Would You Take Financial Advice From Your Three Year Old?
As silly as this question sounds – I mean it, would you?
I think it’s a safe bet to say you wouldn’t, yet we do the equivalent of this all the time.
If you accept the advice from someone who doesn’t know your financial situation, your goals and what you have planned for your future – you may as well be asking your three-year-old to guide your life choices. At least they have a personal stake (it’s their inheritance after all 😉).
I like to call this unsolicited wisdom “BBQ Advice”.
We’ve all been there. Family BBQ, Sunday afternoon, everyone is catching up and your brother-in-law (or insert your equivalent relative here) is telling everyone how they’ve just bought an investment property/shares/bitcoin, blah, blah blah. They make it well known to everyone that it’s the greatest financial decision they’ve ever made and why everyone should do it too.
OR maybe they are talking about all the ‘stuff’ they’ve bought, new boat, new car, overseas holiday and that little Suzie now has a pony. How they wished they’d done it sooner and you ‘shouldn’t wait’ either.
If you’re anything like me it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and all this sounds fantastic, –and you’re thinking, ‘I deserve these amazing things as well’!
Before you get too excited, let me break this down for you.
I’m not saying your brother in law is not telling you the truth. What I am telling you is that you aren’t getting the whole story.
The biggest takeaway –
“just because these decisions suit his circumstances doesn’t mean they automatically suit yours”
He’s as qualified to give you advice on what you should, invest in, buy, get a loan for as your three year old.
This BBQ advice now also translates into the online world. With Facebook groups regarding money and budgeting lots of people are looking to these groups for advice. Unless you know who is on the other end of the advice and what their motives are any suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt.
We all have a different end game, we all have our own version of what ‘success’ or ‘happiness’ looks like and how much debt you can have and still sleep at night.
So, whilst buying bitcoin, or taking out a huge loan for an investment property, might get him closer to his financial nirvana it won’t necessarily do the same for you.
So what can you do to measure BBQ advice? These are the questions I ask myself
- Can I trust that this the full story? As a finance broker I’ve lost count of the number of times people have rounded up their income and rounded down their debt. It’s not until you get the paperwork you get the full details.
- Does this person know my financial situation intimately? I mean how many people know exactly what you earn and what you owe?
- Does this get me closer to where I want to be financially? Have a plan and stick to it! If this info does measure up go see a professional. (A licenced, recommended, professional with social proof they know what they are doing) to get proper full advice, just for you.
Samantha Bright is the resourceful business owner of Thrive Investment Finance. With a passion for finance, her clients are everyday people like you and me.
She has a knack for making your money work harder, so you don’t have to, which inspired her newest venture The Mighty Money Movement.
Being a mum of 3 teenagers and 2 fur babies she understands the unique financial challenges that come with raising a family and is passionate about creating secure financial futures for Brisbane families.