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Nobody cares about your money more than you…WRONG!

Updated: Feb 9

This started with a post on Seedly a few weeks where a contributor, Jiang Jun - shared his negative experience with losing $3600.

For the fairly well-made video, click above.

In part, he took some responsibility and in part, he blamed his Financial Advisor for a variety of reasons. The fair attribution of those reasons as well as how the money was ‘lost’ was quite debatable, so there was an interesting discussion…

I contributed to pointing out the potential fallacies in that argument as well, but I genuinely bore no ill will personally. It’s something I see across my industry all the time.

Anyway, one of the comments was a sentence that I’d almost forgotten about, mostly because Alan Kor blocked me on Facebook – it was this fairly infamous phrase…

‘Nobody Cares More About Your Money Than You Do.’

I saw this about 2 years back - when I was first starting out my career - and something about this sent shivers down my spine.

Like there was something inherently wrong, but I couldn’t explain it.

Worse, I couldn’t intellectually justify this feeling without coming across as a bitter, angry Financial Advisor who wasn’t that knowledgeable in the first place (which was certainly true at the time, I was very noob).

Why this needs to be addressed

Objectively: because a part of me certainly believes this is true but and its based on my own circumstance. As a result, my job as a Financial Advisor isn’t necessarily compromised.

Additionally, speaking up on such a popularized statement will inevitably lead to unpopular results. Unpopularity affects my income negatively. There is no benefit for me in the pursuit of the truth, but I’m doing so anyway – and I think that’s as objective as it can get.

And urgently – because if this statement is factually wrong and many people believe it, it’s detrimental.

That’s generally what it means to not be living in truth – you feel self-confident about something that you have no real basis, arguably no RIGHT to be confident about and you subsequently become very surprised when it all goes to hell.

Some of you know that I have a degree in Psychology and Statistics, so a lot of my approach towards Finance is based on this foundation. And a similar detrimental result tends to appear in very common, seemingly unharmful scenarios.

For example, when groups of several hundred drivers (both men and women) are interviewed and asked if they believe they are in the top 50% of drivers, over 95% of them will say yes.

And this is obviously impossible, because someone certainly has to be in the bottom, but it’s a completely unjustifiable opinion that’s based on popular belief – much like the statement above. It's statistically and psychologically unsound, and the evidence against it is displayed worldwide.

How do you get justification for that belief, then?

Breaking it down

The sentence is ‘Nobody Cares More About Your Money Than You Do.’

The rest of the words are quite straightforward definitively, but the others not so. I’ll go through it.

1) Nobody – This implies that there is a range of people outside of you who cares about your money.

Common Examples are typically people like your parents, the government (especially taxes), the people who keep trying to borrow money from you, financial bloggers, literally every single person who’s tried to sell you something from clothing to an iPhone, bankers and financial advisors and other people in the finance line, etc.

2) Money – In reference to not just your cash on hand, but the management of your assets and liabilities ranging from your properties to credit cards, etc.

It also refers a range of financial knowledge and application – such as your ability to earn money and the foundation for that ability to earn money, via your job or investing or any other source of income.

3) Cares – Quantifiable by ability, interest, information stored, and time spent applying that information. This is easily the most important definition. If you claim to care about your money…

I) Time – do you spend more time thinking about your money? Or are there a range of people who spend considerably more time thinking about it than you do?

II) Knowledge – what do you know and understand about money? What is your relationship with it?

Do you understand your basics – CPF, Mortgage, Taxes, Insurance – and onto the accumulation options such as secondary income sources, investing (asset allocation) and the like? And is your information up to date?

III) Interest – if you already possess some knowledge, does your interest impact your relationship with money? Is your interest with your money a growing or waning one, and will it affect your outcome positively?

Not is all interest positive (e.g. tracking the market obsessively and trading recklessly) and disinterest is generally negative (opportunity costs, inability to keep up with better vehicles such as better UT structures or cheaper ETFs, etc). How do you channel your interest?

IV) Application – do you apply what you’ve learnt or what you’re reading? Are you entirely sure of the definitions of the essential financial terms and how to apply them? Are you already doing so?

I’ve had people who didn’t know that you need to use a whole life plan to Buy Term, Invest the Rest, and studies have shown that people generally don’t invest the rest (even though I frankly encourage it as well, I’m both selfishly and professionally motivated to do so).

If you’ve looked at these questions and answered them, now you can honestly ask yourself – do you care about your money more than somebody else does?

And is it really so surprising that somebody else might, at least as a factual observation? Your parents certainly care a lot more about your money than you do for the first quarter of your life.

Reviewing the multi-variate factors involved, there’s actually a very statistically decent chance that somebody literally cares more about your money than you do.

Then you really have to ask yourself these questions:

What’s the most efficient use of my time?

Am I generally interested in money as a financial concept?

If I am or if I’m not, what are the potential benefits and repercussions?

Does your Financial Advisor care more about your money than you do?

I’m a Financial Consultant, so I had to get to this at some point. Because typically if your Financial Advisor shows they ‘care’ (according to the definitions above) more about your money than you do, usually people leave their money in the care of those Financial Advisors. I’m just stating an observational fact here – not driving it.

It’s why there are so many of us, but more importantly – why there’s a ton of people who have a bunch of free time on their hands that should be using it to improve their earned income. That’s actually my secondary preposition – not only is it very likely that someone else cares about your money more than you do, but it’s a good thing when done right.

Time not spent managing your money is time that you can pursue your interests, usually to the advancement of your emotional and financial health.

You might say – well that’s just an excuse for me, a greedy financial advisor, aka the Money Maverick - to try and get my grubby hands on your money. And that’s possible. But it would also likely be factually inaccurate.

Because you would merely be treating ‘money’ (again, refer to definition) like how you treat anything which you just don’t have as much interest in or time for.

For example, you certainly wouldn’t do your chores if you could afford to outsource it (maids, service line people) or cook (every single place that offers food) or almost any other thing that you handle on a regular basis which isn’t as interesting or time-worthy as what you enjoy doing or excel at.

Managing money is no exception. It’s important, but it really isn’t. There’s been no evidence for that – if anything, it’s the contrary - which is why our local Financials market is the largest amongst sectors, and how Financials has evolved rapidly in the last few decades rather than decline. There is money, and an overwhelming amount of demand for it to be managed externally.

And it takes plenty of hours to manage on your own, especially during bigger events like marriage, property, children… That’s a lot of time across your lifetime.

Conversely, it would be quite hard for most people to say they care about their money more than I do. I live, eat and breathe this stuff – and I have to improve every single day, or I starve. The time I spend managing others finances and my own is easily more hours in a month than some people think about in a lifetime.

There are exceptions of course – I wouldn’t prospect Kyith of Investment Moats or Christopher of ToP without likely getting burnt because they could probably easily demonstrate that they certainly care more about their money than I do…

…But I’m sidetracking.

Obviously, part of what inspired this post in the f