As we all know, there are a lot of financial experts out there. Of course, there are CPAs and financial professionals, then there are the financial “personalities” like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey. I actually really like both Suze and Dave, (I always talk about famous people like we’re on a first-name basis, my friends tease me about it and I think the vast majority of their advice is really solid. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, all of the advice they give is really solid. But sometimes hearing their recommendations is like hearing advice from your parents – you know they may be right, but you also know that you’re not going to do whatever they’re advocating. So this is the expert financial advice I never plan on following:
“Never Lend Money to Friends or Family Members”
I probably wouldn’t lend money to a friend, unless it was an amount that I felt comfortable with possibly never getting back. But if one of my family members needed money and I had it, I would lend it. I can’t think of any family member that I wouldn’t trust to eventually pay me back. And I also can’t think of a family member that would ask me for money if they didn’t really, really need it. Sorry Suze, but I’m not with you on this one.
“Never Finance A Car”
Suze has never specifically stated that she doesn’t like car loans (to my knowledge), but Dave is against them. I don’t really see what the big deal is. Of course I would put money down and go for a 3-4 year term, but to me, with cars, reliability is key. I’d rather finance a newer, safer, more reliable car than pay cash for a clunker I’d always have to worry about. And I’d rather be saving for a house than a car, so saving up to pay cash for a car just really isn’t in my plans. As long as the interest rate and monthly payment are reasonable, I just don’t see what the problem is with financing a car.
“Use Only Cash”
Again, Suze seems kind of ambivalent about credit cards – she hate credit card debt, though – but Dave believes that cash is king. Again, I disagree. Using credit cards responsibly can offer you really great benefits like cash back and frequent flier miles, as well as fraud protections not offered by cash or debit cards. If you have a real problem with paying off your cards every month, then of course abstaining altogether is probably best. But I think that telling people to never use credit cards – ever – is a little unreasonable and ignores the very real rewards they offer.
Anyone want to disagree? Or add to the list?