Will You Have Regrets?
IT SEEMS so ironic: Even when people face the threat of losing their job, their home, and even their pension, many of them are still obsessed with getting anything and everything that money can buy. Such people are easy targets for advertisers, whose seductive marketing campaigns tell us that we must have a bigger home, a better car, and brand-name clothes. No cash? No problem—buy on credit! For many, the goal is to look well-off even if they are deep in debt.
Of course, sooner or later reality sets in. “Buying flashy consumer goods on credit in order to look and feel like a winner is similar to hitting the crack pipe in order to improve your mood,” says the book The Narcissism Epidemic. “Both are initially cheap and work really well—but only for a very short period of time. In the long term both leave you penniless and depressed.”
Are you stressing about those networking profits you proudly poured into stocks and mutual funds, only to see them dwindle below their original stellar numbers? Finance professor Hersh Shefrin provides a few suggestions in part when considering financial investments:
- Keep away from overconfidence. Positive thinking and belief in yourself are great; don’t make decisions as if you’re immunized against the consequences.
- Don’t dwell on regrets. Learn, accept the consequences, and move on with your life.
- Be disciplined about your investing. If you coach yourself to choose your investments calmly, you stand a better chance of giving your brain time to engage.
Don’t gamble with your investments; do your homework, and invest wisely. There is more to life than money and the things it can buy.
The greedy and those who want something for nothing are prime targets for online thieves. The bait may include big money for minimal work, a loan or credit card even though you may have a poor credit rating, or large returns on “low-risk” investments. “Take your time in evaluating the legitimacy of any investment offer,” says the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “The higher the promised return, the higher the risk. Don’t let a promoter pressure you into committing to an investment before you are certain it’s legitimate.”
Do you believe that you can sense dishonesty in the person you are speaking with? Be careful! Swindlers are called con, or confidence, artists because they know how to win the confidence of others. They are skilled at making their victims trust them. Sellers, both honest and dishonest, know that before you can sell a product, you have to sell yourself. Of course, this does not mean that you should mistrust everyone, but a healthy degree of suspicion is important in defending yourself from fraud. Rather than try to discern a person’s integrity by trusting your instincts, watch for two telltale signs that characterize many frauds: First, does an offer appear too good to be true, and second, is the seller trying to rush you into making a decision?
Deal only with reputable businesses and people. There are many legitimate companies with whom you can safely do business over the phone or on the Internet. If possible, check out the salesperson, the company, and the investment through some independent agency. Ask for information about the investment, and read it carefully to make sure that it is legitimate. Do not be rushed or pressured into making a quick decision.
Good health to you!