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Devil’s Advocate Roundup

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

Over a year ago I had the crazy idea of trying to justify the other side of every “common sense” or “mainstream” personal finance idea I could think of. The list below is in reverse chronological order, meaning the very first Devil’s Advocate post is listed at the bottom and it tackled one of the cornerstones of our personal finance belief system. Rent Forever, Don’t Buy A Home is a post that I think defined the Devil’s Advocate series and one that still garners comments to this day, nearly a year later. (There have been 161 comments, the latest was April 9th!)

Some of the Devil’s Advocate posts have gone against ideas that aren’t as mainstream and against answers that aren’t necessarily clear cut, such as Don’t Have Kids (which is based on a lot of factors, only one of which is finances), but I’ve had a great time writing them all.

I have a few good ideas in store for future articles but I wanted to do a little roundup, in part for myself to see all the topics we’ve covered, so that you could join in the rock throwing against mainstream ideas.

  1. Don’t Invest in the Stock Market
  2. Cancel Unused Credit Cards
  3. It’s Okay To Ignore Your Problems
  4. Ignore Personal Finance Experts
  5. Don’t Have Kids
  6. Buy More House Than You Need
  7. Don’t Move From Job To Job
  8. Get A Store-Branded Credit Card
  9. You Don’t Need College to Succeed
  10. Four Reasons You Should Get A PayDay Loan
  11. Don’t Get Married
  12. Buy That Home Warranty
  13. Pay Cash for Everything
  14. Don’t Budget to the Penny
  15. Invest In Your Company
  16. Say No To Credit Card 0% Balance Transfer Arbitrage
  17. Why Roth IRAs Are Bad
  18. Lease A Car, Don’t Buy It
  19. Don’t Just Buy Index Funds
  20. Don’t Optimize Payroll Deductions
  21. Rent Forever, Don’t Buy A Home
  22. Don’t Rollover Your 401(k) – Missed this one!

Have a great weekend!

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5 Responses to “Devil’s Advocate Roundup”

  1. Pension says:

    I just read your article on Rent Forever, Don’t Buy A Home and can see why you have received over 160 comments. Great articles!!

  2. Great ideas – in fact, I made a fortune by FOLLOWING ideas # 4, 6, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21. ;)

    Here’s how I look at it:

    Follow conventional thinking and you’ll get conventional results.

    Follow Unconventional Wisdom, and you just MIGHT get rich, too (but, don’t be stupid about it, because you will probably remain poor) … but, you need to throw in some ‘special sauce’ as well ;)

    Nothing wrong with following good advice … nothing wrong with ignoring it, either … I’ve made money both ways – just be sure you know WHY you are following/ignoring it! AJC.

  3. Ben says:

    I think this has to be my favorite series anywhere in the blogosphere just because it shows there are usually two sides to any piece of financial advice.

    Great idea!

  4. jim says:

    Glad you all enjoy it, it’s good to always look at both sides… never know what you’ll find. Plus, not everything is black and white :)

  5. James says:

    Yes, a good series. Its important to be able to get some perspective on mainstream personal finance thinking.


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