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July 29, 2008


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I like this site and overall enjoy the content. However, I think you are a bit harsh on financial planners. While most of them are "salesmen" as you call them, there are some out there that just want to help people.

I say this because my dream is to become a financial planner. Not for monetary gain, but because I enjoy helping people with their finances and I do not want to be placed in a bucket with the unethical group of financial "adivsors".

Mark --

I know. I put that in there because I knew someone would take the bait. (I'm a stinker like that sometimes and I was just in one of those moods today.) Seriously, I have no reason to think a financial advisor led them astray in any way and I'm sure they would have done much better with some good advice.

This story is pretty much summed up by the quote from the homeowner in yesterday's piece:

“What’s going to happen is instead of keep paying my mortgage, I’m going to take my money and not pay my mortgage because I’m being harassed,” said Harper.

Come to think of it, I am also tired of my mortgage company harassing me every month for the money they gave me, why can't they just leave me and my money alone.

It's hard to know. Had they been successful in this endeavor, people would have been singing their praises. All in all, however, you have to think that they really should have consulted a financial planner (as you've suggested). Any way you look at it, it's sad to see it happen.

Maybe ABC should have had the family sit down with a financial advisor BEFORE they build a half-million dollar house for this family. I've said this before regarding Extreme Home Makeover, but I enjoyed the show much more before it became an hourlong commercial for Sears and whatever Ty Pennington was hocking.

And, Mark B., don't worry too much about the comments about financial planners. I have found that most personal finance blogs tend to be disdainful of people who work on commission, especially financial advisors, insurance and real estate agents. I think it has a lot to do with most people who pull themselves up out of financial difficulties having a strong "do-it-yourself" streak and who don't like to pay others to do things they can do themselves. Nothing wrong with that of course, but there seems to be a lot of harshness directed at people in those careers nonetheless. Just like with anything else for every crooked salesman, there are probably alot of honest ones just trying to make a living. Don't worry about it...

Well, I just think it's a shame that with all the worthy people who need and give help, that someone is allowed to squander a gift of this magnitude. The saddest part is that all those volunteers, and the vendors who donated materials, etc. for these "people in need" will probably think twice before they do it again. And there are a lot of deserving families out there who would cherish the home and never risk losing it. Also, why build one needy family a half million dollar mansion when you could build four or five needy families a perfectly adequate home for that amount. I believe these things are more about making a tv show and getting pubicity for the stars and the companies than they are about helping people anyway. It's a nice gesture, but certainly not humble in any way. Instead of a half-million on a high risk construction business, which incidently most anyone would know was high risk in this economy, maybe they should have invested $250. in a Healthy Chocolate business. They might or might not be rich at this point, but they'd certainly still have their home.

Mark B.,

I will hire you! When do you graduate and where are you going to practice?

I'm not sure why a financial planner would necessarily try to dissuade the family from starting a business. Chances are if there was one involved (or accountant, lawyers etc) the family would have hired them to help them through the process of starting the business - not to tell the family whether they should do it or not.

Back to the original topic, it is pretty sad they lost the house. Why was the house so big? It seems for that money they could have helped two families build new (smaller) homes. Or 5 families with additions...or 20 families with medium sized renos... :)



I already have a degree in Finance and I do help friends, family, referrals, etc. with their finances on the side, for free. It is my true passion. I have a corporate finance job right now. It stinks, but it pays the bills.

I did not become a financial planner right out of school because 1) it is very hard for a 22 year old to get people to trust them with their money, 2) all of the jobs were "sales" positions, and 3) I could make good money at a corporate job (I had a lot of student loans).

I am slowly working my way to becoming a fee-only financial planner by gaining experience. Eventually I will quit my day job, work for a CFP somewhere, obtain my CFP license and start following my dream.

I will end up practicing in Michigan.

This ia a disgrace and the family wants you to feel sorry for them. Please! I feel sorry for all the people, contractors, and companies who donated their time and products only to be squandered by the homeowners. Not only did they milk the property for $450,000 but they were given $250,000 to mantain the home and to help educate the children. Then to risk it all on a business venture! I'll bet its more like they lived the high life like big shots with the new found money and wasted it all. Just like the lottery winners that win a fortune and go broke. What a shame it didn't go to a family who realized the wonderful gift they were given!

Ty Pennington continues to drink like a fish and live high on the hog while pandering his brand of tear jerker sentiment on the air waves. The show was always about Sears and some 18 yo kids that should have been working anyway. They got what they deserved.

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