Don’t Trust Anyone (Too Much) With Your Money

Listen to and learn from others but don’t make uneducated decisions regarding your money

Your Money

Listen, I’m a sponge when it comes to information on the internet. I watch and read a lot about a specific topic that I’m interested in. I want to know about and be good at whatever it is I’m working on. Research and learning from others who have “been there” is tremendously helpful whether it’s related to your money or something else.

But often times, people take what they read and see too literally. They follow the advice blindly. While the specific advice may work for some, it’s not guaranteed to work for all. Circumstances are different for everyone. 

Allow me to expand on this. The information below is applicable beyond personal finance and the internet.

Learn to dissect information

When you’re watching personal finance YouTube videos or reading blogs about how to invest, whatever it is, consume all of the information, yes. However, you shouldn’t apply every bit of that information to your personal finance plan/goals as it is presented. The person sharing the information may be knowledgeable, but they aren’t you and they aren’t managing your money. You’re managing your money.

A good tip for solid research is to take the bits of information that resonate with you the most and then double down on researching those points elsewhere. For example, if someone suggests that you invest in a certain stock, don’t just go in blind and dump your money in that stock. Learn about the stock, research it specifically, see what others have to say about it, learn about the company or companies that the stock is associated with. 

Their situation is not yours

When listening to and learning from people who are talking about personal finance, it’s important to understand they don’t have the same financial situation as you. The advice is general. Even if it seems like it’s not, treat it like it is. Assess the information but don’t immediately apply it because someone said to apply it.

The advice that they’re giving may have worked for them and where they stand financially, but I’m going to guess that where they stand financially is not exactly where you stand financially. 

When you generalize the information, you can extract the idea, not a specific suggestion. With the idea, you can mold it to fit your situation, if you deem it applicable. It’s essential that you understand whether or not these ideas can help you achieve your specific financial goals. It’s your money, take care of it. 

Understand what you’re doing

Getting what you think is good advice can be exciting. Someone suggests an investment plan that made them millions and you can’t wait to apply that same strategy so you can make millions too. Well, I can say with certainty that if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing or why you’re doing it, that strategy is probably going to flop for you. 

Finance is a deep topic. There are a lot of decisions to be made and there are a lot of paths to take. If you don’t know exactly (or close to exactly) why you’re making a decision, hold off. Learn as much as you can before making a move with your money. It’ll pay off (literally).

The internet is a great place to learn new things. It’s also a place filled with misinformation or information that is easy to misinterpret. Even those who are “legitimate” and aren’t trying to swindle you are speaking to a broad audience. It’s general information.

Take the time to dissect the information, understand that personal finance is personal, and learn about your moves before you make them so you can make the most from your money decisions. 

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