You only have to open up Facebook and scroll for a few seconds to see the importance of the next tip in this week’s money tip series:

Read more books and fewer articles.

The amount of information available to us has never been higher, thanks to the rise of the internet. The problem is that we are taking in bite-sized articles with every click and reading fewer and fewer books.

There are many disadvantages to this, but I’ll go over a few:

  • Even if the information you’re reading is correct, how can you truly educate yourself on a subject in just a few paragraphs? You’re missing out on different nuances and much of the context of the topic you’re reading about.
  • The purpose behind internet articles is to generate as many clicks as possible to generate ad revenue in most cases. Accuracy is secondary, so you must always be skeptical.

Be especially careful with sensational headlines about any topic that is sensitive to people – including money. The news of the last year (COVID, GameStop, and the Columbia Pipeline to name a few) has caused people to make impulsive decisions because they read sensationalistic short articles and panicked.

The best way to protect yourself from this shortsighted and potentially harmful onslaught of information is to avoid it in favor of more well-researched materials… like books!

I am not suggesting that all books are accurate or worth reading – but books at least take time, effort, and research to put into the world. Reading an entire book on a topic takes more effort than just a 5 minute Buzzfeed article. It leads to better critical thinking and a more thorough understanding of that topic.

With that said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a few recommendations for reading on the topic of personal finance and how our emotions run away with us when making decisions about our money:

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely
The Behavior Gap – Carl Richards
Long Term Care: Your Financial Planning Guide – Phyllis Shelton
The Power of Zero: How to Get to the 0% Tax Bracket and Transform Your Retirement – David McKnight

These books are just the first step on the road to financial literacy – so keep on reading. Stay hungry for knowledge beyond just a quick fix.

If you would like to have a chat about your financial future and how to put together a sound plan for your retirement, call 513-563-PLAN (7526) or go online to book 15 minutes in our calendar.

Nikki Earley, CFP®