The Worst Money Advice You’ll Find on the Web
We’ve all heard that Dave Ramsey gives great financial advice and seen proven step-by-step plans for gaining wealth, but what about the bad advice that’s out there? Here’s some bad financial advice that cost people thousands of dollars and could have kept them from pursuing their dreams.
Cash in a 401(k) to pay off credit card debt - Experts say this is a bad advice because touching your retirement plan before you hit retirement age is a no-no. In addition, cashing in before you’re 59 ½ carries with it a 10% penalty. Doing this would not teach you how to save money and spend wisely. Certified financial planner Debra Morrison says a better idea is to take out a loan on the 401(k) money, following “a rigid, monthly repayment schedule, which requires the participant to pay off the loan, thereby maintaining the retirement funds for their original intended use.”
Buy another house and rent it out - If you’re financially and mentally prepared to put in the work required of a landlord, renting out property is a good way to build wealth. Tenants may get behind on their rent, though, and remember that the landlord is responsible for making repairs to the house. Morrison suggests people only become landlords if they are able to set aside a “sinking fund” that will cover the many expenses associated with owning and managing a property.
Don’t invest in your own business - Entrepreneur Ismail Humet ignored this bad advice and now has a successful business, MyFreebeez.com. The key to starting your own business is to be careful and get with an advisor to discuss the benefits and risks, in order to make an informed decision.
Open up a credit card to buy college textbooks and pay for fees - Certified financial planner Rick Kahler doesn’t think it’s a good idea for college students to have credit cards at all if they can’t pay off the balance each month. If you can pay off the credit card each month, though, using a credit card will be cheaper than taking out a loan.
Don’t pay off student loans until you finish college - If entrepreneur Aimee Brown had not heeded this bad advice, she could have saved thousands. Helen Huntley, a certified financial planner, suggests starting student loan repayment if you’re not taking out new student loans, you don’t have higher-interest debt (car payments, credit cards), you have an adequate emergency fund, and your loans are not subsidized.
What’s some of the worst financial advice you’ve ever gotten?