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Do you tell parents portfolio value?
Old 05-05-2013, 09:18 PM   #1
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Do you tell parents portfolio value?

I am a 40 year old entrepreneur that has been very successful and my wife and I currently have cash & stock investments valued at about $2.3m. My father is a successful entrepreneur himself, in a completely different line of work. In high school, there were times when I think he doubted my work ethic (but I found something I love to do and I do it very well) and I have this nagging inside me to share with him how successful we have been at saving, investing and planning. They know very well that we have been fortunate, worked hard, have no debt, etc. We get a nice Christmas check each year from my parents, and they always make sure that they do things evenly for me and my siblings, so I don't really fear or think it would change anything along those lines as my siblings have each had their own success and are doing well.

My parents own their own business and dad is very "numbers" driven and something in me wants that validation of sharing with him as I think he would be astounded that we had 2.3m in investments.

Would having dinner and sharing with my parents be hazardous? Beneficial? Anyone here been through this? I appreciate any feedback or thoughts.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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You seem very proud. You can always draft a trust with a good lawyer.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:36 PM   #3
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My family is pretty free-flowing with our financial situations, but not with exact amounts.

I do know my mom's exact situation as she asked me to look at her tax return and her investments. My BIL is a serial entrepreneur and his spouse is a physician. We know they are loaded, but we don't know if it if $15MM or $50MM or something else. We know other family members are close to bankruptcy.

So while I might hint that you are a multimillionaire, I would not get more specific than that. Presumably your dad has not told you his net worth ever, so take a hint from him.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #4
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My parents are both dead. Interestingly, my father died when I was 40 and now I have a son who is 40. We never discussed finances or anything else. When my mother developed dementia years after my father died, I had to handle her business. I discovered she had a substantial networth and no debt or any other encumbrances. She had a detailed estate plan down to her prearranged and prepaid funeral. All I had to do was follow her instructions.

IMHO, if you can discuss finances with your parents, do it. You never know what the future will bring.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #5
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I don't give my mother great detail but I do let her know that we are doing well and that she doesn't have to worry about me financially. She does ask in a general sense how we are doing, how the jobs are going, how are we managing expenses, etc. She is kind to the core and if she thought we needed money she would offer it. We prefer that she not give monetary gifts to DW or I, but she is free to give gifts to our kids as she sees fit.

She and my Dad (who has passed away) raised 7 independent kids who would rather work 10 jobs than accept any money from them if we weren't doing well.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:01 PM   #6
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My mom and I are very open about our portfolios and business. I do feel bad talking about how much money I'm saving while she is still paying off the debt she accrued when we went through hard times a while back, but it's just nice to be open with each other. It really depends on your dynamic with your family, probably.

They may be able to give you some advice, or you may be able to give them some, or if you're both right where you need to be, then you have someone special to talk about something you'd both be very happy about
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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....

Would having dinner and sharing with my parents be hazardous? Beneficial? Anyone here been through this? I appreciate any feedback or thoughts.
I think your parents would be delighted if you shared that with them.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #8
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I think your parents would be delighted if you shared that with them.
Probably, but so might others peripherally involved down the road.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:27 PM   #9
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Probably, but so might others peripherally involved down the road.
But they are not the OP's parents.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Would having dinner and sharing with my parents be hazardous? Beneficial? Anyone here been through this? I appreciate any feedback or thoughts.
I think this might be between you and your dad. It might be better to meet with him privately and let him know your situation. Then have dinner. It will obviously be a 'look what I did' situation, but he probably will appreciate it. IMHO.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:50 PM   #11
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I wish I could tell my father but he died in 1996. I think he'd be surprised but ultimately proud at how well I have done.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:58 PM   #12
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Here's a chance to share a terrific moment with your parents. One way to think about things like this is, how would you feel if one day your child told you he/she had $2.3M in cash and stock investments?
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:32 AM   #13
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I would share your success....

All parents want to know the children they have raised are thriving. It's a parent thing.... they will be proud, they will be humbled, they will most likely respect that you wish to keep it between you and them, not sharing with siblings, other family members etc.

I know as a parent I sure will be proud the day my boys tell me that they are FI...if I am lucky enough to have that day come...
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:15 AM   #14
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Maybe it's a family-specific thing. My parents gave me a financial boost (much appreciated) between getting a degree and getting a job. They never had to do that again, and they probably noticed. When we got together, they seemed to like to talk more about what we were doing, not what we had. I guess they mainly were happy to know we were OK.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:36 AM   #15
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I didn't discuss money with my folks but I always shared major job news, achievements and changes with them, and that pleased them a great deal. It also seemed to irritate the siblings, something that was never my intention or desire.

Sharing major achievements with your folks is a good thing.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:56 AM   #16
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It's very hard to discuss money in "actual terms" with my parents. I have a general idea of their financial situation and they have a general idea of ours. I wish they were more open with these discussions, but I don't get that vibe. That being said, we've had some very frank discussions with OUR kids about money. We want our kids to learn how to manage their finances, so hopefully they don't make the same mistakes we made.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:37 AM   #17
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FIL (the one remaining parent) knows we are solvent and have no debt but other than that, nothing.

So many other family members are living paycheck-to-paycheck that we have found it best to remain very, very quiet about our financials.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:55 AM   #18
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I knew what my parents had over the years as they openly asked for my advice. And I managed my Mom's assets in her golden years. But they never asked much about my 'number'. I think I mentioned it somewhere along the way and gave them wage info too, but not discussed much.

I don't think it would hurt to discuss your situation with your parents. They are probably curious but hate to ask. I would tell them that although you are doing well, you would like for the nice Christmas checks to continue.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #19
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Interesting dilemma. I don't share my portfolio value with anyone because I am afraid a big number might influence the perceptions of some -- both siblings and nephews/nieces. Parents always worry about their kids so that is a slightly different matter. But a parent might also proudly share that information with others letting the private cat out of the bag. I think it is pretty easy to reassure parents that all is well without passing out specifics.

At some point I will go over the details with my kids but I haven't figured out when. They know we are in good shape but not the details. While we clearly live fairly large in terms of travel, we are careful with frivolous expenses so they probably think we are less well off than the reality. It might be a useful educational feature to understand that we have a big "number" but don't spend lavishly but I am still reluctant to go over the details other than general stuff like 3% SWR, balanced portfolio of index funds, etc.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #20
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While you should be proud of your accomplishments, I'm sure your parents would be to, so I see nothing wrong in sharing that with your parents. Congrats!
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