The Ups and Downs of Financial Decisions

The Consumer Federation of America and Primerica, a financial services firm, recently published the results of a study revealing that two-thirds of middle class Americans have made significant financial mistakes.

In an article for the New York Times, Ann Carrns discusses her money-related blunders, explaining that she was “somewhat comforted” when she saw the results of the survey. Though she feels she has avoided any ‘truly devastating’ occurrences thus far, she too has made some unrewarding decisions.

Carrns explains that she put $2,000 in the Janus Mercury Fund in back in 2000. Janus funds were incredibly popular then- in fact, 50% of money put into mutual went to Janus.

“We all know how the story ended: Mercury burst along with the tech bubble, and so did most of my hard-earned money” Carrn wrote.

Carrn’s story is probably considered unique, however. Though the survey does not disclose the types of decisions Americans made, Stephen Brobeck of Consumer Federation of America said:

“I would be surprised if many of these decisions weren’t related to credit card debt and subprime mortgages.” He continued, “It is less likely they made poor investment decisions in stocks, because very few of them hold individual stocks.”

Still, many surveyed Americans actually felt they were “excellent” or “good” at making financial decisions.

What do you think?


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)