IT’S THE LABOR DAY weekend, which is hardly the time for a nerdy article on the finer points of personal finance. Instead, I’ll leave you to spend the weekend pondering 11 great unanswered financial questions:
- Who does more financial damage, stockbrokers or life insurance agents?
- Is taking Social Security early and then assuming you’ll make double-digit gains by investing the money a brilliant strategy—or utterly delusional?
- Is a home the best investment you’ll ever make or a money-sucking pile of bricks?
- Should you dump that wretched cash-value life insurance policy you were persuaded to buy seven years ago—or hang on in the hope you’ll die young, so you turn a profit?
- Does money buy happiness—or don’t you have time to answer, because you’re trying to figure out how to pay the credit card bill?
- Are those who try to beat the market ignorant of the evidence or absurdly overconfident about their own abilities?
- Are children priceless? Or is that the grandparents talking?
- Should you buy long-term-care insurance and trust that the insurance company won’t jack up the premiums on you—or is this another rerun of Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football?
- Are index funds truly a threat to the smooth-functioning of the financial markets, or is somebody trying to sell you an overpriced, underperforming actively managed fund?
- Is budgeting a sign of financial rectitude—or a last, desperate stab at respectability by those who are financially foolish?
- Are everyday investors as stupid as Wall Street claims—or are folks on Wall Street just rude and cravenly self-serving?
Follow Jonathan on Twitter and on Facebook. His most recent articles include No Worries, Pay It Down and Saving Ourselves. Jonathan’s latest books: From Here to Financial Happiness and How to Think About Money.
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