Are there many people out there that think hyperbolic commentary adds value? I hope not. But one that may still think so is Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail.
A recent piece entitled “Carrick on money: Six-figure shocker – your lifetime bill for investing fees” ran last week. Grand total: $170,578.27.
It referenced a more thoughtful piece by Preet Banarjee from whence the number came.
I suppose if you need attention and assume people only read headlines, then this tactic makes some sense. The headline misses important elements.
If you do not look at the value you receive then everything has a significant lifetime price. For example, in a world where money is worth 7% and inflation is 3% the 40-year cost of eating at $50 per week is $814,598.81. No one thinks this should be avoided because the value is more intuitive.
Avoiding financial advice may be the equivalent of avoiding post-retirement food. You only get to blow yourself up once.
Financial advice is not valued because the critics are too ill-informed to discover its value, or perhaps too cynical to admit it has value.
Admitting financial advice has value would eliminate the need for hyperbolic headlines and that would be a blessing too.
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Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.