May 28, 2015

My Best and Worst Financial Decisions

Credit: Stuart Miles at
If you regularly read my blog you probably know that I normally try to provide you with personal financial tips and advice. Sometimes I share an experience. Sometimes I just throw something out there that I’m thinking about for you to think about. Today, I offer no answers. I offer two questions; two very interesting questions someone asked me last week.

  • What is the best financial decision you’ve ever made?

  • What is the worst financial decision you’ve ever made?

Since being asked these questions, I’ve asked many of my peers, clients, and friends those very same questions. I’ve gotten some really interesting answers, too. Some people have cited a particularly amazing (or horrible) investment, some have mentioned a business they started (or tried to start), and others have mentioned a really successful (or unsuccessful) real estate transaction. Some “spicier” answers I’ve gotten have to do with a spouse (or ex-spouse), investing in a select company opportunity (or deciding not to), and choosing a highly financially lucrative career (or not so much).

I’m still deciding on mine...

On the positive side, starting a Roth IRA as a dry cleaning clerk in high school was a great decision. My wife and I putting extra towards our first mortgage most every month allowed us to build up some equity that just came in handy with our recent move. Holding on to that local bank stock I inherited from a distant aunt that was eventually acquired by a much larger, national bank was pretty sweet. Staying in-state for college wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever done, either.

On the negative side, not putting more into my 401(k) the first several years I worked has hurt as the markets have really roared, but like most people, I needed/wanted the cash. By putting more towards our first mortgage (one of my “best” decisions) rather than investing, my wife and I also missed out on some of the significant investment returns in recent years, but paying down debt just felt too good. I so almost made an investment in Bank of America stock in 2009 when it was at $4 (now it’s at almost $17). Grrr…

What about you? What do your decisions tell you about yourself? What can you learn from your decisions? What did you learn from your decisions?

I’ll return to offering you some financial “answers” next week!


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