July 16, 2007


Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
--- William Shakespeare
In financial services, trust is essential and there are many advisors are trustworthy. How do you find them? According to The Money Diva, "screening the monkeys for a good one would be more work than learning how to invest better". That suggests having no advisor or sticking with one who doesn't satisfy. As Thicken My Wallet says "the financial industry preys on inertia".


The bigger issue is trust in society. Who can we trust anymore? Politicians? Religious organizations? Police? The stench from the few "bad apples" fills our nostrils, taints our perceptions. It's pretty sad when spinach, pet food and tooth paste aren't safe.

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There are many trustworthy accountants, advisors, car mechanics, doctors, lawyers, etc. The problem is the effort of finding them. You can't simply do a web search. Referrals from someone you trust can be an option. They may not know or they may not be able to say (e.g., try asking a police officer for a burglar alarm company).
Our distrust is very expensive.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson



Anonymous said...

I was wondering when I saw you post title and that you'd read through John T. Reed's info that your comment might be "do we trust Robert or do we trust John?".

I'd say another good way to find who to trust (referals is a great option) is to follow their line of thinking (don't just turn off your brain) and increase your trust as you agree with more of what they say. John T. Reed's thinking is very well founded and he provides extensive supporting evidence. I don't *have* to trust him, I can follow his reasoning.

Some Christian's who don't like evolution will talk about Darwin recanting on his deathbed and converting to Christianity. The assumption here is "don't trust what this guy wrote, he took it back later in his life". The thing is, we don't *have* to trust Darwin, his reasoning stands on its own. Even if he said "I was just kidding about that whole Origin of the Species joke" we don't need to trust the man to believe the information (whereas a cornerstone of faith is that you have to trust the messenger since no evidence is offered).

Once you've agreed enough with what someone has to say when they talk about things you understand, you can start believing them (trusting them) when they tell you their conclusions about things you *don't* understand (although the best case scenario would be to get them to explain these things to you such that you agree with them because you understand the issue and no longer have to take their conclusion on "trust").

Beware the man who says "trust me".

Promod said...

Thanks for those insightful comments, Mr Cheap. I wasn't thinking only about Reed's debunking of Kiyosaki, to which you link in your post (though that made me think quite a bit). I was thinking about how to decide who to trust in general.

I never heard of Reed before and had some suspicions about his motives since he's an author with a competing book. As I got deeper into his lengthy analysis and checked some of the external hyperlinks, I found myself more willing to believe him. It's as you're saying.

I agree with your point that work stands on its own, even if denounced by the creator later.

Alexander Solzenhitzen went further. He said (more articulately than I can paraphrase) that if you examine someone else's thoughts and accept them, then those thoughts are no longer theirs: they are yours.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thicken My Wallet said...

Great post. Having only been causally familiar with Kiyosaki, Reed's post seems to indicate why Kiyosaki isn't really trusted among most DIY investors. I only wish Reed's analysis didn't have such a underlying current of bitterness to it.