When it comes to money, people are terrified to utter the phrase ‘I don’t understand.’ For some reason, there is an illogical level of shame attached to it, but it’s derived from the assumption that every adult with a good education and successful career knows about money. However, that’s just not true.
Maybe it was 100 years ago when “times were simpler,” but now, anyone with any significant level of income faces complex financial decisions that are beyond the scope of common sense and intuitive financial savvy. You could easily make the argument that our financial lives shouldn’t have to be so complex, but the reality is that they are.
So how should you manage?—ask questions, even when you think you should already know the answer. Did you learn about interest rates, asset allocation, and taxes in school? Doubtful. There are plenty of finance majors walking around that know little to nothing about those things, so I know you liberal arts majors are lost, which begs the question: why would you be embarrassed to say, “I don’t understand?”
Voltaire famously said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers,” which I take to mean that you shouldn’t always have to know the answer but be willing to find out. Now, I won’t go all the way and say that there are no stupid questions—there are. But personal finance is complicated enough that you should feel safe asking anything you want.
Josh Norris is an Investment Advisory Representative of LeFleur Financial. Josh can be reached at josh@LeFleurFinancial.com.