Saturday, September 10, 2011

People who read "The Secret" hate me !

A series of events triggered this blog posting. I'm slowly coming to realize that there is a class of readers who absolutely hate my writings and form the core group of people who are my biggest critics.

This started when a colleague told me that he liked my writings but his friend does'nt, I asked him if his friend ever did MLM, and he said yes and then went on to say that his friend is also a fan of Rhonda Byrnes' best-seller The Secret. I asked if his friend has any alternative to my system of wealth management system and did not manage to get any answer.

Anyway, to my critics, my ideas are too conservative, conformist and conventional. To them, working hard, living frugally and investing intelligently is very boring. A life coach and insurance agent once admonished me for intellectualizing too much, to which I replied that I am sure that their commissions would be much higher if everybody stopped intellectualizing in this world.

I think I'm starting to get a grip on who my biggest critics are :

a) Someone who does MLM and thinks that its the best thing in the world.
b) Someone who likes authors like Rhonda Byrnes, Paul Coelho or Harv Eker.
c) Someone who focuses on the aspirational aspect of internet marketing but not the techniques will probably hate the stuff I write about.
c) Someone who is intuitive and not very judgemental and possibly not data driven, because they don't want to be challenged with statistics or proofs of concept.
d) Someone who aspires to be special and non-conformist and think that people who do a decent job are robots controlled by the Men in White.

A large part of my second book Harvesting the Fruits of Prosperity addresses my critics so much so that I wrote a special section on why MLM doesn't work most of the time. I shall not repeat them here.

Perhaps in a future piece of work, I will explain why concepts in The Secret are not designed to be falsifiable but I will need to draw some concepts from Philosophy to launch a credible attack on it.


  1. What, you mean The Secret requires more refutation that the simple statement that it is an appeal to magical thinking?

  2. That doesn't seems to stop its fans.

  3. If I had "intellectualized" a bit more and not have committed to that whole bunch of ILPs, I wouldn't be almost $40,000 poorer today. :P

  4. The insurance world will counter that by saying that they know someone who is very savvy at investing and then one day he fell sick, was not insured so his family lost their fortunes and his daughter have to become a prostitute top support a family.

    Funny thing is that agents always have stories like that so sometimes I wonder if they are all related to each other.

  5. Hi Christopher,

    It has been some time since I last visited your blog. Always love to read blogs written by fellow engineers who are also keen on investing like you and ghchua.

    People will hate your writings no matter what if you hit their pocketbook. They will hate you more particularly if the writings are eloquent and honest.

    People who sell financial products to earn big commission largely depend on the ignorance of their customers. Their favorite customers are rich, greedy and ignorant customers. It is small wonder the rich retirees is a favorite target.

    Insurance agents hate Tan Kin Lian for educating consumers on his blog on insurance products. I won't be surprised that the more successful you are as an educator of financial literacy through your books and blog, the more you will be hated by financial salesman.

    It is not in the interest of the financial services industry to spread financial literacy because it hits their pocketbook. There is nothing evil about it because most of us will do the same if we were in their shoes. Who wouldn't feel threatened when his pocketbook is hit? One solution may be to totally avoid such situations that put us in conflict with the customer.

    One advantage on being an engineer is that they do not face the same conflicts as those selling financial products. When an engineering product is sold for a good margin, it is because the product is really good and outperform the specs. Unfortunately for financial products that are sold for a good margin and pays the salesmen high commission, they usually end up as bad deals for consumers. Think whole-life insurance policies versus term policies, complicated structured products that package shit and magically transform them into AAA-rated products. Closing shitty deals enable the salesman to earn big commission. The big downside is that these financial salesmen may not feel good about themselves despite becoming rich as a result.