Saturday, July 26, 2008

What is the best money advice you've ever received?

I recently read an article on Yahoo about the smartest money advice some people ever got and I found it interesting. I always enjoy reading things like that. My favorite was "Don't Follow the Herd" by Robert Schiller:

People do not trust their own judgment but go along with the crowd, even when they can see truth. In a world populated with such people, there are investing opportunities for people who make the effort and do the work see clearly for themselves.

After reading it, I started thinking to myself - what's the best money advice I ever got? I thought back to the books I read that first got me interested in investing years back and all of the Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch nuggets I know by heart. I thought about Peter Lynch's admonishment not to put any money you will need in 3 years or so in the stock market. I thought about Buffett's quote that "investing is most intelligent when it is most businesslike." I thought about a book I read recently- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason and the simple investing lessons it offers. (By the way, I liked this book.)

I thought about all of those things, then I realized they weren't really advice, they were just things I read in books. Then I realized the best advice I ever got was the example of my parents while I was growing up. They never had big salaries, but they were frugal and worked hard to send my brothers and sisters and I through school. They never wasted money on fancy things like new cars. They never got me the newest fad in sneakers, and I was always one of the last people to get the new video game console. I didn't like it then, but I appreciate it now.

What is the best money advice you've ever received? I welcome you to share it below. And before you point it out- admittedly, my answer was kind of a cop out but trying to come up with the best single piece of advice I ever received would be kind of like trying to pick the best movie I've ever seen, or the best book I've ever read... way too difficult to pick one but I could rattle off the top 20 or so if I took some time to do it.

To get the juices flowing, here are some more "best money advice" articles, in no particular order:

The Best Financial Advice Ever
Advice from the always-interesting Free Money Finance
The Best Investment Advice I Ever Received - this one is a link to a book on Amazon that I'm thinking about either getting or borrowing from the library. Check out the "Search Inside" feature for some previews.

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