Proof: Foolish Thinking Produces Fools (final entry)

As we head into the final holiday of the summer, I thought I’d make my own final entry on the foolishness I see portrayed more often than I dare try to quantify. It started when I was working on a project while the television was on. (You can read part 1 and 2 here)

Here’s my current perception of how I see what “financial television” has evolved into: Bloomberg® for flavor of the day financial banter, CNBC® for comedy, and Fox® for soft porn. I mean it’s just ludicrous what the so-called “financial” outlets have turned into. What’s next? Someone pounding buzzers, whistles, and gongs as they give out 401K advice to attract viewers? Wait…scratch that.

So as I wrote earlier we went from a story about a 10-year-old girl flying alone, then to the commercial breaks where they went from hiring a babysitter via the web to the final one that in my mind took the cake – literally!

Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to the wonder additive with claims so powerful it would make P.T. Barnum blush: SENSA® Weight loss system.
Just shake this magic powder on that ice cream sundae and bammo! Forget the treadmill, you’re in the 21st century now. You don’t diet to be lean and mean. You now get to eat all that fat and cream. “Just shake, shake, shake!”

The commercial is all about showing (or claiming) the benefits of this product by parading what looks like college age girls in bikinis dancing on the beach as they eat corn dogs, ice cream cones, and more. Although I’m all for girls in bikinis, who on this Earth thinks this is how they’ll drop that VW® bus from their waistline so they can sign up for the next beach volleyball tournament sporting a new suit?

Remember not that long ago when they were touting new potato chips and others that were cooked with a “special additive” that allowed you not to worry about the grease? That product had a funny little side effect that wasn’t touted with such fanfare as the benefit of being able to eat greasy foods without caring about adding pounds to your waistline. It just added stains to – well let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be on the beach jumping around sporting a new white bikini like they do in the SENSA commercial.

I can’t help but ask myself just how many people are watching this and will actually make the call and order it. They’ll justify it within their head it must be safe because the government must have done tests and more. They’ll say to themselves; “Well obviously this must be a reputable company or product. Just look at the quality of the commercial. Doesn’t look like it’s shot by some fly by nights. So they must have some history that people are getting results or they’d be shut down.”

I don’t want to imply that this company isn’t legitimate or legal. I just want to bring to light what we’ve seen on similar venues when it comes to products that just make you shake your head and say: “Who is buying this?”

Case in point: Remember Smiling Bob? He was the star in those slick commercials that were seen on near every financial channel and more day after day, after day, for months. The product was Enzyte®. the male enhancement miracle pill.

The believers in this crowd run in tandem with the “I can eat anything and still lose weight” believers in my opinion. Problem was they found out later the Enzyte pitch was just a scam to get you on a recurring billing cycle. A scam which resulted in the founder being sent to prison for 25 years. But they sold millions, and millions, and millions, of dollars worth of product before they were finally exposed. Literally one could say, but without the smile I’d wager.

There are just parts of life you can’t escape the grind of. Raising kids, staying fit, living healthy, growing your business, taking care of your money. All of these things are parts of life we truly can’t just pass off to someone else or take some miracle pill for.

There are at times no easy answers or pleasant ways to do all things. And the more we look to jettison what we really should be doing for ourselves or flail away in some vapid attempt to have our cake and eat it to. The more we’ll find ourselves wasting precious time and resources on foolish things we should have never taken a second look at.

Raising kids is tough but worth the price of trying to do it correctly. Diet and exercise is hard, but so is not having that extra slice of pizza. If you want the extra slice you’ll need to do a little extra exercise. And if you want to handle and grow your money for life and retirement, you’re going to have to learn about money and markets through due diligence. Not because someone yelled “Buy, Buy, Buy!” It’s all common sense.

So as we go into this holiday weekend just let me say it’s people like yourselves that are more uncommon than you might think. Because when it’s all said and done, you are the ones that take responsibility for your own futures, finances, and families.

Enjoy your holiday. You deserve it!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr