Daily Archives: October 23, 2017

Early Life and Childhood/Youth Prompt 1

Parents or parents-to-be are vulnerable consumers, same as everyone else. There are many unnecessary or unsafe products being marketed towards them. I do not have kids at this point in my life so I had never really thought about this issue, but in reading the articles there is a surprising amount of unnecessary practices and products being marketed to parents. For example, in the medical field, childbirth is stereotyped as this painful, scary process, but it is not always like that. There is also a pressure on women to do a cesarean delivery rather than a vaginal delivery, and most hospitals do not give them an option if they have done a C-section on a previous birth. Most women do not know that, I certainly did not before reading the articles. I always thought a C-section was only if it was really necessary, but I was surprised to find how common a practice it is these days for something that is not needed in most cases. There are now people who post videos of their childbirth process to show that there are other options, and that it is a common thing that there is choice in.

Another example of parent consumer vulnerability was shown in the article The Cord Blood Controversy by Jeannette Moninger. The article details the new fad of parents having their baby’s stem cells frozen on the idea that if the worst happened then the stem cells could be used to help save their lives. The Dones family chose to do this for their newborn, and when the newborn was sick and needed the stem cells, the stem cells were found to have the same genetic defect the baby had and were thus unusable. The cord bank never mentioned to the Dones family that the cells could be diseased. They were taken advantage of through false advertising and fraud in this situation.

I believe parents and pre-parents should have information available to them and someone to talk to about their options. Those giving birth should know that C-sections are not generally necessary, and that doing one could prevent you from other birth options in the future. They should know that there is an option of home birth or that Washington allows consumers to choose the services of a certified midwife if they wish. Parents should also be aware of the dangers of products and services, nothing should be taken at face value. Parents should look into a product and see what they are actually getting before they commit to it.

Resources:

MacGregor, H. (2017). The birth of a trend: Posting childbirth videos online. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-birth-movies-20120809-story.html

Moninger, J. (2017). The Cord Blood Controversy. Parents. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/cord-blood-banking/the-cord-blood-controversy/

Roan, S. (2017). Birth options: More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html

Walden, R. (2017). CDC and Consumer Reports Track Cesarean Birth Rates. Our Bodies Ourselves. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/2014/06/ddc-consumer-reports-track-cesarean-birth-rates/

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Finance (Prompt 2)

I would first like to say that I had no idea what the heck the fiduciary rule was before reading the sources provided. I’m only 21 and retirement is the last thing on my mind. Right now I’m just focusing on graduating college, getting my degree, and then get a job with that degree I spent so long working for. However, I was enlightened. It would be nice to kick back and relax after working for years and years, but of course there is an industry out there that wants to take advantage of people who are trying to save up money for their retirement through investments.

So, the fiduciary rule. As this term was explained in the review of the John Oliver Retirement Income episode (and not in the True Measure investment advising company site), the fiduciary rule is a “legal term for a broad group of professionals who are required to put consumer interests first.” Meaning, that brokers can’t receive compensation or commission because it would create a conflict of interest, as they are then only working to benefit themselves and not the people they are supposed to be helping accumulate money for their retirements. The money that these brokers get from commission has been used for luxuries, like expensive watches and cruises.

Out of the two sources, the one that does the best job in explaining and walking you through what the fiduciary rule and what other investor’s jargon is, like index funds and hedge funds, is the John Oliver review. First, he underlines what the three main problems hurting consumers for retirement are, he explains them, he explains what to avoid, and he gives five pieces of advice on saving for retirement. As a novice, I was able to understand all of the terms he presented and was able to follow along no problem. I was able to understand what the problems facing retirement investors are and understand that there are people who take advantage of that (stay away from financial advisors who are not fiduciary, they’re more than likely working for their own gain and not yours). In the True Measure, investment advising company site, although he sided with John Oliver that the fiduciary rule should be implemented and provided counterarguments for common arguments against the fiduciary rule, it was a site meant more for people who are already familiar with the problems associated with this rule and have a background or an understanding of finance (which I did not). Although it did provide the definition of BICE or Best Interest Contract Exemption (full disclosure for an investor in the advice they receive and what they’re investing in), there were other terms with little or no explanation of their meaning, but knew what they meant because of the John Oliver review.