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Mystery Solved: Why the Financial Markets Collapsed

August 9, 2009
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Recently, I got a call from a representative at a major financial advising/insurance company. She had gotten my name from someone and was calling in regards to the possibility of interviewing for a job at this company. The brief conversation went something like this:

REP: We’re looking to hire people who would be great at helping people with their finances.

ME: I should be up front in saying that I don’t have any finance education or experiential background. [Note: Sometimes I’m a bit shaky on the phone, so my response my have been closer to: “Me no money school.”]

REP: Oh, that’s not a problem. We’re more interest in people who are really social and outgoing. [Read: “We’re looking for people who are likable enough to make a sale. We don’t give a damn how much they know about finance.”]

ME: [Deciding I want nothing to do with a financial advising company that doesn’t care about finance] Oh, I’m glad you said that. I generally avoid hanging out with people.

REP: You’re probably not a good fit for our company then.

ME: Good luck finding more smooth talkers to bust the economy. [Okay, I didn’t say that.]

Seriously? This is an issue. And it’s not to say that all financial advisors need to have majored in finance. But it’s too apparent that this company was interested in people who could make a sale, not actually give legitimate advice. How can you trust the advice of a person who wants to sell their product to you?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Neeraja permalink
    August 10, 2009 8:24 am

    I mean…they do train you pretty heavily to work in that industry, and you have to take a couple of certification exams to TEST that you’ve learned the information and are qualified to give people information.

  2. August 10, 2009 8:54 am

    Good point…I was just surprised at how little it mattered to the company. Couldn’t she have followed up with a question about my interest in finance, at the very least?

    • Neeraja permalink
      August 11, 2009 8:54 am

      But the thing is, that job really ISN’T finance. It’s sales. The majority of your time is spent talking to clients, building trust with them, understanding their needs. They have whole other departments who are responsible for researching and understanding the financial side, who will say, this package is for a client who is risk-averse, older, looking to retire soon, etc.

      Can you tell I used to work at one of these companies? And also why I don’t work there anymore?

      • August 11, 2009 11:20 am

        That makes sense, to divide people up into areas that maximize their talents…just don’t call them financial advisors. Just like how door-to-door sales shouldn’t be called “marketing.” Or even advertising. It’s not. It’s sales.

        What’s wrong with calling sales jobs what they are?!

  3. margot permalink
    August 10, 2009 8:07 pm

    But maybe you could have been one of the few that blew away the knowledge base in finance…. erase stereotypes. Remember who has the upper hand here.. the one already employed 🙂 But don’t really know how ‘tongue and cheek’ this entry is really. I am not good at reading sarcasm.

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