There are at least three common pitfalls associated with seeking advice…
- Some do not seek wise advice from anyone but rely solely on themselves and then fail to do adequate research.
- Some take advice from friends or people they know, but regardless of even the best of intentions… these people may not actually have financial wisdom and can lead them astray.
- Others seek professional advice from strangers they do not know because they have a degree, a certification, or work at an investing company and say they are here to help. But take care, for not all who say they have your best interest at heart really do.
It is important to diligently do your homework when seeking financial advice and weighing alternatives. Do not be lazy or hasty.
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
Seeking wise advice is a good idea, but you must use discernment in whom you trust and in which advice you follow.
Proverbs 15:22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.
Advice from friends and family may be very good sometimes… and sometimes not. It is ok to seek it, but you will do well to verify by consulting other sources or doing research on your own.
When seeking advice from professionals, many are genuinely there to help you and some are wolves just trying to collect their fees . It is important to evaluate each on a case by case basis. Know how they get paid, or if they do not get paid. It may influence their behavior.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
Keep in mind… those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing… will not wear a sign as such. They will appear to be friendly and helpful… they likely hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power. Avoid men such as these. Discernment is important.
I have heard of many issues with honest people seeking advice from professionals. In one example, when the fee structure was a percentage of the money at time of opening account the client could not get meaningful support later to help with investments… the professional had already had been paid and lost incentive to help.
Another example includes someone giving advice that was paid by fees or incentives based on selling certain “recommended” financial instruments. He tried to lock his client in on a long term annuity while interest rates were the lowest in 30 years! That is when you get a mortgage, not when you get a long term annuity. (If you don’t know what an annuity is, think of it like loaning money to someone else and they pay you interest.) When the client did not buy it… the professional tried to pressure him… “Don’t let me down again.” Who is working for whom?
The answer is to seek advice from multiple sources and to do personal research to confirm. In other words, get a second opinion. By taking shortcuts in deciding whom to trust with your money you may be taking unnecessary risk without even realizing it. People do not have to break the law to take advantage of you.
Don’t be paranoid either… most professionals are actually trying to help you… you just need to verify your decisions by doing your homework to understand the investments they recommend.
Remember too, you can always trust God’s word to be true and careful study of His word combined with obedience to His commands and a consistent pray life can lead you through all things and bring you much peace.
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .