Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

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jr304898
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Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by jr304898 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:57 am

Hey everyone,

In a bit of a jam here and don't want to rock the boat with my future father in law.

I set up my fiances 403b options around January of last year following simple bogleheads philosophy. She has a 403b and I set her up with two fund Total Market Index Fund and a Total Bond Fund (80, 20 respectively). I came home from work the other day and my fiance tells me her father moved all of her money out of these two funds and into the Fidelity Institutional Money Market Treasury Only Fund. Her explanation was he told her "The market is tanking with no end in sight, you need to protect your losses while you can" My issue with this is my fiance is in late 20sand her timeline till retirement is at least 30 years from now. I feel that she should be taking advantage of the low share prices and the market downturn to buy more shares and that she should be unconcerned with market fluctuations until she is near retirement. She also mentioned that her father wants to play some sort of role in managing her 403 b money in the future as well.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. Is my philosophy wrong about her not worrying about the market downturn now as she is no where near retirement age?

2. If I am correct and her father is giving her bad advice and essentially trying to market time with her 403b, how do I go about telling him that I don't want him managing her 403b anymore if this is how he is going to do it? To add to the issue with telling him this his occupation is a financial manager with a large financial firm
Last edited by jr304898 on Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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obgyn65
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by obgyn65 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:02 am

I would keep quiet on this topic with a future father in law.
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:08 am

I think you are both correct, to a degree. I would explain it like this:

"You dad is correct, that we have more volatility right now and a market correction would not surprise anyone. We might be going through this right now, and what he is doing is trying to preserve your assets into a more stable investment. However, this correction (if it really is one) might be done tomorrow and your stable investment will become a problem in that you will be missing out on gains. No one knows if we are in a correction, at the beginning, at the end, or somewhere else - until we can view this in hindsight.

My philosophy is that if you stay steady in your investment decisions and don't make changes, history has shown this usually does better than trying to move in and out with the changes in attitudes. I've found a balance that I think will work for us <insert your allocation here>."

This is something you will balance and work through in time. You probably won't get everything right the first time, just accept that. Also, I think many people have placed family before money and put up with some weird things that other family members do. Your example / case is probably pretty common, and not something to get too worried about. I'd just be cautious in pushing the issue and try to realize that this process (and hopefully your marriage) is a long game.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:08 am

Has anybody thought of helping her get smart about investing so that she can make her own financial decisions?

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:09 am

I wonder if perhaps a bigger issue is that "her father moved her money" ... when she's 29 years old and apparently living with you instead of with him, and she didn't even discuss it with you first. :?

jimb

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BL
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by BL » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:10 am

Wow! This calls for diplomacy, doesn't it?

I wouldn't speak to him about it. I wouldn't try to change anything until she is actually your wife. You might let girlfriend know your philosophy and that you won't appreciate his involvement after you are married. If this creates a problem, and it may, it is better to find out now. It sounds like two issues: investing philosophy and how much parent interference to expect after marriage (and how she responds to it). Some couples agree to disagree on investing to whatever extent necessary, while others can't.

If he or someone he knows Googles his occupation and finds this thread, your problems may be over before they start.

Edit: Here is a pdf with some good advice for beginners which you could each read and discuss. There is other good advice there besides just investing. (The author, Dr William Bernstein, is on the recommended list here, and I understand he wrote it for his young adult children.) There is merit in being more conservative (here it is suggested 1/3 each of US, International, and bond) until having gone through a severe drop with enough money invested to hurt. Even 50/50 of your suggested funds might be a good compromise.
https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf
Last edited by BL on Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by michaelsieg » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:14 am

It is difficult for an outsider to give you good advice on this one.

I think your plan is better than your father in law's, as time in the market matters more than timing the market.

However, It might be better to" lay low" in your situation - Your wife's risk tolerance might not allow an 80% equity allocation, and you have many more years to come to talk about finances to your future wife - let her decide what she wants to do, because in these volatile markets, if your insist, you have a good chance that in the short run, your strategy looses money and then you will hear "I told you so" for years to come.

It might be a good idea to set up a virtual portfolio on Morningstar and follow your and her approach over time.

Don't forget, sometimes it is a good diversification, if each spouse invests their own retirement money - my wife consistently has beaten me over the past few years (she is essentially all Wellington), but she has never done the "all or nothing" that your future father in law is proposing...

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by siamond » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:16 am

Ok, I'll be the first to say it... Marry the girl... :sharebeer

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by supersharpie » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:18 am

jr304898 wrote:Hey everyone,

In a bit of a jam here and don't want to rock the boat with my future father in law.

I set up my fiances 403b options around January of last year following simple bogleheads philosophy. Her 403b is offered through Fidelity and I set her up with two funds, Spartan Total Market Index Fund and Fidelity Total Bond Fund (80, 20 respectively). I came home from work the other day and my fiance tells me her father moved all of her money out of these two funds and into the Fidelity Institutional Money Market Treasury Only Fund. Her explanation was he told her "The market is tanking with no end in sight, you need to protect your losses while you can" My issue with this is my fiance is 29 years old and her timeline till retirement is at least 30 years from now. I feel that she should be taking advantage of the low share prices and the market downturn to buy more shares and that she should be unconcerned with market fluctuations until she is near retirement. She also mentioned that her father wants to play some sort of role in managing her 403 b money in the future as well.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. Is my philosophy wrong about her not worrying about the market downturn now as she is no where near retirement age?

2. If I am correct and her father is giving her bad advice and essentially trying to market time with her 403b, how do I go about telling him that I don't want him managing her 403b anymore if this is how he is going to do it? To add to the issue with telling him this his occupation is an Executive Director at JPMorgan Asset Management.
While your philosophy about staying in the market during downturns is sound, confronting your future FIL about this matter would be unwise. Your fiance needs to decide how active a role she wants her father to have in the management of her funds.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:18 am

Sell low!

No, wait, … Buy low!

Try this: Tell your fiancé that you personally will make up any losses that she has in her 403(b) after you are married.
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by fposte » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:21 am

jimb_fromATL wrote:I wonder if perhaps a bigger issue is that "her father moved her money" ... when she's 29 years old and apparently living with you instead of with him, and she didn't even discuss it with you first. :?
I'm not sure that's much different from "I set up my fiancée's 403b," though. If she's okay with other people doing her money, she's okay with other people doing her money. I lean toward quantAndHold's idea of encouraging her to make her own financial decisions--though I acknowledge many people really don't want to do that.

If this is emblematic of some larger concern that her father is going to be an inappropriate force in your married life, then have that argument in its own right--don't waste a good argument on the wrong thing :-).

Edit: And definitely agree that you don't confront the FIL. Your fiancée is an adult and can take advice from whom she pleases; if you have problems with that, you talk to her, not to the advice-giver.
Last edited by fposte on Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Longdog » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:22 am

This isn't an investment question; it is a relationship question. I think your fiance has a choice to make - either make you (her future husband) her investment partner or her father. And you have a decision to make - respect her choice and marry her, or don't. Sounds like an important discussion about finances is in your future with your fiance! Best of luck to you.
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by pkcrafter » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:24 am

jr wrote:
I came home from work the other day and my fiance tells me her father moved all of her money out of these two funds and into the Fidelity Institutional Money Market Treasury Only Fund.
Well, that isn't exactly accurate is it. Actually, it was your fiance who moved the money. What were your fiance's holdings before you got her to change them? Is she experienced?

As to the current situation, asset allocation and exposure to risk are different for each individual. Obviously, you and future F-I-L see things very differently, and no doubt your fiance is also different, although it appears she does not have strong feelings about it yet. My own feeling is neither of you are correct, but again that just demonstrates a personal opinion.

I think your best course of action now is to let it go and say nothing further. When you are actually married, you can help your new wife with this decision and by that I mean education that enables her to make good decisions. Once married she should not share her specific investments with her father.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by 10YearPlan » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:32 am

I am coming at this from a woman's perspective...so, take that into consideration.
My first thought was: she needs to figure this out on her own. Even if that means she stumbles a bit at first, that's okay...she's 29, not a child. And since you're not yet married, technically you have no "say" in the matter. At least not yet.

Is she coming to you for advice? I know I have a hard time keeping my unsolicited advice to myself, so if she came to me and told me her plan, I'd counter it with my own advice for sure. More importantly, though, I'd also encourage her to hang out here or another financial forum to get educated for herself. Once she has her financial legs under her, the two of you may not always agree on investment philosophy, but at least you've both made educated decisions.

All that said, I would not discuss directly with the father in law. That's no good on multiple levels. That's for your fiancee to deal with.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:35 am

I think your investing advice is better than FIL, but right now it simply does not matter and you need to be gracious and stay out of it.

Put this on the list of things to discuss (calmly) before marriage. If you cannot come to an agreement, seek professional assistance in working on a compromise. I don't mean a financial advisor. I mean couples counseling.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:36 am

siamond wrote:Ok, I'll be the first to say it... Marry the girl... :sharebeer
Daddy-O is looking out for the best interests of his daughter, as well he should. He may be miffed by his daughters bf , fiance, french toast whatever is making changes to her accounts. He has taken care of her much longer than you!

Once you marry the girl YOU can look out for her best interests. Your finances become one big picture and it will be time for Daddy-O to allow you to take the reigns.

I would be upset if my daughters french toast wanted to make changes to her retirement accounts.
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by cherijoh » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:39 am

jr304898 wrote:Hey everyone,

In a bit of a jam here and don't want to rock the boat with my future father in law.

I set up my fiances 403b options around January of last year following simple bogleheads philosophy. Her 403b is offered through Fidelity and I set her up with two funds, Spartan Total Market Index Fund and Fidelity Total Bond Fund (80, 20 respectively). I came home from work the other day and my fiance tells me her father moved all of her money out of these two funds and into the Fidelity Institutional Money Market Treasury Only Fund. Her explanation was he told her "The market is tanking with no end in sight, you need to protect your losses while you can" My issue with this is my fiance is 29 years old and her timeline till retirement is at least 30 years from now. I feel that she should be taking advantage of the low share prices and the market downturn to buy more shares and that she should be unconcerned with market fluctuations until she is near retirement. She also mentioned that her father wants to play some sort of role in managing her 403 b money in the future as well.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. Is my philosophy wrong about her not worrying about the market downturn now as she is no where near retirement age?

2. If I am correct and her father is giving her bad advice and essentially trying to market time with her 403b, how do I go about telling him that I don't want him managing her 403b anymore if this is how he is going to do it? To add to the issue with telling him this his occupation is an Executive Director at JPMorgan Asset Management.
Yikes - your future father-in-law is butting in where it is none of his business IMO, but I'm not sure that you are going to able to win this argument - especially if he considers himself a professional. Do you know whether daddy butted in and gave her unsolicited advice or if she sought his opinion? In the latter case, she might not feel comfortable with your recommended AA. Any chance you convince her to invest so of the new money into stocks?
michaelsieg wrote: It might be a good idea to set up a virtual portfolio on Morningstar and follow your and her approach over time.
I like this idea. Also, does your fiancé have any interest in learning enough to make her own decisions? There are some easy reads on the Boglehead reading list.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:40 am

If this is emblematic of some larger concern that her father is going to be an inappropriate force in your married life, then have that argument in its own right--don't waste a good argument on the wrong thing :-).
This. Both your fiancee and her father believe that her father is an expert on investing, and that you are not. If you are not comfortable having him involved in her/your investments after you are married, now is the time to have that conversation. It will likely be a shock to both of them to hear about it, so start now, with your fiancee. If she agrees with you that the two of you will manage your funds together without his interference after you are married, she will have to bring it up with her father. If she does not, you have other issues to deal with.
I think your best course of action now is to let it go and say nothing further.
And definitely not this!!! Now is the time to bring it up. Before you are married. Don't assume that once you are married and lay down the law about who is in charge of your marital assets that the two of them will agree. You don't get to make that decision by yourself just because you are her husband. If it's going to be an issue, you both need to find out now and start dealing with it. Actually, you have already found out. So start dealing with it.


As to the specifics of the investment choices. Who knows? Maybe he is right, maybe you are. Certainly no one on this board knows, or we would be counting our piles of money instead of posting on bogleheads. But the point is one of agency - who makes decisions in your marriage, and how?

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:40 am

I agree with those saying that this is between you and your wife to be. If she is inclined to follow her father's advice (or roll over to his interference) on something like this, then either be prepared to live with it or don't marry her. The first step might be a frank discussion about how you two as a couple are going to make financial decisions.

Did he really literally move all her money? It is inappropriate and maybe even illegal for that to be possible. Has she given him a power or attorney over that account?

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:41 am

Another option is, once you are married, is to adjust the asset allocation of other accounts in your names to get back to the desired target. FIL moves to bonds? You move everything else to 100% stocks to get back to your target.

The other thing you might do is to start tracking the performance of the individual accounts. If FIL lags over time due to market timing decisions, that's going to be pretty hard to argue with.

Any discussion about this should be between you and your future bride. I would not discuss the topic with your FIL.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:43 am

You to FIL: "That's really good thinking to avoid losses until the market bottoms. I'm not good with figuring out where the bottom is. Could you tell me how we know where that is when the money should go back in the market?".

There ya go
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:44 am

I still want to know what is going on with either the OP "setting her up" or the father "moving" the money. This woman is the owner of the 403b. On what authority is anyone else taking over these investments? Are these people actually getting online access to the account?

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Stupendous » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:48 am

How long until you get married? I hope it isn't any time soon because this is a large issue that should be resolved beforehand.

I have a different perspective on marriage, but I think those saying you have no say in the matter until married are wrong because you are in a committed, LTR already. Also, your potential FIL may still meddle in your partner's finances while married given this behavior exists currently. You can try educating your partner on investing and see what approach she thinks is right but she may have no interest in investing and will always take another's advice. I would ask what she plans on doing once you are married and if she wants to continue listening to her father. I think a 29 year old still having daddy manage her money is a huge red flag to me and a sign of what marriage will be like.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:52 am

quantAndHold wrote:Has anybody thought of helping her get smart about investing so that she can make her own financial decisions?
This would be the best solution!

Unfortunately in my experience, many people men and woman both, do not find learning about the world of investing very interesting and would rather deligate the task. This may involve paying a FA, relying on advice of a significant other ( good or bad) or simply just not investing at all.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Watty » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:55 am

One option would be to pass the decision about her asset allocation off to a third party and have her use a target date retirment fund and let the fund managers pick the asset allocation.
quantAndHold wrote:Has anybody thought of helping her get smart about investing so that she can make her own financial decisions?
+1

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by sambb » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:56 am

Its very possible that your father in law is correct and the market will go down alot. It might not be wrong advice. I dont know and no one does. Yes the market tends to go up over time, and yes one can;t time the market. We also have had a bull run for 5years and seen a lot of volatility. Why not just slowly dollar cost average in, and let everyone get comfortable? I dont understand the whole "jump totally in before we are mentally comfortable" mentality that i often see here, and it seems as if there is a level of comfort that needs to be acheived first. Its not about education in my opinion, it is about comfort level changing one's investments. I also hope that my daughters' future husbands dont try to influence their investment decisions on the money they earned at work.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by JW-Retired » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:03 am

jr304898,
pkcrafter wrote:jr wrote:
I came home from work the other day and my fiance tells me her father moved all of her money out of these two funds and into the Fidelity Institutional Money Market Treasury Only Fund.
Well, that isn't exactly accurate is it. Actually, it was your fiance who moved the money. What were your fiance's holdings before you got her to change them? Is she experienced?
It's the Facebook generation so maybe it is accurate? Did she give you her account password too jr304898?

Anyway, let this alone at least until you are married. Even then, it's going to be delicate keeping your family assets away from your "Executive Director at JPMorgan Asset Management" father-in-law. :shock:

Perhaps you manage your 401k as a Boglehead and she manages her 401k the JPMorgan way, and we see who does best over the next decade.

You really need to get your wife on board with this. Good luck.
JW
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by whatistiaa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:08 am

I won't get into the relationship dynamics as a lot of analysis and speculation has already been said.

But one possibility not yet mentioned is that maybe the FIL indeed knows much more about investing than the OP or the typical Boglehead. While the Boglehead philosophy is great for those that do not have 80 hrs a week to devote to study of the markets and a team of PhDs working for them, it's possible that the FIL does. Passive index investing a la Bogle is great for riding the coattails of the economy, but there must be people who actually make investment decisions, and we have to consider the possibility that the FIL is one of those people.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding :sharebeer

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:09 am

StevieG72 wrote:
siamond wrote:Ok, I'll be the first to say it... Marry the girl... :sharebeer
Daddy-O is looking out for the best interests of his daughter, as well he should. He may be miffed by his daughters bf , fiance, french toast whatever is making changes to her accounts. He has taken care of her much longer than you!

Once you marry the girl YOU can look out for her best interests. Your finances become one big picture and it will be time for Daddy-O to allow you to take the reigns.

I would be upset if my daughters french toast wanted to make changes to her retirement accounts.
Um, WHO should "take the reigns"?

Is the fiancée under some sort of guardianship... perhaps she's intellectually disabled?

If not, then she is presumably a competent ADULT human.

Where is SHE in all of this?

The first conversation to have with her is to "suggest" that whoever's advice she takes, SHE is the one taking it, and SHE should be "moving the money", not reporting back *after* someone else already did.
An add-on question is whether FIL-to-be really did "move her money" without even arranging this with her in advance... "Surprise!"

Then... there is the "how shall WE manage our marital assets", or will you both be keeping the assets separate (at least for now). This isn't unheard of for dual professional couples, at least at the start (and longer, if that's their preference).
Keeping track of how each one's portfolio is "doing" over time makes sense, and far beyond any "competition" angle. Presumably you both hope to retire together someday, etc.

Finally, there is the significant complication that FIL-to-be is a presumably esteemed senior member of the financial "advice" profession, whereas OP is not. This is much trickier than if he was an expert in some other field.
To the uninitiated, he would naturally seem to be the "better" choice, and that's in addition to "caring about his daughter", even if that was manifested in this case by inappropriately playing with her money (IF this indeed was done without her advance knowledge/permission).

This may take some delicacy (with fiancée). And patience.

RM
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:13 am

BTW, you should probably edit out dad's position and put in a general description. It makes you very identifiable.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by tomd37 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:15 am

I think the OP has to clarify the original post as to how access was gained by both people. Did she make the recent changes herself in her account, or did she authorize her husband-to-be to make the changes by him accessing the account, or did her father access her account without her permission and make the changes. The latter scares me personally.

When my daughter was younger and inexperienced I assisted her in developing and implementing a financial plan. Now in her mid-40s she has gained a great deal of financial knowledge and handles all sorts of financial matters with a good knowledge base and I am very proud of her. She has used that knowledge gained to help improve her new husband's financial knowledge and position.

I have had access to her retirement accounts in past years, but have never and would not ever consider accessing the account and making changes unless asked to do so.
Tom D.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:18 am

Can anyone comment on the possible legal hazard to the daughter and to the assets if indeed account security on this account has been compromised?

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:19 am

First things first: until you are married, how your fiancee handles her money is none of your business. Sure, you should have a conversation about money, your goals, and your investment philosophy, but speaking to your future father-in-law at this point is not your place. Rather than just telling your fiancee what to do, encourage her to learn about investing on her own so that she can make her own decision. Point her here and she'll get excellent advice. The data is clear, but unless a person is open to it and seeks it out, they'll probably never get on-board with the boglehead philosophy.

Just tread veeeery carefully given her father's profession.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by JD » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:20 am

obgyn65 wrote:I would keep quiet on this topic with a future father in law.
+1

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:24 am

She's twenty-nine years old. What are you and her father doing messing around in her account. She should run immediately to the computer and change her password, and not tell it to either of you.

Then she can listen to both of you if she wants to, read, and make up her own mind.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Toons » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:31 am

She is being ill advised by her Father. :happy
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Eric » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:31 am

Another option is to do offsetting transactions of your own. When your fiancee sells, you buy. That works only to the limit of your assets, but may at least moderate the impact of her trading on your combined finances.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by powermega » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:47 am

The simple truth is this: when you're 30 years old with 30+ years of investing ahead of you, the market movements over the next 1, 2, 6 or 12 months are irrelevant in the big picture. You are right, and your future FIL is wrong. In fact, your future FIL could even be correct about the market falling in the short term and still be wrong about the general idea of market timing and a 30 year old moving 100% into cash.

That said, I would not make a battle about this right now. Ask him if he will say when he thinks your fiancé should get back into the market. Turn this around on him and make him call the market bottom too. What he did is not a good idea for his daughter, but until you're married you don't have the standing to make a big deal out of this. After you are married, you and your spouse should make your decisions together, and if your future FIL wants to interfere with your joint finances after you're married, that is extremely inappropriate. I also very much agree with a poster above who said that your fiancé needs to learn about us some of this herself and not let others make these decisions for her. The two of you really need to be a team about this.
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:48 am

Your thinking here is completely wrong. If she chooses to have her father be involved in her finances, that's between him and her, and will never be any business of yours. And why should her father possibly care what you want or don't want? On a scale of importance, where his daughter is the most important thing to him, you'll always fall somewhere close to that earthworm he stepped on this morning - and he'll remind you of that if you start telling him what you do or don't want him being involved in. Apparently he's had a career working in asset management, and you want him to accept that you know more than he does because... you read something on the internet? One of the difficult concepts for some people on the forum to accept is that while we have all sorts of academic theory to back up what we believe, we may in fact be proven wrong in terms of results over far longer than a single investing lifetime. You'll never be able to prove that he's wrong and you're right, at least not until it won't matter any longer.

Setting up an account for her? Seriously? Basically you're saying that it's ok with you if somebody does all her thinking for her, as long as it's you or somebody who completely agrees with you.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by EddyB » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:52 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Just tread veeeery carefully given her father's profession.
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by siamond » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:59 am

Geez, people... Both the dad and the OP obviously care deeply about said fiancé, and they want to help. Maybe one is wrong and the other is right, but give them a break, they want to help somebody they love, and there is nothing wrong with that. The situation is difficult enough, making the OP feel bad about trying to help his girlfriend is just not appropriate (nor justified).

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by nedsaid » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:06 pm

jr304898 wrote:Hey everyone,

In a bit of a jam here and don't want to rock the boat with my future father in law.

I set up my fiances 403b options around January of last year following simple bogleheads philosophy. Her 403b is offered through Fidelity and I set her up with two funds, Spartan Total Market Index Fund and Fidelity Total Bond Fund (80, 20 respectively). I came home from work the other day and my fiance tells me her father moved all of her money out of these two funds and into the Fidelity Institutional Money Market Treasury Only Fund. Her explanation was he told her "The market is tanking with no end in sight, you need to protect your losses while you can" My issue with this is my fiance is 29 years old and her timeline till retirement is at least 30 years from now. I feel that she should be taking advantage of the low share prices and the market downturn to buy more shares and that she should be unconcerned with market fluctuations until she is near retirement. She also mentioned that her father wants to play some sort of role in managing her 403 b money in the future as well.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. Is my philosophy wrong about her not worrying about the market downturn now as she is no where near retirement age?

Nedsaid: You are 100% correct. The Wall Street experts have no better insight to future market movements than you do. I remember Peter Lynch mentioning in his books that every market downturn was a surprise to him. Lynch was the manager of the Fidelity Magellan fund and was a legend on Wall Street. If he doesn't know, your future father-in-law wont know either.

2. If I am correct and her father is giving her bad advice and essentially trying to market time with her 403b, how do I go about telling him that I don't want him managing her 403b anymore if this is how he is going to do it? To add to the issue with telling him this his occupation is an Executive Director at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Nedsaid: This is a tricky issue. There is just no way you will win with this, how is a relatively novice investor going to argue with someone who has a high position with a respected Investment Company? Just bite your tongue. It may boil down to your new wife managing her money her way and you managing your money your way. I hope this isn't an indication that your father-in-law will be meddling in other aspects of your marriage. Probably not. He probably feels he was looking after his daughter. I am also fairly certain he is no big fan of John Bogle. A discussion of investment philosophy with him would probably not go well.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by SpringMan » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:06 pm

mouses wrote:She's twenty-nine years old. What are you and her father doing messing around in her account. She should run immediately to the computer and change her password, and not tell it to either of you.

Then she can listen to both of you if she wants to, read, and make up her own mind.
+1. I don't see how the FIL could make any changes to his daughter's account unless she provided her password. Maybe the FIL advised her and she did the change which is not what the OP states. The FIL may have a negative idea on the market in general, not everybody endorses buying stocks. It is not his right to jam his preset opinions down his daughter's throat. Ditto for the OP, they are not married yet. She has not told him how to invest his money has she. Once married, it is appropriate to discuss their investments and the FIL should butt out IMO. There is no way for the FIL to know how they manage their money unless she gives up the passwords.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:08 pm

An option is to throw everything in with the father in law and take it for what it is. Harmony may pay benefits.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by mhalley » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:16 pm

It would be one thing if fiancée had an auto mechanic as a father, but op is never going to convince future fil that bogle investing is the correct thing to do. Ffil probably makes big bucks doing this for a living. What has op done? Read a book and a forum wiki. Perhaps fil is one of the few that can do market timing and active investing. But until fil makes an extremely wrong call, op suffers from powdered butt syndrome by proxy.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by snowman » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:17 pm

OP, did your fiance really give online login password to both you and her father? It sure reads like this. I'd like to offer my honest opinion to you but will restrain from doing so until you clarify that first.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by uclalien » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:25 pm

JW-Retired wrote:Anyway, let this alone at least until you are married. Even then, it's going to be delicate keeping your family assets away from your "Executive Director at JPMorgan Asset Management" father-in-law. :shock:

Perhaps you manage your 401k as a Boglehead and she manages her 401k the JPMorgan way, and we see who does best over the next decade.
I had to jump in because this is absolutely horrific advice. The OP doesn't need to, and shouldn't, confront his future FIL. But he should definitely discuss it with his future wife and life-partner.

They say that financial issues are the cause of most divorces. Ignoring the issue until after marriage is simply irresponsible.

To compound the bad advice, tracking and comparing investment results is not productive in any way. At best, it could lead to a big "I told you so" at some point in the future (from either the OP, his bride, or the FIL).

My wife pointed out something that is perhaps more concerning. Either her father has complete control of her account and is acting without her input/permission, or he has talked with his daughter and knows that the OP made changes to her portfolio, then decided to "fix his mistakes." Both of these scenarios are very concerning.

In the first scenario, his fiancee probably isn't being educated or providing her own input. In the second scenario, the FIL probably thinks the OP is an idiot.

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by Fallible » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:31 pm

Agree with those who say this is more a relationship than money issue and resolving it is mainly up to your fiancé. It's her money at this point and she should use the advice she's getting from you and her father to then make up her own mind. Does she understand that?
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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by corysold » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:39 pm

What would I do?

Buy a nice bottle of scotch. Take it over to FIL's house. Open it and ask him for all of his sage investing advice. Shake your head approvingly. Add in a few "Wow, that is an amazing idea." Ask him to look over your portfolio as well.

Sure, you underperform by a few points a year for the next 25 years. But, when the FIL kicks the bucket and passes down the inheritance, you get the last laugh and put it all in a few index funds and retire early.

Let him invest your small amount now so you can invest his large amount later.

*This only applies if FIL is as well off as his job title would imply (and I'd agree I'd get that removed from all posts ASAP, I can't imagine there are many people with that job title running around)

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Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:39 pm

Maybe the OP can parlay this into monetary gifts from future FIL over the coming years. Every time the 403(b) loses money compared to total markets, just remind him of his decision and get him to top up some accounts. Of course, if his decisions work out better, then the account will already have made more money. See? It is Win! Win! for you.

As in, "Well, Dad, I tracked what would have happened in Bunnykins' 403(b). If we had left it in Spartan funds, then we'd be $14,939 richer this year. Oh, well, what can one do?"
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