Why bother worrying about investing?

Ramit Sethi

Why bother?

This is part of a new series of photo posts I’m launching today that will go through the next few weeks. Feel free to send these pictures/posts to your friends–let’s get people to think about getting started managing their money.

Use this code:

(When I first announced the idea, Todd from wrote me and helped out with these images. If you have graphic-design needs, he was great to work with.)

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  1. Josh B.

    You probably want to reconsider hosting that image on flickr, since it links back to your site instead of the image page on flickr (as required by Flickr’s Community Guidelines)

  2. Ramit Sethi

    Thanks, I didn’t notice that. It’s fixed now.

  3. Dustin L.

    I don’t know about everybody else, but I think it’s a little weird to have the text obscuring the person’s eyes like that. Was that a conscious decision?

  4. Kevin Sweeney

    Yeah, I’m not that big of a fan of the text over the eyes either.

  5. Ramit Sethi

    Thanks, guys. Yes, it was a conscious decision. At first, I felt weird about it, too, so I actually brought it up with Todd (the designer). Here’s what he had to say:

    “My only thought is that while it may ostensibly make sense to want the images to feel warm, smooth, and inviting, the end result will be incongruous with the… messages. Take, for example, [an upcoming graphic], with a smooth image of a hottish sex kitten: if it looks inviting, the message is more likely to be taken sincerely, instead of ironically…

    Either way, I can make this change (hey, it’s not my site), but I think it’s a mistake to do so.”

    The writing over the eyes still makes me feel uncomfortable, but I think that’s exactly the point.

  6. David

    I think it would look better without the glow around the words. Probably be a little easier to read, too (not that it’s hard).

  7. Todd

    Hi folks, your friendly neighborhood designer here.


    So here’s the deal: real graphic designers don’t just do things for the heck of it. This wasn’t just some “I think this’ll look cool” idea I came up with to be someone’s idea of edgy; the typographic treatment serves a purpose. Judging from the general reaction, it’s impactful on some level.


    The messages are indeed *supposed* to be unsettling. It’ll become more clear as the series continues that the quotes from the persons depicted aren’t positive or motivational (and some are outright ridiculous), and I believe that’s the point Ramit’s trying to make here. Just as you wouldn’t want to be caught dead making some of the mistakes Ramit is pointing out in his series, these people are remaining somewhat anonymous by having their eyes obscured.


    (Geez, I know this crowd is young, but has no one here seen the cover of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap?)

  8. Jason Coleman

    I would move the text down to not block her eyes. You can float the text above the mug.

    The young pretty girl (prettier if you can see her eyes) will get people to look at the picture. They won’t help but read the text then no matter where it’s placed.

  9. Hawk

    I don’t see what the fuss about this graphic is. It’s supposed to be one of those, “I’m a safe person, I’d never get herpes” kind of pictures.

    The location of the text means that when you look at the picture, you try to look at the person’s eyes and instead, you encounter text, which you read. Not a bad idea.

  10. John

    Putting the black bar over the eyes on the DDDDC cover is a completely different effect than the one you are *trying* to do with the pic. As you said, professional designers don’t just do things for the heck of it, but sometimes they do.

  11. John

    Putting the black bar over the eyes on the DDDDC cover is a completely different effect than the one you are *trying* to do with the pic. As you said, professional designers don’t just do things for the heck of it, but sometimes they do try too hard.

  12. ricemutt

    I like this idea (and the photo) and am willing to participate. Might I suggest something to make the campaign more effective? Since clicking on the image just goes to your site, it should land on a page that has more relevant, immediate information of interest to those who click it. Like a specific landing page.

    I’m not knocking your blog, it’s just that if people click on the image, the first thing they’ll see is the image and URL code and some posts correcting for subscribing to your email newsletter instead of an attention-grabbing article about starting to pay attention to your finances.

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for coming up with the idea!

  13. Nik

    Is this supposed to be about what some Gomer thinks of where the text should placed or if it glows or where the mug should go etc etc etc? What is this? Photoshop/Illustrator amateur hour? The shot gets the point across–can we move on?

  14. Carlin

    Her teeth creep me out. I also don’t see how the two correlate, the picture and the words. I’d like a more direct someone walking through the mall with a bunch of shopping bags, text over the eyes optional, picture.

  15. Aaron

    I opened up my first IRA at the age of 18. I’m five years ahead of her already!

  16. Ramit Sethi

    No, no, no. Please stop. Stop focusing on the mechanics of the photo instead of the message behind it! I’ve written about this before here and here.

  17. Kevin Sweeney

    Hey I’m a designer too, so I’m allowed! 😛

  18. Brendan

    Makes sense to have the text there. It’s like she’s blindfolded by her attitudes about her financial future.

  19. k

    Reading these comments, one thing is clear.

    The text was noticed and likely read.

    Since little ad text actually is.
    I’d say that’s mission accomplished.

  20. ben


    You mentioned something about your paying for a airline credit card that earns double points. May I ask which one it is?

    Thank you in advance.

  21. Jason Coleman

    Point taken guys. I won’t post criticisms anymore.

    Ramit, you should consider turning off comments on posts you don’t want comments on. Or at least change the heading to “Praises”.

  22. Anonymous

    I’m sure you can post almost any criticism you want, Jason. And so can other people. They can criticize how you are missing the point of the post.

  23. billie

    Rammit, when you read all these opinions on everything but finances does it make you pull out your hair or laugh hysterically? Well, since if you can’t beat ’em you join ’em. I say the graphic is great. The fact you got so many posts on it proves it has the unsettling “notice me” effect you were going for.