Twenty Things That Can Ruin Your Financial Life

This post has my personal notes from the book, How to really ruin your financial life and portfolio by Ben Stein.

  1. Do not trade often.
  2. Do not trade foreign exchange.
  3. Do not pick stocks believing you are going to beat the market.
  4. Do not assume that recent trends in the  market will continue indefinitely.
  5. Do not sell when things look bleak and stay out of the market.
  6. Do not say: This time is different.
  7. Do not spend your dividends, reinvest them.
  8. Do not think that cash parked at low-interest rates is useless.
  9. Do not put your money into a hedge fund.
  10. Do not use investing strategies that are not based on logic, historical precedent or studies.
  11. Do not invest in forestland, private equity firms, leverage or other complex strategies that university endowments and the big players do.
  12. Do not buy commodities, especially commodities on margin.
  13. Do not buy on margin.
  14. Do not sell short.
  15. Do not invest without a plan for your financial life and your investing.
  16. Do not invest before you have  considered taxes.
  17. Do not believe that the people who you see on TV can actually tell the future.
  18. Do not wait to invest till you are close to retirement.
  19. Do not think that the subject of money and investment is not important.
  20. Do not ruin your greatest asset which is YOURSELF by
  • Choosing a career with no possibility of advancement.
  • Choosing a career with little chance of good income.
  • Choosing to study a lot when it will not lead to increased income.
  • Show no respect for your boss or fellow workers.
  • Not learning about your job, industry and employers.
  • Doing the least just to get by.
  • Showing up in torn jeans, unshaven, unwashed or any old way you feel like showing up.
  • Showing no regard for the truth.
  • Displaying open contempt for your job, fellow workers, boss and your clients/customers.
  • Acting like you are morally superior to your job and colleagues
  • Not being punctual.
  • Drinking at work.
  • Gossiping and sowing divisiveness at work.
  • Second-guessing everyone around you at work, especially your boss.
  • Threatening your boss and employer with litigation.
  • Making sexual advances to anyone you find attractive.
  • Making excessive phone calls, texts and e-mails on company time.
  • Playing video games at work and making loud noises as you do.
  • Making and keeping lots of personal appointments on company time.
  • Listening to your colleagues’ conversations and snooping on their e-mails.
  • Talking about how much better earlier employers were than your current employer.
  • Bragging about your great family connections.
  • Padding your expense account.
  • Borrowing money from your fellow employees and not paying it back.
  • Questioning, mocking and belittling your tasks.
  • Flirting with your colleagues significant others.
  • Proselytizing at work and belittling anyone who does not share your political or religious beliefs.
  • Saying anything you want that comes into your head.



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