Ads for financial products are everywhere these days. We’re constantly being pressured to invest in precious metals, purchase insurance, get the latest and greatest credit card, trade crypto or NFTs, and even add whiskey to our portfolios.
Some of the messages are frightening—what if we die without life insurance or outlive our savings? Others tap into greed—here’s an easy way to make a lot of money.
Advertising can be a first step in making important financial decisions. It can make you aware of things you may not have considered. However, by its nature, advertising is designed to appeal to your emotions, and you should never make financial decisions based solely on emotion.
In my early days as a wealth advisor, I learned that most financial services firms based their marketing efforts on the idea that “an undisturbed prospect will not buy”. Their goal is to disturb prospects so they buy whatever the firms are selling.
I hated that.
Our goal is to empower our families to make calm, rational, informed decisions based on their specific circumstances. We don’t manipulate them into doing something that may not be in their best interests by scaring the bejeebies out of them, which is often the goal of advertising.
Here are some good rules to follow when it comes to financial product ads:
- If the message behind an ad is designed to frighten you, to make you take action driven by fear, ignore the ad.
- If you’re being pressured to act immediately, to make an impulsive decision, ignore the ad.
- If you would be embarrassed to tell your spouse or friends or wealth advisor that you made the investment, ignore the ad.
I’m not saying that the products promoted in ads are necessarily bad investments. I’m saying you have to check the source. Guard your heart and mind. Resist fear and greed.
Ask yourself: Is this decision bringing you more peace or more anxiety? Is this purchase bringing you closer to the Lord or taking you away from him?
As believers, we live in God’s economy, which means we don’t have to worry about all the craziness that’s out there. But we do have to be good stewards of our resources.
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8, NASB)
Part of good stewardship is seeking objective advice from a trusted, qualified source and applying sound, proven strategies. The majority of banks, brokerage houses and insurance agencies are not fiduciaries; they are not held to the standard of putting their clients’ interests above their own. Ogden Wealth is a fiduciary, and we will always act in your best interests.
As a key to effective financial management, diversification is both practical and scriptural.
Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. (Ecclesiastes 11:2, NASB)
If you see an ad for a financial product that intrigues you, let’s talk about it. It may be something that would be a good addition to your overall plan—but it may not be. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can make a sound decision that will let you sleep well at night.
The war for your wallet is real, y’all. Don’t make it easy for folks to steal your hard-earned money. And if you do, learn from it, consider it the price you paid for an education, and never let it happen again.
Related: What’s Wrong with the FIRE Movement?