In a recent study by the deVere Group, six out of ten people ranked money as the hardest thing to talk about with their friends, family and colleagues. Other traditionally sensitive subjects like politics, sex, religion and health all came in far behind money in the poll of 1,125 people who were asked what topics they least care to discuss. The people surveyed were classified as high net worth, which means they have more than $1.5 million worth of assets.
Politics was a distant second place off-limits subject with just 14% of the respondents naming that as the top conversation topic to avoid, followed by sex (11%), religion (8%), and health (6%). But with 61% saying that money was their most dreaded topic, finances easily took the crown as the worst thing to bring up during a dinner party or water-cooler chat.
Nigel Green, executive director of the deVere Group, called money “the last social taboo” and speculated that “there is perhaps some degree of misplaced guilt or embarrassment surrounding money by those who have accumulated it.” He said the survey findings might clash with people’s expectations. “I imagine that it might come as a surprise to many that those who have money still dislike talking about it,” said Green.
Hewent on to explain that wealth is a hot-button topic that brings up strong emotions in people, much like religion, politics and health. But Green pointed out that, much like overlooking health issues out of discomfort with discussing them, ignoring financial issues can lead to bigger problems down the road. ““Ignoring or putting off tackling any personal finance issues is always the worst way to handle such things,” he said.
Planning for retirement, staying on top of investments and building savings for emergencies are all things that must be done in order to assure a secure financial future. Talking about these topics and removing the taboo around money can only serve to boost individuals’ financial health.
Survey respondents were clients of the deVere Group and included people from the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.The deVere Group is an independent international financial consultancy firm specializing in clients who are investing in the United States stock market while living abroad. They have more than 80,000 clients in over 100 different countries.
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