Is it better to lack confidence or be overconfident? As a CPA and financial counselor for two decades, give me the client racked with doubt every time.
I’ve seen strong emotions contribute to the debt problems of otherwise wonderful people — from the depressed divorcee who engages in too much “shopping therapy” to the guilt-ridden absentee father who now buys anything and everything for his adult children.
The most insidious debt-related emotion, however, is overconfidence.
Men, women, and the confidence gap
When you’re overconfident, you overspend.
You’re positive you can pay off that hefty credit card bill. You’re sure your gambles in the stock market will bring big returns. You just know you’re getting a huge raise or bonus in a few months.
A new study confirms what we’ve all suspected: Men are more confident than women, especially when it comes to money.
Only 56 percent of women “say they feel confident that they have saved enough for retirement,” while the number is 63 percent for men, according to TIAA-CREF’s Woman2Woman survey.
Education equals confidence
So what makes women more confident about money? Good advice.
“Sixty-three percent of women who have received advice say that they feel confident, compared to 45 percent of women who haven’t,” the study says. “Women who have taken advantage of financial advice also are more likely to feel informed about retirement planning and retirement savings (81 percent vs. 63 percent of women who have not received advice).”
Of course, that’s good news for TIAA-CREF, which is a national financial services organization with $840 billion in total assets under management. You can bet they’re smarter about money than any of us.
However, you don’t need to hire someone to give you good advice. That’s what we’re here for — and we’re confident we can help.
Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of Debt.com, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.