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April 24, 2011

Fear Mongers

I posted an article under “Consumer Information” focused on identity theft.  “Fear Mongers” are prevalent throughout the “financial” industry.  They appeal to our emotions.  Often the marketing/pitch used tries to create the impression that the worry of the day will continue forever.  The action being promoted may not be justified.  Sometimes the potential financial loss is significantly less than the cost.  Generally, there are better alternatives than those being promoted. 
Recently I have talked to people that have responded to the fear mongers.  Often the cost they incurred was substantially more than the potential harm that would result from the feared event or condition.  Many have minimized their ability to adjust their situation to changing conditions.  Many have ignored the consequences of their actions.   Too often, it prevented them from meeting objectives of other elements of their plan.    
One benefit of planning is to recognize when to make changes.  No one has the ability to accurately forecast the future.  It is necessary to periodically look at where you are compared to where you expected to be.  The strategies you follow today may not apply tomorrow.  This is true even when you cannot know what tomorrow will bring.  Too often people take a course of action based on fear and not consider that they may need to change direction.
You should stop, look and listen when the fear mongers confront you.  Rarely, if ever, is it necessary to act today.  If you are told that you must act immediately, look at the alternatives.  This is often a good time to listen to another view.  Find someone without a vested interest.  The person should have the wisdom to understand your situation and identify the information that has not been considered.   

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