A Public Failure to Walk the Money Talk
Mr. ToughMoneyLove doesn’t particularly like beating a man when he is down, but when you write about your own stupidity to sell papers and books, I’m all over it.
Andrews, we now learn, either doesn’t know what he is writing about or doesn’t care enough about the subject to apply it to his own life.
In an extended Times mea culpa (actually an excerpt from his upcoming book), Andrews recites almost every financial mistake a person could make, punctuated by an “I did that.” He sure did. Let’s list a few:
- Sold stock and borrowed over $400k on a no ratio junk mortgage, with take home pay (after alimony and child support) of only $2777 and while still legally obligated on the mortgage for his ex’s house.
- Remarried himself to a spendthrift so that between the two of them, they were spending $3000 more each month than they were bringing in.
- Used overdraft protection to the tune of $50,000 in credit card debt.
- Twice refinanced the credit card debt into even worse gimmick loans.
- Borrowed $15k from his mother as a failed stop-gap measure.
- Intentionally defaulted on his mortgage and waited for the foreclosure notice.
The Times pays this guy $120k/year to write about money. Is it any wonder that the Times itself is struggling financially? I’ve always thought that many New York Times writers don’t know what they are writing about. Andrews did me the favor of openly making the case.
So now Edmund Andrews can join the ranks of those wanting to make money by telling “don’t do what I did” stories of redemption. Only we don’t know yet that Andrews has redeemed himself. All that we know is that he is entrepreneurial enough to use his writing skills to exploit his financial incompetence.
I don’t plan on reading his book. I’ve made plenty of mistakes but never the mistakes that Andrews has. He should be reading my book, i.e. this blog as well as other writers who do as they say. And then he should walk the talk.
As a final note, what really bothers me about highly publicized failures like Andrews is the effect on readers. The natural human reaction to learning that someone who should know better is a financial disaster is that maybe you shouldn’t feel so bad about your own lousy money decisions – classic rationalization.
Actually, you should feel so bad.
Image credit: Waterwin