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Financial Expert Says People Overreact To Debt

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(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Ever since the Great recession began, a lot of us have been paying off existing debt and avoiding getting any new loans, but an investment specialist says too many people are too hot or too cold on something that needs to be just right

“All debt is not the same,” says Thomas Anderson.

From that swanky meal you bought on a high-interest credit card, to a college loan, to a mortgage, if you look at each separately (what he calls atomistically) you miss the big picture.

That is why Anderson’s book The Value of Debt says you really ought to have a family CFO to look at it holistically or corporately.

“Companies embrace debt and people don’t have that debt strategy. How much debt should I have and how’s that going to change over the course of my life and over time, and I would say that’s probably the number one thing: to start by framing a philosophy.”

Step one is a plan which includes what Anderson calls a holistic rather than atomistic approach to borrowing.

“What they do is say, I’m buying a car so I’m going to get a car loan. I’m investing in a restaurant so I’m going to get a restaurant loan, by using your whole balance sheet and taking a corporate mentality, you can probably change that landscape and have access to lower costs of money on more favorable terms, to finance all the different things you want to do in your life.”

It’s a bit of work, he admits, but it’s worth it.

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