My travels took me to St. Louis over the past week as I was invited to be a guest speaker at the national financial bloggers conference (#fincon13). Yes, there is a national financial bloggers conference:) My morning on Thursday of last week started at the Hartsfield Airport where I grabbed a cup of coffee in the Delta Sky Lounge. While I sipped my morning cup of joe, I could distinctly hear an angry gentlemen talking to his bank or credit card company about what sounded like someone who may have busted into his bank account. As he got angrier and angrier, he got louder and louder until all of us in the Delta Sky Lounge had enough information that we probably could have told you his home address. It’s not a smart money move to discuss some things in public, and here are four items where you should get a booth before you start talking.
- Your Money- Since pretty much the whole idea of phone etiquette has gone out the door, you should be very careful about where you discuss your financial information. With so many transactions happening on the internet and conversations via smartphone, be sure you are in a secure location when you chat about credit cards, bank accounts, investments, etc.
- Your House- I’m amazed that people will actually go on Facebook and let the entire world know that they are headed out on a three week vacation to Europe. When you are doing home improvements, be wary about how much information you give out about your address, neighborhood, etc. If someone lifts your address and knows you aren’t home, this could open you up for liability.
- Your Marriage- Nobody wants to hear your spat at the local Applebee’s. Often, people have loud conversations at restaurants or other public places about their kids, their marriage, and their family. Sometimes these discussions get heated, but you should take it to a private room because airing your dirty laundry in public could do you harm. What if a client of yours is at the restaurant? Or a neighbor who might be gossiping about you?
- Your Kids (Excessively)- Do you know that friend of yours where every interaction ends up in how many A’s they got at school, the sports championship they won, and that their kid is the head of the school debate team. Nobody (and I mean nobody likes a bragger). Most of us think our kids are the greatest anyway. Odds are if you brag too much, you will quickly be the one at the neighborhood party standing in the kitchen by yourself. If you share bad news 80% won’t care and 20% will be glad to hear about it.
Here’s my smart money move for you. Get a room. Get a booth. Get a conscious. There are just some things you don’t discuss in public.
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®, is co-CEO of oXYGen Financial and is a top ranked personal finance blogger (www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com). He is a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS.