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Transparency. Enemy of the profiteer. Friend of the confident.

Do you like transparency? Or you hate it!

It is not good when it is about your privacy. But, when it applies to your dealings, it has to be transparent!

If you know how much money your counterparty is making off a transaction, you will demand fair share. Where does that leave your counterparty though?

It is in the incentive of a businessman to be less transparent. Hide fees. Figure out ways so that you don’t know or understand how you are paying (and worse, you are going to pay).

Mutual funds hide fees in their underperformance. They will tell you that they bought a stock at $50.10, when in reality, their broker bought it at $50, and booked it at higher price for them, pocketing $.10 which is undeclared commission.

Hedge fund has a whole concept of soft dollar, even legitimizing the above.

Insurance companies manage your money. Promise you return on your premium. Return which is much lower than long term bonds (granted, these days, US bonds carry very low interest, but it is not always the case).

New age companies (such as Facebook itself) don’t want to tell you what do they do with your information.

If you are looking to renovate your kitchen, do you really get a straight answer from your contractor?

What will you do if they really tell you the real cost? Would you give them business?

PS: In my view, regulations should work on increasing transparency, reducing conflict of interest. Not dictate or decide if some business models are correct or incorrect.