Advisors, Advice, and Advertisements

by Jim Stovall

Recently, I have been researching and writing my next book.  This new book, The Millionaire Map, will be out next year and deals with my own story of becoming a millionaire and interviews including research on thousands of other millionaires.

Throughout this process, I have been amazed at the voluminous body of knowledge relating to wealth-building, investing, and financial topics.  I have been even more amazed at how much of the advice is bogus and how many of the advisors are phonies or outright frauds.

One of the keys to succeeding in any endeavor is to seek out and apply the knowledge and wisdom of others.  One of the surest ways to fail in reaching any goal is to take advice from someone who doesn’t have what you want or hasn’t been where you want to go.

Recently, I was contacted by a longtime friend and internationally-prominent figure in the religious community.  He shared with me the recent financial troubles he had suffered and asked to borrow a significant amount of money to cover some pressing bills.  This is always a difficult request from any friend or family member as it introduces the question, “Am I helping to solve the problem or simply prolonging it?”

I was pleased that I was able to offer my friend some advice that would help him solve his own problem in a timely manner while making it possible for him not to get in this financial condition again.  I’m not sure he was totally satisfied as he was looking for quick money instead of short-term solutions and long-term strategies.  Hopefully, as a religious leader, he will understand and accept my attempt to teach him to fish instead of giving him a fish.

Ironically, just a few short weeks after that discussion, I received an advertisement and invitation from this same individual inviting me to pay a significant amount of money to attend his upcoming wealth-building conference.  While I found this literally comical, it grieves me to think of all of the financially-struggling individuals who are seeking hope and information who will attend this dubious event.  These poor people will lose much more than the price of admission.  They will lose hope and the possibility of succeeding.

When people are treading water in the open ocean, they need a life preserver not an overpriced pile of bogus advice.  People can only tread water for so long before they go under for good.  Self-proclaimed experts who waste the time and money of financially-drowning individuals are guilty of much more than stealing money.  They steal hope and future success.

As you go through your day today, examine the advisor before you examine the advice.

Today’s the day!