Financial Risks and The People You Trust

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-01-1812

Here’s a very interesting chart I picked up from Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish. Whom do you trust to help you manage the financial risks in your life? This chart represents the results of a survey taken early this year, involving 1,200 adults.

financial risks

There’s nothing that surprising about this chart, is there? You can only really trust yourself with the risks you face with your money. Those entities you don’t have personal ties to take a backseat when it comes to how much faith you place in them: big corporations, government and big banks are all seen in a very similar light.

That’s why I strongly advocate personal financial education. The more you know (yourself), the less reliance you have on others when it comes to money management. Here are some helpful posts in this regard:

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith Morris January 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Financial literacy should be taught very early. We had a great conversation on one of our earlier podcast episodes about how to talk to your kids about money. Check it out here!

20smoney January 19, 2010 at 6:55 am

Very interesting chart. The point about financial education is very true. On average, most people are clueless about personal finance, and completely clueless about economics and investing.

I think that people can learn how to invest over time if they actually decide its something worth doing. It’s not easy and requires significant effort.

Neal A. Deutsch, CFP January 19, 2010 at 9:16 am

While book learning, financial literacy and a grasp of the financial world is a “must have” to assist in making your financial decisions, the utilization of an accredited professional as your trusted advisor is also a must have. No matter how much you learn in books, regardless of the field, you can’t replace real life experience. Anybody can buy a stock or mutual fund: the question is why? Simply put: you don’t hear much about people doing day-trading anymore; because left to their own devices, they traded themselves broke! A financial professional is your experienced advisor, coach, and voice of reason. Check their credientials, interview them well, and make sure you are comfortable with their experience and focus. After all…if you have a toothace would you buy a book and pull it yourself? Hey…I’ve already got a vicegrip- why not?

Credit Girl January 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

Well I certainly see why the people can’t trust the government or major corporations. That’s because they’ve screwed us over and left us in this mess. Even though we’ve had to face extremely tough times in this recession, at least we can learn a valuable lesson from it: we all need to start understanding more about finances and where and who is taking care of them as well as spending our money more responsibly.

Carico January 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Great share but it really isn’t suprising that you can only trust yourself. I would not put my money with a financial advisor but that is me!

Trini January 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm

You’re right. It’s not surprising.. I don’t trust anyone 100% except myself. I trust my partner about 99% because I always leave room for disappointment..

This is an interesting study..

But I’m happy that I’m financially educated enough to make my own choices when it comes to my money and not have to depend on others.


Live for Improvement January 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm

It’s pretty bad that 11% doesn’t trust their spouse or family.

Silicon Valley Blogger January 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Lots of great comments here.

@Live For Improvement, call me a cynic but I’m actually more surprised that not more people DON’T trust their spouse or family. Many people have huge families or extended families and just by way of the statistics, you’re bound to have members of your family that may be less trustworthy than you’d like.

When money + family mix, I find that the experience can be at the very least awkward (if not dicey), even among those with the most easy-going relationships. Anyone else agree with me?

Griff January 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm

So true! I think I tend to be more trusting than others when it comes to things like investments, but I definitely think it’s smart keep a close eye on your money so that it won’t “accidentally” get out of reach. I have come up with a few different investment strategies for the do-it-yourselfer here. I like the idea of following sound advice while still being able to make my own investment decisions… Then again, sometimes it’s nice to just hand over the keys and let someone else drive. People have different preferences.

Jason January 21, 2010 at 6:57 am

To tell you honestly, I’m a little bothered that a lot of people trust their family members with money matters. It might be unpopular but there are a lot of cases wherein family members have their own hidden agenda for themselves. Ask yourself how hard it is to manage a business with a family member. I know a lot of failed business that failed because of family members. I love my family, but I’d like to keep my professional life separate from my personal life. Yes, I get their suggestions and concerns. But at the end of the day, I’ll follow what my financial education thought me taking my family’s best interest in mind. If you don’t believe me, try winning the lottery. Then wait for your “relatives” to start coming in.

Revanche January 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

SVB, I absolutely agree with you — I wouldn’t trust either my immediate OR extended family with money. When I was considering possible executors for my will, I couldn’t single out more than one potential family member I could probably trust with that responsibility.

Granted, I have so many family members I don’t know most of them, but the ones I do know aren’t good enough with their own money to be trusted with my money.

Ella December 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Just like most of people, I only trust myself. And I also trust my boyfriend. We put our money in the same account and we trust each other. It is really hard and sticky to deal with when you face some financial problem. So I enjoy the pleasure of sharing money & debt with my boyfriend.

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