Thursday, June 26, 2008

This week’s trite “that’s obvious” personal finance article

Every week a slew of personal finance articles appear in the mainstream press across the county. Many of these articles don’t go beyond what should be obvious to even what a consumer with a very low IQ should intuitively understand. You would hope that the “hard-hitting” financial news media would be able to provide useful information with some depth instead of the junk that is put out as meaningful financial reporting in this era.

In a world ruled by 30 second sound bites, it is easy to understand why not all articles are lengthy. At least consumers could hope that they could make points that are not obvious even to the most dimwitted.

With the continual pile of trite articles put out each week, maybe there is a need to establish an award for the most useless personal finance article of the week – sort of an Ig Nobel prize for personal finance. As long as they don’t name the trophy after me I would be quite content to see this happen.

This week’s winner would be a gem from U.S.News & World Report titled “Tips on Selling an Unloved SUV”. The article makes the obvious points of:

  • Sell to individuals, not dealers.
  • Don’t strip the bells and whistles from the SUV.
  • Lower your price.
  • Wait for winter to sell.

Where is Captain Obvious when we need him?