Advice is like falling snow.

cube1067October 23, 2003

...the softer it falls the longer it dwells upon and the deeper it sinks into the mind...

Hi, guys. The quote is from a Forbes magazine article (but I later found out it was written by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge back in the 1700Âs). In a prior post here, we discussed how unsolicited financial advice generally goes unheeded. (and tends to make enemies) So I began wondering - when does one actually heed financial advice?

Sure, if you go to a financial planner, and pay for the advice, youÂre probably going to willingly receive the advice, so letÂs rule out those occasions. I want to hear about the times that unsolicited financial wisdom has Âfallen like snow upon you.

IÂve mentioned that I am a recovering shopaholic. I had a coworker/friend on my first job who told me Âpay yourself firstÂ, but I didnÂt heed that. In the late 1980Âs I called a radio financial planner and asked him to recommend a place where I could turn my paycheck over and the place would manage my money. He said ÂDo you know who the best manager of YOUR money is? I said with incredulity ÂYou mean ME? I did not act on his advice  did not do a thing to learn about managing money. In the mid 1990Âs another coworker was shocked that I hadnÂt joined the company 403B. ÂYou should be doing that.Â, he said. But again I did nothing.

On the other hand, I was talking about paying my mortgage when a coworker/friend said to me ÂWe (she and hubby) donÂt have a mortgageÂ. They had paid off early with an unexpected inheritance. I was stunned by the realization that mortgages can end early. I made paying off my mortgage a goal. Another time, I was talking about credit card rates when a coworker said ÂI never carry a balanceÂ. I made zero credit card balances a goal and I now avoid paying any CC interest.

So it seems that advice Âfalls like snow on me when I hear about another personÂs successful self-management more so than when told what ÂI should do. Or maybe IÂm more receptive when financial wisdom is not given as advice from someoneÂs lips, but obtained from personal observation. What about you?

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So what is your point or question? Are you looking for financial advice or sympathy?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2003 at 2:03AM
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Just trying to start a conversation. Your response surprised me. Basic queston is "When do you find you actually heed advice"?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 12:06PM
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Hi Cube1067, and all,

Part of my training as an overseas missionary was to listen and learn, not go around spouting a lot of good, often unrequested advice.

Some people have asked me what right I had, as a missionary in another country, to ram the Bible down someone's throat.

I asked them if I could ram the Bible down their throat, to which they replied that they would not allow it.

I replied that I know the situation here much better than in another country, where I am a guest. That I would have even less success at trying to do that there than here.

As a clergyperson and personal financial advisor I've tried to do the same. I sold no financial products, so was not trying to sell stuff: my main goal was to help clients figure out goals that they wanted, and plan how to achieve them, including the steps needed to get there.

I value my freedom, and feel that I should respect the right of others to decide how they wish to live their lives.
Sometimes when I talk to a group of teens at the plaza about using money to smoke or to save it and put it to work for them, some of them ask me whether I am telling them not to smoke.

I say that I'm not: I value my freedom and need to respect theirs, but am only offering some alternative ideas that they might find useful. The choice is theirs.

The thousand that you save now, if you learn to manage it effectively, might enable you to retire a year earlier, if there are enough years in between. When you could kick up your heels and do whatever you wish.

Good wishes as you continue to consider how to use your money most effectively,

joyful guy

P.S. When I stayed with an old, arthritic uncle for a couple of months last year, after his wife died, an evaluator for seniors and I recommended that he use a wheeled walker that he has, but he wouldn't. Now, with even more pain in lower back, hip and leg, he has discovered it on his own and now feels that it's a great help to him.

How much effect did the suggestions and arguments that we used last year have on him? None, then. How much, in the months between and recently?

No one knows, of course.

joyful guy

P.S. My Dad used to say, "Convince a man against his will,
"He'll be of the same opinion still".

In politically correct terms, that includes females, as well.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 2:21AM
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All I can do is lead by example. I have so many friends I want to scream and take them by the shoulders and shake them. They truly believe you should borrow until the cows come home. And if the debt goes bad, that Sears or whoever can afford to eat the cost if they file bankruptcy. Others would never survive if a spouse died or lost their job or got seriously ill and lost their income. Their house payments alone eat up almost both of their checks each month.

But our take on finances was hard-earned due to living with chronic illness in the family. Most people tend to think it will never happen to them. Hey maybe bad times will never ever befall them. They might be lucky. Now if they are paying me for my advice, they still might think living from paycheck to paycheck is fine.

We have had folks post here often wanting to know should they go into debt, or should they file bankruptcy, or should they invest with a poorly disguised pyramid or ponzi?

Many of us have been through it and tell them the pros and cons and give them advice. Maybe Joyful Ed can attest to how few of them we ever hear back from on how it ended up.

That's a good question: Any of you guys out there asked for advice from this forum and taken any action (or not)? How are you faring now? I'd love to know.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 9:47AM
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"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I think this is a Buddhist saying. Seems to apply to many areas of life.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 6:24PM
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I think the only time people will heed financial (or any other type of advice) is when all the stars and planets are lined up and a particular problem is addressed. Kind of like what Minet said in the previous post. Unless your mind is really open to "TheProblem", "TheSolution" will go unheeded.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 3:21AM
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Sometimes, IMHO, it's difficult to face your problems and take advice to help yourself. And especially if you're married, then you have a spouse to convince. I look back, I've made so many mistakes, but somehow God saw me thru them.

We left the city several years back, sold our 2-story home, and moved to a smaller home, a cottage, really, on the lake. We took our profit and purchased this run-down property. We actually liked a few thousand having enough for an outright purchase, but the owner, who used it for rental, worked out a no-interest 1-year payment plan. Our friends thought we were crazy!! "Aren't you moving down, not up, in life?"

Well, while I'm typing this, I can look at the lake, watch some squirrels climb a tree, and there'll be a woodpecker along any minute to catch a few seeds in my properly placed feeder. Ahhhh. And our son wants us to move back to the city. LOL Fat chance of that happening!

Now, I know this life isn't for everyone. There are many advantages of living in the city. But, not having a house payment for several years has sure been nice.

2 things here----one child had already left the coop, another was on her way---the timing was good. One should always ask about creative financing if needed-------sometimes, it pays!

One of the influences in my life has been my sister-in-law, who saves, saves, saves! She never really told me to do this and that------but, I've watched her, and learned. She was from a family who did that, my family did not. I think this means a lot, too.

PS Our house has changed quite a bit, my husband does a little carpentry work, I'm pretty good at demolition--LOL--but, there's always more to do------my big thing now is "low maintenance." Throw me some advice, it won't be like falling snow. I promise!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 12:17PM
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What do you figure might be the possibility that someone may find some useful ideas in this ancient thread?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 7:09PM
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