Devil's Advocate 

Devil’s Advocate Posts

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

The Devil’s Advocate series began in early 2007 when I thought it would be fun to take the opposite side of common personal finance advice. I would play Devil’s Advocate for what society considers “bad financial behavior.” Why you shouldn’t take your employer’s 401k match, why you shouldn’t have an emergency fund, or why you shouldn’t save for retirement. They won’t be humorous or sarcastic, they’ll be legitimate posts where I argue the other side, the side that never gets much exposure in the personal finance blogosphere (or mainstream media).

Why play the Devil’s Advocate?
When everyone recommends one thing (and we all recommend things like ‘get that 401(k) company match’), it’s too easy to just do it without considering the other side. With a lot of personal finance issues, the other side really doesn’t have much weight (at least not enough to make the decision at least marginally difficult) and so you don’t hear about it. These Devil’s Advocate posts will fill that void.

To see all the Devil’s Advocate posts I’ve written so far, click here.

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “Devil’s Advocate Posts”

  1. Great idea! I have always felt that one of the best ways to develop one’s own opinions are to research an opposing view. Just as sometimes the best way to determine what an object is is to learn what it is not.

  2. Ruben says:

    I am quite interested in your new Devil’s Advocate series. The best and the finest corporation uses this method to make effective management decision. If you will do it here then difinitely, It will give your readers some sort of ideas to better arrive in any financial decision. Good luck.

  3. Excellent, I had just done this in a series of posts with Get Rich Slick. It’s an odd feeling making an argument for something you don’t truly believe in. I find it a lot of fun, especially if you can partner with another site to have a point-counterpoint.

  4. mbhunter says:

    This will be fun. Look forward to it! I’m contrarian on a number of things.

  5. Luke says:

    I think its a great idea….I would love for you to tackle the topic of saving and from the Devil’s advocate role, what are the benefits of NOT saving money…I always hear how important and necessary it is…

  6. donna jean says:

    I’m also interested in the devil’s advocate approach. Right now, my own personal battle deals with the paying off debt before savings argument. Yes, I know that it is better for us financially, but that argument can’t sway all the support I put behind my approach. I look forward to see which topics you tackle and how.

  7. Evie says:

    I’ve never checked this out, but I understand from several sources I trust that the American Cancer Society was originally set up by the chemical industry and heavy polluters to focus attention away from environmental sources of cancer and concentrate instead on treatment and treatment research. If this is true, contributions to the ACS serve the interests of the cancer contributors. I hope there are better organizations for treatment research.

    A food chemist I know states that over 90% of mutagens are also carcinogens. It takes about 3 days to determine if a chemical is a mutagen since one can get a reliable number of generations of bacteria in that time. Yet this has never served as a safety test for chemicals added to our diet or environment.

    I hate believing these things. Would love to have these opinions trashed.

  8. connie says:

    Just for the fact that the government and lowlifes are ruining it for people that want stability to raise children, is a strong enough reason against wanting children. For instance the average child coming from a very average family is getting very involved with drugs and alcohol. The problem becomes a good parents responsibility.

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