Press Release: Boo! The Five Scariest Financial Mistakes People Make


Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs
Inkandescent Public Relations, / 703.346.6975

Washington, DC, October 24, 2014 — Howard Pressman used to enjoy a good scare. In fact, he was a big fan of horror movies.

“I say ‘used to’ because I think the genre has become cheesy and silly, rather than scary, “ says Pressman, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner with Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC. “Current films rely on special effects instead of on plot and acting. Gratuitous blood and gore has replaced spine-chilling stories, masterfully brought to life. Think ‘Psycho,’ ‘The Shining,’ and ‘The Exorcist.’ Those were classics.”

What are the five scariest financial mistakes that Pressman sees many people make? Unfortunately, those are classics, too.

Here’s Pressman’s list—he starts at the bottom and works his way up to the most terrifying.

5. Not Having a Plan. Studies have shown that those with a comprehensive plan fare better than those without, but there are a lot of moving parts to consider when making good financial decisions for your family: insurance, retirement, education, debt, investing, and much more must be coordinated in a deliberate fashion.

4. Not Having an Investment Strategy. Many people find investments scary, or at least intimidating. There are a lot of choices, and the financial services industry likes to toss around technical terms and acronyms with reckless abandon. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, after two years of tenure, as many as 54 percent of employees are still using the default investment option in their 401k. Without evaluating the appropriateness of this investment given their age, goals, and attitudes, these employees are at best not making the most of this opportunity. At worst, they may be putting themselves at tremendous risk for a large loss, should the market sell off.

3. Not Having a Proper Estate Plan. “Now this is really tailor-made for Halloween,” Pressman observes. “Imagine being able to control your financial affairs … from beyond the grave!” Proper estate planning ensures that your wishes will be followed after your death and that a plan is in place in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself. You can direct what happens to your money, your possessions, and even your children. A proper estate plan consists of a will, power of attorney, a living will, and perhaps a trust.

2. Not Having Appropriate Life Insurance. Today, zombies are quite en vogue. Popularized by TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and movies such as “Shaun of the Dead,” the undead are truly taking over in some respects. “But as popular as zombies are, there is yet to be a movie where one of them returns to life to continue working and providing for his or her still-living family,” Pressman says. “Many families risk financial ruin if a breadwinner dies. Fortunately, life insurance exists to ensure that your family is financially protected in the event you’re eaten by zombies.”

1. Not Saving Enough. The body of evidence showing that Americans don’t save enough is quite substantial. But at the end of the day, people aren’t swayed by statistics, and most people who aren’t saving enough are well aware of this fact. The reality is that many of them are paralyzed with fear and afraid to confront some powerful demons. “Often, getting help and making financial changes requires us to confront the ghosts of decisions past and perhaps admit that our prior course of action was incorrect,” he says. Sometimes people feel guilty, and that they’ve let down their spouse and family. These are powerful emotions, and it’s easy to see why some people opt to ignore the issue altogether. “But just as two priests were able to free Regan from her demons in ‘The Exorcist,’ a professional financial planner can help exorcise financial demons and free a tormented soul,” says Pressman.

A Parting Thought

“While I reluctantly acknowledge that no theater audience will ever be frightened by such financial issues, these really are the things that scare the pants off of me,” Pressman says. “The good news is that these matters are far easier to defeat than Jason Voorhees in the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies. Axes, torches, and chainsaws are unnecessary here—just a few hours with a superhero can save the day. I won’t wear tights or a cape, I promise!”

Questions, ideas, other scary thoughts? Contact Hope Katz Gibbs to schedule an interview with Howard Pressman.

About Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC

Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC is an independent financial services firm based in Northern Virginia. Its associates have decades of experience helping clients plan ahead for retirement. For more information, visit EBW’s Financial News for insights on making financial decisions.

To learn more about EBW’s financial planning services, visit or call EBW at 703-506-0030.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, member SIPC. Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors.

About Inkandescent PR:

Inkandescent Public Relations is a full-service PR, marketing, publishing, and website design firm that helps entrepreneurs get more visibility. Founded in 2001 by journalist Hope Katz Gibbs, the firm has promoted hundreds of entrepreneurs, start-ups, educators, authors, artists, and restaurateurs—and helped them come up with successful strategies to grow their businesses.

Gibbs is also the executive producer of the Grateful American™ Series.

Her new book, “PR Rules: The Playbook—The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business,” is available on amazon at