Expense Account, Mint
I’ve long thought about how to handle the barrage of mail and calls from readers, viewers, friends and family asking for help to deal with a financial problem. The most worrisome are those that complain about a case of mis-selling, that is, the sale of a financial product by a banker, agent or planner, through deception about the product’s features, what it can do for the investor, its costs and its ability to solve an articulated problem of the investor.
The temptation to pick up the phone and get the problem solved is high. But that makes it good for just one person, leaving the deeper problem intact. And the messy issue of becoming a power broker yourself in the process—and a part of the problem. The regulatory change will happen but it will take time. Is there another way to crack it for somebody who has been hit by a wrong financial product and is in financial distress? The good news is that there is a way out. I find that the people who complain fall into two buckets. One, those who want somebody else to fight their battles. Two, those who are willing to engage with the problem but are uncertain of what to do. This piece is for those who find themselves sitting in bucket two. Want to do, but don’t know how. Chances of redress are highest for those in bucket two. And the feeling of empowerment is something the entire refunded money can’t buy! I’ve now seen a few people who have had their money refunded by banks, insurance companies and art funds that used verbal lies to sell these products. Here’s a three-step guide to a Money Back do it yourself (DIY).