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  • A Cautionary Tale: A Financier Loses His Own Home

    There are many stories these days of people who lost their financial bearings during the housing boom and the crisis that followed, but my story is a bit different from most. I’m a financial adviser. I get paid to help people make smart financial choices.

    One night a few years ago, when the value of our home had collapsed, our debt was out of control and my financial planning business was shaky, I went to take out the trash.

    There was this enormous window that looked right in on the kitchen table, and through it I could see my wife, Cori, and our four children eating dinner. It was dark outside, so they couldn’t see me, and I just stood there looking at them.

    After a while, I pulled up a bucket and I sat on it, just watching my children eat. I found myself wishing that I could get back there, connected to the simple ordinary stuff of my family’s life. And as I sat and watched, filled with longing and guilt, two questions kept arising:

    How did I get here?

    And how am I going to get out of this?

    There are many stories these days of people who lost their financial bearings during the housing boom and the crisis that followed, but my story is a bit different from most.

    I’m a financial adviser. I get paid to help people make smart financial choices, and I speak and write about personal finance issues for this publication and others. My first book comes out in January, “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money” (Portfolio, a Penguin imprint).

    The thing that few people know, though, is that I learned a lot of this from experience. I made a bunch of mistakes, the very same ones that I now go around warning people to avoid.

    So this is the story of how I lost my home, the profound ethical questions that arose along the way, and what my wife and I learned from the mistakes that led us to that point. It made me better at what I do, but it wasn’t much fun getting there.

    Like most financial stories, this one is personal. It starts with me getting into the financial services industry more or less by accident. I answered an ad in 1995 that I thought was for a job related to “security” (as in security guard) but was in fact related to “securities.” That’s how little I knew about the stock market. A few months later I found myself working a phone at a Fidelity Investments call center.

    Read Full Article in Yahoo Finance.com

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Startup/Entrepreneur

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