I passed by a Prudential roadshow at AMK Hub last Thursday (6 Sep 07). They were promoting savings plan - PruSave & PruCash. I actually am aware of these 2 products but I just sat down with a Pru adviser that fateful day in a purpose to increase my awareness.
The financial adviser did all the talking and I must say she's really good in talking. She just went on and on, clocking a record breaking number of words per minute. She first went through PruSave followed by PruCash after knowing I prefer liqudity. PruSave, a savings plan with no withdrawals, requires one to lock-in for 25 years and yield a 5-7% p.a. returns. PruCash, a savings plan with flexibility of withdrawing 60% of the amount saved yearly after 2nd year, will yield a return of approximately 5% if no withdrawals are made and a return of 3-5% if withdrawals are made. These plans are suitable if we are towards a conservative side. However, if we want to take slightly higher risk, we can consider investing in a diversified portfolio of bonds and equities. If we do not want the hassle of maintaining investment ourselves, we can opt for a Investment Linked Policy (ILP) with majority of premium towards investment portion.
There are actually lots of savings plans in the market e.g. Prudential's PruSave, NTUC Income's RevoSave, HSBC's PowerSaver, e.t.c. There are certainly far too many in the market. It would be more wise to make comparison before making a decision among these plans. If we are too lazy to compare on our own, we can engage a qualified Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) to make comparisons. Please note that IFAs are not able to service certain products from certain companies like those from Prudential's and Great Eastern's and AIA's. However, this just means they have access to an even wider pool of products to service e.g. from ManuLife, HSBC, e.t.c. without limiting oneself to only 1 company.
After almost 45 minutes of talk, she finally come down to the main part - filling in my personal financial assessment and signing the policy. I quickly told her I will need to consider before making a decision. She then went on telling me Prudential will take 2 weeks to process before sending me the "Terms & Conditions" and I will have a further 2 weeks to cancel the policy. This effectively means I can sign the policy before I even start consider whether to take up the policy. I would say this is a very aggressive tactic used by this particular Prudential adviser. My guess is if one is being persuaded into signing a policy after knowing he has got 4 weeks to make product comparison or do some serious considerations, I really doubt he will go back home and make product comparison. Humans are too lazy to bother about these things thinking products are similar. I would say there's a 99.99% chance the adviser will end up getting the deal closed if this tactic is successful. I wonder if this tactic is taught by Prudential's trainers themselves? In my opinion, this is an unethical act.
Just before I left, the adviser told me she had run out of name cards and so would have to give me a "missed call" so I would be able to note down her phone number. She called using the phone number I provided earlier. I wonder what would have happened if the number I provided was fictitious. I bet it would have been very embarrassing. I bet this is just another tactic in finding out if I really gave a valid phone number. That's very cunning of her!
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