Pretty much anywhere you go today, there will be some fine print somewhere that people are legally obligated to mention but they don’t want you to know about. You will find in on ads and commercials, lease agreements, membership forms and anything to do with money such as bank agreements, investments and credit applications.
You might find a medicine with tiny writing that mentions tens of side effects from anal leakage to death. People might think twice about taking certain meds. If everyone read every form or agreement from cover to cover, they would never have any time to enjoy whatever it is that they are buying. Credit cards have the best system. They send you a 20 page book of fine print with all kinds of legal jargon that would take you weeks to get through. To top it off, if you did spend the time wading through it, by the time you are finished, they send you a new book with their new policies. They are legally bound to inform you of any changes but when they send you the whole book over again and don’t highlight the changes, they might as well not send you anything.
Fine Print is something that we are accustomed to and because of this, our minds just block it out most of the time. Does this mean that we are signing our life away and need to just hope for the best?
The answer is NO. You don’t need to read all the fine print but you do need to be educated about what the fine print may contain. To educate yourself, know this:
If something looks too good, it probably is.
A medicine that will cure any ailment (1% of the time in a study on Rats), probably needs to be looked into a little further. Instead of reading all the fine print, do a quick google search, read up on it a little and then ask your doctor about it once you are educated. Reading up on it first lets you ask educated questions instead of just taking someone’s word for it.
A credit card with a 1% interest rate also is missing some information. What I have found to be successful is calling their customer service line and asking any questions you may have. All calls are recorded and the customer service representative is obligated to give you accurate information in words that you can understand.
Anytime you receive a letter that something has changed, call up customer service and find out what it is. I like American Express because they usually answer you within a couple of minutes. Other cards sometimes take half an hour to finally answer.
Have you seen the Honda Civic that is advertised for $159/month? They forget to tell you that the price is for a manual base model with $2500 down and all sorts of other service fees. Not to mention less miles included than the average lease and a higher cost per additional mile afterwards.
To get around this, I like to do some research on my own by going to http://www.consumerreports.org first because it gives you their unbiased ratings of the car you are looking for and all similar cars, broken down into every category as well as what they should cost. A membership is about $6/month or $26/year, definitely a good investment when you are looking for a car. My next step is to search around for other dealerships offering the same or similar cars and speak to sales reps from each. They are all in competition with each other so they are quick to give away each other’s secrets. After speaking to about 3 sales people, you will have a good picture of what the car should cost.
The Most Important Thing is when you are in doubt, speak to someone. The more people you speak to the luckier you get because each person will give you a little more information to help you piece everything together. Customer service agents, friends and sales people can all help you out. Speaking to people is more fun than reading and you will probably gain more from it as well. When you speak to people, you might find out about better products and services that you won’t find out about by struggling to understand the fine print for one company.
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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