Originally Posted by David1961
Ever since I ER'd, family and friends have tried to talk with me privately and ask questions about investing, retirement planning, etc. It's actually a compliment, but I have had almost the exact conversation with my nephew about what an IRA is three times. It's like since I ERd, people look at me like an investment guru. (Six months before I ER'd, nobody asked me anything). I take it as a compliment, but when people ask "What should I put my money in now to get the best return in the next year", I answer that I have no idea and can actually see the disappointment in their faces
. I mention the importance of AA and having a long time horizon and that seems to go over their heads. And when I say most actively managed funds underperform the indexes, they get more frustrated. Plus, I would feel bad about recommending a specific investment because if it loses, I'd feel bad. I want to help but am reluctant to give any specific advice. Plus, I feel like a Vanguard salesman, because that's the family I usually would recommend. I'm actually starting to dread Easter for this reason. Does this happen to you? Any strategies? I value their friendships and don't want to be a smart-ass.
I only rarely give financial advice to family, friends or (former) co-workers. My sister has asked me periodically all her adult life, and many co-workers asked during my first career. If it appears they're sincerely asking, I will give them concise, basic mainstream answers, but I always suggest books or other resources
, and move to another topic altogether. Just give them responsibility for figuring it out, no need to be a "smart-ass."
The one time I thought a co-worker was sincerely interested, instead of giving him an answer, I laid out the options and pros & cons, and told him he'd have to decide from there what was best for him. And of course, suggested books that would be helpful.
If you think about it, people who ask are probably looking for a silver bullet, and they lose interest when they're given even the simplest lazy portfolio approach for an answer. The people who've already figured out what it takes, won't ask in to begin with, they already know there's no silver bullet. So it's somewhat inevitable you'll be confronted with questions from people who want an answer that really doesn't exist, so why bother?
I did get more questions from others once I announced I was retiring, took everyone by surprise. Fortunately, I've learned that many people ask just to make conversation, so it's pretty easy to politely move the conversation to another topic. When they hear you retired early they are surprised and don't know what to say/ask - the questions are often just a nervous response, usually well intended.