Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Market

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Letsrun
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Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Market

Post by Letsrun »

My girlfriend and I are 23 years old. We recently began contributing to our 401ks to get the 6% company match while we agressively pay down student loans. While my girlfriend was a finance major and works for a bank she is not particulary interested in investing like I am. When we were picking from the 25 or so different options to allocate our 401k contributions to I explained the concept of index funds, showed a video from this website on the benefits of index funds vs actively managed funds, and had her read excerpts of Bogleheads Guide to Investing and Common Sense on Mutual Funds. After my convincing she decided to put 85% of her contributions into Vanguard Institutional Index and 15% into Vanguard Total International Stock Index. The rest of the options in our 401k are actively managed funds, our company's stock, a managed bond fund, and a money market.

Several weeks later she mentioned to her Dad that she had begun contributing to her 401k. This is where the problem started. He advised her that she should put 100% of her contributions into the money market and he would tell her when the market was high or low and based on his judgement when it was "low" he will tell her when to move some of money into one of these funds so she didn't buy into the market when it was "high". Basically like many people he believes that he has an idea when the market his high or low and can time the market.

This was several months ago and even though I completely disagreed I realized there was very little money at stake and decided it wasn't worth fighting the battle right now. Our relationship a gradually progressed and we are both fairly certain we will get engaged within the next year so at some point I need to address the issue. Last night we were discussing investing and the topic of market timing came up and I tried to explain without ever bringing up her father that no one can time the market. I tried to explain that if anyone could time the market they would quickly be extremely wealthy. I also tried to explain that Warren Buffett advocates investing constently every month for for the average investor rather than trying to time the market.

How would the Bogleheads out there approach this situtation. What are the best articles/videos that I can show her to convey the fact that she most likely end up with less money if she follows her Dad's advice and tries to time the market based on his gut feel of whether the market is high or low? This is a somewhat delicate situation and I am looking for the clearest way to explain that her Dad's guidance is deeply flawed.
Muchtolearn
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Muchtolearn »

OP, I am impressed at your interest and knowledge at such a young age. Before you get involved with her father, you need to have your facts right. You have Warren Buffet pegged completely wrong. He does not invest every month. In fact he is a pure market timer. he only invests when he believes a business is under-priced. My daughter is 25. Should a boyfriend of her's tell me what she should be doing, he/she would have the pleasure of paying for the wedding and I would be very clear in my will and other ways of giving that this guy was not to ever get a red cent of mine. What I am suggesting is that you stay out of the way of your girlfriend and her father. Good luck.
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Noobvestor
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Noobvestor »

To answer your question: give her a few choice books from the reading list on this forum to help her along. This also takes the burden off of you in terms of 'convincing' her explicitly.

To not answer your question: 100% stocks is risky in terms of capitulation, diversification, etc... - Ben Graham says 75% is a good maximum, and I agree - and 85% US is risky in terms of concentration (so much more than the US share of the global market). I mention this in part because there's a reasonable chance she'll confuse ex-post returns with ex-ante strategies if/when the market takes a bit of a dive sooner or later, during a period when her father happened to claim the market was high. You are then stuck trying to explain that your strategy was good, but it's hard when results superficially imply otherwise.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by LadyGeek »

Have her Dad watch the videos and read the wiki. Getting Started You've given him some ideas to think about. That's all you could do, and should do, at this point in time.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by rmelvey »

I would try to just leave it alone. She can only lose what she is going to contribute, you will still be okay. Besides, timing the market is total crap shoot. She might even come out ahead.

It's not worth the strain on your relationship.
markpa
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by markpa »

at some point in the future, her father won't be getting her 401k statements mailed to his house , won't be doing her taxes, etc.

there is always the possibility of her thanking him for the good advice but not actually allocating the account his way.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by yobria »

Yes, congrats on mastering the concepts at such a young age. Market timing is risky business, as is getting married at 24. I probably wouldn't worry about it for now. It will likely be years before her 401k is worth a signficant sum, and if she's so easily swayed by her father's suggestion, chances are she can be swayed back to the right way of thinking by then.
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Letsrun
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Letsrun »

Thanks for the advice everyone. I will probably avoid the situation until we move forward in the next year or two.
Muchtolearn wrote:OP, I am impressed at your interest and knowledge at such a young age. Before you get involved with her father, you need to have your facts right. You have Warren Buffet pegged completely wrong. He does not invest every month. In fact he is a pure market timer. he only invests when he believes a business is under-priced. My daughter is 25. Should a boyfriend of her's tell me what she should be doing, he/she would have the pleasure of paying for the wedding and I would be very clear in my will and other ways of giving that this guy was not to ever get a red cent of mine. What I am suggesting is that you stay out of the way of your girlfriend and her father. Good luck.

Much to Learn: I am well aware Warren Buffet does not believe in Effiecient Markets and Index Funds for Berkshire Hathaway otherwise his company wouldn't be worth 200 Billion and he wouldn't be one of the richest people in the world. What I am speaking of is his advice to "average investors" such as myself. The quote below shows Buffett clearly does not advocate market timing for average investors. This is what I was trying to explain.

Question: "What advice would you give to someone who is not a professional investor? Where should they put their money?"

Answer from Buffett: "Well, if they're not going to be an active investor - and very few should try to do that - then they should just stay with index funds. Any low-cost index fund. And they should buy it over time. They're not going to be able to pick the right price and the right time. What they want to do is avoid the wrong price and wrong stock. You just make sure you own a piece of American business, and you don't buy all at one time."
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by mickeyd »

How would the Bogleheads out there approach this situtation. What are the best articles/videos that I can show her
I would stay out of this family feud and follow what LadyGeek has recommended.
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runner9
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by runner9 »

I agree with most of the above. Same as I'm doing with my widowed MIL: making sure she's clear on what I believe and why I think it's best. That's all. If she wants to take my advice or not is totally up to her.
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Kevin21
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Kevin21 »

I am 25 years old and faced this exact situation. My girlfriend was being pulled in two different directions, between me and her dad. She would get easily flustered by finance, and would become stressed thinking about what to do with her money. Her father took this as an opportunity to tell her which stocks to pick... $4k here, $4k there... ahhhhh!!!!

I was persistent in explaining the benefits and simplicity of index funds to her, and she eventually came to my side. Luckily, her 401k was in Vanguard, so it was easier to get my points across.

Her dad was also very persistent in explaining his point of view, which became troublesome "Just invest in gold..." was the mantra of 2010. "Just invest in dividends..." was the answer in 2011. He is a very smart guy, and I would not want to ruin this relationship, so I would stay vague but firm around my opinions on finance. Whenever he would ask me "So where are you putting your money these days...", I would say -- "Well, my nest egg is broadly diversified in low cost index funds..." and then talk about my 5% play money. This was usually enough to get him off my case, even though I have heard "Well, you'll never get rich that way" a few times (we shall see about that, sir).

Even though we disagree, he came to see that I do understand finance... He would eventually include me in discussions, and came to understand my point of view, and my girlfriends desire to keep things as simple as possible and not have to keep track of individual stocks on a day to day basis. One time he became a little sensitive and remarked, "You know, I've only been doing this for 40 years..." to which I wanted to respond "Yea, and my dog could have gotten rich in the 90s", but I actually replied "We are really lucky to have you as a resource, and to be able to draw on your insight... but gf doesn't want to have to track her money on a day to day basis, and we think it best to play it conservative in index funds, etc."

We eventually got it to the point that, her nest egg/401k would be conservative, and about 10% of her portfolio is tracked to his opinions, but not in individual stocks -- sector ETFs only. Not perfect, but I pushed back as much as I could, without jeopardizing the relationship. Who knows, maybe he'll make her some money... if not, I have "I told you so" card at my disposal.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Khanmots »

Might be worth talking with her about the potential for her relationship with her dad becoming seriously stressed if his advice winds up being wrong and costing her a lot of money. How would she feel if that happened?

Also, it might not be helpful to bring this up (not knowing her at all), but you should probably think about it for yourself... her dad is essentially vicariously gambling with someone else's (her) money.

To me the primary concern/problem isn't what her investment strategy is, it's that she's let someone else assume control in a way that could ruin a relationship that's presumably important to her. If that is corrected, then the how to invest question can be tackled completely separately . But trying to do both at once is going to come off as "your dad is wrong" which you really don't want to do.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by wingnutty »

This was several months ago and even though I completely disagreed I realized there was very little money at stake and decided it wasn't worth fighting the battle right now.
I think you answered your own questions there. Wait until you are married to interject yourself into her finances. You are the boyfriend and it really is not your place to get in the middle of this right now. Nothing wrong with educating her, but you need to draw the line at pushing' her to do anything. Continue to discuss low-cost, diversified funds, but don't get between her and her dad or you'll have a hell of a mess to deal with if/after you guys are married.

Don't even bring up investing around her father, unless you want to be 'outside the circle' as they say in the Meet the Parents movie.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Fallible »

Your advice is excellent, but it would help to know why your girlfriend favors her dad's advice. What is she saying, what's her reaction, how well does she understand what both of you are saying? Is she feeling caught in the middle, trying to please you both? Might that change if you decide to marry? Does she feel that you understand and sympathize with her situation? Perhaps she'd be willing to add her feelings to your post.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by cheese_breath »

Even if I believed in market timing (which I don’t) I would first check to see if my 401K had restrictions on frequent trading. Trade too often and your girlfriend could find herself locked into the funds her father wants her to get out of and unable to purchase the funds he wants her to buy.
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Letsrun
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Letsrun »

Fallible wrote:Your advice is excellent, but it would help to know why your girlfriend favors her dad's advice. What is she saying, what's her reaction, how well does she understand what both of you are saying? Is she feeling caught in the middle, trying to please you both? Might that change if you decide to marry? Does she feel that you understand and sympathize with her situation? Perhaps she'd be willing to add her feelings to your post.
It isn't so much that she favors her dad's advice it is that when he says "honey you don't want to be buying when the market is high you should just put your contributions into the money market and when it is low I will tell you and you can then invest" it sounds good on paper to her. She dosen't push hard enough to question her Dad on how exactly he will measure when the market is high or low because he has been successful in his career and she deeply respects his advice on other issues such as education/career advice and other personal finance issues such as saving/debt reduction.

This is why I was asking for some reputable literature that would present a different opinion to her Dad's that individuals can sense when the market is high or low.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by livesoft »

Somewhere out there is a guy who is a trader who has a girlfriend whose dad is a Boglehead. Dad has told daughter to invest in index funds, while boyfriend is telling her to wait in a money market fund until he says it is OK to buy in.
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Muchtolearn
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Muchtolearn »

Letsrun wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone. I will probably avoid the situation until we move forward in the next year or two.
Muchtolearn wrote:OP, I am impressed at your interest and knowledge at such a young age. Before you get involved with her father, you need to have your facts right. You have Warren Buffet pegged completely wrong. He does not invest every month. In fact he is a pure market timer. he only invests when he believes a business is under-priced. My daughter is 25. Should a boyfriend of her's tell me what she should be doing, he/she would have the pleasure of paying for the wedding and I would be very clear in my will and other ways of giving that this guy was not to ever get a red cent of mine. What I am suggesting is that you stay out of the way of your girlfriend and her father. Good luck.

Much to Learn: I am well aware Warren Buffet does not believe in Effiecient Markets and Index Funds for Berkshire Hathaway otherwise his company wouldn't be worth 200 Billion and he wouldn't be one of the richest people in the world. What I am speaking of is his advice to "average investors" such as myself. The quote below shows Buffett clearly does not advocate market timing for average investors. This is what I was trying to explain.

Question: "What advice would you give to someone who is not a professional investor? Where should they put their money?"

Answer from Buffett: "Well, if they're not going to be an active investor - and very few should try to do that - then they should just stay with index funds. Any low-cost index fund. And they should buy it over time. They're not going to be able to pick the right price and the right time. What they want to do is avoid the wrong price and wrong stock. You just make sure you own a piece of American business, and you don't buy all at one time."

Buffet's job is as CEO of his company. He has no involvement in individual retail investing. Nor, from what I can tell, any reason to care about individual investors. I would view anything he says about that as self-serving. He needs a whole bunch of money in index funds by others so he can pick the wheat from the chaff. Call me cynical if you like.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by tibbitts »

Not having any actual relationship at all with her yet, you have no business getting involved in her investments.

However, it would be reasonable for her to ask her father to teach her - and maybe you - the algorithm he uses for timing. Fathers generally want to teach their kids how to do things for themselves, not do things for them, because fathers know they won't always be around. So that should be something that appeals to him.

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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by market timer »

Muchtolearn wrote:My daughter is 25. Should a boyfriend of her's tell me what she should be doing, he/she would have the pleasure of paying for the wedding and I would be very clear in my will and other ways of giving that this guy was not to ever get a red cent of mine. What I am suggesting is that you stay out of the way of your girlfriend and her father. Good luck.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by mptfan »

wingnutty wrote:Wait until you are married to interject yourself into her finances. You are the boyfriend and it really is not your place to get in the middle of this right now. Nothing wrong with educating her, but you need to draw the line at pushing' her to do anything. Continue to discuss low-cost, diversified funds, but don't get between her and her dad or you'll have a hell of a mess to deal with if/after you guys are married.

Don't even bring up investing around her father, unless you want to be 'outside the circle' as they say in the Meet the Parents movie.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by pkcrafter »

A 100% stock allocation might be just as bad as trying to time for the inexperienced investor.

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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Lumpr »

Letsrun wrote: . . . that no one can time the market. . . .
Based on this statement alone, I'd suggest you study more before giving anyone investing advice (particularly if that person is your potential wife and your advice is contrary to her father's).
campy2010
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by campy2010 »

With the small amount your girlfriend is investing annually -- 12% of a $40-50,000/yr salary -- I would venture to say that whether she invests in the market every paycheck or lump sums quarterly or bi-annually on a really bad day doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters more is what funds she puts the money into once it does enter the market. And even then, the gains/losses on the money is small in comparison to the actual contributions themselves. So, if I were you, I wouldn't worry so much. I think you might be taking the Bogleheads mantra about market timing a little too seriously.

Anyway, if your girlfriend is a normal 20-something, she probably won't want her father dictating to her when and where to invest as she get older and more knowledgeable about investing. Eventually, she will develop her own opinions, so keep chatting with her about your investing style. She will realize that there is more than one way to do things, and hopefully she will learn enough to invest independently as time goes on.

Finally, I really enjoy chatting with my father about investing, even if we disagree about some things. He probably wouldn't warm too quickly to a boyfriend I brought home who impeded this part of our relationship. And I would hope any guy I was interested in wouldn't want to negatively impact an important aspect of my relationship with my dad. So, tread carefully....he's been in her life for 20+ years longer than you have.
Last edited by campy2010 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
donall
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by donall »

Leave it alone, as it may seem you are criticizing your future FIL. Revisit this after five years and then compare results.
mickens16
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by mickens16 »

As others have stated, leave it alone for the time being. I would prepare for the investing talk for after you two get married. At that time I would think you would have as much of a right to make suggestions as her father. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by cheese_breath »

mickens16 wrote: I would prepare for the investing talk for after you two get married.
I would suggest the talk should happen in increments over time and before marriage. (In fact you're already doing this.) The big talk when you reach an agreement doesn't have to happen yet, but it probably should before engagement Disagreements over money and investment philosophy can take a big toll on a marriage. You both want to be on the same page by then.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Nukeboilermaker »

This is a perk to marrying a woman who's family would think they could retire on a 15k settlement... You don't have these kind of problems. I suggest just telling her that she can do what she wants and what she feels the most comfortable with. Ask her what seems to most common sense and has the least amount of risk. I wouldn't start a war with the dad.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by NoVa Lurker »

OP - Just to add to the other (very consistent) replies above:

1. You are correct as to substance, of course.

2. But you are only correct as to probability. Market timing certainly CAN work -- and in fact, it did for me, kind of, when I kept money out of the stock market (and in cash) starting in summer 2007, and invested a big lump sum in March 2009. Okay, I was just lucky -- I don't expect to ever repeat that -- but I just started to feel like the market was ridiculous by summer 2007, and then I felt like the bottom hit in March 2009. [Then I sold a lot of that stock in summer 2010 to buy a house, which missed another run up, but what can you do?]

3. How would you feel if your girlfriend's father lucked out and absolutely nailed his market timing, but your girlfriend had followed your advice instead?

4. Keep in mind, this is her 401(k), not yours - and as others pointed out, "girlfriend" doesn't mean a whole lot, financially....

5. If things are going to continue to get more serious with your girlfriend, your relationship with her father is a lot more important than the probability of your girlfriend making some extra retirement money by following your (more correct) approach.

Good luck, in any case -- experiences like this help add wisdom to your academic understanding, when it comes to investing advice.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by cheese_breath »

Nukeboilermaker wrote:This is a perk to marrying a woman who's family would think they could retire on a 15k settlement... You don't have these kind of problems. I suggest just telling her that she can do what she wants and what she feels the most comfortable with. Ask her what seems to most common sense and has the least amount of risk. I wouldn't start a war with the dad.
Just to clarify, when I wrote you should both be on the same page when you married I didn't mean to imply that you had to win her over to you side. The important thing is you both agree on how these things are to be handled. Maybe that agreement says you manage your 401K as you want, and she manages hers as she wants.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by ilmartello »

cheese_breath wrote:
mickens16 wrote: I would prepare for the investing talk for after you two get married.
I would suggest the talk should happen in increments over time and before marriage. (In fact you're already doing this.) The big talk when you reach an agreement doesn't have to happen yet, but it probably should before engagement Disagreements over money and investment philosophy can take a big toll on a marriage. You both want to be on the same page by then.
I actually think the general advice you are receiving isn't correct. If you think is a serious relationship that may end up in engagement, you need to see what your differences are. If money management is important to you, and your potential father in law is going to be butting in all the time, it's something that needs to be addressed. How do you know he won't interject his opinion into other matters like preschools, where you should live, etc?
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by mptfan »

ilmartello wrote:How do you know he won't interject his opinion into other matters like preschools, where you should live, etc?
You ask. But your point is well taken. I think it depends somewhat on how long they have been together, and how seriously they are contemplating marriage.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by TA_Lurker »

OP you need to realize this isn't a financial issue, it's a relationship issue. Two things:

1) Don't argue with her father. Odds are you aren't going to change his mind. Market Timing is like addiction, the person in question has to be willing to accept help before help will be effective. So don't argue with him about investing. All you can do is lower his opinion of you.

2) Do judge your girlfriend and do judge yourself. This is an umbilical cord test. Is your girlfriend excited by the responsibility of having her own life? Is she ready to look at her parents as her own peers or does she still want their assistance navigating the world. How do you feel about the role of parents in your own life? What kind of relationship do you want with a potential mate vis-a-vis your potential in-laws?

I apologize if my last point comes across too harsh. I'm just speaking from experience (about myself) pursuing a partner who is from a culture where children, no matter their age, have to jump at the orders of their parents, while I consider it the duty of parents to raise children to have an equal say in the world. As you can no doubt guess this has become an issue! :twisted:

IF your girlfriend wants financial separation from her father there's always the time trusted method of listening to everything the guy says and then acting on none of his advice. It doesn't hurt to listen politely. Hopefully she has a way to cut off the paper trail so he can't track her affairs.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by staythecourse »

Interesting comments thus far. I think a lot of these comment are full of biasm to what position the commenter is living their own lives. The father age folks are giving the "butt out outsider that is my daughter" and the younger crowd is giving the "that is my future spouse and I have an equal right to speak on their behalf" views.

Either is wrong.

To the OP your GF seems lost when it comes to investing (no surprise you guys are only 25). If she really does have a finance background and higher education then she should be swayed by data and NOT by "my daddy of BF told me so". Give her the data and let her decide what she thinks of active investing because in the end that is all that matters. The BHB, BSB, Vanguard balanced fund study, etc... should be sufficient to prove your point. You, her Dad, or Buffett himself won't matter staying the course in the next bear market unless she understands why she is investing the way she choses just like it is for the rest of us.

I do agree that this is going to be a much BIGGER issue then where to put your 401k money in the future. If your going to be serious and possibly be considering marriage I would start talking with her about the fact you and her have to be on the same page on financial matters. As mentioned MANY, MANY marriages hit speed bumps because folks don't discuss these issue prior to getting married.

BTW, when I read these threads I am very happy my lovely wife just admits she doesn't want to know or care what is going on with the finances as long as I don't lose it, which is hard to do with a Boglehead approach.

Good luck.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by mrpotatoheadsays »

How would the Bogleheads out there approach this situtation?
Dump her. In-laws will ruin your relationship/marriage.

...and Warren Buffett does NOT time the market. Sheeesh...
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bottlecap
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by bottlecap »

Simple solutuion. Every time the market goes up, mention that your 401k went up x%. Say nothing when the market goes down. She doesn't watch the market anyway, so your 1 or 2% days will pique her interest eventually.

JT
ilmartello
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by ilmartello »

staythecourse wrote:Interesting comments thus far. I think a lot of these comment are full of biasm to what position the commenter is living their own lives. The father age folks are giving the "butt out outsider that is my daughter" and the younger crowd is giving the "that is my future spouse and I have an equal right to speak on their behalf" views.




I do agree that this is going to be a much BIGGER issue then where to put your 401k money in the future. If your going to be serious and possibly be considering marriage I would start talking with her about the fact you and her have to be on the same page on financial matters. As mentioned MANY, MANY marriages hit speed bumps because folks don't discuss these issue prior to getting married.



Good luck.
Go and read those two parts of what you posted. The people who who are in the "future spouse so tell dad to butt out" crowd are merely pointing out this is a potential red flag if dad is someone who has strong opinions and may want to get involved in these kind of decisions repeatedly. Especially since the OP is someone who posts on bogleheads, which means by default he has strong opinions on finances.

Last thought, OP didn't specify how long he has had this girlfriend. If it's less than 6 months, I would perhaps find OP's argument with potential father in law to be presumptuous. If longer than 6 months , I am on his side.

On a lighter note, since someone brought up Meet the Parents, OP may want to take a cue from the ending of Meet the Parents circa the 1 minute link in this video.

http://youtu.be/a5SoIFm-SrQ?hd=1&t=1m
Last edited by ilmartello on Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
staythecourse
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by staythecourse »

mrpotatoheadsays wrote:
How would the Bogleheads out there approach this situtation?
Dump her. In-laws will ruin your relationship/marriage.

...and Warren Buffett does NOT time the market. Sheeesh...
Absolutely correct (regarding the second point :D ).

Mr. Buffett is an active investor through security selection and NOT market timing. He is famous for saying the best period of time to hold a stock is forever. He picks companies that have huge moats and rides them.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by TA_Lurker »

staythecourse wrote:Interesting comments thus far. I think a lot of these comment are full of biasm to what position the commenter is living their own lives. The father age folks are giving the "butt out outsider that is my daughter" and the younger crowd is giving the "that is my future spouse and I have an equal right to speak on their behalf" views.
+1
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by TA_Lurker »

staythecourse wrote:Interesting comments thus far. I think a lot of these comment are full of biasm to what position the commenter is living their own lives. The father age folks are giving the "butt out outsider that is my daughter" and the younger crowd is giving the "that is my future spouse and I have an equal right to speak on their behalf" views.
+1
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by investor »

Muchtolearn wrote:....... My daughter is 25. Should a boyfriend of her's tell me what she should be doing, he/she would have the pleasure of paying for the wedding and I would be very clear in my will and other ways of giving that this guy was not to ever get a red cent of mine. What I am suggesting is that you stay out of the way of your girlfriend and her father. Good luck.


+2

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staythecourse
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by staythecourse »

ilmartello wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Interesting comments thus far. I think a lot of these comment are full of biasm to what position the commenter is living their own lives. The father age folks are giving the "butt out outsider that is my daughter" and the younger crowd is giving the "that is my future spouse and I have an equal right to speak on their behalf" views.




I do agree that this is going to be a much BIGGER issue then where to put your 401k money in the future. If your going to be serious and possibly be considering marriage I would start talking with her about the fact you and her have to be on the same page on financial matters. As mentioned MANY, MANY marriages hit speed bumps because folks don't discuss these issue prior to getting married.



Good luck.
Go and read those two parts of what you posted. The people who who are in the "future spouse so tell dad to butt out" crowd are merely pointing out this is a potential red flag if dad is someone who has strong opinions and may want to get involved in these kind of decisions repeatedly. Especially since the OP is someone who posts on bogleheads, which means by default he has strong opinions on finances.

Last thought, OP didn't specify how long he has had this girlfriend. If it's less than 6 months, I would perhaps find OP's argument with potential father in law to be presumptuous. If longer than 6 months , I am on his side.

On a lighter note, since someone brought up Meet the Parents, OP may want to take a cue from the ending of Meet the Parents circa the 1 minute link in this video.

http://youtu.be/a5SoIFm-SrQ?hd=1&t=1m
The OP stated he was considering getting engaged within the next year so he himself is saying they are going to be getting serious.

Once again folks are throwing their own biasm into the fray. Who cares if they know each other less or greater then 6 months in order to get serious. That is an arbitrary number you decided in your own head as an important time period. The truth is there is not set number and anybody who can see outside of their own views would understand that. Someone else will say 3 months and someone else will say 12 months. The reason?? Their own personal lives form what they see as "accepatable".

I proposed to my wife less then 6 months does that mean I am not serious with her according to your definition??

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
ilmartello
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by ilmartello »

staythecourse wrote:
ilmartello wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Interesting comments thus far. I think a lot of these comment are full of biasm to what position the commenter is living their own lives. The father age folks are giving the "butt out outsider that is my daughter" and the younger crowd is giving the "that is my future spouse and I have an equal right to speak on their behalf" views.




I do agree that this is going to be a much BIGGER issue then where to put your 401k money in the future. If your going to be serious and possibly be considering marriage I would start talking with her about the fact you and her have to be on the same page on financial matters. As mentioned MANY, MANY marriages hit speed bumps because folks don't discuss these issue prior to getting married.



Good luck.
Go and read those two parts of what you posted. The people who who are in the "future spouse so tell dad to butt out" crowd are merely pointing out this is a potential red flag if dad is someone who has strong opinions and may want to get involved in these kind of decisions repeatedly. Especially since the OP is someone who posts on bogleheads, which means by default he has strong opinions on finances.

Last thought, OP didn't specify how long he has had this girlfriend. If it's less than 6 months, I would perhaps find OP's argument with potential father in law to be presumptuous. If longer than 6 months , I am on his side.

On a lighter note, since someone brought up Meet the Parents, OP may want to take a cue from the ending of Meet the Parents circa the 1 minute link in this video.

http://youtu.be/a5SoIFm-SrQ?hd=1&t=1m
The OP stated he was considering getting engaged within the next year so he himself is saying they are going to be getting serious.

Once again folks are throwing their own biasm into the fray. Who cares if they know each other less or greater then 6 months in order to get serious. That is an arbitrary number you decided in your own head as an important time period. The truth is there is not set number and anybody who can see outside of their own views would understand that. Someone else will say 3 months and someone else will say 12 months. The reason?? Their own personal lives form what they see as "accepatable".

I proposed to my wife less then 6 months does that mean I am not serious with her according to your definition??

Good luck.
6 months was arbitrary, but that wasn't the crux of my argument. And if you want to be picky "biasism" isn't a word. My point was your post wasn't internally consistent and that this argument can have serious ramifications if he establish potential FIL is someone who wants to stick his nose into everything.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by FrugalInvestor »

I don't believe that Warren Buffet can be compared to a typical investor attempting to time the market. He not only has a great deal more insight into whether a company is undervalued but if he decides to purchase it he also has significant influence over how that value is realized.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by billjohnson »

Letsrun wrote:Several weeks later she mentioned to her Dad that she had begun contributing to her 401k. This is where the problem started. He advised her that she should put 100% of her contributions into the money market and he would tell her when the market was high or low. How would the Bogleheads out there approach this situation?
Tell the old geezer there's a new sheriff in town! <sarcasm> Unless he's a member of congress, in which case please PM me as soon as he tells your girlfriend to buy/sell. <not sarcasm>
Last edited by billjohnson on Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Gardner »

investor wrote:
Muchtolearn wrote:....... My daughter is 25. Should a boyfriend of her's tell me what she should be doing, he/she would have the pleasure of paying for the wedding and I would be very clear in my will and other ways of giving that this guy was not to ever get a red cent of mine. What I am suggesting is that you stay out of the way of your girlfriend and her father. Good luck.


+2

investor
-1

What does it really mean when a father says to a potential future spouse, "Stay out of the way of me and my [25-year-old] girl." If he's got his dander up about investment advice, imagine how he's going to feel when this punk marries her, buys a house with her, maybe makes babies with her, and then has the nerve not to bring his daughter back for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Serious boundary issues. I don't know whether you should have the talk specifically about finances or not, but you should try to figure out whether she's going to be able to leave her family and start a new family with you. We started having these discussions before we were married. I don't think there's some magic switch that flips when you are back from the honeymoon and all the sudden dad says, "Well, she's yours now, you guys have to decide for yourselves how to invest your money." Don't ignore it.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by pingo »

Gardner wrote:I don't think there's some magic switch that flips when you are back from the honeymoon and all the sudden...
Just using the above statement to point out that I think that there is a switch that flips, at least about some things. In the case of my wife and I, each of our flip switchings have been trivial over the years, thank goodness! (She said she liked my music...)

It is also my observation (not only from personal experience), that often the one whose switch flips honestly has no idea it'll happen, and beforehand sincerely believes it won't be an issue. It's just that all of a sudden they realize they don't feel the same or they don't feel the way they thought they would.

Some of the advice in this thread has even been for the OP to knowingly wait until married in order to flip a switch on her (and FIL's) expectations regarding finances, justifying more heavy-handedness by virtue of the marriage contract.

Finances are big part of marriage. Also, child rearing. Also, religion, religious differences, or the lack of religion (it's common for couples believe they've developed an understanding as to the role of religion in the relationship, but it is not uncommon for at least one to flip with when the first child is born). Also, the relationship with in-laws.

I seem to recall finances, children and religion have the greatest influence on the success or failure of a marriage. I'd wager that in-laws also have their place on the list.
Last edited by pingo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Shireman28
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by Shireman28 »

Get engaged before starting to dispense financial advise, would be my recommendation. Give her a investing book if she's a reader.

You're not losing much in the meantime.

Don't ever talk to the father about finances.

Life is short, keep the drama small.
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by sscritic »

staythecourse wrote: Once again folks are throwing their own biasm into the fray.
I would like to know what race has to do with this; I think it best to keep race out of our financial discussions.
biasm
the practice of being "biased"; a combination of "racism" and "bias".
Or are you talking about Bear In A Slot Machine?
Last edited by sscritic on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
AndroAsc
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Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

Post by AndroAsc »

I've briefly scrolled through the posts, and the consensus was don't talk about this to her or her dad.

Am I missing something here? If I had a girlfriend who was under the influence of a market timing dad, that is going to be a SERIOUS STRAIN on the long-term relationship. What happens if after marriage, she and her dad wants to market time? Even if you keep finances separate (I do indexing, you do your nonsense), you will (I would think) be responsible for covering her ass when her portfolio is not enough at retirement! Unless you want to live a well-off life during retirement and have your wife live only on her SS payouts.

And to extend this argument even further, if your girlfriend is so simple minded to be influenced by her dad, what's to stop her from listening to her dad about everything under the sun? Maybe after marriage her dad will start to think your job sucks, the house you live in is too small, you guys don't splurge enough on vacation, you guys save too much for retirement, etc...

I think this issue needs to be ironed out ASAP and definitely before marriage. By the time you get married it's too late. You've already signed the contract. Divorces are expensive too... have you considered that?
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