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Don't Be Afraid to Ask the Dumb Questions

You've heard the saying that there's no such thing as a dumb question. We agree.

You probably heard the old saying from your elementary school teachers - there's no such thing as a stupid question. You've probably also had the experience of not wanting to look foolish in front of your peers, and so maybe you held back asking about something you were really interested in.

I understand that no one wants to be made to feel stupid, and if someone makes you feel silly for asking a question about something you don't know everything about, that's on them. And trust me, not asking questions can have big consequences. Knowledge is power, right?

Let me tell you a personal story. When I was in high school, I worked through a co-op program, and after a while I had managed to save up about $5,000. My parents suggested that I see a professional financial advisor, which I did. That advisor suggested that I open a Roth IRA and fund it with $100 per month. I thought, well, I'm about to graduate and go to college, and then I won't have income, so obviously I can't do that. So, I did nothing.

In my mind, it would have been stupid to ask if I could simply open the IRA, fund it with my five grand, and let it be for a while. Folks, over the course of my lifetime, that will probably end up being about a $100,000 mistake, all because I didn't ask what I thought was a dumb question.

If you've ever talked to us about your finances and you've held back asking a question that's been on your mind, please, don't. Ask away the next time your in our office, or give us a call today. We are here to answer questions.

My mistake was in thinking that if that advisor hadn't told me I could go ahead and open the IRA, regardless of being able to fund it monthly, it must not be doable. Here's the thing: We do this every day. Financial planning is second nature to us because it's what we do. We know this stuff inside and out, and if you have a question, it might simply be that we didn't get down in the weeds with something that's second nature to us, but not to you. Just because something is obvious to us does not make it a stupid thing to ask about. Again: answering your questions is precisely why we're here.

If this reminds you of something you hesitated to ask about during your last meeting, jump in and ask it now. Give us a call, or make a note to follow up next time you're in the office. I'd rather answer a bunch of "dumb" questions than see you make any financial mistakes.

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