Financial advice can be a difficult minefield to navigate. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the best way to manage money, but there doesn’t seem to be a correct ‘way’ that works for everyone. Some people prefer to build up their savings; others think that paying down their mortgage early is essential. Despite those methods working for them, there is always contrary advice — even just in those two examples. Mark Cuban told hardcorecloser.com it’s not a good idea to save money; consumerreports.org advise against paying your mortgage off early. You can’t win!
So given the plethora of differing advice out there, who should you trust?
Below, let’s run through some of the most common sources for advice about financial management, and decide once and for all whether they should be trusted with such sensitive matters.
Provided your financial adviser is independent, then yes, they should be trustworthy. The ‘independent’ requirement is very important, though. If a financial advisor is little more than a salesperson trying to sell you products, then they’re not going to always do what’s 100% right for your finances.
The internet has made financial information all the more accessible, which has meant that thousands more people are able to take charge of their finances than ever before. However, there’s no doubt that there’s some poor quality information out there too.
For the most part, a website should be judged on how specific it is. If it’s a site that’s trying to cover all manner of topics, then it’s possibly best avoided. Sites like creditrepair.co, for example, make clear what their focus is — repairing your credit score if you have existing bad credit. That’s a good thing; it leaves more room for their expertise. However, bigger sites that try to cover hundreds of different financial topics might be best avoided — there could be ‘jack of all trades’ situations developing in their content.
While your bank might be the most developed financial relationship that you have, the chances are they’re not the best source of financial advice. The problem is simple: your bank is going to try and sell you products and/or services that they produce. That means they’re unlikely to give you the best advice for you personally; no bank is going to say “well we can offer you this, but other banks can do a much better deal!”. So it’s best to do your own research on what’s available, rather than trusting the word of your bank.
Your Friends & Family
While friends and family are a good source of advice on various subjects, it’s unlikely their financial advice is as spot-on as you might hope. If you know someone who manages their finances with rigorous precision, then of course you should try and soak up some of their experiences. General advice and opinions are often best ignored though; you have to figure out the right next steps for you and your family.
By being able to take the right advice from the right sources, your family finances should be in fine shape in no time at all.