Who do you listen to?

In a single day today we get exposed to more information than someone did in an entire year in the 17th century. It’s no wonder we feel completely overwhelmed at times and find it tough to sift through all of that information to make a decision. If you want to get some financial guidance where do you start looking and who should you listen to? 

I’ve seen a number of surveys that suggest that around two thirds of us get our financial advice from friends and family. Is this the best place to get advice? In some ways yes because they already have a relationship with you and they know you. The trust levels are usually quite high and they probably have your best interests at heart. However do your friends and family have the expertise and experience to know what they are talking about and help you work through the options?

The other option of course is to seek professional advice. Those who have expertise in a particular profession, like the financial industry, should have a lot more experience to be able to give you a more competent level of advice. But who do you know who to trust and how do you know which professional to choose? 

Whether you take advice from an expert or friends and family there are some guidelines:

  • Are you clear about what guidance you need?
  • Is the person giving you advice looking out for your best interests?
  • How specifically can they help you?
  • Do they have any personal agendas which could influence their guidance?
  • What training and experience do they have?
  • Are they getting paid to provide you with their knowledge?

My advice is to take the time to think through your decision and think about it from a number of perspectives. I think the quote below sums it up well.

 “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken or rumoured by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in your religious books.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.  Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.  But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”    Buddha

By Lisa Dudson

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