I’m Not Your Mommy

Or your daddy for that matter! It’s time to man up! (Is the politically correct term “person up”??) It’s time to act like an adult and make sure you got a handle on your finances. Your mom and dad won’t be around forever, and relying on the government to be a surrogate parent is a disaster in the making. Yet as a society we are becoming more dependent on others to make the tough decisions for us. Finance not being the exception. I’ve always believed you should rely on yourself first and others secondly. Dependency is what makes you into an alcoholic or drug user. As Steven Covey once said, we should strive for interdependence. We rely on others but are not dependent on them. We shouldn’t lose our identity in the process.

In my opinion, being good with finances is one of the most important skills to have. Nothing touches our lives more than dealing with money. Yet as a society we talk more about sex than about money. One way to become better at finance is to hear another’s life experiences and opinion. We all have a story to tell, and it is what makes us unique.

Luke Landes inspired me to write this post, from a recent article on Consumerism Commentary. His position was to offer a neutral position related to finance and not give any guidance. First let me state, I very much respect his writing and the stance he takes. I am certainly not dissing his site and the success of it. On the contrary, his site is the NPR of personal finance blogs, and it works for him.

However, I don’t think you can truly act as if you are the Swiss. Everyone has bias, and I know with Luke’s writing he colors his viewpoint more to the left of center politically, which is fine with me, and I take it as such. I read his posts knowing that bias, and it helps me understand other viewpoints I may not have. I take in what I like and throw away what I think is garbage.

If it isn’t obvious by now, I’m very opinionated and don’t try to hide this fact. Perhaps it’s the New Yorker in me. In fact, I try to make my viewpoints as clear as possible, and state it as such. I think stating a specific viewpoint adds value to my readers. What you do with my viewpoint is an entirely different issue.

The primary purpose of this site is to help you become better at making and investing your money and to help you think critically, no matter the source. The role of leadership position I’ll take, but I certainly don’t want to ever be considered a “guru”. While I may have some insight, or some experience you may not have, I certainly don’t have all the answers. What you should be doing is absorbing all of the different viewpoints on a topic (say prepaying your mortgage), and then ultimately determine what’s best for your personal situation. I at least try to logically state my opinion, and back up my opinion with facts. Emotional appeals (i.e. paying off the mortgage makes me sleep well at night) has no interest with me in finance. For entertainment sure, but for finances no because it makes for a lousy investment.

In fact, in the coming months and years, I will introduce guests and discuss their beliefs about finance. Some of them I’ll agree with, while others I may not. I think it’s important to not accept what anyone says as gospel, and always question what’s considered “accepted truths” in personal finance. You will come to realize they call it personal finance because it’s personal. What may work for me or other individuals, may not work for you personally.

If you’ve read my about page, you’ll realize what I state in many cases is a matter of opinion. If you like what I say, great take it and use it. On the other hand, I don’t expect you to agree with everything that’s said on this site. In fact, I welcome difference of opinion. Just don’t mistake me for your parents.

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Reader Comments

  1. says

    I agree, I tend to like directional advice and opinions as opposed to generic advice. Also, bit of an aside here, but this is one benefit to anonymous blogging. I can say what I really think even though it might piss off our friends and co-workers since they don’t even know I wrote it. People with a public persona often approach topics with softball opinions instead of taking on an issue head on and calling BS.

  2. says

    I think this is why your site is so interesting to read. Who the hell wants another “save 37 cents by doing X” site? I have really been a fan of JT’s additions to your site as well

  3. says

    This is what I’m talking about! Remember, hate mail is “a conversation”. No one has to agree with everything that you say. This is YOUR site after all. You get to state YOUR opinions and if someone has an opposing viewpoint, I know that you’ll entertain it and have a conversation with them. None of us are meant to tell people what we think that they want to hear. I say bravo!

  4. Financial Samurai says

    Btw, it is inevitable all big bloggers become Swiss. Can’t be too extreme given all the dollars from clients flowing in!

    But, it would be great if they still had opinions!

    • says

      Actually what typically happens is if they do not like a product/service it just doesn’t get reviewed. I have no beef of stating issues with a the product, regardless of the company. In fact there are few companies I refused because I do not like their service.

  5. Bret @ Hope to Prosper says

    I tell my kids to Man Up or Grow Up a lot more than they would like to hear. But, the world fills them with so much of the feel good you are special B.S. that they need to hear the truth about life. Out in the adult world, they will need to hustle and have a thicker skin to succeed.