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-   -   Do family and friends ask for your advice? (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/do-family-and-friends-ask-for-your-advice-65710.html)

David1961 03-18-2013 03:27 PM

Do family and friends ask for your advice?
 
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.

Meadbh 03-18-2013 03:34 PM

The good thing is that they obviously envy respect your ability to ER. I agree that there is nothing good to gain by advocating a specific product or firm. Inevitably, you will be persona non grata when it doesn't do well. It would be best to simply suggest useful resources such as books and websites. You might not want to recommend this forum if you want to remain anonymous to your relatives!

heeyy_joe 03-18-2013 03:41 PM

Not since the last time ten times I was asked for my advice, gave it, and then they did the opposite of the advice and it blew up in their face.

Now I list a few possible choices and say "you figure it out". This tactic has lowered my stress level considerably.

Surewhitey 03-18-2013 04:44 PM

I have a few friends who I tell them the moves I make the day I do. They do the same and we sometimes ask if "they'd buy" based on what they see in company "A". We all know it's for informational purposes and don't hold anyone accountable.

I do not put the gun to anyone's head to buy anything...I also do not mention a "very risky" investment if I choose to do so. Don't want them to take high risk with me.

braumeister 03-18-2013 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David1961 (Post 1297065)
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.

I like to talk about the risk/reward ratio, and tell them I'm a low risk kind of person so I'm the wrong one to ask about the best return.

Accidental Retiree 03-18-2013 05:32 PM

Yes, they do ask -- and then they ignore me, anyway! :facepalm:

Calico 03-18-2013 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David1961 (Post 1297065)
...... 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.....

It sounds to me like they are looking for a quick fix, or a magic bullet, and aren't interested in taking the slow-and-steady, LBYM route. When my family used to ask me how I will be able to retire in a few years, since I earn less than all of them, I pointed out that I have been living on half of what I earn for the last 20 years, and that my mortgage will be paid off in three years, and I pay cash for my cars, which I drive into the ground. I told them about low-fee index funds, and they didn't want to hear it. Their eyes glazed over about the time I got to "giving up the cable" and "taking lunch to work every day instead of eating out."

Surprisingly, they almost never ask me anymore. :laugh:

When they do, I throw the words "delayed gratification" into the conversation, and they very quickly change the subject.

Good luck with your family.

FIREd 03-18-2013 05:56 PM

Yes friends and family have asked in the past. When they ask about the stock market they are not trying to learn anything for the most part. They just want a hot tip. If the tip turns out badly, I'm sure I would be blamed for it. So I respectfully refuse to give any specifics. But I do offer an opinion if they ask where to find the best rates on CDs, which debt to pay first, etc...

RunningBum 03-18-2013 06:00 PM

I think my siblings think I'm still doing stock options and a bunch of tech stocks, which is how I mostly made my money, and are intimidated, even though I've mentioned that I'm mostly Vanguard index funds now. My brother in law did ask some specific questions on his 401K and took my advice. He had been jumping on the hottest funds from the last 3 months/year, and I explained about not buying high and selling low. My son does follow specific advice. I found I couldn't explain the rationale to him very well in a conversation so I've also put together a word doc explaining mutual funds, AA, fees, etc, along with my advice and how what I've steered him to fits that advice. I don't know how well he's read and understood it but he said he appreciated it.

jollystomper 03-18-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calico (Post 1297147)
It sounds to me like they are looking for a quick fix, or a magic bullet, and aren't interested in taking the slow-and-steady, LBYM route. When my family used to ask me how I will be able to retire in a few years, since I earn less than all of them, I pointed out that I have been living on half of what I earn for the last 20 years, and that my mortgage will be paid off in three years, and I pay cash for my cars, which I drive into the ground. I told them about low-fee index funds, and they didn't want to hear it. Their eyes glazed over about the time I got to "giving up the cable" and "taking lunch to work every day instead of eating out."

+1
These days I simply stay mostly silent on the matter... for many of the ones who have asked, my best response would be "the things DW and I started doing many years ago is why we will have the option to retire soon", and it is too late for them. However, it is easier to discuss this with younger folks, should they ask.

obgyn65 03-18-2013 06:20 PM

To answer the OP's question, my answer is 'no'. No one knows about my financial position. This is the only place where I discuss it.

foxfirev5 03-18-2013 06:25 PM

I keep a low profile about my situation. Not many would have a clue that I could pull the plug on working at any time. Therefore I would not be someone to ask for investing advice.
However some recent lunch discussions at work have me concerned. A growing number of coworkers are bragging about investment returns. I have not heard this in the past 6 years. Now I'm worried.

UserRequested 03-18-2013 06:52 PM

Yes - and its usually the ones who have a "little bit of spare cash" and only want a hot stock tip But they are also the ones who can ill afford the loss if the investment turns bad.

scrabbler1 03-19-2013 07:17 AM

I am happy to say I don't get hit with these requests for advice much. Only my best friend, one about whom I have written in threads in this forum, asks me advice. He received a large inheritance last year when his remaining parent (mother) died suddenly. I have been helping him a lot with investing this big windfall and put him in many of the same funds I am in. He has this broker friend whose advice I have little respect for but I was able to keep nearly all of his inheritance out of that broker's hands, thankfully.

Some of my square dance friends and I discuss investments, as they know I am an early retiree (and they are older than me). The topic rarely arises with any family members.

easysurfer 03-19-2013 06:15 PM

Every so often the topic comes up. But when I tell them I pretty much just follow indexes they seem to get bored. :laugh:

CoolChange 03-19-2013 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easysurfer (Post 1297780)
Every so often the topic comes up. But when I tell them I pretty much just follow indexes they seem to get bored. :laugh:

For me, on the rare occasions someone knows enough about my situation to ask, the LBYM (currently, way below) discussion is what really kills the conversation.

Funny [at least to me] side note: Mom (a child of the Depression) thinks that I spend entirely too freely while my professional peers tend to think that I am a cheap bast...excessively thrifty.

easysurfer 03-19-2013 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolChange (Post 1297812)
For me, on the rare occasions someone knows enough about my situation to ask, the LBYM (currently, way below) discussion is what really kills the conversation.

Funny [at least to me] side note: Mom (a child of the Depression) thinks that I spend entirely too freely while my professional peers tend to think that I am a cheap bast...excessively thrifty.

As the saying goes, "Everything is relative". :)

My dad was more of the spending, splurging type and my mom was ore of the LBYM type. For me it's always interesting to see which siblings' styles are more like dad or mom.

growing_older 03-19-2013 09:16 PM

No. I LBYM so much they mostly seem to think I have nothing anyway. The few occasions I've had genuine conversations and gave some advice, I was ignored anyway so I'm happy with my low profile.

Animorph 03-19-2013 09:46 PM

I'm sure many people feel that investing is so hard they need to hire a professional. That's what the brokers have been telling them all their lives. And we don't sound like brokers when we don't hand out hot stock tips, buy and sell now, double your money quick advice. I'm not surprised they won't listen to us. Eventually "common knowledge" will catch up with us. 401k's in particular have made pretty decent progress since I started mine, with target date funds as defaults and some kind of advice available.

traineeinvestor 03-19-2013 10:09 PM

Happily, I live in a culture where LBYM is the norm rather than the exception. Many of my friends and colleagues will often discuss investment ideas openly.

Immediate family is pretty similar - I discuss investments with my father and brother on a regular basis (my sister less so). More distant family are kept more distant for a reason :facepalm:


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