I was running the business in a different office, every Wednesday for lunch, we would have wholesalers from different financial product companies come in to “teach” us about their product and its applicability to our client’s financial needs. From there you could attend dinners or other events that they sponsored. For a couple of years I thought, “I get it, they just want me to buy their product.” And I was right, but that was not the only agenda.
The agenda was not just to get me to buy their products. I was the product! The goal was to get as much information about me, the advisor, to then build new products with more appeal or sell my information to other financial institutions to help them market to me.
Today, this concept of information, your information and you as the product, is an enormous and lucrative business. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and possibly any other online platform, are able to monetize their services by selling you as the product. I don’t think there is an easy answer to fix this or that any regulation will be put in place in the near future to curb abuses of our personal information. Clients often ask, “How do I keep my confidential info safe?” It is a good question, and without sounding alarmist, I would also like to convey that your social security number and date of birth are not the only valuable pieces of information worth safeguarding.
There is so much good emerging from technology and the internet, I find it can be easy to overlook the risks, when the possible convenience is so huge. Before I download the next app, or agree to the next upgrade, I am going to try and ask myself the question, “Whose agenda am I on right now?”
Are you up for doing the same?
On a lighter note 🙂 Happy Happy Friday!