The Scary Impact of Attack Ads in Politics & Finance

Who here agrees it’s fascinating to watch the tenor of the political attack ads that go on before a campaign? <crickets>

Ok, now who is exhausted by all the never-ending attack ads? <stadium cheers>

Attack ads are nothing new, but with the means to mass communicate them like never before it’s gotten out of hand. My three year old deserves to watch Peppa Pid in peace!!!

Fear sells and they can be scary powerful. Let’s talk about how they influence the financial world now that we’ve survived mid-terms.

AJC summarized a recent study from Emory University discussing the impact of negative ads.

“While viewers may rightly claim to be annoyed by the ads, the research showed that negative advertising from a candidate is more effective than positive spots in mobilizing voters. It concluded that every 1 percent increase in negative advertising by the candidate produces a “significant” lift in the candidate’s share of the vote. It also found that negative ads from the candidates are approximately twice as effective as attack ads from political action committees.”

- AJC

The full study can be found here.


Like it or not, negative ads impact your brain in a specific way that sticks with you longer than positive ads. The concept is based on fear.

Fear sells, but fear is not sustainable. We can’t live in fear over a long period of time.

This same concept of fear plays out daily in the financial world.

The power of the attack ad isn’t necessarily in the long-term worry it causes, but rather in the short-term impact it has on our decision making.

Fear is a powerful tool in some financial advisor’s tool kits. Especially if your financial advisor works off of commission.

Money is a powerful motivator.

Advisors that work off of commission might convince you you need whatever high-cost product they’re selling because they get paid immediately after you purchase these potentially unnecessary products. They sell-out for the instant gratification of money.

Fear is a great motivator for making decision in the moment, even if you regret those decisions five years down the line.

How Do I Know If My Financial Advisor Is Selling Fear?


Warning Signs:

  1. Is your advisor presenting things in a balanced way? There is a difference between presenting real financial dangers in an educated way versus using fear to make you buy on the spot.

  2. Are they pointing you towards something that’s going to dramatically increase their pay?

Here’s A Better Alternative

You could work with someone who believes in your dreams more than exploits your fears.

Our team cares more about your 30-year plan than your three month plan. We are fee based, which means we don’t get paid differently based on the advice we give you.

We want to watch you succeed in the long-term while making thoughtful decisions along the way. If you want to learn what it looks like to work with someone who wants to help you reach your drams than win your business reach out.

Take the first step. Ask a question. Take advantage of our free consultation.