Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Will Rogers

It’s been a tough slog the last few years, economically speaking. The economy now appears to be moving in the right direction, yet many people are still hurting from the “Great Recession”. Their homes are worth less and their portfolios took a beating. Things are still not good on the “home front”, no pun intended. Home prices may still turn downward some more before hitting a bottom.

Investors’ portfolios, on the other hand, have, in most cases, made a nice recovery, unless you got out of the market and delayed too long getting back in. Even though many have recovered much of what they lost, they feel like they’ve lost precious time preparing for their retirement and are looking for the goose that laid the golden egg.

Some advice from a well-known celebrity of the 1920’s and 1930’s, William Penn Adair Rogers, better known as “Will” Rogers, is worth noting. He said: “Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising, and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.”

Every day, we hear commercial after commercial touting gold as the thing to buy. It may turn out that it is the best thing to buy right now. Yet the more people push something as the next best thing, the more dubious I become.

I had a couple of people ask me about a video presentation that’s making its way around the internet. It’s very long, and presents a doom and gloom picture of the American economy. If you break out the presentation, you have to re-start from the beginning. I finally figured out how to just view a written version of it. It talks about how to get free advice on this and that and in the end only gives the “free” information if you sign up for the writer’s investment newsletter. I decided to check on his background and discovered that he had been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. I noted today that he is advertising on Fox news. I hope the SEC is keeping an eye on him.

You often see advertisements for computer trading programs that will “surely help you beat the market”. If they are so good, why doesn’t the seller just concentrate on his portfolio instead of pushing his trading techniques. When everyone starts using the same trading strategy, that’s when they no longer work. So if you really had a “can’t miss” strategy, why would you sell it to anyone else?

The whole point of this blog is to remind everyone that there’s no silver bullet out there. There’s no free lunch. If you want to get rich, you must work hard, save your money, invest wisely and be wary of those who have the magic solution to getting rich. You need to do due diligence before investing with anyone. You need to find out how they get paid, what their credentials are and take what they say with a big grain of salt.


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