Financial decisions that cause the most regret – The Globe and Mail
We on the Globe and Mail personal finance team have our favourite contacts – the people we like to talk to the most because they offer value for our readers in clarity, insight and integrity. One of these people is Shannon Lee Simmons, a certified financial planner (CFP) who has been quoted in stories and interviewed on the Stress Test personal finance podcast for Gen Z and millennials. Ms. Simmons has a new book out – No-Regret Decisions: Making Good Choices During Difficult Times. On the basis that we’re living in difficult times right now, I invited Ms. Simmons to do a Q&A. Here’s the exchange we had by e-mail:
Q: Your new book is called No-Regret Decisions – what are the decisions that have caused your clients the most regret?
A: Panic-based decisions with high emotional and financial stakes. Sometimes, this is a home purchased, a home sold. A layoff, a job taken, a business started or ended, the handling of an inheritance, you name it. It’s not really about the nature of the decision or how it turned out that causes regret. The regret always stems from the fact that someone isn’t proud of the reasons they made they choices they did when looking back.
Q: We live in a time of extreme precariousness driven by the pandemic, expensive housing, soaring inflation, surging interest rates and probably a lot more stuff. What’s your best advice for helping people make calm, rational money decisions in these times?
A: Don’t make a panic-based decision. Find a way to pull yourself out of panic mode so you can think clearly, see options and make a decision that future you won’t regret, regardless of how things turn out.
Q: How much of our anxiety about making financial decisions is felt in relation to the fear of disappointing other people, of missing out on the great things they seem to be doing and not matching their status?
A: A lot, and I think that’s normal. Being good with money is actually just about spending less than you make each month. That’s easy math. The hard part is navigating the emotions behind what you earn, where you spend and the decisions you make every day. We are human. Our social community means so much to us. So, we …….
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