4 pieces of financial advice your parents got wrong

For most of us, our parents are the gatekeepers of all knowledge; from the moment we come into this world, to the moment we grow up and move out and begin to participate in a society outside of their experience. They have our best interests at heart, and the advice they give us is more often than not, solid and dependable.

However, as the world turns and time moves on societies and economies change. Therefore, much of the financial advice your parents gave you when you were young, or even now, may no longer hold true; as it was experience gained in an economy that no longer exists. It’s therefore prudent to revisit the key pieces of financial advice they have given us in order to ascertain as to whether they still hold true.

1.    Money saved is money safe

Many of us will have been told that you should save at least 10% of your income, and that money saved in the bank is money safe for the future. And, whilst advising you to save is not bad advice, it is no longer enough to leave you money in the bank to be used for your retirement, or another event down the line.

This is mainly to do with the growing disparity between the rates of inflation, and the rates of traditional savings accounts. In 2018 the rate of inflation in the UK was 2.48%, but the average rate of interest on a savings account was just 1.18%. That leaves a disparity of 1.38%, which is how much your money would be depreciating by if you left it untouched in a savings account. Money saved, therefore, is no longer a guarantee of money safe.

2.    Investing is for the rich

This advice is often linked to the advice above. Traditionally, investing has always been seen as a big money endeavour. And, before the rise of the fintech sector that wasn’t far from the truth. It was expensive to open a trading account and pay a broker, and minimum starting capital was usually high.

Fortunately however, that advice is now a thing of the past, although it is an attitude that is slow in changing. At the end of 2017, only about 30% of Italian households held an investment product; whilst in the UK, only 12.4% of shares were owned by individuals in 2019.

Self-made millionaire, Ramit Sethi, says that “opening an investment account gives you access to the biggest money-making vehicle in the history of the world”. Thanks to smart apps like Oval, investing is no longer complicated or expensive, and you can begin your investment journey with just the push of a button, without the extortionate fees.

3.    Stay put and work your way up the ladder

Again, this was solid advice when company loyalty was rewarded and companies often promoted from within. In today’s world, however, it no longer holds true. In fact statistics show that those who switch company every two to three years will end up earning 50% more by the end of their career than those who stay put.

It now makes far more financial sense to keep your eye on the current job market to constantly asses how much your skill set is valued, and to make the move to a different company if they can provide you with a better salary and further training and career progression opportunities.

4.    Debt is dangerous

Debt is still dangerous there is no doubt about that. However, debt and credit are a necessary part of modern life; without a credit history (which proves that you are a reliable debtor) it is difficult to qualify for a mortgage, a loan, or even to secure some jobs. Therefore it is important to learn to use debt wisely, instead of avoiding it altogether.

It’s also important to learn to discern between “good debt” and “bad debt”, as good debt will help boost your net worth and future earning potential, whereas bad debt will minimise it.

Your capital is at risk and past performance may not be a real indicator of future results. Oval Money is not authorized to provide financial advice, expert advice is recommended if you have further questions.

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