It's time once more to play thegame about all those silly mistakesyou've made handlingyour money. Don't try to denythat you've made some prettystupid ones. Everyone knows, andthey've probably been posted somewhereon the Internet. You might aswell own up to reality; it's alwaysbetter to laugh than to cry. Besides, ifyou have a good laugh, you mightjust remember your embarrassmentthe next time you're tempted to dothe same thing. So let's get started:
You may be a financial amateur if?
•You've invested all your retirementmoney in your collection ofstate quarters.
•You didn't buy Google stockwhen the initial public offering cameout because you couldn't understandhow a company could make moneyproducing those little googly eyes yousee on dolls.•You've ever wondered why investors
would buy small cap stocks, becausehow could there be that muchdemand for hats for tiny-headed people?
•You've ever wondered why youwould want to buy large cap stocksbecause, even though there are plentyof people around with large heads (particularlysome of your doctor friends),the ones you know are too cheap tospend much on hats.
•You've ever refused to put moneyinto CDs because you couldn't figureout what you'd do with all those CDsif the young people started making illegalcopies of CDs on their computersand the market fell apart.
•You've ever been confused aboutthe difference between an IRA and theIRS. Come to think of it, you just mayhave sent your IRA check to Washington,and your IRS check to Terre Haute.
•When your retirement advisorasked you to make a list of your liquidassets, you gave him the printoutof your wine collection.
•You've ever bought somethingexpensive mostly because the salespersontold you, "You're an importantdoctor, you deserve it."
•You've ever invested in a particularmutual fund because the managementteam had "a combined 120 yearsof investment experience." Somehowthat statement made sense to you.
•You've ever bought your childdesigner clothes because they convincedyou that if they didn't havejeans from Tommy Half-finger they'dbe too embarrassed to go to schooland would end up a penniless, strungoutdrug addict still living in their oldroom when you wanted to sell thehouse and retire to Florida.
•You sent your kids off to collegewith a high-limit credit card because"they might need it in an emergency."
•You've ever spent $2000 for atop-of-the-line outdoor grill, eventhough your old grill worked fine,because it was marked down from$2500. How could you not buy itwhen you "saved" a whopping $500?
If you answered yes to two or lessof the above questions, I'm nominatingyou for Chief of the FederalReserve. If you answered yes to threeto five, I recommend you start yourown financial advice company. If youanswered yes to six to nine, you'llprobably muddle through to somelevel of financial security. If youanswered yes to 10 or more, I adviseyou to hire me immediately to manageyour finances. It's a no-lose forme. You've screwed up things sobadly that anything I do can't helpbut be an improvement.
Louis L. Constan, a family practice physician
in Saginaw, Mich, is the editor of the
Saginaw County Medical Society Bulletin
and Michigan Family Practice. He welcomes
questions or comments at 3350 Shattuck
Road, Saginaw, MI 48603, 989-792-1899, or firstname.lastname@example.org.