The financial fallacy of “I’ll save when I get a raise” is based on the premise that increased income will inevitably lead to increased savings. However, this idea neglects a common phenomenon known as lifestyle creep or lifestyle inflation, where as a person’s income increases so do their expenditures. This fallacy assumes that with an increase in earnings, there will be a surplus that can be saved. However, if one’s expenses rise at the same rate as their income or even at a higher rate, it leaves no extra money for saving.
The financial fallacy in the statement, “Buy luxury items and resell them later for a profit,” lies in its assumption that all luxury items appreciate with time. Indeed, while certain luxury pieces like rare art or vintage collectors’ items might appreciate in value, most luxury items including cars, clothing, and electronics tend to lose value over time due to factors such as wear and tear, technology advancement, and changing fashion trends. Moreover, this approach overlooks the costs associated with such a strategy, like storage, maintenance, and selling fees.
The fallacy “Education is always a good investment” operates on the assumption that any type of education, in any field, at any cost, will inevitably yield a positive return on investment. Although it’s undeniable that education can generally increase earning potential and opportunities, it is not always financially beneficial in every scenario. Several factors can influence the value of an educational investment including your chosen field of study, the cost of education, the prestige of the educational institution, and the time it takes to complete the degree.
The financial fallacy here is a concept known as “home bias”. It refers to the tendency for investors to lean toward investing heavily or solely in domestic companies, sometimes to the detriment of diversification. While patriotism might prompt some to invest in their local economy, financial decisions should be guided by individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and the pursuit of diversified investments.
The statement “You need a high income to be financially secure” is a common financial fallacy. While a high income can certainly provide a head start towards financial stability, it doesn’t guarantee it. The reason is that financial security doesn’t depend solely on how much money you earn, but rather how you manage, save, invest and spend it. Earning a high income but squandering it on uncontrolled expenses, or failing to properly invest and save for the future, can lead to financial instability. On the other hand, a moderate income, when coupled with prudent financial decisions like budgeting, investing and saving, can provide significant financial security.
The financial fallacy of buying a new car to save on maintenance costs is rooted in the fact that the potential costs of maintenance are often vastly outweighed by the significant costs of buying a new car. The idea of purchasing a new car to save on maintenance costs seems logical on the surface: New cars often come with warranties and are less likely to need repairs. However, depreciation, insurance, taxes, the initial cost of the vehicle and potential interest on a loan far exceed regular maintenance and occasional repair costs of a well-maintained used car. Most cars depreciate the most within the first few years, so purchasing a lightly used car can save you a significant amount of money.
Buying a home in an up-and-coming neighborhood can seem like a no-brainer for investment. The idea is that as the area improves, property values will increase, which can result in a profitable sale in the future. However, this assumes that the neighborhood will indeed improve and that real estate prices will go up.
Believing “I can spend because I’ll inherit property” is a financial fallacy for several reasons.
The statement “Only invest in actively managed mutual funds” is a financial fallacy because it wrongly assumes that actively managed funds always outperform passive funds or indexes, which is not always true. While the main goal of actively managed funds is to beat the market, not all of them do, and their fees are often higher than passive funds. High management fees can greatly eat into the returns you would otherwise be making. Moreover, the performance of such funds depends heavily on the fund manager’s investment decisions, which can be quite risky.