Beware Of Greeks Bearing Gifts

There’s been another disturbing trend that I have been seeing on social media lately. And that is unsolicited financial advice. It’s even bordered on unsolicited lifestyle coaching.

Whenever I see these type of posts and those that “recommend” a specific stock, I start to wonder. What is their agenda? I’ve posted about be cautious about taking unsolicited advice before. I also learned about a new term. Even though I’ve experienced this activity myself, I didn’t know the term for it. It’s call “Pump and Dump”. However, most of the social media posts regarding specific stocks are for well known companies that are beyond the need for such tactics. It may be just a recommendation with no ulterior motive attached to it. Could be someone who is proud of their financial analysis skills and just wants to show case them. Or maybe they just post the stock and the analytical information to solicit discussion about it. Seems like a reasonable tactic.

And there are others who post generic advice in hopes of getting people to request more info so they can sell them their book. Again, to each their own. My only advice is to proceed with caution. You are being asked to hand over your hard earned money to someone whose credentials and experience you have no detailed knowledge and no way to vet. When I’m selected a financial professional I make a point of trying to find out whatever I can about them, their credentials, and their experience. I don’t just hand my money to someone who has a catchy line or tells me how good they are or how rich they are. If I can’t verify it…sorry, no sale.

Then there are those that are arrogant enough to post presumptive statements about their prospective customer’s lifestyle. Statements like “If you spend $$$ tonight at the bar or restaurant and not in your investments, you need to review your priorities.” Another one that I’ve seen states “If you’re not earning $XXX then you’re wasting your time.” Hmm. Who determines that arbitrary $$$ amount? People need to recognize everyone has a different strategy and financial goal. Presuming you know “what is good” for your prospective customer is the height of arrogance.

Which is why I don’t give advice or recommendations. Everyone is different. Everyone has different needs and priorities. They weren’t created to fulfill my dreams. I just started down the path of investing a short time ago but I’m not religious about it. The purpose of my blog and my postings on social media is to impart information and resources for the reader to do what they want with it.

Don’t just throw your money away. Make sure you know what you’re getting and from who. Because someone tells you that they’re a financial genius doesn’t make them one. And never, ever let anyone tell you how you should live your life. You can ask for directions for your financial strategy or steer you in the right direction (i.e. Are investing in funds better than investing in stock? and NOT What stocks should I invest in?) but the final decision as to how you get there is yours. You decide how you get there or how fast you want to go. Ignore the person that tells you that you “need to eat more ramen noodles” or anything else about how you live. Remember, they’re just trying to sell you something. Because they know that most people won’t follow the steps are outlined in any publication they are selling because everyone’s needs and agenda are unique to them. Instead, stick with the ones that tell/show you how to do something, what to look for and why, or explain the process.

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