Valuable Knowledge you Don’t Know

I’m going to change it up a bit with the blog today. I’ve been a Programmer, Stock Broker, Marketing guy and Business Owner over the years and have gained some nuggets of info I thought might be useful to you. This isn’t everything I learned at these positions, just a few bits of knowledge I picked up.

What I Learned as a Stock Broker

Stock Brokers are Not Taught Anything About Investing

I want to start this out by saying I’m not saying all stockbrokers don’t know how to invest money (just a large majority).

When I became a stock broker I thought part of my training would pertain to investing. Nope! I learned how to make cold calls, handle myself in a presentation and a lot of jargon. The series 7, 66, 3 etc. just require you to memorize stock market jargon to pass. A lot of jargon, but jargon that is largely not useful for intelligent investing.

I personally read numerous text books on finance and did quite well for my clients, but I was taught nearly nothing by the brokerage house.

Most Mutual Funds are Garbage

When I was a broker I picked good funds by going on Morningstar and searching for the following:

  • The manager has been there for 10+ years. (You can’t gauge long term performance with less than 10 years of proof)
  • I checked that I only wanted funds that never lost more than 5% in every year. I might sometimes adjust that number to -8% depending on the client.
  • I looked for at least a 5 to 10% return on a 3, 5, and 10 year basis

When I first searched with these parameters 8 years ago I was surprised to find 20 some mutual funds were returned? Go search now and see how many names are returned. None!

Don’t Trust a Guy that Says He Can Predict the Market

I met a broker that did very well for himself. One of the most successful I ever came across. How did he make his money? He fooled people into thinking he could predict stocks that would increase in value by 15+% in a matter of weeks.

Here is how he did it. There are things called volatility lists among other things. They basically are stocks that are expected to increase, or decrease in value dramatically. The problem is the decrease part.

So he would get his list of stocks that I will refer to as stock A, B and C. The first hundred people he called would get stock A, the next hundred B and so forth. He would say, “I have some stock ideas that can make you a significant amount of money, but I want to prove to you that I know what I’m doing…” He would then tell them to look for the stock in the paper over the next few weeks. If the stock increased dramatically (by luck) the prospect greatfully took the next call for his next great “Idea.”

Yes I did report him, but as far as I know nothing ever happened to him.

Want to Find Out if your Broker or Insurance Person is Honest?

Very simple. Ask them what they think about Variable Life and Variable Annuities. If they say anything positive about them they are looking out for themselves. These products are both total garbage, but they pay huge commissions.

Universal Life policies are almost always garbage as well. I’ll explain why if someone comments below.

What do Rich People Invest in?

Municipal and Corporate Bonds. I dealt with many millionaires and a wide majority of their investments were in bonds, not stocks, commodities, etc.

What I Learned in Telemarketing

I worked as a traditional telemarketer to sharpen my skills as a stock market telemarketer. I actually got so good that I graduated to writing telemarketing scripts. Here is my Phone Selling Article.

How do you Stop Telemarketer’s

Well you could sign up for the do not call list. Also by law if you state these words, “Put me on your do not call list”, they have to immediately stop selling and take you off the list. Reputable telemarketing firms will normally put you on the list if you say, “don’t call me anymore”, “this is my cell phone”, etc.

Telemarketing is the Worse Job Ever Right?

Actually it starts off as a great job. If you are a good salesperson you earn high commissions and are highly valued by the company. I felt more valued as an employee here, then with any other job I ever had.

The bad part is that, as you prove you can sell, you are forced to sell harder and harder products until your pay goes way down.

How can I Tell a Telemarketer is Calling?

If you pick up the phone and don’t get an immediate response there is a telemarketer on the other end of the line. Each person in the office is tied into 15 calls that all go out at once. The device that makes these calls is called an auto-dialer. The reason it is used is to keep employees on the phone almost constantly.

If one of these phones is picked up, the other 15 are normally disconnected, or passed to another employee. A few seconds passes during the transfer of this now open line, hence their is a few second pause.

How to Get the Best Deal from Telemarketer’s

Normally the telemarketer must offer you the worst offer first. They then proceed to option two and three, which is normally the best offer. The telemarketer normally gets paid the same no matter which they sell however. You knowing that can kindly say “I know you want a sale and I want the best deal, please skip the first two offers and give me the deal everyone wants, please.” More than likely they will give it to you if you are nice!

How to Tell if the Telemarketer is a Good Salesperson

If they start out by asking you a series of questions that require you to answer with a Yes, RUN! I explain what they are doing in the telephone skills article. If you stay on the line, they will probably sell you.

Everybody Plays Pranks on Telemarketer’s Right?

I was a telemarketer for some time and I can count on one hand the number of pranks played on me. The most common prank was to hand the phone to a child after they state, “I’ll let you talk to the boss.”

All telemarketer’s love when you get angry also.

I Could Go on Forever… But

I could continue forever, but I’m not sure if anyone is interested, because I never wrote an article like this? If you want more leave a comment below.

I’ll leave you with one more nugget. Most truck drivers are half awake behind the wheel and many have little experience. I worked at a company that put me on the road with about 4 hours experience behind the wheel of a two ton vehicle.

I then was forced on a regular basis to break Department of Transportation rules, almost on a daily basis in regards to how much I slept. It is very easy to dodge DOT rules. By law you must have 10 hours off between shifts. I normally had between 6 to 7, every single day. Sometimes this occurred 6 days in a row.

I eventually wrecked my truck because of exhaustion and the stomach flu. So if you see a big truck coming down the road watch out.

Till Next Time

-Think Tank

6 Responses to “Valuable Knowledge you Don’t Know”

  1. cliveruddick says:

    hi thnk tank. i just stumbled acrss your site. i thought i would leave a comment because no one else has. I have found some very ineresting articles and am very excited about coming back to learn more. i do not find that you go on at all. I find the information clear and interesting


  2. john says:

    Your vids are cool. Nice explanations, all packed in 15-30 mins worth of time. Best tutorials i’ve found concerning programming, yet

  3. Will Fitzpatrick says:

    Great information D,
    I am in a very competitive sales environment with some shady sales people, but i have always lived by the golden rule. Its really great to stumble accross some helpful knowledge to keep it fun.

    • Derek Banas says:

      Anyone that works in sales will find some shady sales people. It is nice to hear that you found ways to be honest. I found that very often there are so many people looking for dirty ways to make sales that they often ignored numerous honest opportunities.

      1. I worked at one place that decided it was best to allow insurance policies to lapse and then resell rather then solving the problem by being honest with the customers

      2. I run a business now in which I do all the work upfront to prove myself before I make any money. I instead receive a percentage of all future sales and I was able to annuitize work.

      There are just as many honest ways to make money as dishonest ones. I wish you the best 🙂

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