In contrast to many financial "experts" in the media who know very little about money management (I noted this in Money 101: How to Measure and Track Wealth and Another Financial Media Mistake), Business Week magazine interviewed Ann Kaplan, a woman after my own heart.
Here's what started off the interview:
What’s the biggest financial mistake people make?
The biggest mistake isn’t bad investment choices, it’s overspending. Most people are very surprised when they analyze their spending to discover that a lot of it doesn’t reflect their priorities. Maybe they’re eating out a lot when their priority is travel. Most can cut one-third of their budget by eliminating things they don’t really need, whether that’s buying jewelry or theater tickets. The goal of thinking about this isn’t to encourage you to necessarily cut back but to understand that you can. That helps eliminate fear.
Couldn't agree more. Several years someone asked and I wrote My Best Financial Advice: Spend Less than You Earn. I followed that up years later with The Ten Worst Money Mistakes Anyone Can Make. FYI, the worst mistake was "over-spending."
I'm also on the same page as her here:
If you have a financial planner you trust, shouldn’t you leave the decisions to him or her?
You can hire wonderful advisers and use magnificent products, but at the end of the day no one cares about your money as much as you do. You always need to be the chief financial officer of your life.
Again, couldn't agree more. That's one reason I write this blog -- so all of us (me included) can learn more about managing our money and thus not be at the complete mercy of a financial planner who may or may not have our best interests at heart.
Any extra thoughts on either of these subjects?