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Everyone makes some money mistakes. But learning from others is a lot less painful than making your own! I have benefitted from listening to tales from family and friends investing disasters and have confessed my own financial errors for readers, in turn, to learn from.
It is rare people are brave enough to share their financial horror stories. The shame and embarrassment of a huge financial mistake often prevent people from reporting or warning others. But learning from others mistakes is sometimes more valuable than stories of success.
In the M&M series, I have asked financial content producers to bravely confess their worst financial mistakes.
Read these warnings carefully and learn as much as you can from them to avoid making money mistakes of your ow
Captain FI is a retired Air Transport Pilot who lives in Adelaide, South Australia.
He is passionate about Financial Independence and writes about Personal Finance and his journey to reach FI at 29, allowing him to leave his Sydney based international flying job at 30 and move to Adelaide to start a family About Captain FI or Contact Me
Podcast: Captain FI financial independence podcast
What is your worst financial error?
1. Blindly trusting financial institutions (FEES)
2. Had my super set as ‘defensive’ for years!
3. Invested in poor-performing mutual funds for years before actually checking fees and performance and cutting my loss
4. Accepted much less pay than I should have for years, which eventually took an admin and legal case to rectify the contract.
5. Blindly bought $20K+ of ‘AFIC’ (ASX: AFI) thinking it was a concrete manufacturing company and not doing any research because it was recommended in the barefoot investor blueprint
6. Blindly buying more barefoot and motley fool stock recommendations and underperforming the index (whilst paying them subscription fees for the privilege to do so…)
7. Entering into a ‘quick’ duplex build with doing no due diligence myself and having no appreciation for the risk of things like project schedule slip and budget blowouts (which happened!). The 12-month project turned into a 36-month project.
8. Put off investing for years and instead of learning about it, just spent extra money on unnecessary pilot training and upgrades ($350k total). I somewhat don’t regret this as it helped me ‘scratch the itch’ of flying but I should have at least started investing at least a portion of this early.
9. Started an air BnB subletting business right before COVID-19 hit
10. Wasting hundreds of hours on a shitty side hustle (like t-shirt printing) after falling for ‘passive income’ YouTube content scams
With the benefit of hindsight, were there any warning signs your decision was a mistake?
In each case, more education and due diligence were required. Take a deep breath, do some research a googling and reading in order to make the best decision. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
When did you realise that you had made a mistake?
When it was too late and I was already entered into the contract / purchased stock / started a business / invested/spent ages doing it
How did you bounce back after making the error?
Thankfully I have an amazing savings rate and as a professional with an increasing income as seniority increased, I had disposable income I could divert towards better investments, and mostly focus on investing in basic things I understand: index funds, investment property, online business and superannuation.
This meant whilst it delayed me reaching FI, it didn’t stop me as I learned from these lessons and grew stronger
Cheers, Captain FI
Thanks, Captain FI!
Thanks so much to the generous Captain for sharing his financial mistakes in time to warn us!
The Captain shares his own investing strategies, journey to financial independence and many books and financial service reviews on his blog, so make sure you check it out!
Aussie Doc Freedom is not a financial adviser and does not offer any advice. Information on this website is purely a description of my experiences and learning. Please check with your independent financial adviser or accountant before making any changes.