Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

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Longdog
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Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Longdog » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:06 am

Inspired by a segment on "On the Money", in honor of father's day, the question was asked:
"What was the best financial advice your father ever gave you?" I thought this would be a fun topic for Bogleheads today. Please share your thoughts!

I'll go first (since I started the topic :D )

The best advice my father ever gave me was when I was a teenager with my first job, to contribute to an IRA! There were also similar life lessons along the way of saving a lot, not going into debt, paying cash for a car. Sound familiar? :wink:

Not from my dad, but from a manager early in my career who I looked up to as a mentor/father figure, was to "live below your means while you are young so you can live above your means while you are old!"
Steve

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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:16 am

Pay off the mortgage as soon as you can. But remember that life is short. Never hesitate to buy a new suit so that your family will be proud of you, take them out to dinner, or take them on a trip.

AddingUp
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by AddingUp » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:30 am

My father's actions always spoke louder than his words. He was the epitome of stealth wealth. I had no idea how much money he had until he passed away, but I always knew from the way he conducted himself that he had great financial confidence and assurance. Now I know why.

racy
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by racy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:04 am

My father was a farmer. He never spoke to me about money. Rather, I was taught the values of work, living within one's means and taking responsibility. These served me well in my life and career, and thus financially.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by indexonlyplease » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:11 am

Nothing on stock market finances. It was about saving your money, no debt and the best would be 15 yr mortgage on my first house. He knew nothing about the market and never invested..

So I would say the 15 year mortgage with led me to pay off my house early. 10 years. Then on the other houses I was able to pay cash. I can only guess at what I have saved over the years in interest.

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bottlecap
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by bottlecap » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:28 am

My Dad was not a believer in the stock market, owing to early failed attempts at investing in individual stocks that were supposed to be safe.

So he did not really provide investing advice.

However, his best financial advice when I first got a job was to max out my 401k so that I would never miss the money.

The idea was to immediately adjust your lifestyle while young and single so for the rest of your life it felt as if you never made that money at all. And you never missed it.

It worked.

JT

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Frisco Kid » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:29 am

My father also did not believe in the stock market so no investing advice provided. His two pearls of financial wisdom were 1) Save a penny for a rainy day and 2) Cash is king. He led a life right out of The Millionaire Next Door and provided well for his family. Extremely frugal and lived below his means.

2pedals
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by 2pedals » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:40 am

I remember one day as young boy he called the telephone company from a pay phone to report a telephone line that was down. He used a quarter reported the down line to the telephone company after a storm. He asked the operator for the quarter back. When the operator said she could not do that. He asked to speak with her manager. The manager argued with him about the getting the quarter back. My father insisted that he was doing them a service and expected his money back. After about 15 minutes of bickering back and forth a quarter jumped out the the pay telephone. I was amazed the pay telephone could remotely return his money back, I never saw that happen before. I asked him how he knew they would give him his money back. He said don't let anybody scam you out of your money.

frugalecon
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by frugalecon » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:44 am

My dad was not a good investor, because he approached it too much with emotion rather than rationality. But he was very good on LBYM, though I am the only one of his three children who took the lesson to heart. (Only son, have two sisters, both of whom earn a lot...and spend a lot.) He often said "people get in trouble when they live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget."

He died a few months ago, and I miss him terribly. We became very good friends in adulthood. It was hard to deliver a eulogy at his funeral, but i was glad I could honor him. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by jebmke » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:58 am

Longdog wrote:The best advice my father ever gave me was when I was a teenager with my first job, to contribute to an IRA!
My first W2 job was at age 16. IRAs didn't exist then. But when I turned 17 the next year, he handed me the income tax form and instructions and said "read the instructions carefully." Good advice which I still follow.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:59 am

My father, and my wife's, grew up on farms during the depression. The best financial advice we received from them was simply their modest lifestyles and consistent savings habits while we were growing up. Their habits enabled them to put all of their children through college with no financial aid, and it has enabled us to do the same for our children.

blackcat4
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by blackcat4 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:00 am

From my dad, who I miss dearly:
1. Always have a marketable skill.
2. "It's hard to just make five cents."
3. Educate yourself by reading books on investing.
4. Trust no one.
5. If you have a little extra money, put it in General Electric, because if GE goes down, the whole country has gone to 'heck'.

Gropes & Ray
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Gropes & Ray » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:13 am

Buy a house you can afford on one salary.

Save money for retirement from your first paycheck.

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SimpleGift
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by SimpleGift » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:14 am

My father raised beef cattle and therefore thought he knew a thing or two about agriculture commodities. One year in the 1970s, he thought pork bellies were a screaming buy, so he purchased a few futures contracts purely to speculate on their price (he had no intention of actually taking delivery of the pork bellies). He turned out be right. He sold the contracts before the delivery date at a huge profit, and he bought my mother an expensive Mercedes Benz automobile.

Several years later, emboldened by his previous success, he again bought some pork belly futures contracts on speculation — but this time he lost his shirt. He didn’t talk to much about it, but the family knew things hadn't gone so well, because we had to sell the Mercedes and some other ranch equipment.

Unspoken lesson learned: Speculative investments are best left to the professional speculators.
Cordially, Todd

goldendad
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by goldendad » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:21 am

My father told me that if you spend less than you earn you will never have money problems. Simple advice he is still practicing at 93.

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:25 am

If you need it buy it, if you want it, wait until there's a sale. If you have it already, make it last a little longer, then use it, rinse and repeat until you need it, then buy it. :)
Always save something, if you live beneath your means, you'll always have options.
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fishandgolf
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:32 am

My father rarely spoke about money......but did teach us about life and values. One of the best.......

Honesty isn't the best policy...........It's the only policy

Dottie57
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:33 am

My dad's financial gift was an education and Jane Bryant Quin's financial book. Also his example of figuring out how to retire by doing long hand calcs. Excel would have helped him so much.

The best gift was his love for us kids, his pride in us , and his example of generosity and honesty.

MnD
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by MnD » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:41 am

"I never missed spending the money I saved or donated to charity"
"Choose a career you enjoy and are good at, but make sure it's something you can pay the bills with".

Doubleeagle4me
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Doubleeagle4me » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:46 am

Best advice my father gave me was not necessarily financial. When I graduated college he told me that if I don't like my job quit. He had the same job for 30 years and always regretted it. This advice served me well as I ended up with my own business.
Also I learned from him that passing on opportunities is not beneficial. He turned down many investment opportunities as too risky.

core4portfolio
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by core4portfolio » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:54 am

My father dont understood in stock market. So except ESPP he never invested in stocks.
If you want something and if you have money then buy it..money is for buying things.
He showed me how to live frugal and never talked me on finance
I just learned and still learning by seeing him :)
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by RadAudit » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:59 am

Money is only good for keeping score.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course.

columbia
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by columbia » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:17 am

  • Take care of your teeth
    Stay away from drugs
    Avoid credit card debt
    Buy Vanguard index funds

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1210sda
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by 1210sda » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:25 am

My best financial advice from my Dad was not spoken, but conveyed by means of his lifestyle.

He taught me, by example, frugality and sensibility in spending.

Has served me well throughout my life.

Thanks Dad!

1210

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Tycoon
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Tycoon » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:27 am

I was too smart to listen. :oops:
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KlingKlang
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by KlingKlang » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:31 am

This is more of a cautionary tale.

My father was the world champion in the 'Penny Wise Pound Foolish' category. He drove WV Beetles because they were the cheapest car he could find and tried to repair them himself (he wasn't very good at it). The steering damper on one of them failed. First he tried to duct tape it together. Second he tried to patch it with a soup can and epoxy. Next ordered a universal replacement from a catalog that didn't fit. Finally went to the dealer and bought the correct replacement part, but by this time he had done so much damage to the mounting brackets that it wouldn't work and he ruined that one too. Ultimately had to have the dealer replace all of the brackets and the damper. He ended up spending five times what it would have cost to simply take it in and get it repaired plus many hours of his own time. Not to mention weeks spent driving the car with the steering wheel banging back and forth.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by indexonlyplease » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:58 am

Now thats funny. I am sure we all have funny stories on dad.

I think my best would be when my dad's boss gave him a used Cadillac. He did not like the color of the car. So, he bought a gallon of black paint and painted the car with a brush. You would think after getting the car free, he would go out and spend the money on a new paint job.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:09 am

The value of an education...
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by cherijoh » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:14 am

My dad wasn't financially sophisticated - when he retired he asked me for investing advice. :happy

But he modeled good Boglehead behavior. Both my parents grew up during the Great Depression and believed in living within your means. Dad was a proficient gardener and my mom canned the produce he grew. So we ate very well but on a budget. Eating out was for a special occasion. I recall as a child visiting the department store in August to buy new school clothes AND to put a winter coat on layaway. We had the same TV for years and didn't get a microwave until they came down in price.

Dad took a better paying job when I was in junior high, but we didn't move to a fancier house or otherwise change the family lifestyle. At that point we were living below our means, although I didn't realize it at the time.

In addition, savings was a given. When I got my first job (babysitting for the neighbors' kids) the first thing we did was open a passbook savings account at the Savings & Loan. When I went to college I had spending money of my own and wasn't reliant on the "Bank of Mom and Dad". (They did cover tuition and room & board at the state U).

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by AllieTB1323 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:23 am

AddingUp wrote:My father's actions always spoke louder than his words. He was the epitome of stealth wealth. I had no idea how much money he had until he passed away, but I always knew from the way he conducted himself that he had great financial confidence and assurance. Now I know why.

My dad always said people who are flashy with money are insecure.

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BogleFanGal
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by BogleFanGal » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:18 pm

My dad HATED unnecessary fixed costs of any kind! He felt they were a slippery slope on the road to savings and financial health. He'd always say "you can cut variable costs like eating out, vacations, one time purchases, more easily when times get tough. But once you're locked into monthly payments for anything - gym, subscriptions, cable, whatever, those costs often go unnoticed after a while, and even the small ones drain away your income and future one drip at a time."

I also remember him cautioning me to think carefully about every dollar I spend, because I get a much worse "deal" on the spent dollar every time. I pay tax either way when earning it...but when I spend it to buy something, I have to pay more tax again - so that same dollar cost me more. That always really stuck with me.

One of the smartest people I ever knew. Gone several years and miss him a lot. :beer

Johnnie
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Johnnie » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:28 pm

"Do the exact opposite of everything I have ever done related to money."

I never heard that, but thankfully didn't need to - I figured it out on my own, from necessity.

Not all dads are good role models in all areas.
"I know nothing."

Goal33
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Goal33 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:32 pm

I missed out on a lot of gains listening to my dad's advice and fears.

He probably has a networth of 1.5M and is totally fine financially.

Most important lesson learned from watching his actions: don't get marrried and divorced multiple times, and if you do, protect your assets. He still hasn't learned this lesson.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

Dave55
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Dave55 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:34 pm

Dad did not give investment advice. He did buy and hold forever - all blue chips.

Dave

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Lucky Lemon
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Lucky Lemon » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:47 pm

"Work with your mind and not your back." - Dad
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. - Red Green

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nedsaid
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by nedsaid » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:52 pm

The most important financial lesson that my father taught me was the importance of good credit. When I started working, he co-signed with me on a Visa card so that I could establish my credit. After a year, I dropped the card and got another on my own credit.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by blaugranamd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:01 pm

Never really talked finances with my dad, but he certainly showed the example of living frugally. I have no idea if he lived at, above, or below his means cause I haven't a clue how they are doing but they've always lived comfortably. :confused
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TravelforFun
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:10 pm

You better beat 'em on smart and work ethics, because you can't beat 'em on look or bull sh-tting!
Last edited by TravelforFun on Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BuyAndHoldOn
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by BuyAndHoldOn » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:13 pm

My dad always said: [just] Buy the S&P 500. Whenever I mentioned saving money or a similar topic, he always said that.

I do total market funds, but the idea of indexing was pointed out to me in my ~mid-teens.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:02 pm

Longdog:

I had a wonderful Dad who often said:

"We are all human beings, white, black, yellow, protestant, catholic and jew."

"Judge a man by how he treats the help."

"Always do the right thing."

"Isn't it Great to be an American" He had it printed on the Miami Laundry trucks and it was the name of my boat.

Thank you, Dad.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

jjface
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by jjface » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:51 pm

Buy low sell high!

Really though he was wise enough to know that I knew more than he did about financial things. So didn't really give me financial advice.

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Unchained
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Unchained » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:44 pm

When I was 25 I told my Dad I was buying my first rental property. He asked why I was doing that rather than buying shares of stock. I explained that I thought stock market returns would be a fraction of those of residential real estate. He said, "yeah, but you don't have to do anything".

That was my only rental. He's been gone for some time now, but I hear those words every time I think of making a real estate investment.

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matjen
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by matjen » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:50 pm

1) The power of compounding.
2) Although earning money is to buy current things, the purpose of saving is to buy your freedom. Don't trade your freedom for things.
Last edited by matjen on Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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loveyourheart
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by loveyourheart » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:24 pm

"Don't spend money you don't have"
"To fully appreciate the value of a dollar you have to earn it and save it"
"You can delegate authority but you can't delegate responsibility"
"You can't buy respect, you have to earn it"

onourway
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by onourway » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:40 pm

My dad led by good example but one of the few things he said about finances that really stuck with me was that 'you can either work harder or want less.' Pretty much the Boglehead philosophy right there although it took me about 30 years to figure that out. :D

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Shackleton
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Shackleton » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:47 pm

Sadly, my father never imparted financial advice or wisdom to me since he came from a generation where women get married and rely on their husbands to handle the money. My father was a great guy, and supported me in many ways, but didn't see women as needing financial education. Which was especially sad since he was a a prolific saver, LBYM-type guy that managed to accumulate multiple millions despite never making more than $100k/yr. Thanks to his smart investing, my mother is now able to enjoy a very high quality memory care facility without me worrying about the money running out. My father passed away 9 years ago, and I miss him even more now when I realize just what a great thing he did for my mom.
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton

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Shackleton
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by Shackleton » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:49 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Longdog:

I had a wonderful Dad who often said:

"We are all human beings, white, black, yellow, protestant, catholic and jew."

"Judge a man by how he treats the help."

"Always do the right thing."

"Isn't it Great to be an American" He had it printed on the Miami Laundry trucks and it was the name of my boat.

Thank you, Dad.

Best wishes.
Taylor
I love all of these, and I think your father was a wise man that raised a wonderful son.
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton

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MEA
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by MEA » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:18 pm

This is a difficult question for me. When I started asking questions about investing back in the 80s and 90s both my father and grandfather (who was living with my parents for the last part of his life) were Bogleheads. I got a lot of good advice. It's hard for me to pick just one because it was all very helpful, and it all fit together. If I had to pick just one I guess it would be "sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do." My father wasn't talking about investing at the time, but l often use it to stay the course. There are times when I just don't want to be in the market. For some reason "sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do" pops into my head whenever I am thinking of getting out.
It is speculators speculating on other speculators speculations. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by remomnyc » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:06 pm

Dad used to say "time is money". I didn't understand when I was growing up since I had unlimited time and my time was not worth much. He didn't give me any financial advice, which is a good thing, since this is a man who kept a box of credit cards under his bed.

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TimeRunner
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Re: Best Financial Advice from Dad (in honor of father's day)

Post by TimeRunner » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:30 pm

"Don't buy into a tuna boat with a bunch of Doctors as limited partners - unless you're the general partner."
One cannot enlighten the unconscious. | Endurance athletes are the Bogleheads of sports. | "I like people - I just don't want to be around 'em." - Russell Gordy

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