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Where is The Great Wall of China?

  • James Greene
  • 2nd of December 2015

Hitler once said “The greater the lie, the more people will believe it.” I’m not a fan of the fallen fuhrer. He ruined a perfectly good style of moustache (the Toothbrush moustache) for all who followed, and the name “Adolf” all but disappeared from German society by the early 50’s. Apparently it just wasn’t very popular with new born. All in all a bit of a bugger for the remaining Adolfs. I do though, have to agree with this statement.

The more we state things as fact, the more likely it is that it becomes so (the one example of this not working is with wives. I constantly tell my wife I’m awesome, but it does not appear to become fact). Let’s look at some examples:

The Great Wall of China is the only man made object to be seen from space. Sorry kids, but it’s not true. It’s an amazing feet of what man can achieve (especially a man with the resource of 1,000000 free labourers and 300,000 soldiers). You can get a sight at low orbit, but it’s impossible to spot from space.

Goldfish have a 3 second memory. Nope. While they may not be the smartest, they boast a memory span of 3 months. Better than most politicians.

Bats are blind. Wrong. Not only can they see. They also have echolocation. That’s why they’re so awesome.

Eve gave into temptation, and ate the forbidden Apple. Leave it out. There is no mention in the bible of any apple. Scholars agree that if Eve was tempted by forbidden fruit, it would more likely have been a grape or fig.

A penny dropped from the Empire State building will kill you. Not today it won’t. Terminal velocity of a penny is 30-50mph, which isn’t fast enough to kill. It’ll bloody hurt though.

Bulls hate red. Oh no they don’t. Bulls are colour blind. The bloke with the funny costume waving a rag in the bulls face is what draws the reaction.

Insurance is hard, and complicated. Really? Why? If you believe this then you have not spoken with the right professional.

We don’t help this perception in the Insurance profession. I was at a seminar just the other day, and the host, a journalist who reports on the financial service profession, said “I write about this stuff and understand it. But even for me it’s complicated. It’s difficult for clients to understand”. When a key industry commentator calls it complicated, what hope have we to change this way of thinking.

I challenge this way of thinking. I think our profession needs to as well. For too long we have gone along with this but I feel it to be a massive misconception.

The truly difficult part for a client is taking that first step, and arranging time to meet with an Adviser. To open yourself up to, what for some anyway, can be tough conversations…that’s the tough part. But if you’ve already made the decision to seek advice then the client has already overcome the hardest part of the whole process.

Good advice is about asking good questions, and listening. If you have sought the advice of a good Adviser they will make this part easy for you. It’s just a conversation. No more, no less. The Adviser does the work, the Adviser breaks down the complexity. “Where do I start” “What can I get” “how do you fill out the forms” “How much do I need” “what can I afford and how do I make it work”. All the complex parts for the clients, all made easy by the Adviser.

“The products are confusing and complicated”

As a client, I needed to understand the following:

  1. If I die. What sort of a world to I want/need my family to live in. How much do I need to create that world for them?
  2. If I can’t work for a period of time because I’m ill/injured do I have options? I want to be able to keep paying the bills, paying for the weekly shop, paying the mortgage, paying for the weekly swim lesson with my little girls, and pay my $19.99 monthly fee to watch Premier League Pass. Can I do this?
  3. If we have to face a more traumatic event can I provide my girls with a cushion. Time in which we can face the event together as a family, and not be burdened by money problems or forced to keep working if I don’t want to.
  4. If something bad happens I want the choice of how I’m treated medically, and where. How do I do this?

That’s it. That was the basis for our conversations. My Adviser facilitated these conversations, prompted us with questions, and made us think. I honestly do not understand why this has to be called complicated? If you can tell me I’m open to your point of view, truly. But I just don’t see the hard side…because that falls on the shoulders of my Adviser. He has to deal with the forms, the providers, underwriters’ etc. Once he helped us complete the forms our role in the process was done.

He helped us understand the recommendation. Understand the “jobs” our insurance products were in place to do. It wasn’t about products, it was about helping us be in touch with what the products were there to do, and in what situations. Get that right, and as a client, it doesn’t have to be complicated at all.

So remember kids. James Greene is awesome, talented, smart and staggeringly handsome. James Greene is awesome, talented, smart and staggeringly handsome. James Greene is awesome, talented, smart and staggeringly handsome.


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The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Zealand Home Loans.

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James Greene
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