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Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 02:27 PM   #1
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Do you financially mentor?

OK, here is my quandary. I learned the lessons of savings and investment late, but was able to over come my lateness with a high income (and a bull market). I feel guilty watching my younger relatives stumble along in ignorance but my instincts are to mind my own business and not give unsolicited advice.

My question is "Have you financially mentored in the past and if so did you do it unsolicited?"

Any suggestions for broaching the subject in a way that will be effective?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I don't have any younger relatives to mentor, but I manage my sister's/brother-in-law's finances, and have laid out savings/investing plans for several friends.

I think it's great that you want to help - the balance is always between "helping" and "interfering". Good luck!

Karen
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover
My question is "Have you financially mentored in the past...
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover
... and if so did you do it unsolicited?"
Heck no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover
Any suggestions for broaching the subject in a way that will be effective?
Live the lifestyle that brings you value & enjoyment. They'll eventually notice how you're living and they'll want to know how you did it. If they like your example and it's important to them, then they'll emulate it. If not then nothing you can say or do will penetrate their shields.

When we were working for a living we regularly used to hear from younger coworkers: "Geez, buddy, you're driving a piece of crap." (Which at the time applied to any of our three cars.) "You make good money. When are you going to buy a car that matches your paycheck?!?"

Our response was "We're driving cars that reflect our values, not our bank accounts. We'd rather put the money in our retirement portfolios."

Five years after retirement we're still being tracked down by people who want investing & retirement advice. They know where we are. When the students are ready, they'll seek out their teachers...
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover
My question is "Have you financially mentored in the past and if so did you do it unsolicited?"
Unsolicited When a woman does that, it's called "being pushy" or "being a busybody". Sometimes I just can't help getting my two cents in. Usually I try to bite my tongue, but that doesn't always work.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I've provided advice, but it is typically reactionary instead of unsolicited. Like when someone says "Gosh, gold/google/real estate looks like a good deal. This guy I know just bought a new Hummer with all the money he made in gold/google/real estate. I need a hummer, too. Maybe I should buy some gold/google/real estate!".

Or one time I heard my SIL say "Gosh I hate working. It sure would be great to not have to work anymore. Like to have a bunch of money and make it work for you like those rich people do". Of course I told her it is possible and people do it all the time. And then explained how in very simple terms. Of course nothing has happened since that conversation (still in debt up to eyeballs, spending more than they make, cashing out equity in house, new monster car loan, etc).

I like to give a little info, and see if they nibble. If they aren't interested and don't care to listen, then no matter how persuasive you are, they will never take any action on what you say. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 03:30 PM   #6
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
Unsolicited When a woman does that, it's called "being pushy" or "being a busybody". Sometimes I just can't help getting my two cents in. Usually I try to bite my tongue, but that doesn't always work.
Must be a "guy thing". Maybe you're just not being forceful helpful and domineering providing enough feedback!
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 03:34 PM   #7
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Its a taboo subject in my family circle to talk about finances/markets for whatever reason. I do alot of cringing but keep my mouth shut.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 04:30 PM   #8
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I have provided advice, but never unsolicited. Mostly it is on investing,
but sometimes on other $$ topics.

I have rescued several (my mom, my ex-MIL) from the clutches of
HRB at tax time by showing the errors they made (for $100+ for
very simple returns).

I showed one friend how to diversify his 100% big cap growth stock
401k/IRA in 2001 (hit hard by the downturn, but not as hard as if
he not gone 20% REIT, 20% intl, 20% value at that time).

I just talked one friend of a friend out of spending $2K-$3K on a
day-trading seminar that he was going to use as a way to get into
the market. He will probably use the money to open a discount
broker and just buy stocks instead (I suggested index funds, but
he wanted to select stocks).

I explained ER to another friend of a friend who could easily afford
to (due to extreme LBYM but very conservative investments) but was
worried about all the details of it.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 04:48 PM   #9
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

One success - oldest nephew out of the Naval Academy on his way to flight school - my 30 second plus lecture on index funds, DCA averaging/time in the market/power of compounding - max your TSP.

"Don't waste your time reading books - but read this one" 1994 Bogle on Mutual Funds.

All other efforts were like a tennis ball bouncing off a brick wall. Sometimes friends/relatives actually asked - but it was obvious they weren't listening. Got a few dis believers - it can't be that simple.

P.S. Even my nephew went over to the Dark Side after about ten years - listened to his buds and read Bernstein's Four Pillars. He's not old enough yet - only in his thirties.

heh heh heh - it's da hormones, impossible to keep the faith, keep it simple. Sigh!
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:44 PM   #10
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Tormentor...
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:11 PM   #11
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I tried mentoring family members with no success, as according to them the fact that we have more than $10 in the bank is due to luck rather than smart actions on our behalf. I don't waste my breath with them any more.

Recently a colleague in her late 20s showed interest in FIRE. Rather than bore her with all the details with how it can be done all I have done to date is provide copies of the Terhorst book plus encouragement. When her DH has finished that one I have the Joy of Not Working lined up for them.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-15-2007, 08:39 PM   #12
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I did about 500 hours on a teenage runaway hotline and one thing I learned is that you can not help someone who does not want the help.
If they are open to it, they will appreciate it.
If thay are not open to it, you will be waisting your time.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-16-2007, 08:41 AM   #13
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I guess I "successfully" mentored a coworker a few months back. He was already an avid spreadsheeter (yes, we are engineers ). He was interested in investments, so I referred him to four pillars, intelligent asset allocator, and the bogleheads guide to investing. I could tell from talking to him that he would be receptive to the simple, low cost approach to investing. He was also a budgeter and was psyched to hear about our good 401k plan and our pension-like retirement savings plan.

Of course I did it for partly selfish reasons - I needed an ally on our investing committee for our company's pension-like plan. I wanted to train him to think correctly!
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-16-2007, 09:41 AM   #14
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I have tried to talk to a few of my peers. The usual reaction I get is... "Who wants to have money when you are old !, I want it now ! Blah Blah Blah"

That's OK their values are different than mine. Let them work until they drop.

So in general I have found that people are not in favor of a non-consumption based lifestyle even though it is in their own best interest to consider it. I guess the payoff is too far out there. They want it right now and are willing to give very much of themselves to get there !

So they work like squirrels to get on the next rung of the MegaCorp ladder thinking that, then they'll be happy. Then they get to that next rung and realize that they are working day and night to make a small extra amount of money. But now that they are on the next rung, they up the lifestyle, buy that big new car or big new house and are right back to where they started. Except that now, they are working much harder for the Man.

In my opinion their thinking is flawed and their values are distorted. But who am I to judge them. Let em' work until they drop !
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:48 AM   #15
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

At work, I have asked probing questions in the annual 401(k) meeting. From that, folks now ask me questions about the 401(k) and they put me on the the 401(k) committee. A couple of people have asked me privately about investing, so I tell them that I cannot legally give advice, but here are some books I like, some web site I like, some tax info I like, you go and make your own decisions.

Just the other day, someone stopped me in the hall to ask about money market funds. We were discussing this openly and drew a small crowd of people by the end of the discussion.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-16-2007, 01:58 PM   #16
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Thank you all for your insight. I agree that you can't make someone change, but I want to make sure that they understand that an alternative exists, which I also agree is best demonstrated by my own actions and lifestyle, rather than preached.
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Re: Do you financially mentor?
Old 05-16-2007, 02:35 PM   #17
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Re: Do you financially mentor?


I have done the unsolicited mentoring at work regarding the 401K accounts with two of my colleagues....both are 25 and have a good job with a pharma company. I keep telling them about the magic of compound interest....only one of them did it and that was because I kept nagging her.
It is amazing how many women out there think that a guy is going to provide them with the financial security and all they have to do is look pretty and play dumb.
The one who did sign up for the 401K has it all allocated in the company stock.....she hasn't found time to read through all of the paperwork The other one is too busy to call and set up the account.
This apathetic attitude just boggles my mind!!!
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:10 PM   #18
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by citrine
I have done the unsolicited mentoring at work regarding the 401K accounts with two of my colleagues....both are 25 and have a good job with a pharma company. I keep telling them about the magic of compound interest....only one of them did it and that was because I kept nagging her.
It is amazing how many women out there think that a guy is going to provide them with the financial security and all they have to do is look pretty and play dumb.
The one who did sign up for the 401K has it all allocated in the company stock.....she hasn't found time to read through all of the paperwork The other one is too busy to call and set up the account.
This apathetic attitude just boggles my mind!!!
Welcome to my world.............. :P :P And I do this for a living............
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:01 PM   #19
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

I occasionally blurt out an opinion a time or two and advise when asked but know how pointless it is if they aren't open to hearing it. Denials and excuses are about all one can expect.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:28 PM   #20
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Re: Do you financially mentor?

If someone asks, I give them the simplest answer. Otherwise I've found that any advice is generally not followed and if it is, i'm to blame for any minor hiccups along the way.

My sage advice is usually limited to:

"Put some of your money into a retirement plan"

"Make sure you arent paying too much for your retirement plan"

"Put some more money into a retirement plan"

"If you're confused about retirement plan options, pick one of those lifecycle/target retirement/balanced plans and put all of your money into it".

So far I've had one relative start putting a little bit of money into his IRA, then quit a year later. Thats it.
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