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June 20, 2012

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I don't think most lawyers and investment bankers aren't proud to be American. They usually are. It's just not in the culture to go to work with American flags on their person. Or legible writing. I've seen several with American flag pins though.

Also those guys make alot of bank. Street crews in NYC? Forget about it, possibly low 6 figures but likely over 70. Maybe not what the lawyers do but they make out very well for a physically hard but mentally easy job. And no pressure once they leave the "office."

The Inwood shirt guy is making more money than a lot of unemployed law school grads. Or wannabe stockbrokers cold-calling Dun & Bradstreet leads for $300 per week.

OT,

Sigma could you get more posts up on the college bubble crisis.

Could you help hurry take the war to the Liberal Arts Departments and call for 60 credit British style bachelor's degrees (for the reasons I've discussed before) and for Nixonian govt imposed price controls on college tuition?

[HS: No one with any power to do that stuff pays attention to me.]

Inwood used to be heavily Irish and if I'm not mistaken some remnants of that community still remain. It could well be that this worker lives in the 'hood or came from there.

"I can’t help but notice that all of the blue collar guys are white. "

Considering that there are only three of them in the picture, you don't have much basis for drawing conclusions. I'm presuming that the man in the orange T-shirt is a passerby and not part of the crew.

"The Inwood shirt guy is making more money than a lot of unemployed law school grads. Or wannabe stockbrokers cold-calling Dun & Bradstreet leads for $300 per week."

The aspiring stockbrokers are doing better than aspiring life insurance agents, seeing as they're getting $300 per week, and getting their leads (useless as they may be) for free. In the insurance business they'd be on straight commission and most likely would have to pay for (stale) leads.

O/T

given your understanding of careers, fields, incomes, economics, and of classes and game, how come you aren't wealthy and married? (serious question)

Is it because you would have needed to know this stuff a decade or two ago?

"[HS: No one with any power to do that stuff pays attention to me.]"

So what? You got word out about the Law School scam, and getting the idea into circulation would help get the ball rolling on education reform.

Please?

I demand you pamper me.

:)

Olympus is just copying other companies, like Fuji with the X100 and X10, to produce reto looking mirror-less cameras.

EVF are current found in consumer grade cameras. They have not penetrated into professional and semi-professional grade cameras. You are correct that EVF quality is rapid improving, but there are several issues with EVF mirror-less camera systems.

1) Battery life - using a EVF significantly shortens battery life. This is not a big deal taking pictures on your vacation, but it would be a huge issue to a professional wedding photographer that might shoot 1000-2000 photos at a wedding.

2) Auto focus speed - A DSLR has an edge detecting auto focus system in the pentaprism which diverts some of the light. Professional grade camera have very complicated and highly refined auto focus systems that are very fast and contain auto tracking systems that allow the cameras to take images of moving subjects (sports, birds, wildlife) at 6-10 frames per second and keep the focus on the moving subject. Mirror-less cameras that I know of use contrast based auto focus systems that are far slower.

I would be interested in your comments on the auto focus system of the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

[HS: The E-M5 has the world's fastest auto focus, according to Olympus propaganda. As long as it's not trying to to 3D tracking, which is a niche that high-end (not sub$1000 consumer) DSLRs will keep probably. Also, the CDAF in the Olympus is far more accurate and less subject to focusing errors than the PDAF used in DSLRs.]

"Most of the rest of northern Manhattan is Hispanic, and we are talking about mulatto Hispanics and not Mestizo Hispanics".

Another unrpoductive NAM group soon to be forced out by gentrification.

"I can’t help but notice that all of the blue collar guys are white".

Don't underestimate blue collar work as unintellectual. When all of us realize that low intellect NAMs are inefficient at blue collar and govt work (along with their prissy attitude) is the day when society progress beautifully.

[HS: Prole white New Yorkers are pretty unintellectual. Haven't you watned the Jersey Shore?]

"In the insurance business they'd be on straight commission and most likely would have to pay for (stale) leads."

I used to wholesale to financial advisors, some of whom (at AXA) were primarily insurance agents. I remember one of them in the company's main Manhattan office telling me they got billed for their phone time too.

I know you've since moved on to selling a different, undisclosed, product, but do you have any regrets about leaving your salary job for sales?

"Prole white New Yorkers are pretty unintellectual. Haven't you watned the Jersey Shore?"

Yes, but NAMs have a lower intellect with a lot more undesirable traits. Besides, these guys are White and can manage the job without resorting to the race card.

Aren't more and more BC positions requiring post secondary education?

These are the people the Democrat Party has thrown to the wolves. The Republicans aren't comfortable with them, and they know it. So, they are unrepresented in the political process. They are also the victims of extreme anti-white, anti-male bigotry in the broader culture, especially the schools (at all levels) and media.

So, what does this portend? In evolutionary theory it looks like a niche waiting to be exploited by a political party.

I think our future is very unstable.

"I used to wholesale to financial advisors, some of whom (at AXA) were primarily insurance agents. I remember one of them in the company's main Manhattan office telling me they got billed for their phone time too."

It gets even worse. Many insurance companies charge agents rent for desk space. Other charges include photocopier use, business card printing, and a "rental fee" for company banners and signage when used at fairs and other events. Speaking of events, either the agents pay the entry fees themselves or the company pays and charges them to participate. Either way, it costs the agents money, and there is never any consideration given for new agents who haven't started to earn commissions. The only thing you'll ever get for free is a mailing to a list of people you know (you provide the names, anywhere from 100 to 250) announcing that you're in the business and ready to help.

As for leads, the most valuable ones by far are inbound leads, in other words leads generated when people call the insurance companies or go onto their websites and request information on policies. Different insurance companies handle these leads in different ways. I know specifically about three companies:

1. Company A (very large, very well-known life insurance company): inbound leads are given to successful agents as rewards. New agents have no access to these leads.

2. Company B (smaller health and life insurance company, not too widely known): managers use these leads when going around with new agents in the new agents' first couple of weeks. This enables the new agents to make some very easy sales, and make some very nice money, but after two weeks the new agents lose access to these leads.

3. Company C (midsized, fairly well-known life insurance company; I didn't work there, but have good knowledge of their practices): leads are *sold* to agents via a bidding process. Naturally enough the successful agents can bid higher amounts and get more of these leads. Not that it really matters, as the time lag for the bidding process means that most inbound leads are stale by the time they get to agents.

Many if not most life insurance companies encourage agents to buy leads from outside "lead broker" companies. Perhaps the insurance companies get kickbacks, I don't know. Whatever the case, the lead brokerages are completely fraudulent. They collect names and phone numbers from people who make online inquiries about insurance, usually in response to those "$500K term like for $20 a month!" banner ads we've all seen. The lead brokerages then sell these names and numbers to as many insurance agents as possible, generally for about $10 to $20.

With 20 or 30 or 40 agents bombarding the hapless customers with calls, the chances of any particular agent making a sale are just about nonexistent. I spent more money than I care to be reminded of on these leads, with a couple of different lead brokerages, and at least 95% of the time my calls would be repeatedly voicemailed. On the very rare occasions that a person would answer, I would invariably be told (rarely if ever in a polite manner) that I was the tenth or twentieth agent to have called in the last half hour and to please take my (the customer's) name off the list thank you very much.

"I know you've since moved on to selling a different, undisclosed, product, but do you have any regrets about leaving your salary job for sales?"

I'm actually not in sales of any sort any longer, but in more of a customer service role. Not only am I making reasonably decent money, but I don't have to deal with all the nonsense associated with sales: no idiotic managers, no incessant quota pressures, no passive-aggressive customers, and no incessant "cheerleading" about "positive mental attitude" or how "success is 1% ability and 99% attitude." Or the nonstop psychobabble about "goals," even though in sales you have far less control over reaching goals than in any other type of job.

Yes, it was a mistake to have left my salaried job for sales, but at the time I thought it was the right decision. At least things finally worked out okay.

The best way to go into sales is to start with a network of wealthy contacts. I know of someone who was a fund raiser for the Democratic party, or one of its affiliated liberal groups -- that job didn't pay a lot, but he built relationships with some extremely wealthy donors. And then he went to work for the separately managed account group of a well known Manhattan-based asset manager, and those former donors became his clients. He's been making bank since.

The brilliant thing about that, if you think about it, is that the clients' first introduction to you isn't as a commission-based salesperson, but as an idealistic go-getter who shares their values. Easy rapport from that.

"The best way to go into sales is to start with a network of wealthy contacts."

That's exactly why a few - very few - people succeed in insurance sales even as the overwhelmingly majority fall by the wayside in short order. You really have to have a large network of business and professional contacts if you are to have even a small chance of success. There's simply no other way to make enough presentations to make more than a handful of sales.

What actually happens is that in their struggle to survive, new agents pester family members and social friends to buy policies. New agents who are reluctant to take this step are incessantly harangued by their managers. While most people can sell a few "friends and family" policies, it won't produce enough commissions for them to survive in the business, not to mention the fact that it's a pretty effective way of angering family members and friends.

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