I am usually at work fairly early every day (by 7 am) and as such I usually leave around 5 pm. A few nights each week I get home at 5:20 pm or so and go to the basement to exercise before dinner. When I do this, I often turn on the TV for something to watch while I sweat off 1,000 calories or so.
In case you don't know it, there's not much on at 5:20 pm (I don't have cable). However, I have found one saving grace during this timeframe...Judge Judy.
Ok, now that you've stopped laughing, let me say that Judge Judy is quite entertaining. I especially like how she blasts people who are clearly in the wrong, trying to lie about a situation, or just plain shady. She dishes it out and doesn't take it from anyone!!!!
So I was watching it the other day when Judge Judy was all over this guy who was clearly a "loser". He was in debt, made all sorts of bad financial decisions, and had had his car repossessed. He was being sued for $4,000 he owed on another car. Needless to say, he lost the case. He took a lot of heat from Judge Judy, but he handled himself so poorly that he basically asked her to yell at him. Overall, he came off as someone who had no control over his personal or financial life.
Just before she rendered judgment, Judge Judy, as she often does, asked if the guy worked for a living. He said he did. She asked what he did. He said he was a FINANCIAL ADVISOR. Imagine Judge Judy nearly falling off the bench at this point. I can't remember what she said exactly, but it was something to the effect of, "You've got to be kidding me!" She then asked where he worked. He said "at a bank." She asked if it was a national bank, and he said it was.
All of this to say that you should never, ever, ever trust your money and financial decisions to any sort of "financial advisor" that you haven't checked out, called his/her references (preferably from people you know), and interviewed as if your life depended on making the right choice. And just because you may trust a well-respected bank, broker, or other financial institution doesn't mean you should trust their "financial advisors". In many cases, these people are simply glorified salespeople who probably know less about managing money than you do.
To read more of my posts on this topic, see these links: