How to Prevent Financial Sabotage

Are you a victim of financial sabotage?

I subscribe to a handful of email newsletters, but very few of them are dedicated to money and financial planning.

One such newsletter that I regularly enjoy comes from a NYC-based writer named David Perell.

In one of his recent “Monday Musings” emails, he referenced a declassified 1944 “guide” from the OSS (precursor to the CIA).

It’s called the “Simple Sabotage Field Manual.”

It describes ways to sabotage enemies during World War II.

At the time, OSS Director William Donovan recommended that these tips and suggestions on sabotage be distributed to citizens of enemy states.

Here are a few of the tips, excerpted from David’s email newsletter:

  1. Managers and Supervisors: To lower morale and production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.
  2. Employees: Work slowly. Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one.
  3. Organizations and Conferences: When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large and bureaucratic as possible. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
  4. Transportation: Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy personnel. Issue two tickets for the same seat on a train in order to set up an “interesting” argument.
  5. Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions. Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  6. Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
  7. Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind when I read the list above is how much it seems to resemble many corporate work environments these days.

If you’d like to read the entire “field guide” you can do that by clicking here.

And while we’re on the subject, I can’t help but wonder if many of you are victims of sabotage?

  • Self-sabotage.
  • Unintentional sabotage from financial “professionals” who don’t know any better.
  • Intentional sabotage from charlatans posing as financial professionals.
  • Unintentional sabotage by well-meaning from friends and family.

Think about how many times what we think and say we want to do with our money, our financial decisions, our retirement planning and more doesn’t always match up with our actions.

Or our results.

Many times, we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to money.

I’m not here to peddle conspiracy theories about secretive shadow organizations trying to spread disinformation and confusion.

We already have the financial media that does plenty of this.

Without hiding in dark alleys.

But if you agree that you may be getting in your own way when it comes to your money, what’s the alternative?

What should you do?

Well, some of you – certainly not all – might benefit from professional, objective advice from an experienced financial advisor.

Since it’s not their money, they can speak to and advise you with some emotional detachment.

But what if you don’t have and don’t want to work with an advisor?

Well, the best advice I can offer is to come up with your own plan. Your own strategy, if you will.

Think about where you want to go in the future, and the decisions you need to make over the next 90 days to give you the best chance of moving in the right direction.

This is about progress, not perfection.

And after 90 days (or whatever time period you select) goes by, repeat the process.

Sure, you need to consider where you want to be 5, 15, 25 or more years down the road, but I think focusing on 90-day blocks of time can help you remove some of the overwhelm you might feel when considering the rest of your life, and it will make it easier to focus on smaller steps you can take right now.

Again, don’t focus too much on trying to get every last detail right.

You don’t have to read every last article you find on Google before moving ahead.

It’s more important to take the first step. And then the next step. And then the next…

If you’d like to discuss this or I can help in any way, get in touch and let me know.

And if you’re tackling this on your own, I wish you the absolute best.

Thanks for reading. While you’re here, be sure to sign up for my weekly email newsletter where I share tips, advice, and stories about the intersection of money and our lives. Just click here to join the community.

Russ Thornton
Russ Thornton
Hi there! I'm Russ, and I help women in their 50s and 60s achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle leading up to and throughout their retirement years. Imagine being able to look forward to a comfortable and confident financial future...
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