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Character & Personal Finance
—Learn why You Must Be of High Character  

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It is important that you understand that—just because it appears that an individual has overwhelming positive qualities and are of high character—doesn’t mean that is the case.

Be sure to do your due diligence as it relates to the financial professionals and companies that you conduct business with—when utilizng financial products and services.

If you are “choosing a financial advisor” be sure that you know the right questions to ask—and the right answers that you should get—prior to entering into a written engagement.

To truly reach your credit and financial goals successfully—you too must be of high character!

You must be of the highest integrity and character—regardless of what others are doing!

In order to move forward at a level that will lead to true success for yourself and your family—you must be of high character—and also make it a point to associate only with those of high character—whether it be in your financial or personal relationships.

Is it any wonder that Bernie Madoff was able to swindle many out of their finances by having a pleasing personality and the ability to communicate financial matters in an effective manner.

However, if those who invested with Bernie Madoff had done their “due diligence” and had a real foundation on how personal finances work—they would have realized early in the process that having an advisor manage and have actual control of their funds—was unsound and impractical at an elementary financial planning level!

Another illustration of the quality of character is that of Barry Minkow (rhymes with kinko)—who exemplifies charisma and helping others at a high level—but was also a con man.

Throughout the years he has operated as an entrepreneur, fraud fighter, pastor, movie actor and serial swindler. In his lifetime he has shown the best of character traits and the worst of character traits!

He started out as a kid whiz when he founded ZZZZ Best, a carpet cleaning company that he started from his parents garage in 1982 at age 16.

The value of the company soared to over $100 million on paper—but it was later determined to be a Ponzi scheme. Minkow was convicted of 57 felonies , sentenced to 25 years, and ordered to pay $26 million in restitution.

After being paroled in 1995 he became a pastor and helped many in the congregation and expanded the membership with his charisma and personality.

He later caused Lennar homes stock to fall drastically by manipulating the stock—in which he pleaded guilty to. In September of 2009 he returned to prison—where he is now serving a 5 year term and facing a new restitution order of $583-million—the amount Lennar stockholders lost due to manipulation.

It was also determined that Minkow commingled church and personal funds at the church that he pastored. Minkow’s greatest gift was that he could inspire others—however he lacked true character in a major way!

While committing the above activities—and even to this day—he continues to make excuses and reasons for his past behavior.

The point of mentioning Madoff and Minkow as it relates to character is that you must do your due diligence in your credit and financial life.

You must realize that there are many who may not have the charisma of a Madoff or Minkow—but they care a great deal about your future success—and operate with a high degree of character!

You must research the company and individual that you choose to represent you in financial matters. Do they have a proven system? Does the system make sense to you?  

Do you feel you can really attain success under the system that they promote? Asking yourself these—and other—potent questions prior to written engagement—will help you avoid potential problems—and better position yourself and your family for future success!

Bad Service & Character

With many companies and individuals—an unpleasant experience may be experienced by you at some point. The question then arises as to how effectively the company or individual attempts to correct the unpleasant experience.

Did they try to correct the situation in a sincere manner—or did they leave you feeling less-than satisfied. The answer to that question alone—will show you if the company or individual is operating at a high level—as far as character is concerned!

Character is a very important quality—and it is something that not only you and those you associate with should strive for—but is something that you should look for in all of your credit and financial transactions.

It is important that you do your due diligence—as it relates to the character of companies and individuals that you choose to represent you.

Doing so will help move you and your family forward in your credit and financial life in a more efficient manner!

Whether a company or individual—does or does not—have a charismatic and inspiring program or approach—you must do your due diligence on a consistent basis—if you want to improve your and your family's credit and finances to a high level.

If you operate at a high level of character at all times—and look for high character in others whom you associate with in all your endeavors—success will be in your and your family's future!

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About This Article:


The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) UnderwoodThomas (TJ) Underwood is a former fee-only financial planner, a former top producing loan processor and is currently a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia. 

He is the writer behind The Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books that include The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411 The Smart Guide to Buying Your Home, Home Seller 411 The Smart Guide to Selling Your Home, and  Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM.

In addition he is also the writer who created The 3 Step Structured Approach to Managing Your Finances, and CREDIT & FINANCE IMPROVEMENT MADE EASY—NEW GUIDE that you can download right now "(at MIMIMAL cost $3.95)" to learn more about his writing style and how you can achieve "more" success in the current economy.

He is the creator of where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner. 

He’s always looking for ways to make intelligent finance improvement happen for those who “sincerely desire” success in their future. He was the first financial planner to coin the phrase "financially alert mind"  and he consistently writes in a style that is designed to provide consumers the ability to take control of their lives and achieve great results.

You can contact him from a number of sources but the most direct way is to contact him through the contact us block that can be found at the bottom of this page.  You can also get highly relevant tips on "living your life more abundantly" and link to and possibly earn revenue by logging on to

He is also an IRS registered tax planning professional with over 30 years of tax experience and can be reached at:



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