Sorry, You’re Not Very Good At What You Do. Why? Because “Pound Foolish” Author, Helaine Olen, Says So | Ted McLyman dot Com

Sorry, You’re Not Very Good At What You Do. Why? Because “Pound Foolish” Author, Helaine Olen, Says So

Former personal finance reporter Helaine Olen blisters the personal finance industry in her new book, “Pound Foolish, Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.”

Her premise is simple, although, as you’d expect, controversial. The financial industry has failed to deliver as promised — tough stuff.

“For the past few decades, Americans have spent billions of dollars on personal finance products. As salaries have stagnated and companies have cut back on benefits, we’ve taken matters into our own hands, embracing the can-do attitude that if we’re smart enough, we can overcome even daunting financial obstacles. But that’s not true.” Helaine Olen

I haven’t read the book yet. My copy is on order. However, from the comments and reviews I’ve read, and my personal research and writings (Money Makes Me Crazy, A Prescription for Money Sanity), I can’t argue with the premise. I don’t think the industry is as good as it collectively believes.

Here’s my take on the issue:

  • The common wisdom about money is wrong — financial success is about managing behavior, not money.
  • Humans are not hardwired to work well with money — the biology that kept us alive in the forest is killing us in the mall.
  • All money decisions are emotional — even the “rational” ones.
  • We live in a consumption culture – it conspires against us.
  • Our money beliefs are well established by mid–adolescence — beliefs can be changes, but it’s hard, and it hurts.
  • The rules of money have changes — what worked a few years ago, isn’t working today.
  • The financial industry is asset based, product focused, and transaction driven — it needs to become behavioral based, value focuses, and knowledge driven.

Remember, money makes you, me, and every one a little crazy. Why? It’s very simple, we’re human.

I can’t wait to read Ms Olen’s book. It has already generated much needed discussion. I think she’s on to something. What do you think?

Money Made Personal — Ted

© 2013, Apexx Behavioral Solutions Group