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Avoid “Kill the Messenger” Syndrome

Sandy Botkin
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Always take responsibility for your mistakes and avoid “kill the messenger” syndrome at all costs. You might be asking what is “kill the messenger” syndrome? Good question. Sometimes folks make clear financial errors,which are pointed out by friends. Yet these same folks get mad at the messenger. Always try to avoid this.

A good example happened to me many years ago. I was “of counsel” to a financial firm that reviewed a portfolio for a client. The client thought she owned lots of Jiffy Lube stock, which her prior planner told her she bought. In fact, she owned Jiffy Lube limited partnership interests that weren’t transferable and wasn’t that good. When she found out she had been hood winked, she thanked us and never came back to the firm as a client.

I know of a chiropractor who recommended to a client that he shouldn’t be paying $2,000 per person in fees to simply belong to a medical practice that also charged high fees for each visit. The client spoke to their doctor about it and then stopped becoming a patient of the chiropractor.

Bottom line: if someone gives you accurate advice about a clear financial mistake, take responsibility for it. Don’t be a buzz kill by blaming the person giving it to you and don’t punish them for being honest.

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Sandy Botkin

Sandy is a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former IRS trainer. He has authored many helpful books on the subject of taxes, including 7 Simple Ways to Legally Avoid Paying Taxes ( Click Here ), Lower Your Taxes: Big Time ( Click Here ), and Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich ( Click Here ).

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