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Tuesday, November 16, 2010
One advantage to being a financial advisor is that you get used to being pretty nosy about people's finances. It is, however, depressing because, like so many things in life, you find that there is what economists call a type of adverse selection going on. The people who read personal finance and investing blogs and attend investment workshops are not those who need it most. And the people who need it most are walking around clueless.
This past week my TV went out as I was channel surfing, so I got the Comcast guys to come out. One was in his early 30s and the other was in his early 40s.
My nosy financial side (and business side as well!) surfaced, and I asked them if they were participating in their company 401k. From their expressions, I could tell they had never been asked this on a call; and I could just as well have asked if they thought there is life in outer space.
The expressions didn't alter one iota when I asked if Comcast has a company match. Maybe I'm extending my financial boundaries a bit here, but this is a question every employee should be able to answer for their particular company. If you've ever wondered why most financial advisors are bald, it is because they have lost their hair or pulled it out because people can't answer this question.
To state the obvious, taking advantage of the company match is free money; and one day, when we have stopped drawing a paycheck, all of us will be highly appreciative of this free money.
I could tell you the response later in the day from the lady who gave me the eye test at the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles, but I'll spare you.
Hopefully I've made my point.