Smart Money, Dumb Idea: Bad Bets by Financial Pros 

By Ben Steverman - 2013-10-22T17:22:03Z

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Eleanor Blayney: Good Friend, Bad Loan

I lent a substantial sum of money to a very close friend going through some tough times. My mistake was not defining the terms of the loan and putting them in writing. I told her she could begin to repay me when she was back on her feet. Time passed and things got better for her, but I received no payments. The worst of this was that I began to judge her financial choices, because I believed she should be repaying me rather than buying what I considered unnecessary items. Eventually, I was able to formalize the loan and received all my money back. If you lend money to a friend or family member, be prepared for it to change the relationship in a negative way.

Eleanor Blayney is the consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards.

Report: The Fight Over Financial Literacy