With more than 10,500 financial service companies out there, professionals are more exposed than ever to the backlash of negative online reputation damage. When words such as “scam”, “fraud”, “thief” or “criminal” are even casually mentioned in the context of a financial services entity, the company almost always takes a hit to the bottom line.
These comments are not to be confused with information on sites managed by state agencies or federal government and regulator sites such as the SEC and FINRA. Nearly every state provides a site to file either a formal or informal complaint against those involved in financial services. Many of these sites provide online forms and even extend office hours for convenience. If services provided fall within the broad definition of insurance then each state has an insurance commissioner to oversee such regulated businesses.
I like speaking in metaphor. Because I learn visually, getting word pictures in my mind helps me retain knowledge. This past week, I was reminded of a sermon I heard that provides a good word picture for me. In this spiritual teaching, my friend shared how we–both as a race of people and individually–wake up to find ourselves in places we never dreamed we would be.
His perspective is that for most of us, life begins in a place of relative peace. Loved and sheltered, we are not confronted with the hard realities of life. Think of this as Eden, a place of safety and goodness. At some point, however, we all lose our Eden. There is a point where we are confronted with a greater reality that is far less perfect. Hopefully, we accept life with a level of resolve and move forward. For most of us that shift represents a move from “A” to “B”. It’s a small move, but it is required in order to function, to deal with the new reality as it is coming at us. We seldom define this minute shift as good or bad. Read more