by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
If you're in New York City looking for a slice of pizza and a cold brew do you need to go to the casino buffet? Of course not. Are you really going to wait on line for an hour and pay $40-$60 for all you can eat and thousands of choices, when you can find a pizza joint on just about every corner and pay $2 a slice for your guilty pleasure because (1) that is what you want; (2) that is what you think will be satisfying; (3) let's face it, New York makes some great pizza. So does New Haven!
While I am a believer in comprehensive settlement planning, I also think that my colleagues in the settlement industry must be mindful of creating and pushing a figurative "casino buffet" when all someone wants or needs is a savory slice of New York goodness. Be mindful that when someone is in transition the overwhelm wire can be tripped easily.
Of course if you apply a "fiduciary standard" to every situation, in this metaphor do you have a duty to disclose all the side effects of eating a New York slice with a cold one (or a glass of merlot)? Or how much profit the pizza shop owner makes after expenses and paying off the wise guys for protection? Or how much the delivery guy makes.
There's a reason that Buffalo Wild Wings, Shake Shack (and places whose menu revolves around a simple core product) do well when people are looking for what they are known to offer. They don't confuse/overwhelm you with choices that put you in a fog. It's a known quantity. Familiarity is comfort for some. By comparison the Rio Carnival World Buffet located in Las Vegas takes almost 10 minutes to walk the length of the buffet station. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest buffet consisted of 5,612 different dishes in an event organized by the Art of Living Foundation (India) at Sri Sri Dham, Ahmedabad, India, on November 2, 2010.
Perhaps I'm oversimplifying, but I sense a high rah-rah factor for a one stop shop. Walmart and Target are massively successful retailers but not for every one every day. There is plenty of room for different business models, boutiques and nimble operations.