A Parable About Bad Advice and the Dangers of a Simple Quip
This is a story about the danger of flippant commentary and lousy advice. A few years ago, I carpooled with a wonderful guy we’ll call Jack for this story.
One day after my wife and I came back from a great vacation in Florida, I told Jack about getting free tickets to Paramount Studios in Orlando. You got the tickets by attending a “Time Share Condominium Sales Pitch” (my father-in-law said to me about it). I told Jack that it was a hoot and also kind of sad seeing the “poor souls” (my opinion) who ended up buying these things. The Sales guy was relentless. He was going to take Canadian money at par, he was going to let us pay with our credit cards, we could stay there right now if we wanted, etc., but we stuck to our guns, got our free tickets and left!
Jack thought it sounded like a good idea because he and his wife were going on vacation to Florida in a couple of weeks.
Fast forward to the day after Jack and his wife returned from their Florida vacation. The conversation was mostly about how much fun Jack and his wife had while in Orlando, so then I said, “How about that Time Share sales pitch? What kind of a shmuck would buy those things?”.
After a long pause, Jack said, “Well, me, I bought one…” I think my jaw dropped to the floor, and I might have said two words for the rest of the trip to the office.
I never mentioned time shares ever again.
Moral to this parable about financial advice?
Advice is dangerous to hand out, and you had better be ready to take the heat when the advice goes wrong. Also, you would be surprised what people listen to and attribute it to as Good Advice.