Cheap is an Ugly Look

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As much as I like money, I have found that being cheap looks bad, especially for a successful financial advisor.

“Well,” someone will proudly exclaim, “I told our waiter that I did not like the spices on my chicken and the asparagus wasn’t cooked to the texture I like. So, he knocked $10 off our ticket!” Eyes sparkling, they could not be happier recounting this victory tale.

Their expectation is that I will affirm those frugal ways. Performing a quick cartwheel, I will leap up to pat them on the back for adding $10 to the college accounts. Man, I will be thinking, another star pupil, scrupulously mimicking the austere lifestyle I recommend.

I have had other clients volunteer that they used a dental school for fillings or a barber college for haircuts. Others drove their junker car for 300,000 miles or demanded a discount at the furniture or clothing stores. They felt so noble.


I hate cheap. I would never badger a restaurant or hotel for a discount. I would almost never stiff a server for a tip, or cut my own hair, or fight some poor car salesperson for the last $100 on a new or used car.