Apathetic Ignorance

Apathy is defined as a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.  Ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information. Apathetic ignorance can then be defined as a lack of interest in knowing.

When it comes to wine, I don’t know and I don’t care that I don’t know. Others may feel that way about sports. That’s okay when it comes to sports or wine but is it okay when it comes to financial planning?

When using a realtor to buy a house, it’s common for the commission to be around 6%. So, for a house that costs $100,000  you will pay around $6,000 in commissions. What if I came to you and said I would only charge you 2% or $2000. You in? Let me tell you the rest of the story, and let’s see if you’re still in. Next year you will pay me 2% and you will continue to pay me 2% every year for as long as you own the house. You still interested in my “discount”?

If you’re fortunate, the value of your house increases over time. Sometimes you are unfortunate, and the value of your home declines. Did I have anything to do with either of those scenarios? Would you have been better off paying me 6% up front or 2% annually?

While this sounds ridiculous, this is what millions of people agree to every year when it comes to financial planning. Would it be a better deal if the realtor met with you for an hour once or twice a year? Did your house go up more than the houses around it based on the advice of the realtor? Did your house lose less value than the houses in your area? Did the realtor have anything to do with it?

How much is remaining apathetically ignorant going to cost you?

 

 

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