November 7, 2007, 7:00 am

3 Reasons Why Personal Finance Should Not Be Personal

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance
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About ten years ago, we could not mention the word “sex” without having ten thousand eyes starring at us as we just invocated the devil. These days, this topic is more discuss than Football and is part of any good conversation at a Christmas party (once all the uncles and aunts drink too much!). However, personal finance is still one of the biggest taboo in North America.
In other words, it is ok to tell what you do to your spouse on the kitchen table but definitely forbidden to talk about your monthly expenses and how you manage your cash flow. Why are we so uncomfortable with what is hidden in our wallet? Are we afraid to look stupid? Or do we think that others may become jealous? I am not sure as of why we do not talk about our personal finance but I know for sure why we should talk about it!

Commit yourself

The very first thing that you will do if you talk about your personal finance to your friends and family, it that you will commit yourself to a well defined plan. Nobody wants to talk about their money management without knowing what they are talking about. Therefore, you will become more inclined to do your own research and design your own financial plan. You need help? There are plenty of financial advisors, bankers, planners and accountants that are available to help you out. I personally use my blog as one of many other ways to officially commit myself. At the beginning of the year, I started a Smith Manoeuvre and I am posting monthly updates on my investment strategy. I have no other choice but to watch closely what is going on in my investment account because and I have to write about it on a regular basis. I did the same thing about my $1,500 project where I will try to reduce my expenses and increase my income in order to cover for my wife’s income. When you do such things, this does not guarantee success, however it will force you to make follow-up and establish if you are going in the right or wrong direction.

Expand your knowledge

While you are doing your own research and you want to make sure you know what you are talking about, you will increase your level of financial knowledge. When people will ask you questions that you do not have the answers for them, you might want to learn more about this specific topic and come back to that person with a correct answer. It might hurt your pride a few times at the beginning (nobody likes ignoring the answer to a question) but entering the financial world is an endless learning curve. The good thing about it is that every time you learn something, you automatically become richer. Not necessarily in term of money, but in term of your financial potential. Do not act as you know everything, you will receive more credit by telling people you do not know the exact answer and get back to them once you have made your own research on the topic.

Benefit from others’ expertise

If you discuss about personal finance with the right persons, you might learn a lot from them. If you ever run into people that are richer than you, do not only ask them how they made money. The most important part about personal finance is the mistakes people make. Therefore, by talking about their worst financial decisions and what they have learned from them, you will be able to benefit from the same experience and lessons from this person, but at a lower cost! I learned a lot from my parents who ran into several financial troubles when they were young. My father even declared bankruptcy about fifteen years ago. Today, he is working about twenty hours a week, lives on a remote area on an acreage property and rides his Harley Davidson every weekends. Well I learned more about his bankruptcy and financial troubles than about how he made money and became prosper! In fact, I strongly believe that he finally succeeded because he learned from his failures.

I always have the same argument with my wife about the fact that personal finance should stay or should not stay personal. However, she was never able to convince me that it should remain our very best secret. If you believe so, please let me know why because I just don’t get it 🙂

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Interesting post – good editing too 🙂

I do talk with some of my friends about finances as well as one of my sisters. Part of the problem I find is that a lot of people have zero interest in finances so there is not much to talk about with them.

Speaking of accountability – how is your uranium fund doing?


by: The Financial Blogger | November 7th, 2007 (6:25 pm)

Thx FP!

I’m trying to take more time proofreading my post!

My uranium stock is not doing so great actually;-) I would say that at -25% it’s definitely not my best stock in my portfolio!!

I will have to revisit my strategy at the end of the year 😉

How BMO is doing? 😉

Not so great. The stock is down about 10-12% from where I bought it. However since I bought it for the dividend (which has gone up a bit) and long term capital appreciation I guess it’s just fine.


by: The Financial Blogger | November 7th, 2007 (8:56 pm)

I guess we won’t become hedge fund trader tomorrow morning 😉

It’s my worst overall performance this year (-5%), it sucks to lose money!

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I’ve only discussed personal finances on a very superficial level with my friends. We are all mid 20’s and it seems that the most common answer when it comes to personal finances is “My dad/uncle/mom/etc.. takes care of it and invests for me.” I on the other hand, seeing my parents investments go up and down, would rather take care of my own. It just seems I don’t have many people to discuss it with.

As for discussing personal finances or money, I recently just moved back from being abroad and one of the most common questions I was asked was , “How much do you make?” I was getting this from taxi drivers even! I don’t mind talking about money if I make less than someone or when we are on the same level, but when I make more I feel embarassed for some reason.