Financial Mistakes

By Scott Hamilton

Life can get overwhelmingly busy. Between family, friends, and work, there’s often little room for managing your finances. Add to that the complexities that can come with financial planning and it increases the probability you may run into pitfalls that can impact your long-term financial health. Let’s explore the 4 biggest mistakes people make—while also debunking some common misconceptions that lead to poor financial decisions. 

1. Succumbing to Market Fears From Listening to the “Noise”

Financial news outlets are filled with talking heads and so-called experts who often sensationalize market events. This constant barrage of information can lead people to develop an unwarranted fear of the market. In their quest for security, many opt for the apparent safety of cash.

Debunked: While cash can provide a sense of security, it’s important to remember that over the long term, it fails to keep pace with inflation. In essence, the real risk lies in not achieving the standard of living you envisioned for your retirement years.

2. Reacting to Market Predictions

Another common error is reacting to market predictions, particularly when the market is performing well. Many people become anxious when they hear that the market is at all-time highs and feel compelled to move their investments to “safer” options.

Debunked: Timing the market is notoriously challenging. Instead of trying to predict market movements, a more prudent approach is to focus on long-term financial goals and employ a diversified investment strategy that aligns with those objectives.

3. Relying on Gold As the Ultimate “Safe Haven”

The allure of gold as a safe-haven investment is deeply ingrained in popular culture. It’s often viewed as the go-to asset when the dollar’s value is perceived to be in jeopardy.

Debunked: While gold can serve as a store of value, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Its price can be highly volatile, and its performance is not always correlated with economic events. A well-diversified portfolio should consider gold as just one component.

4. Assuming Bonds Are Inherently Safe

Bonds are commonly seen as a safe investment due to their fixed-income nature. However, not all bonds are created equal, and the safety of bonds can vary greatly depending on their issuer and other factors.

Debunked: While bonds can provide stability to a portfolio, they are not without risk. Factors like interest rate fluctuations and the creditworthiness of the issuer can impact the safety of bond investments.

Financial Press Is Financial Click-Bait

Financial news outlets typically prioritize sensational headlines to capture readers’ attention, often leading to misinformed decisions driven by fear or greed. It’s essential to approach financial news with a critical eye. Financial press is designed to generate clicks and eyeballs, and not all information is relevant to your unique financial situation. Relying on your trusted financial advisor for personalized guidance can help filter out the noise and keep you on track toward your goals.

We Are Here to Help

Avoiding these common financial mistakes involves recognizing the limitations of market predictions, diversifying your investments, and maintaining a long-term perspective. Collaborating with a financial advisor can provide invaluable guidance tailored to your individual goals, helping you navigate the noise of the financial press and make informed decisions for your financial future.

At Hamilton Financial Planning, we remind our clients that disciplined investing and a robust financial plan are the cornerstones of a prosperous future. Our commitment lies in guiding them through the maze of media hype to steer clear of common investing pitfalls.

If you haven’t yet enlisted the support of a dedicated advisor, I invite you to take the leap and reach out. Schedule a complimentary get-acquainted meeting online or reach out to us at 512-261-0808 or

About Scott

Scott Hamilton is founder and chief financial officer at Hamilton Financial Planning, a wealth management firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning for retirees. With over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, and having completed over 250 financial plans for retirees across all industries, but mostly the oil and gas industry, Scott is passionate about providing his clients with the tools and insight they need to achieve their financial goals. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Texas State University and an MBA in international finance from Pepperdine University. Scott has also been happily married to his wife, Gayle, for over 25 years. To learn more about Scott, connect with him on LinkedIn.