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Financially Illiterate Lawyers

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  • Hank Hank 
    Moderator
    Status: Attorney
    Posts: 1186
    Joined: 03/27/2017
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    There are plenty of cautionary tales about insurance salesmen and other “financial advisors” who willingly prey upon doctors, dentists, and other high income professionals. However, I would caution you that a fair number of attorneys are financially illiterate and could cause harm to you even if they don’t wish you any harm.

    I’m at my state bar’s annual education event. I’m simply shocked by the high cost, high fee, low quality products that are being pitched by vendors and speakers for attorneys and their clients. Annuities for retirement for attorneys, 1.65% asset under management fees for client trusts, and all sorts of unsuitable or ill-advised investment products. If an attorney has been spending 100+ percent of what he made every year and is in his 60’s or 70’s and not yet retirement ready, how is this person in any position to advise a client for what to do with their own funds?

    I get the argument that if someone was good at math and science they would have gone into med school instead of being an English or poli sci major and going to law school. That said, the unthinking reliance on “financial advisors” as experts and professionals for investments seems like a shocking abdication of duty.

    Sure, I’m a numbers geek with an MBA, but I’m just disgusted with some of the financial illiteracy I’ve heard in the last day and a half. Watch your wallet: no one cares as much about your money as you do.

    Avatar Kuratz 
    Participant
    Status: Student
    Posts: 11
    Joined: 11/29/2017

    I have a friend who recently graduated from a respected but not top tier law school. She wanted to move back home to another state and now working retail because she cannot find a job. I can’t imagine taking out six-figures of loans to be in her situation, and yet it’s unfortunately common for new law grads (though this may be an extreme example). So to echo your post I imagine there is some self-selection when it comes to financial illiteracy and law.

    #151091 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2106
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    Financial illiteracy knows no bounds. It doesn’t discriminate based on sex, ethnicity, religion, etc. There’s a lot more financially illiterate people than financially literate people in this country. Look at our deficits and budgets, even the leaders we elect are financially illiterate.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #151136 Reply
    wonka31 wonka31 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 548
    Joined: 03/24/2018

    If you make a lot of money, real or perceived, someone will pitch you junk. If I was unethical or turned a blind eye to reality, I’d hawk the same junk to high income professionals. More $$$ for me! Plus, who is going to pay for those yearly birthday cards to my clients???

    #151139 Reply
    Avatar AR 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 661
    Joined: 03/10/2016

    If you make a lot of money, real or perceived, someone will pitch you junk. If I was unethical or turned a blind eye to reality, I’d hawk the same junk to high income professionals. More $$$ for me! Plus, who is going to pay for those yearly birthday cards to my clients???

    Click to expand…

    You’re not wrong, but you don’t need to make a lot of money.  Everyone is pitched junk.  Junk is profitable to the pitcher.  They will sell it to anyone they can. People with more modest incomes are not exempt.   There are entire industries (i.e. pay-day loans, for profit universities) that pitch junk to the poor.  Unfortunately, that’s just the way the world is.

    #151154 Reply
    Liked by Seabass, Zaphod

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