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How I Stopped Being Obsessed with Financial Correctness

Updated: Feb 7

The End of Money Maverick - For Now.

I lost my laptop and two clients earlier in August, and someone said that I look like s***.

I've certainly felt like that. Some feedback recently has been like that.

I’ve never considered myself a hard-sell, so it just looks like my standards for hard selling simply went up. Was it because I know more and more? Maybe. That knowledge that was meant to help others has become my boon.

I've tried to forgive myself, but it's hard.

For example, recently I created a low risk diversified portfolio plan for someone who was originally going with an endowment plan.

It would have made this prospect $38,000 more net of fees in 10 years for barely any additional risk, and 6 figures more by the 20th year with a passive income.

Naturally, I was pushy about it. The math supported this decision, and I was already taking on a lower commission.

After some 'research' - which was also done wrongly, based on what was being said - the client disappeared, not wanting to hear any more protests.

I was not given the opportunity to meet these people to explain significant details - like asset allocation or parts of the product summary that looked unfavorable.

No - instead I was supposed to settle for the fact that online opinions were more logical than the hours of work and years of professional experience that I'd put in on the client's behalf.

That I was just another consultant, probably a greedy one, and I wasn't anything more than the product I was offering.

Correcting...Well, Everybody

A higher number of thumbs up on a Facebook response, is better than statistically correct advice. And it's been eating away at me for a year now.

I’m less patient, almost angry when someone does something that hurts themselves.

Most people who give financial advice freely don’t have to worry about these things. I wrote that in the beginning, way back when I started Money Maverick.

And its tiring. It's been so tiring for such a long time that I've basically gone through correcting almost everything I can think of, in the last year of writing this blog.

1) The STI ETF and Proponents of the STI ETF

2) People who BTIR without thinking it through

3) People who don't know enough about BTIR to be doing it

4) People obsessed with index funds/ETFs

5) People who use Vanguard and SPIVA in their arguments for being obsessed with index funds/ETFs

6) People who clear debts early without looking at interest rates

7) People who think Investing is a Zero-Sum game

8) People who are Financial Consultants 9) People who think they care more about their money than anyone else does (Spoiler Alert - high chance the government does)

10) People who are Leceh, and maybe the government (but also not the government)

11) Poor People (Not as bad as it sounds)

12) People who are Financial Consultants...again

13) People who are Fund Managers

14) People who are Financial Consultants...but with MDRT

15) Myself

16) People who are Financial Consultants - for the last time

17) People who Dollar Cost Average too much

18) People who DIY their Mortgage

19) Robos

20) Parents and Children

Not to mention, prominent figures in this community.

1) MoneyOwl

2) Providend

3) Budget Babe (though it was really for things like using a par fund table to illustrate how much she didn't like ILPs, not this article)

4) Dr Wealth

5) Seedly's Panel

6) TreeofProsperity

7) RisknReturns

8) Seedly

I even had time to toss out my single line analysis on how dangerous REITs were in a personal article.

I slam around everybody, with no exceptions - including myself. Especially myself.

Of course, if you actually read through the links - most are in good hearted jest.

And I've been happy making friends or gaining respect from seasoned investors who aren't in my field.

But yeah. Out of less than 60 articles, almost half of them have been dedicated to correcting someone to a small degree...or completely.

If we define correct as ‘Financially Manageable, saves more, earns more and has the best long term results for your future’…

…Then I am obsessed with being correct.

It's a little sad, like being an angry old man yelling at kids from a porch.

There are a lot of reasons for obsessing:

1) Building a decent reputation that’s typically marred by youth, the occasional unkempt appearance and lack of financial background

2) The risk of losing my license if I misrepresent something

3) The consequences to the client if I’m wrong about something

4) Staying competitive in an industry that is constantly finding new ways to regulate me, for black sheep which are ruining the general reputation of my profession and for people who are trying to eat my share of business

5) Recognizing a huge opportunity cost for people who have the means and resources to achieve amazing results, but don’t have the risk tolerance for it

If I get it wrong, you end up with some of the above scenarios.

Clients i) don't get as much as they should, or they ii) pay more than they should - and they write iii) good options off without any proper thought.

Some of these small decisions can put them in a completely different tax bracket or create an entirely new life for them and their loved ones.

If $50,000 could change some people's lives radically, imagine 6 or 7 figures.

The End of Financial Correctness

Eventually, after talking to some of my oldest clients - I realized that...I've basically finished yelling at everyone.

Sure, my intentions started off good. They might still be good. But I'd already yelled at everyone for whatever reason required.

That was over.

What's next? Not much, really.

In a few years, more of these things online will be MAS regulated. People won't be able to give advice so freely or so recklessly, especially fellow consultants.