About Finance Gourmet

The [tag]Finance Gourmet[/tag] is a real life [tag]financial planner[/tag] with real life clients. Why is this such a big deal? Because virtually no one else you are reading can say that. Those articles in the newspaper? Professional journalists. Those other websites? Professional writers and web designers. Those books? Professional speakers mostly, with some supposedly successful (or formerly successful) investors thrown in, and maybe a former financial advisor or two. Of course, its been years since they had any real clients.

Why Am I Doing This?

Have you ever noticed that the column in your Sunday paper business section each week always takes up the same amount of space? Do you really believe that all the financial issues out there take exactly the same amount of explanation? Are capital gains taxes and mutual fund expenses both completely understandable in the same number of words?

In real life, some topics are more complex than others. Some topics are understandable by a few platitudes and a couple of rules of thumb. Others are badly misrepresented when explained this way. So what gives?

When it comes to the print media, the answer is “copy layout.” You see, publications have to be laid out physically in advance of the content actually being written. So, whatever you are reading has been specifically written and then either cut down or padded up in order to fit the exact amount of space that has been set aside for it. In the case of a syndicated column (those from “important” or “influential” figures) the contract to use the content actually specifies a required length. So, that content must fill 6 column inches, or whatever, each and every week regardless of topic. In the case of a staff writer, the editor assigned a length based on the writer’s “pitch” at a meeting based on a combination of how much space the writer estimated he would need, and how much space the editor needed filled on that particular page. Sometimes the length is too short and you get partial information. Sometimes the length is too long and you get confusing extraneous information. The Internet CAN be better, but most websites are looking for specific length articles as well, whether for formatting purposes or Search Engine Optimization or just so that all the pages have the same “feel.”

Don’t even get me started on T.V.

So, who cleans up this mess? Me. You see, I’m the one who has to walk people through the actual real world details. I’m the one that has to explain that they earn too much or too little income to take advantage of what sounded like a universally good idea. I’m the one who has to point out that it’s too risky, or too safe based on their risk tolerance. I’m the one that has to keep people from switching strategies every month based on the latest publication they have read.

So, here we are. When you read the Finance Gourmet you won’t get length limited information. You’ll get details, details, and more details. My goal is that when you are done reading a Finance Gourmet posting you can go to your professional or do it yourself, and when you do, you will have not just some vague understanding of what you think will be helpful, but rather an in depth understanding of exactly what you are doing and what you can expect from it.