Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't be This Guy: Snarky Financial Douche Dude

I like to categorize things. I’m a little compartmental that way. Or just mental. I’m still deciding.

I had a meeting in a local hotel today (I pause while you all think of your snarky comments) and I passed a ballroom in which representatives of what I’ll kindly call a personal wealth seminar were selling their wares to ordinary people who happened to be free on a Tuesday afternoon.

I got a glimpse of the “leader” as I heard him say “we are your best option to get wealthy” and a couple of other guys stationed at the door about whom I made snap judgments. And categorized them.

They are, for lack of a better word, douches.

And, for the record, there is no better word to describe them.

I sat in the lobby for a few minutes to think, watch people, and hope my next blog subject came to me. I find that if you just open your eyes and watch people, they will provide all the comedy you need. So while I waited for lobby-dwellers to entertain me, I kept looking back at The Douche Ballroom.

This particular brand of douche, the “I am the only financial professional who knows how to balance your IRA with your money market accounts along with your portfolio to give you the maximum possible wealth, but only if you sign up today so I can meet my quota” guy makes me crazy. Particularly in this day and age, a little humility goes a long way. And, please, one extra percent on an IRA for someone who comes to a Tuesday afternoon hotel financial seminar is hardly “wealth.” It’s a vacation – maybe. Like Niagara Falls.

One guy, an aggressive balding guy who apparently has not garnered enough personal wealth to not work the door at a Tuesday afternoon lecture but does not possess the charisma to speak in the front of the room, kept coming out to talk to people who had the gall to try to return to their lives before the formal snake oil program had ended.

He confirmed his own douchery.

“It’s important to act today,” he told one woman. “You’d be amazed if you wait even a week how much money you’ll be leaving on the table.”

To another woman: “We are just inviting you to your own party.” (I’m not sure what that means, but it did remind me of some pick up lines used by fraternity brothers some years ago.)

Yet another victim: “You are worth way more than you know; Let me help you get there.” (For the record, people who measure anything in terms of “way more” are also douches. I’m sorry, balding money guy, can you show me “way more” on a bar chart or spreadsheet?)

Just listening to this guy made me want to shower. The whole “expensive silky shirt with no tie so that I’m casual but I reek of success if not some questionable cologne” routine is so easy to see through, at least for me. But that’s because I can smell a douche a mile away.

Especially when they provide me blog fodder. Now if I could only get another percentage point on my 401(k)….


Irene said...

I agree with you! (holy $h#@! Alert the record keepers) These scumbags particulary prey on the elderly who by the way have A LOT of free time during the week. Complete and utter douche bags the whole lot of them.

Anonymous said...

Yep, charlatans, hucksters, prey on the desperate... enough with all these "coaches" telling everyone how to live their lives in search of wealth. Have they no shame, no humility? And how do they look themselves in the mirror?

Sean and Jami said...

Seriously, if you are so good at making money, why do you need to standing in a hotel ballroom trying to sell something?

Cosmic Connie said...

Great post! But as my partner Ron likes to say, it's a misnomer to call these guys douches. An actual douche (or, for that matter, a douche *bag*) has some practical use and therefore some value.

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TommyMac71 said...

I was going to delete the "anonymous" posting -- but then I thought of the irony: that either a douche posted his get rich bullshit in the comments or our "anonymous" was having some ironical fun, and showing a human side.
Either way, it makes me smile

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