Can you believe all the crazy things that have happened within the last decade in the financial community? I’ve never heard about so many crooks within one industry; all the scandals have really affected my view on personal finance. I can’t turn on the news without seeing examples of people cooking the books or running Ponzi schemes. These really are unfortunate times. Luckily for us we can help ourselves when it comes to personal finance.
When I was looking up the definition of the word personal, many explanations came up. The one thing they all had in common is the word personal involves one person. I strongly believe that all the corruption in the finance world really shows us that everyone should take a hand on approach when dealing with their own finances. The days of having confidence that other people can take care of your money are over. Finance might not be the most interesting topic in the world (or even close to it), but it is one of the most important. People need to start educating themselves on their own investments and stop trusting others to take care of it for them. No one wants to lose everything because of financial greed. It’s a real life monster that will steal your heart and soul when you least expect it.
I understand it may not appear like an easy task, but you have a responsibility to yourself and your family to take care of your finances. Remember that no one will care about your money as much as you do. You don’t need to go off and start dealing in derivatives and swaps to make money; you can keep it simple and still be successful. I’m not ignorant to the fact that some people will continue to trust the wrong people. The way I see it, you already have enough market risks tied to your investments, so you don’t need to add risk by using an outsider to manage your investments.
For those of you that have no interest in managing your own investments I have one suggestion: Only use fee based financial institutions to manage your money. They have no ulterior motive when they give you advice. They aren’t making a commission by getting you to buy their products, and they won’t hedge their bets against you. I don’t think they are as good as taking responsibility for your finances, but they are definitely better than those other guys.