Is there an existing consensus on whether to ask questions very specific to our particular personal circumstances (which might not be especially useful for future searchers), or to ask more general questions (which might be too broad).

E.g. which is better:-

"As a higher-rate taxpayer in my 30s contracting via a limited company with a mortgage at 5%, should I be taking extra dividends to overpay my mortgage or contributing to a pension?"


"How can I determine whether I should overpay my mortgage or contribute to a pension?"


I agree, your question is worth considering.

The broad question, as phrased, is likely to result in comments requesting more details, ultimately resulting in the level of detail in the first question.

When I answer this type of question, if it's too broad, the resulting answers are a series of if/then which in my own brain show up like a flow chart. Too narrow, and I'm sometimes inclined to respond with "yes, you should consider this approach, but for those who [are in this other situation] they should consider this."

I hate giving the answer "it depends," but I'm afraid that's where I'm landing. The nature of personal finance is heavy on personal and very often the general answer fails when more details are uncovered. And I think your choice of sample questions ideally illustrates this.


Its tricky and I don't think we have codified the broad vs narrow.

In the specific example I would like the first specific where I can give a more factual answer. Where as the second one it would be more like listing out factors and since one cannot think of all applicable scenarios the answers would become quite long without giving much support, i.e. the web already would have tons of such info.

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