I just ran across an interesting article on the accuracy of personal finance writers in the Akron Beacon Journal of all places — gotta love Google News! The article correctly points out that personal finance books, news stories, etc. are often riddled with factual errors that might lead you to make bad money moves. How can you protect yourself? The article has several common sense suggestions.
First off, never assume that anything you read on a personal finance matter is the full story. Many personal finance issues are far too complex to be covered fully in a typical article or column. Second, consider the source, and decide whether you can trust their accuracy with regard to the topic at hand. Finally, don’t ever make a decision based solely on what you read in a personal finance article, as it might just be plain wrong.
This last point is actually good advice when it comes to virtually any single source of financial information. In fact, you can’t even trust the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to give you the straight dope on tax matters, as a recent government study revealed that 20% of walk-in visitors get wrong answers to their queries.
Perhaps Reagan had it right: Trust, but verify.
2 Responses to “Don’t Believe Everything that You Read”
I would go with the tax people being wrong as well- I went to H&R many years back when I was throwing papers since it was a contract thing- anyway ending up paying between 500-1000 more than I should have. But I can’t recoup that since the idjit took my paperwork and tossed it, saying I didn’t need them. (I was too knew to the tax thing to know better)- live and learn sometimes
Good points! People need to understand and manage their money for themselves — not just take advice at face value.