Friday, August 08, 2008

Keep Emotion

By accident, I’ve ended up with a neighbor’s magazine. Have to say, though, I’m not really getting much out of the August number of Journal of Accountancy. What I learned is that there’s a dichotomy between what CPAs might want to sell me and how they intend to sell it.

Take the case of a perfectly nice, competent accountant like Theodore Sarenski, pictured at right. In the publication, he’s bylined a short article about “Taking Emotion Out of the Decision” to purchase long-term care insurance.

He carefully cites numbers to reinforce the fiduciary benefits of this kind of insurance (which the Lord forbid I’ll ever need, uhuh). He’s all about facts and figures in this short piece, reinforcing the emotionless approach – until he comes to the last sentence:

Isn’t it worth the peace of mind to know that a lifetime of work and saving will be preserved to benefit future generations?

In trying to eliminate sentiment from a buying decision, Sarenski falls back on “peace of mind” at the end. Life is emotion. Attempting to wall yourself off from it – making a logical buying decision – only works if one is a stereotypical accountant (I suppose there are some) or a machine. And as WALL-E has proven, even machines can have souls.

I don’t know the writer. He doesn’t know me. Without any prejudicial intent at all, I say, TAKE IT ALL WITH YOU, Sarenski! Don’t leave a sou for anyone.

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