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How can you spot bad advice?

Updated on March 11, 2013

Here are 5 ways to get you started

A large part of life is getting advice from people you love or hang out with. While there may be some advice you can listen to,truthfully most of the advice ends up being bad advice. Here are six tips on how to spot bad advice.

  1. When your Aunt Elma or Uncle Pete starts telling you, “I heard this great tip the other day from a woman at the old folks center,” or your neighbor starts off a conversation with, “a friend of a friend told me once” the information may be suspect.

  2. If the proffered advice begins with phrases similar to, “Hey, everyone is doing it,” or “they've been doing it this way for years...,” you're probably going to be want to scrutinize what comes next. Universal truths are like your Aunt Edna's cure for a cold, they taste horrible and in the end you're not sure if they actually worked.

  3. Another bit of information to steer clear of is advice from supposed authority figures like your best friends, coworkers, Aunt Mabel or the guy on TV hocking informational products. All of these people mean well but their advice may be more harmful than beneficial. Sorry Aunt Mabel or whatever aunt you are. An example is when the guy on TV tells you to consolidate your loans. It sounds good but in the end it is better to pay off your debt not add it all together.

  4. Here's one piece of advice you've probably heard over and over again, “everyone is doing it this way,” which usually means only the person speaking is the one doing whatever they are hocking.

  5. Stay away from people who like to brag to much about their accomplishments all in the name of offering you some helpful hints. These people like to hear themselves talk so they spout out facts faster than a fountain in a park. The problem is most of the information they give you is conversation filler and not very useful so it must be taken with a grain of salt.

While this is not an exhaustive list of suggestions for cutting the bad advice away from the good advice, hopefully it helps you get started.


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