One of the good things about having to clean out my archives has meant I have read over some of the better pieces I have written. One of my favourites was the Worst Financial Advice Given, which I told at a meeting of the N.C.F.B.A. (the National Capital Financial Bloggers Association).
This advice led to a dear friend (who died many years ago, another sad part of the story) buying a timeshare condominium in Orlando. I stand by my statement that this was the most hideous financial advice I have ever given out (read the story, it is kind of funny, but bitter-sweet for me, since this was a wonderful guy, and I felt I stuck his head in a noose and then kicked the chair out from under him).
What Advice ?
Over the years, I have had folks ask me about many different topics in terms of personal finance and investing, including:
- Should I buy Nortel? (in 1997, 2001, and 2005 that seemed to be the only question I was asked), I said, I don’t know.
- When Google was about to go IPO, folks asked me should they buy into that stock? I said, I don’t know.
- Is it a good time to try to break my Mortgage and renegotiate (when rates were at 12% and when they were down at 4%), I said, I don’t know.
Do I not know? Am I that unsophisticated? I don’t know! However, I remember giving a dear friend some horrible advice, so I chose (for one of the rare times in my life) to keep my big trap shut! OK, I must admit I do wade in (i.e. Should I use Pay Day Loan services, NO, NO, NO!), but I only dare to advise in extreme cases.
Will I give financial advice to my kids? I have when they have asked in the past, but I have also couched a lot of that advice, saying they should be careful with any advice (even from their Dad).
Does anybody else out there have a similar story? For those who keep inundating me with requests to Guest Post, these are the kind of stories I am interested in (i.e. personal stories of success or failure).
I think everyone do this even if they haven’t intended to. Anyway, nobody’s really perfect, so we’re bound to make mistakes along the way. And I agree that every advice should be carefully considered and weighed.