As a financial advisor, I love working with clients and helping them work toward their retirement goals. However, there are times when I’m speaking with my clients and can’t believe my ears.
These days, prospective clients lean on all kinds of sources for financial advice – from monthly financial magazines to money blogs and even the nightly news. Heck, some of my clients have told me they love getting financial advice from CNBC. I can hear Jim Cramer screaming “Booyah!” right now, and it makes me want to scream myself.
It’s no wonder so many people struggle with money when their financial advice is coming from all over the place.
Are You Hooked On Financial Advice?
For some people, it’s the drama that pulls them in. Maybe the ups and downs of the stock market spikes their adrenaline – and they secretly like it. The feeling of a “big win” is enough to keep some of my clients hooked on their favorite financial blogs and television shows, aching with indecisiveness and anxiety.
While all this hoopla is entirely unnecessary, it does meet a need for some people. Unfortunately, many people fail to see that this kind of drama is mere entertainment – not meaningful financial information. Just like any media venue, the financial media makes money by selling ads. The higher their viewership or membership, the more money they make. Can I get a “BOOYAH”?
8 Signs You’re Hooked On Financial Advice
But, when is it all too much? At what point it does this deluge of drama become the very thing that distracts one from their financial goals?
Further, when does an attraction to financial drama become an addiction?
While a drug or alcohol addiction is often crushing for all involved, most people can get hooked on financial advice without letting it ruin their lives.
Unfortunately, bad financial advice can ruin your finances if you let it. And really, being hooked on financial advice can cause additional problems in your personal life, too.
Are you addicted to financial advice? Here are some signs to watch out for:
#1: You’ve lost control.
If you’re viewing CNBC for hours on end to get the latest and greatest financial advice, you might have a problem. But, if you’re physically unable to turn off the television to get to work or go to sleep, you’ve truly lost control.
#2: You’re neglecting other activities.
If you’re spending less time on activities that used to be important to keep up with the latest financial news, you may have a problem. Have you stopped exercising? Are you spending less time with your family? If so, these are signs you’re putting financial news above everyone else – including yourself.
#3: You’re taking more risk.
If you’re making risky decisions based on financial advice you’re seeing on blogs or the nightly news, you may have taken things too far.
#4: You have relationship issues.
People struggling with an addiction to financial advice are known to act out against those closest to them, particularly if someone is attempting to address their problems. If you’re experiencing relationship issues with everyone in your life because you’re addicted to financial news, you need help.
#5: You’re keeping secrets.
Going out of one’s way to hide the number of investment periodicals consumed or one’s activities after the market or a stock has gone south is bad news.
#6: You’ve changed your appearance.
If you’re made changes to your appearance or let your health deteriorate so you can watch financial news 24/7, you’ve let your priorities fall out of whack.
#7: You always want more.
Over time, a person’s body adapts to a substance to the point that they need more and more of it to have the same reaction. Getting hooked on the 24-hour news cycle or non-stop financial news shows can induce adrenaline highs that leave you wanting more and more.
#8: You experience withdrawals.
If you’re unable to check the stock market or your favorite news station every day and you have withdrawals, you may have a problem. Symptoms of withdrawal can include: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches.
The Bottom Line
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to speak with a professional. While you may not want professional help, there are times when a licensed psychologist or therapist is the only person who can help you work through your addiction – and your problems.
You may also want to speak with a financial advisor. Chances are, the crazy financial advice you’ve been reading online and seeing on television hasn’t left you better off.
Over time, you can get your finances – and your addiction – under control. But it all starts with you taking that first step and asking for help.
Gregory L. Lantz, Ph.D