Dave Says: Guilt and Cynicism

by | Jan. 03, 2012


Dear Dave,

I’ve noticed that lots of people get defensive when it comes to talking about money and living on a plan. Why is this?


Dear Tonya,

I think it’s because there seem to be two negative emotions connected to people who have failed with money: guilt and cynicism. They feel guilty because they’re terrible when it comes to handling money, and they don’t want to talk about it.

Cynicism may be more prevalent in people who feel like they’ve been messed over by some “money expert” out there. Maybe they got caught up in a deal that went bad, or they lost a lot of money following their advisor’s advice. The results can be they end up believing that anyone connected to the financial arena is a bad, incompetent or manipulative person.

If you’ve made mistakes with money, that just makes you human. Everyone alive has messed up financially, and that includes me. I made mistakes with lots of zeroes on the end, but I managed to turn things around. Now, I’m running my own company based on those mistakes, how to fix them and how to keep people from making the same mistakes I did years ago.

Sometimes people just don’t want to be around others who are trying something new or different and winning in the process. Then, there are people in life—I call them losers—who just don’t want anyone else to win, because it reminds them that they’re not winning. Being stuck around those kinds of people is no fun for anyone!


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