Knowing what is being sold is always a great idea for potential buyers.
It's also a money saver and a wealth builder over time. Money not wasted is money that can be saved and invested for the long haul.
If something expensive is being 'pitched' by the seller and it seems complicated to the potential buyer, then its provisions and details are definitely worth exploring until simplicity and a full understanding of the essentials of the offering are known and internalized.
Take variable annuities, for example.
MetLife to Pay $25 Million Finra Penalty Over Variable Annuities is subtitled 'Fine for allegedly misleading customers about retirement-income products one of largest such settlements to date:'
agreed to pay $25 million for allegedly misleading customers about
retirement-income products, regulators said Tuesday, in one of the
largest such settlements to date.
The insurer’s MetLife
Securities Inc. unit “made negligent misrepresentations and omissions to
customers” when replacing their variable annuities between 2009 and
2014, making them seem better for the customers than they actually
were, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said. . . .
Variable annuities are
products popular with older, risk-averse investors that offer tax
advantages to invest in stock and bond funds. For an added fee at many
insurers, investors can receive lifetime payments of a
guaranteed-minimum amount even if the underlying funds perform poorly. . . .
According to the Tuesday settlement, MetLife sometimes overstated the
cost of a customer’s existing variable annuity contract, which in some
instances increased a customer’s cost by 2% annually. The firm also
sometimes failed to tell customers a proposed replacement would reduce
or eliminate features of their existing variable annuity, Finra said.
annuities are complex and expensive products that are routinely pitched
to vulnerable investors as a key component of their retirement
planning,” Finra enforcement chief Brad Bennett said. “Firms engaging in
this business must ensure that the information on the costs and
benefits of these products provided to customers is accurate.”
A new rule from the Labor Department requires advisers working with retirement accounts to act as fiduciaries, putting their clients’ interest first."
Motivated sellers are everywhere.
Knowledgeable buyers are good buyers.
Knowledgeable buyers don't part with their money unless and until they fully understnad that what they are buying is worth the price being paid.
And that's true about insurance, car pricing and financing, credit card charges, student loans and tuition, home purchases and financing, retirement savings and investing, and so on.
A little upfront time adds up to a whole lot of after the fact savings over a lifetime of hard work.
It's well worth the effort getting to a better reality.
That's my take.