According to an article over at CNBC.com, billionaire Mark Cuban says the best money advice he ever received came from someone especially close to him.
“From my dad. Don’t use credit cards.”
Cuban has said “that credit cards are the worst investment that you can make. That the money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market.
"I thought I would be a stock market genius. Until I wasn't. I should have paid off my cards every 30 days."
Credit card management can be tricky for many people, because the messages sent by personal finance experts can seem almost contradictory at times. On the one hand, opening an unsecured credit card account can be one of the overall best and easiest ways to build a quality credit record, particularly for young adults just starting out. On the other, mismanagement of credit cards can lead to burdensome debt that not only puts downward pressure on all-important credit scores, but drains financial resources that could be used to invest for wealth.
For Cuban, the best answer – indeed, the only answer – is to avoid using credit cards altogether. While that may seem like an easy solution for a billionaire, the underlying principle is sound for people of all economic strata, even if one does not avoid the use of credit cards entirely. Ideally, beyond their strategic application as credit enhancement tools, they should be used sparingly, such as for genuine emergencies and as a way to avoid carrying large sums of cash while on vacation.
In other words, Cuban’s dad, like just about all dads, was absolutely correct.
Perhaps father really does know best.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large