Updated: Help, Financially Naive here.

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
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Thegirlasha
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Updated: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Thegirlasha »

7/21/2021 Update:
Thanks a lot for all the feedback. It took me about this long to read/learn and finally understand in good detail about personal finance.

I have spent so much time reading, that I can pretty much understand all the cocky talks of my husband.

Can't stand his bragging how he doubles his paycheck every 2 weeks by trading, but it looks like he does.
He as added me as joint account holder in all our accounts and I can see and understand it well now.
I can see the P/L statements and it corroborates doubling the Bi-weekly paychecks. :moneybag
He puts the profits from the trading back into the accounts and buys the ETFs weekly.


We want to aggressively grow our assets, so I suggested moving the entire portfolio to just 2 funds:
VTI (70%) and MGK/SCHG (30%) instead of the 5 schwab funds listed in op.
No bonds for now.
This in anticipation of our pension eligibility safety net.

I need some inputs before making this change.

Thank you for all the great inputs again!


Original Post:
I am here for some advice as I am financially naive wife.

I have been married 10 years and have completely left the burden of managing finances to my husband.
He is solely managing all our savings himself.
He always is very wary of financial advisors/money managers/property managers and ridicules them.
He claims he is financially very savvy.
I became skeptical and I asked for all logins to verify and a summary of our financial picture and he has provided me the following (took 2 weeks, many prompts)
The values check out his summary from the Charles Schwab portal. I am not sure if there are other hidden accounts.


I am doubtful if he is managing assets correctly.
Should we get a financial advisor like some of my friends?

He has a play account ($170k) When I login the total account says 630% appreciation, how is that possible? It seems too good to be true.

Both have equal term Life Insurance of $1.25M/person, he pays $1,200/year combined.
He trashes whole life life insurance/agents and annuity/agents, I believe in having a whole life insurance/annuity, am I not correct?

We don't have 529s for kids, he says we will pay from brokerage accounts, if they go to college!

Need help and pointers to rectify situation.

Our financial summary:
Combined annual income: $215K
I'm 36, husband 37, 2 kids, we both work full time.

Summary my husband provided:
Combined Financials: $1.47M
Emergency & HSA Funds:$85k (all cash)
457 Accounts: $807k (VINIX, FXAIX, JLGMX(20%), FSMDX (10%))
Brokerage#1: $350k (IVV, SCHB, SCHF, SCHD, SCHA, SCHE)
Brokerage#2: $160k (100s of items here, not sure what they are, many stocks) (630% appreciation? - raises flags)
Physical Gold bars: $75k (sealed bars - Credit Suisse, RCM, Perth Mint), stores in bank locker.


Debts: $467k
$370K @ 2.25% mortgage
$80k @ 4.5% mortgage (rental property)
$8K @ 0% APR credit card
$9k @ 3.5% private student loan
Not sure if there are other hidden debts, he says none, we have no other to my knowledge.

Home Equity: $485k
Primary: $275k equity
Rental: $210k equity
Last edited by Thegirlasha on Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:40 pm, edited 8 times in total.
runner3081
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by runner3081 »

Solve your marriage and trust issues, then figure out the financials.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by BolderBoy »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 6:21 pm... I believe in having a whole life insurance/annuity, am I not correct?
You are probably not correct.

To ease your dis-ease you may want to spend some time doing some reading in the forum wiki. Objective: become conversant with the basics of investing - goals, objectives and how-to get where you want to go. Best not to make changes to anything until you have a plan for where you want to go.

As another poster suggested some relationship work may be in order as well.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
etfan
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by etfan »

I've had a very poor experience with "financial advisers". They always just want to sell me stuff and get pushy when I refuse.
Last edited by etfan on Thu May 27, 2021 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tamalak
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Tamalak »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 6:21 pmI am here for some advice as I am financially naive wife.

The values check out his summary from the Charles Schwab portal. I am not sure if there are other hidden accounts.
Why do you suspect hidden accounts?
I am doubtful if he is managing assets correctly.
Again why?
He has a play account ($170k) When I login the total account says 630% appreciation, how is that possible? It seems too good to be true.
It is very possible. "Normal" stock index investing can on average double your money every 10 years or so, but if you make higher risk plays you can make huge amounts of money in a short time. GME was one recent opportunity. Since this is a "play account" one would expect large swings up or down.
He trashes whole life life insurance/agents and annuity/agents, I believe in having a whole life insurance/annuity, am I not correct?
He is entirely correct. Most financial advisors are parasites and especially whole life insurance. You should be happy he is the one managing your financials, you would have quickly been sold a bill of goods by soothing and confident sounding salesmen.
Need help and pointers to rectify situation.
What situation?? You left the managing of financials to him. So he managed your financials.
Summary my husband provided:
The gold bars make me roll my eyes a little, but none of this raises red flags.
chris319
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by chris319 »

He has a play account ($170k) When I login the total account says 630% appreciation, how is that possible? It seems too good to be true.
You logged into the account yourself, so why are you suspicious? What more proof do you need?
The only person you have to please in life is yourself.
HyperCat
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by HyperCat »

630% appreciation is definitely possible over the past year, but I'd chalk it up to gambling/luck more than anything, and I wouldn't plan on it continuing. The broad stock market alone has risen something like 50% from the pandemic lows, so if he bet everything on the riskiest corners of the market (like options or leveraged funds) at the right time, it would've paid off handsomely.

Overall, there are some slightly questionable things listed (mainly the $75k in physical gold), but personal finance is personal. There are decisions I wouldn't make, but nothing stands out as negligent or ridiculous to me.
euphonious
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by euphonious »

Just another opinion here that's more or less in line with what others have already said.

The funds you've listed all seem reasonable, with possibly the exception of the Utilities Fund and SCHD (Schwab US Dividend Equity), but even those aren't terrible. The gold bars seem the most unnecessary out of the assets listed.

630% appreciation from individual stocks is not unreasonable, especially the longer the time frame. Even holding a generic tech ETF like VGT would've grown from $10,000 to $64,000 if held from 2011 to 2021.

You'll find most people here are wary of annuities and whole life insurance, myself included.
Topic Author
Thegirlasha
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Thegirlasha »

Are our savings / investments on par with the standard way things are done?

I know we save a good amount, but where are we at savings for our age group/peer group in the same income range?

Will continuing this route set us up for good retirement?
Tamalak
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Tamalak »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:53 pmAre our savings / investments on par with the standard way things are done?
No: They are superior to the standard way things are done. The standard way things are done is to pay tens of thousands a year to financial parasites to no benefit.
Will continuing this route set us up for good retirement?
[OT relationship comment removed by moderator oldcomputerguy]
Strayshot
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Strayshot »

Looks to me like your husband is doing a great job. Your net worth is on track for age and income.

He is correct, financial advisors, money managers, and property managers all provide the “financial service” of taking your money for minimal value.

He is correct, whole and universal life policies are garbage. You seem to be appropriately insured with term life policies, well done. You do not need expensive annuities either.

He has a “play money” account where he seems to have done well. It is larger than recommended given the total assets, but likely started out much smaller and at a more appropriate size.

I don’t understand the accusatory nature of the post or the lack of trust, but those are not financial issues. My recommendation would be to educate yourself via resources like the wiki, the Bogleheads guides, and other means rather than rely on the opinions of friends for decision making. And thank your spouse for doing a good job with the responsibility of the family finances!
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WarAdmiral
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by WarAdmiral »

If you pull both of yours credit reports - all accounts should be listed there - closed ( last 7 years, i believe ) and currently open.
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Triple digit golfer »

.....
Last edited by Triple digit golfer on Thu May 27, 2021 9:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
runninginvestor
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by runninginvestor »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:53 pm Are our savings / investments on par with the standard way things are done?

I know we save a good amount, but where are we at savings for our age group/peer group in the same income range?

Will continuing this route set us up for good retirement?
Yes. Idk what is standard, but it appears many standard pitfalls have been avoided so I'd say it's better than the standard approach that many get into (hiring advisors, many high fee funds, sold garbage policies, taking on too much risk than can be tolerated). As others have mentioned about the whole life as well as the fun money appears to be separate from retirement and other savings.

Don't worry about your peers, but eyeballing, you guys (your husband) are doing great.

Likely, but it depends on when you want to retire, expenses yearly, and return you expect.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by ResearchMed »

euphonious wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:47 pm Just another opinion here that's more or less in line with what others have already said.

The funds you've listed all seem reasonable, with possibly the exception of the Utilities Fund and SCHD (Schwab US Dividend Equity), but even those aren't terrible. The gold bars seem the most unnecessary out of the assets listed.

630% appreciation from individual stocks is not unreasonable, especially the longer the time frame. Even holding a generic tech ETF like VGT would've grown from $10,000 to $64,000 if held from 2011 to 2021.

You'll find most people here are wary of annuities and whole life insurance, myself included.
Agree in general with everything that has been mentioned, with one exception, about annuities.
(This exception does NOT apply to whole life insurance; "don't even think about it!")

There are several different types of 'annuities', and most should indeed be avoided.
The one that many agree can be useful, and even very useful, are "single payment life annuities" (SPIAs). They are a payment made for what is best used as a lifetime pension, especially now that most employers no longer offer lifetime pensions (income that one cannot outlive).

RM
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Topic Author
Thegirlasha
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Thegirlasha »

Well, I completely trust him and have been over 10 years, just because of the trust, I have given him full access to all my banking and retirement accounts. So, trust is not an issue.

But, the constant CNBC, cocky financial savvy talk, and play accounts raised my concerns

Additional I am just now learning things about personal finance in some detail.
Last edited by Thegirlasha on Thu May 27, 2021 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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climber2020
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by climber2020 »

One approach you may want to consider is to read a few books on the subject to learn some basics.

Two good ones for beginners are Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Bogleheads Guide to Investing.

Once you have some baseline knowledge, you can discuss your investing approach with your spouse.
averagedude
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by averagedude »

I would encourage you to educate yourself on finance and investing before confronting your husband. It really isn't that complicated. Resources like the Wiki pages on this website, a read book or two from Jack Bogle or Taylor Larimore, and understanding the content on the website "the humble dollar" is all you will ever need to get a master's degree on this subject. Yes, you will need to spend 50 to 100 hours to absorb and understand this content. I can assure you that the overwhelming majority of people who take the time to do this and take action on what they learn from doing this, have a fantastic financial life.
pseudoiterative
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by pseudoiterative »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 6:21 pm I am here for some advice as I am financially naive wife.

I became skeptical [...]

I am doubtful if he is managing assets correctly.
I think I partly understand your position, and I don't think the tone of many of the responses in this thread are entirely fair to you or helpful. Your husband believes and says he is financially savvy, but if you are "financially naive" and haven't been keeping an eye on how the family assets are being managed, then how can you know? Some people might truly believe they are very financially savvy, but not actually be.

Personally I don't spot any red flags in the financial information you have shared. It looks reasonably well managed. Things could be a lot worse!

That said, this doesn't mean that your husband will always make "correct" financial decisions in future, but he is probably doing a fair bit better than most people, and quite likely doing better than many people who outsource their asset management to high-fee financial advisors. Even savvy people sometimes fool themselves or make poor decisions due to emotions -- we're all human, and humans are flawed and not great at making decisions.
Thegirlasha wrote: I am just now learning things about personal finance in some detail.
That's a great idea.
Thegirlasha wrote: But, the constant CNBC and play accounts raised my concerns.
Thank you for sharing - in your first post you wrote you became skeptical, and I was wondering what caused that. Constant CNBC and the play account makes sense.

I think the play account is fine as a hobby, as long as husband understands that it is completely different from the long-term accounts holding money earmarked for retirement and/or the children's educations.

What would be a huge red flag to me would be evidence of withdrawing money from family accounts / retirement accounts to fund the play-account (which is likely to be a short-term day-trading hobby or something similar, hence all the CNBC and perhaps lots of talk/attention/excitement from husband about the play account -- this is all quite a different thing to long term investment, and different to how your family's finances are structured outside the play account).

I don't think it would be at all helpful to accuse your husband of using family money to fund his play account if there's no evidence of it having happened.

If you are particularly concerned about the play-money account, maybe you could frame a discussion along the lines of "you are doing a good job of managing the family's long term investments, and you get a lot of fun/enjoyment from your hobby with the play account. but i worry if something went wrong with trades in the play account (a string of bad luck) it might hurt our family's long term financial assets for our children's education / our retirement / etc -- help me understand how we can set things up so that cannot happen".
helloeveryone
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by helloeveryone »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 9:12 pm Well, I completely trust him and have been over 10 years, just because of the trust, I have given him full access to all my banking and retirement accounts. So, trust is not an issue.

But, the constant CNBC, cocky financial savvy talk, and play accounts raised my concerns

Additional I am just now learning things about personal finance in some detail.
I think it’s great you’re learning this stuff. It’s never too late so ignore the posters criticizing the fact you let him manage things solely for ten years. As you learn about this it will help you discuss finances w him amd you could even guide him to BH principles.
euphonious
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by euphonious »

In terms of how to frame a discussion, perhaps you could approach it from the angle that if something unfortunate were to happen to your husband, you'd want to be educated and knowledgeable of his investment decisions so that you'll know how to handle them in his absence.

It's not a pleasant scenario to prepare for, but life is unpredictable and it's always better to be prepared.
GoFish
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by GoFish »

Kudos to the OP. One fewer “I had no idea. How could I be so stupid?” story on the evening news.
pasadena
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by pasadena »

I think the fact that you're trying to educate yourself and get a good picture of your financial situation is great. Everybody should do that. It's your money as much as his, so it's your right *and* responsibility to know what's going on. I'm also a little surprised at your lack of trust/faith or at least, the way it comes across in your post, but hey, that's not the question.

I do recommend that you keep educating yourself, and that you have a good discussion with your husband so he can explain to you what he's doing and why. What his investing philosophy is. Then, keep on top of it. He may keep doing it, but you should stay informed. Make it a couple thing, not a husband thing. Discuss it together.

Maybe pull both your credit reports to see if there is anything you're missing - but bank and brokerage accounts won't show up on those.

Lastly, I also don't see anything shocking in what he's done so far. Yes, the gold bar also got me to roll my eyes a little bit, but I don't think there's any harm here. The only thing I can think of that is missing, is one Roth IRA for each of you (and yes, 529's for the kids if you can get tax advantages out of them).

Re 630% appreciation - depends on the start date for that number. A lot of accounts show the 1-year return, and a year ago we were just getting out of the hole, some stocks have appreciated by multiple of 100's in a year. Maybe he just got lucky :)
Last edited by pasadena on Thu May 27, 2021 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by FrugalInvestor »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 9:12 pm Well, I completely trust him and have been over 10 years, just because of the trust, I have given him full access to all my banking and retirement accounts. So, trust is not an issue.

But, the constant CNBC, cocky financial savvy talk, and play accounts raised my concerns

Additional I am just now learning things about personal finance in some detail.
Congratulations to you for wanting to learn more about personal finance! Having both people in a marriage understand the finances and investments is the best of situations for a number of reasons. Hopefully your husband is open to you learning more. A great way to do that would be to read the Wiki and disussions on specific topics here. You will also find book recommendations in both areas that will provide an abundance of information. If both you and your husband can end up on the same Boglehead page it would put you way ahead of the game. It sounds like he already has you heading generally in the right direction. As others have said, you're way ahead of most people both in what you're doing and what you're not doing. Congratulations for that too!
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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cchrissyy
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by cchrissyy »

welcome!

nothing about the financial picture you laid out alarms me. it isn't set up exactly the way i would have chosen but that's ok!

i am just a little older than you and have kids too. I am very well versed in this stuff, and i just want to echo three of his choices that maybe sound wrong to you are absolutely the same choices I made.
1) term life insurance, not whole life, no annuities
those things may sound responsible if you haven't looked into them deeply, or if you heard a salesperson's pitch, but for the vast majority of people they are a huge mistake. well. some types of annuities become appropriate in retirement depending on the rest of an individual's situation but even if it was appropriate for your needs later, it would be awfully premature at this stage of your life!
2) not using a financial advisor
almost all of them are glorified salespeople who do not have your best interest at heart. their job is to be charming and to make investing sound overwhelmingly complex so that you need them, and then they take 1% of your account balance every year as payment. To make it hard for you to leave and cut off their income stream, they change up your investments to be needlessly complicated so they can point to how you could never manage all this without them.
3) not using a 529 to pay for college
depending on your state there is little or no point to having this account type. saving in a brokerage is fine!
Last edited by cchrissyy on Thu May 27, 2021 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ivgrivchuck
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by ivgrivchuck »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 6:21 pm I am not sure if there are other hidden accounts.
This lack of trust is a relationship issue you need to address.

Based on the overview you provided, it seems that your husband has done a very good job in managing your finances.
40% VTI | 40% VXUS | 13% I-bonds | 7% EE-bonds
chris319
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by chris319 »

"single payment life annuities" (SPIAs)
Single Premium Immediate Annuity
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chris319
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by chris319 »

I can't fault the OP for being vigilant and coming here for input.

As others have said, rather than doing anything nefarious it actually sounds like your husband is a good steward of your finances.

Maybe both of you need to deal with what you perceive as your husband's lack of transparency. This is a communication issue.
The only person you have to please in life is yourself.
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Beensabu
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Beensabu »

pseudoiterative wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 9:33 pm If you are particularly concerned about the play-money account, maybe you could frame a discussion along the lines of "you are doing a good job of managing the family's long term investments, and you get a lot of fun/enjoyment from your hobby with the play account. but i worry if something went wrong with trades in the play account (a string of bad luck) it might hurt our family's long term financial assets for our children's education / our retirement / etc -- help me understand how we can set things up so that cannot happen".
^^^ This. Of the concerns you indicated, this is the only one that may be legitimate. So talk to him about it. Non-confrontationally.

Educate yourself on personal finance and investing. If you still don't understand the decisions he's made after that, ask him to explain them to you so that you are aware of why they were made. Ask him to point you to further resources if need be. He'll probably be relieved that you want to learn. Maybe even happy that he can have conversations with you about something he's interested in. Once you understand, you'll feel much more at peace about how he's handled things and confident in being able to handle them yourself if ever necessary.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:48 pm
climber2020 wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:46 pm
Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 6:21 pm He trashes whole life life insurance/agents and annuity/agents, I believe in having a whole life insurance/annuity, am I not correct?
Whole Life is garbage. If anyone suggests you buy one of those policies, promptly punch them in the face.
That just sounds like my husband.
Perhaps a more thorough explanation may allay your concerns and you can develop an understanding why whole life is garbage.

Life insurance is a tool to protect you from the risks you are unable to pay for directly. There is pure life insurance - term life. You pay a fee and you are insured, but you only collect if you die. Much like home insurance, you only collect if you have a claim. This is the lowest cost policy.

Then we have whole life insurance which is front loaded with expenses and whose cost is about 10x that of term life insurance. In return you build cash value and you are covered for death. Think of whole life insurance as a low yield savings account and term life insurance combined. But you pay a much higher premium because it’s loaded with commissions that are paid to the life insurance agent, the life insurance company charges you fees and the state government tacks on fees too. On top of it, let’s say you have a $100,000 face value whole life policy with a $10,000 cash value that is payable to you if your spouse dies. How much do you get if you make a claim? You get $100,000 and the life insurance company keeps the $10,000 cash value. So all those years you paid premiums that are 6-10x that of term policy and the life insurance company keeps the cash value. Sounds like a bad deal right? Well, it gets worse... if instead you had bought the term policy and used the savings from not having bought whole life and instead invested the money in a mutual fund or ETF that earns 6 percent a year, your money would double every 12 years. Meanwhile that cash value account? It’s growing at half that rate but you can’t even access it. Why is that? To access it you have to borrow the money. The life insurance company will charge you interest to borrow your own money!! Still think whole life is the way to go?

Your husband is a good steward of your resources. Financial advisers? They will detract from your resources. Read the wiki on investing and personal finance. You can control your savings rate, asset allocation and the amount of expenses you pay. You can not control the rate of return and anyone who says they can is lying to you.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
tomsense76
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by tomsense76 »

Good for you trying to understand your family's financial situation and starting that conversation with your husband :beer

As others have said, things generally look fine. It seems like he is doing a good job. Mostly the money is invested in low cost, broadly diversified index funds.

That said, I completely hear where you are coming from. If someone said, they don't need to go to a doctor they are happy to treat themselves with herbs found in their backyard or whatever, one would look at them skeptically. In almost all areas of life it is beneficial to reach out to knowledgeable people in that field for advice (they are experts right?!). Sadly finance is not really one of these. There are way too many charlatans out there that are eager to take your money and put it in their pocket! While many of the things they try to sell "beating the market", "avoiding the crashes", "finding value where others aren't looking" all sound good (and who wouldn't want those things?), the sad fact is time and time again academic literature shows these things not only are these things not achievable, but often one ends up worse off for trying to deviate from the market ( https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/ef ... thesis.asp ).

We could of course pick things apart with this portfolio, but really those would be slight preferences as opposed to any obvious error. For example some have mentioned not liking dividend stocks (SCHD), there is a tilt to small cap (SCHA) which different people like or don't like, whether to hold gold, etc. That said, on this forum you will also find people that like holding some of these things. There are long debates about all of them. This portfolio only has allocated to these in very modest amounts so nothing worrisome here. So again these are preferences not real concerns.

While Bogle cautioned against holding individual stocks and said if you must limit to 5% and no more (the idea being if this does poorly one doesn't add any more to it either), looking at your overall net worth the play account is slightly large that ~8%. Might it be worth trimming this a little bit? Sure. If that doesn't happen right away, will it be an issue? Probably not, but it is a good idea to keep this from becoming a significant portion of the portfolio. By keeping it in taxable he's protected retirement accounts from this risk. Though it is possible your husband has a different way of managing this, an open and honest discussion would likely provide additional insight.

The thing with individual stocks is they have a high dispersion of returns. What does that mean? Well that means they could go through the roof like some of the tech darlings have. It also means they could go straight to 0. So it's not too surprising that some of these could have had large run ups over time. Though certainly the numbers can be jaw dropping when compared to index funds that very slowly grind higher.

If you are serious about becoming more knowledgeable about finances and maybe getting more involved, agree with others that reading up on the wiki here is a good idea. Maybe get one of the recommended books on the wiki and read that. It might also be worth talking to your husband about your interest in learning more about finances and being more involved in family finances (while acknowledging he is doing a good job).
Last edited by tomsense76 on Fri May 28, 2021 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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N10sive
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by N10sive »

To ease your curiosity you could sign up for freecreditreport.com or any other free credit check website and look at your credit.

Depending if he used both you and your husband to obtain credit you could see if there are any other debts than the one you posted.

Like others have said I don't think there are really any red flags except like others stated the 75k in gold. Obviously the board would probably prefer a three fund portfolio especially with the "play account". But if its 170k and up 630%, then it wasn't a lot to begin with compared to your cumulative savings.
stuper1
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by stuper1 »

Without going into details, it looks like your husband is doing a good job. Several people have made disparaging remarks about the gold bars. I have gold stored in my safety deposit box also. I only wish I had as much as you guys have. The price of gold has gone up about five times in the last 20 years. Gold is an alternate form of money that has been around for thousands of years and has come in very handy for many people over that time. It looks like your allocation to gold is about 5.5%, which is entirely reasonable. I have about 18% gold myself, which I'm sure will get plenty of eye rolls around here, but I just want to mention it as a data point to show that "normal" people hold gold, like your husband, and not just a bunch of wacko prepper doomsayers.
26% US large cap, 26% US small-cap value, 15% long-term Treasuries, 15% short-term Treasuries, 18% gold
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by ivgrivchuck »

N10sive wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 12:14 am Like others have said I don't think there are really any red flags except like others stated the 75k in gold.
I wouldn't call it a red flag. Gold is a fine inflation hedge. Some smart people recommend keeping 5% of your net worth in gold. Again, we could have a long discussions about the pros and cons of this approach, but I'd say this small tilt fits in the spectrum of "Bogleheads acceptable investing".
40% VTI | 40% VXUS | 13% I-bonds | 7% EE-bonds
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Fat Tails »

Ask to see the portfolios and net worth of your financial advisor friends and compare them to how your husband has done.

I think your husband has done great with the exception of perhaps keeping you informed. One of the reasons he may not keep you fully informed is to avoid friction with his choices, such as “You have how much of our money in the stock market? You do know that most experts are saying the market is going to crash any day don’t you?”

You really should be more involved and should get more personal finance knowledge yourself in the event that he is not able to continue in this role so that you do not need to pay for finance advice.

Cheers
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by placeholder »

WarAdmiral wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 9:03 pm If you pull both of yours credit reports - all accounts should be listed there - closed ( last 7 years, i believe ) and currently open.
That would work for credit cards but not investment accounts.
Jaymover
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Jaymover »

Good on you realising you need to get involved. As everyone said, do a bit of reading etc to get acquainted with the investing world

Say that you now want to get a feel for your finances and want to work as a team on it (you are contributing 50% at least). Then try and arrange for an hour or two with an INDEPENDANT financial advisor. They will not try to sell you anything, just propose options and hopefully try to steer you out of any risky speculation and toward tried and true wealth accumulation/protection strategies.

PS Im not an advisor but found it helpful paying for a few hours with one which launched my interest in investing. He was honest just presented options etc. I was cynical before hand. Important they are independent though, as otherwise you will be steered towards products giving trailing commissions. Cost about $800.

The FA might just say "all good" which is useful in itself.
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Flyer24 »

Some off-topic comments about the relationship have been deleted. Please stay focused on investments.
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winterfan
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by winterfan »

I think you have a pretty healthy NW for your age. In our family, I handle all the finances and my spouse is completely hands off. Every quarter, I review everything with him whether he likes it or not, lol. I agree with others that you should start by reading the wiki and I think you should be more involved with the process. You can have a quarterly review where you go over everything and look at your balances together. That way you won't be so skeptical about balances. The only think I would worry about a little bit is the play account. Is the return due to wild bets using a margin? Or just savvy/lucky stock picking? It's certainly possible to have that kind of return, but I'd be afraid of having one bad bet and having it disappear. If it were me, I'd take a little off the table. It's more than 10% of your net worth.
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Mr.BB »

If you want to see what's really going on with the possibility of other accounts that he's not showing you just look at your Google searches (on all the computers) if it's always wiped clean he may be hiding something. If you start typing Tr and TRowe Price pops up is one of the searches and you know you don't have an account there; you might actually have one.
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by LadyGeek »

Fat Tails wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 12:47 am Ask to see the portfolios and net worth of your financial advisor friends and compare them to how your husband has done.

I think your husband has done great with the exception of perhaps keeping you informed. One of the reasons he may not keep you fully informed is to avoid friction with his choices, such as “You have how much of our money in the stock market? You do know that most experts are saying the market is going to crash any day don’t you?”

You really should be more involved and should get more personal finance knowledge yourself in the event that he is not able to continue in this role so that you do not need to pay for finance advice.

Cheers
Caution, finances are highly personal and are never, ever shared among friends. That approach will backfire in spades.

Getting more involved starts with educating yourself first. Investing is a life-long skill that's worth learning. It will literally pay for itself several times over.

You can get started here: Getting started

If you have any questions, just ask. Use this thread for all of your questions.

If you don't understand an answer, let us know and we'll try again.

To the members: Please avoid relationship issues and stick to the financial aspects.
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firebirdparts
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by firebirdparts »

Honestly, I wish I was as good an investor is he is. He's right about all the trash talking. 100% right. he's right about life insurance. he's right about saving for college, but it wouldn't hurt anything if you did. There are some minor tax benefits to that. You could introduce some risk to the HSA, but we spend all of ours, and we're healthy. So I'm not in a position to criticize there. I don't even disagree on the gold bars, but I personally don't have any. most of my money is in a corporate 401k and all I can buy in there is mutual funds. It's not wrong to have 5% in gold.

Now, that said, the 630% appreciation in his play account might tell you that he's doing some things that could cause you lose more money than you have in there. Maybe, not definitely. The brokerage has risk control people that look at that, but they might miss something and in the worst case the brokerage might come back and say "You lost more than you had, and now you owe us $X". You're a millionaire, so it's not really all that scary.

You might just ask him if he's using "leverage" (money borrowed from the brokerage) in that account or options or futures.
Last edited by firebirdparts on Fri May 28, 2021 6:51 am, edited 3 times in total.
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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

HyperCat wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:42 pm
Overall, there are some slightly questionable things listed (mainly the $75k in physical gold), but personal finance is personal.
I'm speculating that OP (and probably her husband) are immigrants from a culture where gold is seen as more of a store of value.

For the OP, I would suggest looking at your joint tax returns (assuming MFJ). Those would allay any concerns you might have about 'other' accounts (non tax sheltered ones, at least).
Portfolio: 50% DOGE, 10% SPACs, 10% Frozen OJ futures, 10% MOON ETF, 10% NFTs , 5% FOMO ETF, 5% New Jersey Delis with $100M market cap :)
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by MishkaWorries »

stuper1 wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 12:27 am Without going into details, it looks like your husband is doing a good job. Several people have made disparaging remarks about the gold bars. I have gold stored in my safety deposit box also. I only wish I had as much as you guys have. The price of gold has gone up about five times in the last 20 years. Gold is an alternate form of money that has been around for thousands of years and has come in very handy for many people over that time. It looks like your allocation to gold is about 5.5%, which is entirely reasonable. I have about 18% gold myself, which I'm sure will get plenty of eye rolls around here, but I just want to mention it as a data point to show that "normal" people hold gold, like your husband, and not just a bunch of wacko prepper doomsayers.
I agree, 5% of portfolio in easily accessed good bullion is very reasonable.

Many Americans poo-poo gold but they and their recent family members have never experienced political turmoil, war or economic collapse.

Your husband is doing very good job if managing the family's resources. And you are right to want to learn how to do it too. Marriage is a partnership and both partners should be willing and able to take over any task.

Good luck to you both.
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bertilak
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by bertilak »

Thegirlasha wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 6:21 pm I am doubtful if he is managing assets correctly.
Should we get a financial advisor like some of my friends?
As others have noted, it looks like he is doing a decent job of managing your investments.

About financial advisors, I included the following in instructions to my wife about how she should manage our investments if it coms down to being her responsibility:
  • Do not hire an investment advisor.

    Investment advisors are expensive. Even if their annual charge is a seemingly tiny 1% of total assets (and most charge more), that’s a much larger percentage of annual returns. Taking their advice can be even more expensive: there are many other, hidden, costs that advisors can subject you to, including trading costs, fund loads, high expense ratios, tax losses and more. These costs generally put your money in the investment industry’s pockets, often indirectly and in hard to spot ways.

    Investment advisors are primarily salesmen. This is what they train for, what they have tools for, and what they are good at. They can make any proposal sound good. The investment industry is looking to make money from you, not for you.
I did make an exception for Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service (PAS):
  • Vanguard’s PAS has a cost, but it is safe, effective, convenient, and affordably priced. It costs about one quarter of typical advisor fees and does not subject you to any of those those hidden or indirect costs.

    Vanguard’s PAS will take complete control, letting you be hands-off. You can end this arrangement at any time.
Vanguard's PAS is only available if you are a Vanguard client.

It is hard to get the above points across without sounding like a fanatic but that's because it really is a minefield best avoided instead of trying to navigate through.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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familythriftmd
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by familythriftmd »

Some on here have been down on 529s.
It's not as black and white about 529s, is it? I mean, it's not wrong not to fund them, but it doesn't seem like a problem to fund them, especially since some allow family and friends to contribute. Even if they don't go to college, you can still withdraw it no questions asked, just pay 10% on the gains, right?
Tamalak
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Tamalak »

I am down on 529s. They are too specific for a purpose you can't really predict and they're fairly punishing to withdraw if the kids don't end up needing or wanting them. At a minimum you should only fund them if you're already maxing out ALL other tax advantaged space, and even then, I personally wouldn't.
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Thegirlasha
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Thegirlasha »

Great ideas here

Credit report:
We both have a credit karma free subscription, it checks out,no other debt. Honestly, my husband is a person who does not like debt.

Tax returns:
I usually don't look at them, but he has it shared with me in a online drive, for all years. Looked through them, it looks like he made about $50k in profits from his play account, in addition to our employment earnings. In discussing with him, he said it has put the income way higher to deduct rental property expenses and qualify for some CARES act payouts.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by JoeRetire »

runner3081 wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:02 pm Solve your marriage and trust issues, then figure out the financials.
This.

You may or may not need a financial advisor.
It certainly appears you need a marriage advisor more.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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Thegirlasha
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Re: Help, Financially Naive here.

Post by Thegirlasha »

Additionally, my husband has created a cloud drive with all information needed, in case, something happens to him. This drive has all important details.

He also showed me a small guide/book he is constantly writing/editing called "life lessons". The book has chapters on personal finances from how to access accounts to how to plan things in his absence and everything in between. Seems, its the juice of all his knowledge and experience, that he wants to share.

It also has chapters for our kids on how to navigate school/college and younger adulthood.

He wants to make them into videos where he explains important things to our family and keep it safe in a online private cloud account.

He says, these things will come in handy if some unfortunate situation arises, where he is not present.

He is an engineer by education, so I can see the way he plans things.
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