6 hours of my "reading time" every week is dedicated to honing my craft- staying on top of industry trends… researching new financial planning strategies… studying client psychology… etc.
What do I read, you ask?
Advertising, of course.
…I dive deep into the 4-page annuity advertisements in my industry rags.
…I devour "Top 5 Mutual Funds" articles in Money magazine.
…I'm glued to the CNBC commercials slinging gold with limited-offer "Patriot Coins."
Why do I read advertising to educate myself? Because the best way to learn is from someone trying to sell you something. (A universally accepted "sarcasm font" is way overdue, don't you think?)
Personal finance is complicated. It's too complicated… and too confusing… and let's be honest - too boring - for most people to be motivated to educate themselves. The financial industry takes advantage of this.
- The company hustling gold hopes you don't know their Patriot Coins are a terrible investment.
- The Pre-IPO investment company hopes you don't understand the investment and liquidity risk of investing in pre-IPO companies.
- The insurance company hopes you don't know that whole life policy is really expensive insurance and a really lousy investment.
But they gotsta eat too, ya know?
The point is to consider the source. If you are "learning" from someone trying to sell you something, take the time to educate yourself outside of what the salesman… or advertisement… or commercial is telling you.
After that, if you've just got to have those Patriot Coins then more power to you.