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Why You Should Stop Listening To Personal Finance Gurus

By Author: Darren Burgess
Total Articles: 16
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Personal Finance Gurus. Don’t Listen to Them.

Finance gurus have sprung up left, right and centre in recent years. From stay-at-home parents sharing their personal experiences, to daytime television stars, it seems that you don’t have to go far to bump into many a self-styled money blogger. Which is a good thing, surely? With more Brits struggling with debt than ever before, this information overload must be helpful, right?

Well, as you’re about to read, there are five very good reasons that you should think again before hanging off any word of the latest finance guru.

1. Are you truly certain you can trust their advice?

Is that finance blogger’s advice genuinely impartial? How can you be sure? If they recommend a credit product, do you know whether they’re receiving payment for each person who applies?

Unfortunately, even if the advice they provide is pretty solid, many personal bloggers create biased content – behind which lies the promise of income.

2. Personal finance – unsurprisingly, it’s personal

Here are just a few examples of how, when it comes to personal finance, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits all…

- While one debt solution worked for Joe Bloggs, there’s no certainty it’ll work for you
- Where one route is suited to Joanne Bloggs (and her plans for retirement) the same route may not fit so well with your pension plans
- While John Bloggs is happy to invest in a medium-risk opportunity, your risk-adverse attitude isn’t so certain about the deal on the table

This becomes even more important where debt solutions are concerned, as your unique circumstances may rule you out of some solutions (such as being ineligible for a Trust Deed if you have less than £5,000 worth of debt), while other solutions should be avoided if it can be helped (such as bankruptcy if you own your own home).

3. Many are self-declared gurus, and aren’t professionally trained

While it’s fine for those outside of the financial services world to offer their thoughts on personal money management, you really need to tread carefully if you’re to avoid taking bad advice from someone who aspires to be a professional.

True professionals in the industry have undergone years of study and challenging exams. They’ve probably held a professional position for numerous years. But these aren’t usually the same people who choose to run a personal finance website.

4. They all provide the same-old advice

Let’s quickly sum up the key pieces of advice given by finance gurus…

- Save money and cut costs
- Repay your debt
- Invest

But these three main pathways are entirely unrealistic for some. Many don’t have spare money to save (even after having switched insurers, utilities and phone contracts).

Others are racking up debt month on month, which makes the repayment of that debt impossible.

While many finance gurus will walk you through a few tips for negotiating with creditors, many situations require a formal debt solution, such as an IVA.

Finally, as we’ve already outlined – investment is an area that you may not want to take on based on the words of someone you don’t know and have never met.

5. Even professionals can get it wrong

Let’s say that this particular finance guru is an ex-bank manager. She’s got all the qualifications and a twenty year past financial career. Surely she can be trusted, right? Wrong, actually.

Even professionals can make the wrong call sometimes – like recommending a certain stock, which plummets within months – or telling a commenter that a property purchase may be best for their medium-term plans (just before the market bottoms out).

If you’ve read the basics that most finance gurus have to offer, you already have a good working knowledge of what they have to say. Do yourself a favour and switch off to their latest investment tips and generic financial planning. Of far more value will be advice that is tailored around you – your family, your future plans, your finances.

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