Ignore Generic Financial Advice – Except This Post

This is a personal finance, and related, blog. So, naturally, it includes advice based on my own circumstances and experiences. I’m not real comfortable giving “absolute” advice. Advice that everyone should heed all the time in all situations. Thankfully, the New York Times online sums up how I feel.

Making important decisions about how to invest your life savings seems to be getting more and more complex as the amount of information continues to grow.

Meaning, your life’s savings isn’t worth throwing to just any old snake oil salesman. And the ease with which anyone can publish, whether truth, half-truths, or somewhere in between, is getting mind numbingly easier.

The financial press, personal finance bloggers and best-selling authors are all sources of information. But don’t confuse information with the real work of figuring out how it applies to your very unique situation. I know many of the best personal finance bloggers. As good as many of them are at providing a filter for information, and even providing general rules of thumb, you are the only one who can figure out how it applies to your life.

The reason is simple: planning for your financial future is personal. It has to be. A good plan will be unique to your situation, and what is right for your situation may be a disaster for your neighbor. So read as much as you want, but then make sure you spend the time to figure out how it applies to you before you make important decisions about your life savings.

Pick up any personal finance magazine at your local bookstore. They are filled with strategies, how-to’s, and other one-size-fits-all features. I find most glaringly not applicable to my circumstances at all. And, as with any media outlet, take with a large grain of salt.

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