Here are your twenty-one easy ways to lose your money

After 50 years of helping people solve business and personal problems, I have discovered a few ways to lose one’s hard-earned money. Listen carefully for these phrases and your objective of losing money will soon be attained.

“This opportunity is available for only a short time…”

“You have been selected as a winner of a fabulous prize. You…”

“All your friends are in on this…”

“You have earned the right, through your success, to be considered for…”

“I am a _________ (Christian; member of a lodge or club; etc.). And for that reason you should do business with me.”

Keep talking to the person who uses one of these opening lines and soon he or she will have “the gold mine (as an old country song says) and you will have the shaft.”

Here are some rules to consider if you’re looking for quick ways to lose your money.

  1. Let someone else, preferable someone you don’t know, bring you an investment idea. If they show up at your door, by all means let them in.
  2. Constantly worry and plot against paying taxes. Find ways to lose so you can deduct the losses from your taxes.
  3. Be a recognized professional with your name in the yellow pages, like a doctor or dentist. Be arrogant and have a godlike air.
  4. Try to get rich quickly.
  5. For the ultimate experience, invest money you cannot afford to lose.
  6. Respond quickly with action when your mate asks, “Why don’t you do as well as so-and-so?”
  7. Give your mate and children credit cards and no budget.
  8. Send your children to college with no accountability. Provide a car if possible. Keep them in college no matter what.
  9. Use the phone and save on letters, post cards and stamps.
  10. Buy raw land – the farther away from home, the better.
  11.  Build your wife a bigger closet.
  12. Go into a business you know nothing about.
  13. Do not develop a personal life plan, a financial plan or set goals.
  14. Do not buy insurance of any kind.
  15. Do not make your own personal will. Watch from Heaven while your loved ones fight over it and give most of your estate to the lawyers.
  16. Get a divorce.
  17. Do a lot of impulse buying.
  18. Blame your mistakes on the devil. This gives you an excuse to make the same mistakes again.
  19. Keep all your money for yourself. Do not give to your church or for any worthy cause.
  20. Do not ask for any advice from professionals in banking, insurance, law, investments and accounting.
  21. Go fishing on a lake or stream you have never fished, without a guide or friend who knows the area. (Watch my next column for more on this one.)

This column is meant to make all of us think before we spend. Most likely, all of us have made some poor economic decisions and learned good lessons. Our quality of life can be affected by our economic decisions. It is to be hoped that we will be more careful and think through how we invest and spend our money.