Who is the Devil's Advocate's "devil's advocate"?

Have you noticed whenever you have an idea that goes against the mainstream (as most of my good ideas seem to) that people always pop up to rain on your [idea] parade?

They often justify their negativity under the guise of that old cop out: “oh, I’m just playing the Devil’s Advocate” … meaning that you get to listen to their endless diatribe. If you’re unlucky, they just may succeed in having you ‘come to your senses’ [a.k.a. miss yet another opportunity]. 

My response usually is: “In that case, I’m the Devil’s Advocate’s Devil’s Advocate! ;)”

… which means, this time I get to explain why their [contra]-ideas are dumb, and they get to sit there and listen!

I particularly like to play Devil’s Advocate’s Devil’s Advocate with the typical Personal Finance mantras as published in so many PF books and blogs – and, we have already covered a few, with a whole lot more to come – because so many of them are so self-limiting.

I go the idea for this post from a PF blog that I like, Bargaineering, who has a whole section called Devil’s Advocate … I have reprinted a section from his latest roundup, and have included the links in case you want to review the actual articles [AJC: I haven’t had time to review them all, yet]:

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. Adjustable Rate Mortgages Are Awesome!
  14. Pay Cash for Everything
  15. Don’t Budget to the Penny
  16. Invest In Your Company
  17. Say No To Credit Card 0% Balance Transfer Arbitrage
  18. Why Roth IRAs Are Bad
  19. Lease A Car, Don’t Buy It
  20. Don’t Just Buy Index Funds
  21. Don’t Optimize Payroll Deductions
  22. Rent Forever, Don’t Buy A Home

My view?

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 [AJC: that’s what this blog is for].

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!

Here are the Top 4 Personal Finance Myth’s that I will be doing my very best to destroy over the coming weeks:

1. ‘Bad Debt’ is to be avoided at all costs!

2. Your house is NOT an asset or Your house IS an asset!

3. Max. your 401.k and other Retirement Accounts

4. You can [and, must!] save your way to wealth

5. The Magic Number is $1 Million

… a whole plethora of ideas for us to explore!

But, first a word of caution:

If your target is just an amount like $1 Million to $2 Million in 15 – 30 years, then you do NOT need to read any further – this blog is NOT for you and you will get far more benefit for your time invested by reading here, here, and here, or probably ANY of the places listed here instead.

However, if you are going to join me on this exploration of Anarchic Personal Finance Ideas – and be the Devil’s Advocate’s Devil’s Advocate – then let me know which DUMB 😉 ideas that worked for you, so far …

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3 thoughts on “Who is the Devil's Advocate's "devil's advocate"?

  1. @ Jim – Thanks! I won’t be posting it as a ‘series’ per se, but I will be sprinkling related posts ‘here and there’ starting with “The Great Debt Repayment Fallacy …” (really!) in a couple of days.

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