Bad Advice

Well, 2017 is over and here we are at the start of 2018! That was fast! Life seems to move faster these days and partly because of the abundance of information we are exposed to on a daily basis. We live in a time where we can, in the blink of an eye, immediately find some seemly relevant article, posting, or even blog on anything we want. But there are pros and cons to the speed of this dispensation we live in that has been called the Information Age. On the positive side, data research and sharing that used to take days to complete can be done in seconds! Long gone are the days of libraries and the Dewey decimal system being the primary use of research. And if you don’t know what the Dewey decimal system is, you just made my point! Times have changed, and information is moving at the speed of light. With data being shared so fast, complex problems can be solved much faster because many more minds can collaborate more quickly. On the negative side, if we are not careful, we can become susceptible to information overload. Information overload happens when a person or group of people is exposed to too much data.

With information given so freely and easy to access, there is never a dearth of opinions on how one should handle your money; everyone has an opinion! And with information coming at us so fast and with such anonymity, it can be extremely difficult to rightly decipher good advice from bad advice. Trying to get the best financial advice can be nerve wrecking. It can be so overwhelming that some of us tend to believe what we hear most often or we tend to give extra credence to people we admire or trust regardless of their financial credentials. But what if the person (or people) we are taking our financial direction from is lost themselves? We literally become the blind following the blind. And we know how where they end up; falling in a ditch.

When it comes to financial advice, first start with the Word of God! Ask yourself, “What does God say about this?” If the advice is unethical, immoral, or if it can really hurt you financially if things go wrong, then stay away! You have to protect yourself and your financial progress. Sacrificing your integrity is never a worthwhile short-cut. Secondly, consider the source of this advice. How financially successful is the source of this information? Are they were you want to be? Are they following the advice themselves, and if so, is it working for them? How are they going to prosper if you take their advice? Watch out for wolves that speak the language a sheep wants to hear! Oh, and in case you are wondering, the authors of this article have paid off over $100,000 in consumer debt and we are totally debt free! Thirdly, ask yourself, “Is it too good to be true?” Everyone likes to get what they want in a hurry, but the bible warns against quick riches (Proverbs 13:11). Jim Rohn once said, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” And finally, get at least one other opinion from someone you trust to give you good financial advice (so your shopping friend or your favorite cousin or aunt might not be the best choice for advice). A second opinion might provide a fresh prospective, some insight, or more information that will help you make the best decision. Remember, safety is found in the multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14).

I know everyone that gives financial advice does not have malicious intent, but good intentions from good people does NOT mean you are getting good advice! Some people just don’t know any better, and they don’t know they don’t know better, so charge it to their head and not their heart. But it is up to you to be discerning and regulate their influence in your financial life. Poor financial decisions can seriously slow down your progress and can take years to recover from. So choose wisely who you allow to speak into your financial future. God Bless.

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