Define financial porn

When asked to define obscenity, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said, “I know it when I see it.” Luckily, it’s easier to define financial porn.

Financial porn is a label for any get-rich-quick, too-good-to-be-true, must-act-now, don’t-miss-out hype about financial products and services.

According to this Investopedia article, financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn coined the term financial porn. Quinn has been a leading personal finance writer for more than three decades. Aside from many years of syndicated newspapers columns on finance, her classic personal finance book “Making the Most of the Your Money” has been in print since 1991.

Financial porn doesn’t necessarily mean illegal scams, but it’s still sleazy and best avoided. And it can pop up anywhere. One ironic example is the very same Investopedia.com article I referred to that defines financial porn.

The article’s third paragraph lists trading schemes as one type of financial porn. Then, at the end of the article is a promotion of Investopedia’s day-trading system. Day trading of stocks is the exact opposite of the R Minus 10 mindset of doubling your money through steady results and compound interest. (I’ve known just one person who made consistent money as a day trader. He had more than 20 years’ experience as the chief credit officer for a regional bank. Most people suckered into day trading programs don’t know what he knows.)

There’s a lot of financial porn in circulation, and not just on the internet. You can find it in television ads, magazine articles, books, podcasts–almost anywhere people are talking about money.

One part of this blog will be calling it out financial porn from time to time so that readers like you are better able to differentiate quality financial help from questionable or unethical claims.

 


If you want to know where you stand in saving for retirement, without resorting to financial porn, download the free R Minus 10 retirement calculator.

 

(Image courtesy of Flickr)

What is Financial Porn?
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