Getting Bad Advice and Getting Frustrated Too

 In Advisers, Agents, Expectations, Fees, Financial Planning, Forecasts, Future, Goals, Inspiration, Motivation, Retirement, Risk, Sales, Uncategorized

I drive a Honda Accord and the battery recently died.  So the radio wouldn’t work.  What a disaster, right?  For a few days I had to drive around and just think to myself.  How painful!

The fix was not difficult, but I could not find it with the user’s manual or by checking out videos on youtube or visiting a forum.  It turns out I needed to call my dealer – or a dealer – and they would give me the steps I would go through to reset it.  As it turns out, if you know the right steps, it takes about 25 seconds.   Very easy.

But here was the problem.  The first two dealers I called gave me the wrong advice.  In each case, I spoke with someone in service who was quite confident what I needed to do (which is even more annoying because they sound so sure about they tell you, “you just need to do this and it will reset everything”).  I took notes, hung up, got back in my car and, $%@&, it didn’t work.  They were both wrong!  Finally, on my third call, I spoke to someone who gave me the right steps.  I was back in business.

This process was frustrating to be sure, but it really was not a big deal.  It was easy for me to move on from this.  Yet there are situations where the advice we receive has greater consequences.  Certainly that is the case for our health, personal relationships, or careers.  When it comes to your finances, bad advice can be costly to your long term financial success.  Of course you can recover from some bad advice, we all get it and we make our mistakes as well, but receiving bad advice over the course of time can definitely set you back.

Bad advice is out there and hard to avoid.  You can try to minimize it though.  When it comes to your finances, make sure that the advice you are receiving from a professional is not influenced by how he or she is compensated.  This is common sense, but many consumers simply don’t understand how conflicts of interest dominate the financial services industry.  The advice you are looking for should be best for your situation, not for the person providing it.


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