Helping others become like us...

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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ryman554
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Helping others become like us...

Post by ryman554 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:57 pm

I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something". What I do have an interest in is being a resource for helping others "see the light" and keep more of their money, in the boglehead way.

Suggest better investments.
Point out ways to get out of debt.
...

Purely as a side activity; I think the sense of satisfaction would be enough. I think many of you also feel this way, but I don't know where to start... No financial accreditation of any sort (just a smart engineer who can do math!) and a desire to help.

We preach to the choir here. How do we evangelize? How do we counter the "salesmen" fronting as investment advisors? Has anybody managed to do so and make a difference in their community?

downshiftme
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by downshiftme » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:08 pm

Have you inquired if local high schools or community colleges would be interested in allowing you to "volunteer" to teach an afterschool class in personal finances. Kids can use a lot of basics like how checkbooks work, how car loans work, how rent and/or savings accounts work. Then you can work up to Boglehead investment methods when they're ready.

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BL
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by BL » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:14 pm

You have probably hit on why many of us like to help out with this website. Folks that come here are at least asking for advice and are more likely to consider it than most of our friends and neighbors would.

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Tycoon
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Tycoon » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:24 pm

BL wrote:You have probably hit on why many of us like to help out with this website. Folks that come here are at least asking for advice and are more likely to consider it than most of our friends and neighbors would.
This is so true. Friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues aren't receptive to the Bogle approach. I stopped giving advice a long time ago. Now I just nod in reassurance when someone tells me about their investment schemes.

My experience has been that people want to get rich quickly. They aren't interested in waiting 20 years to build wealth.
Emotionless, prognostication free investing. Ignoring the noise and economists since 1979. How consistantly wrong do predictions have to be before the faithful learn?

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by NOVACPA » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:37 pm

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

Clients I worked with wanted to tell me about how much they made via their latest investment when I had the annual conversation preparing for their tax filings. This would be in response to the question, "Did anything change from last year?" Once we received paperwork, it was clear they took on substantial risk, generated massive amounts of commissions for their broker, and ultimately the tax payer. Their net return was negligible. Obviously, this was my fault since I created this massive tax bill for them.

People are weird with their money and you can't tell them, "If you do XYZ, then ABC will happen and that is better." They have to ask, "I want ABC. How do I make that happen?" You can't respond, "Do XYZ." The response is, "Why do you want ABC?"

I stopped giving my friends advice. I'm 27, have two houses in one of the highest HCOL areas, max all tax advantaged accounts (HSA, 401k, IRA), make only 80% of the median income, and still eat at nice places and drink top shelf liquor. Sometimes they wonder how I do it and I say, "Remember those things I told you 3 years ago... I've been doing all that. There was no magic. I skipped an event or two in the last three years, but now I can go on them all." Then it clicks for them. But only when they ask.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:37 pm

The other day someone saw me reading a financial newspaper and volunteered "was completely out of the market waiting to see what would happen". I volunteered I was "in the market", the next question was "why"? The answer is simple, the future of the world is to grow, anything other than that would mean it's demise making his assets worthless. The person looked at me like I had 4 heads. :oops:
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Levett » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:41 pm

Tell me. What is "seeing the light?"

Are you ready to go door to door?

Me. I keep quiet unless asked. And then I respond tentatively--at best.

Lev

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:45 pm

Tycoon wrote:
My experience has been that people want to get rich quickly. They aren't interested in waiting 20 years to build wealth.
I agree with this - someone, a family relative, said to me "what is your 10 shares going to do"? Well, those measly 10 shares are now many multiples of that, I expect they can do many things that my relative can not because they failed to heed the lesson. People think you need hundreds of thousands or millions to make money, really what they want is the quick buck in their hands and you can't do that with $100 today, but you can do something over 10,20 or 30 years. It's the instant gratification crowd.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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snowshoes
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by snowshoes » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:46 pm

NOVACPA wrote:You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink
People are weird with their money
I stopped giving advice.
:happy What he said!

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by tenkuky » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:47 pm

While I am still a newbie Boglehead (1 year), and don't feel worthy to evangelize the philosophy to others, I have learnt first hand the repercussions of trying to provide some guidance to a colleague/friend about personal finance when it came to workplace investment options.
Needless to say, I lost a friend and have not even attempted this with family or friend again :(

NOVACPA
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by NOVACPA » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:58 pm

ryman554 wrote:I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something".
I do take issue with the above statement and I'll address it separately.

For someone to go through the 4 years of school, 3 years of exams, and 4 years of work experience, they are not doing to prove they know something. They are voluntarily submitting to be governed by an organization that sets the standard in the investment community. If they do not maintain the standard, then they will be sanctioned.

Other TLAs are required to set standards and require the professionals giving the advice, to the public, maintain that standard.

It would concern me if you began giving advice to the public besides making a book recommendation or directing them to a website. You mention, "better investments," but what does that mean? There are scenarios on the low-income and UHNW side I could use to make the argument that you could cost people a LOT of money by making the wrong recommendation.

Investing has a math component but the behavioral, legal, regulatory, and political aspects tend to dominate the purely math aspect.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:16 pm

NOVACPA wrote:
Investing has a math component but the behavioral, legal, regulatory, and political aspects tend to dominate the purely math aspect.
You don't need a Three Letter Assignment to be able to provide sound advice. I think the OP's position is that many of sanctioning bodies tend to take the position that those without the three letters are less equipped or less qualified and that in real life is hardly the case, sanctioning or not. There are plenty of CFA's actively managing money out there, and the record clearly shows 75%+ fail to meet their own benchmarks. The behavioral, legal, regulatory and political aspects are a red herring. The TLA's have legal and compliance offices that handle those aspects, you should know better than to throw that smoke screen out there.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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munemaker
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by munemaker » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:20 pm

Everyone doesn't want to be like us. Live and let live.

NOVACPA
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by NOVACPA » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:31 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
NOVACPA wrote:
Investing has a math component but the behavioral, legal, regulatory, and political aspects tend to dominate the purely math aspect.
You don't need a Three Letter Assignment to be able to provide sound advice. I think the OP's position is that many of sanctioning bodies tend to take the position that those without the three letters are less equipped or less qualified and that in real life is hardly the case, sanctioning or not. There are plenty of CFA's actively managing money out there, and the record clearly shows 75%+ fail to meet their own benchmarks. The behavioral, legal, regulatory and political aspects are a red herring. The TLA's have legal and compliance offices that handle those aspects, you should know better than to throw that smoke screen out there.
Fair points.

You do not need a Three Letter Acronym to provide sound advice. However, it would be irresponsible for to encourage someone to go provide advice to the public and help them "...see the light..." "...Purely as a side activity...".

My comment was not to throw a smoke screen but more show there is more to giving financial advice than being "a smart engineer who can do math". Many small advisory firms don't have legal and compliance departments. They rely on what they have learned from their testing to gain their TLA.

I 100% agree that there are bad eggs out there managing money and was trying to prevent someone giving advice on how to manage money because they have a "desire to help".

Many, many, many, people would be better off if they took the time to read through the wiki here, learn how they are taxed, how much their investments are costing them, and how to systematically invest. However, to give advice to the public, there are some hurdles to clear.

ks289
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by ks289 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:42 pm

I think financial guidance only is appreciated when the stock market is going up.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:42 pm

I wouldn't presume to be better in any way just because I follow a certain investment philosophy that works for me - hence I think it's not my place to try to make anyone like me/us. I do however talk freely about my investment strategy when the topic arises, why I follow it, how satisfied I am with it, and how it has helped me to feel secure and freed up time for my real life. And if anyone asks me for advice, I simply tell them here's what I do, and offer any help they needed should they want it.
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle

selftalk
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by selftalk » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:52 pm

Some people may follow your advice BUT they will most assuredly watch the price fluctuations daily and be happy if the prices rise but sad and remorseful and angry with you when the prices drop. You will also not hear any thanks from them when prices rise and you will hear about it when prices drop. Also folks will ask a lot of others their opinions. YOU JUST CANNOT WIN ! Keep your own counsel. The road to hell is paved with people who have the best intentions. You can however suggest reading a few of Bogel`s books and that`s it.
Last edited by selftalk on Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:53 pm

NOVACPA wrote:
I 100% agree that there are bad eggs out there managing money and was trying to prevent someone giving advice on how to manage money because they have a "desire to help".

Many, many, many, people would be better off if they took the time to read through the wiki here, learn how they are taxed, how much their investments are costing them, and how to systematically invest. However, to give advice to the public, there are some hurdles to clear.
I agree. In an earlier post, I mentioned about the fellow who inquired why I was in the market, I also mentioned to him to read before he bought, including the expense ratio. His response was it was too cumbersome to look through the prospectus to see how much a fund was costing him. As you say, even if you lead the horse to water, they will not drink it. So, I left him with one more word of advice: Vanguard. Keep more of what you have earned instead of giving it away so freely.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:59 pm

NOVACPA wrote: I'm 27, have two houses in one of the highest HCOL areas, max all tax advantaged accounts (HSA, 401k, IRA), make only 80% of the median income, and still eat at nice places and drink top shelf liquor. Sometimes they wonder how I do it and I say, "Remember those things I told you 3 years ago... I've been doing all that. There was no magic. I skipped an event or two in the last three years, but now I can go on them all." Then it clicks for them. But only when they ask.
That doesn't sounds like the slow and steady BH way. Two houses, maxed retirement accounts by 27 making $44K is incredible in my book plus sufficient disposal income.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

downshiftme
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by downshiftme » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:04 pm

ryman554 wrote:
I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something".



I do take issue with the above statement and I'll address it separately.
I DO have some of these licenses and professional designations. I saw firsthand the others in the classes and licensing exams with me. I give almost no credence to the idea that these people know much of anything about the subject matter studied or tested. Sure, some are well informed and competent. But many are not and the requirements are not sufficient to weed out those who are cramming or just getting by with minimal actual understanding of the material to get the credential.

I believe that I am properly impressed with some professional designations (medical for instance), but for the most part having financial planning designations is not an effective proxy for ability or knowledge.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Fallible » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:13 pm

Tycoon wrote:
BL wrote:You have probably hit on why many of us like to help out with this website. Folks that come here are at least asking for advice and are more likely to consider it than most of our friends and neighbors would.
This is so true. Friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues aren't receptive to the Bogle approach. I stopped giving advice a long time ago. Now I just nod in reassurance when someone tells me about their investment schemes. ...
I also agree. The best we can do is truly understand the Boglehead philosophy and apply it to the questions asked on the forum.

The OP could also consider joining or starting a local BH chapter.
Last edited by Fallible on Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by NOVACPA » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:14 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
NOVACPA wrote: I'm 27, have two houses in one of the highest HCOL areas, max all tax advantaged accounts (HSA, 401k, IRA), make only 80% of the median income, and still eat at nice places and drink top shelf liquor. Sometimes they wonder how I do it and I say, "Remember those things I told you 3 years ago... I've been doing all that. There was no magic. I skipped an event or two in the last three years, but now I can go on them all." Then it clicks for them. But only when they ask.
That doesn't sounds like the slow and steady BH way. Two houses, maxed retirement accounts by 27 making $44K is incredible in my book plus sufficient disposal income.
I'm making 80% of the median income in the county. I could have been more clear on that. As far as investing, its the lowest cost funds that are split between bonds, international, total stock market, and small-cap. Is deferring taxes and investing in low cost funds not the Boglehead way?

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Fallible » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:19 pm

ryman554 wrote:I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something". What I do have an interest in is being a resource for helping others "see the light" and keep more of their money, in the boglehead way.

Suggest better investments.
Point out ways to get out of debt.
...

Purely as a side activity; I think the sense of satisfaction would be enough. I think many of you also feel this way, but I don't know where to start... No financial accreditation of any sort (just a smart engineer who can do math!) and a desire to help.

We preach to the choir here. How do we evangelize? How do we counter the "salesmen" fronting as investment advisors?
No need for us to wonder how to counter salespeople: our advice is free.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by NOVACPA » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:23 pm

downshiftme wrote:
ryman554 wrote:
I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something".



I do take issue with the above statement and I'll address it separately.
I DO have some of these licenses and professional designations. I saw firsthand the others in the classes and licensing exams with me. I give almost no credence to the idea that these people know much of anything about the subject matter studied or tested. Sure, some are well informed and competent. But many are not and the requirements are not sufficient to weed out those who are cramming or just getting by with minimal actual understanding of the material to get the credential.

I believe that I am properly impressed with some professional designations (medical for instance), but for the most part having financial planning designations is not an effective proxy for ability or knowledge.
There are MANY license and professional designations for the financial services industry. I agree with your assessment that most are not worth the paper they are printed on. However, the OP made the specific mention of the CFA. That designation has a fairly high barrier to entry.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:24 pm

NOVACPA wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:
NOVACPA wrote: I'm 27, have two houses in one of the highest HCOL areas, max all tax advantaged accounts (HSA, 401k, IRA), make only 80% of the median income, and still eat at nice places and drink top shelf liquor. Sometimes they wonder how I do it and I say, "Remember those things I told you 3 years ago... I've been doing all that. There was no magic. I skipped an event or two in the last three years, but now I can go on them all." Then it clicks for them. But only when they ask.
That doesn't sounds like the slow and steady BH way. Two houses, maxed retirement accounts by 27 making $44K is incredible in my book plus sufficient disposal income.
I'm making 80% of the median income in the county. I could have been more clear on that. As far as investing, its the lowest cost funds that are split between bonds, international, total stock market, and small-cap. Is deferring taxes and investing in low cost funds not the Boglehead way?
Yes, that sounds BHish.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by mptfan » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:46 pm

ryman554 wrote: We preach to the choir here.
Not always. There are many people who read this forum but are not members, and there are many new members joining all the time.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by SeeMoe » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:09 pm

ryman554 wrote:I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something". What I do have an interest in is being a resource for helping others "see the light" and keep more of their money, in the boglehead way.

Suggest better investments.
Point out ways to get out of debt.
...

Purely as a side activity; I think the sense of satisfaction would be enough. I think many of you also feel this way, but I don't know where to start... No financial accreditation of any sort (just a smart engineer who can do math!) and a desire to help.

We preach to the choir here. How do we evangelize? How do we counter the "salesmen" fronting as investment advisors? Has anybody managed to do so and make a difference in their community?
When I had " the awakening," it was because my wife suggested we begin investing for tomorrow . A fellow at work was always listening to KYW' s Harry Gross explain how to invest, Etc. so I too started listening to Harry . Recall him saying folks will find a million excuses why not to invest if they really don't want to . How true of me, it :confused was,...
"By gnawing through a dike, even a Rat can destroy a nation ." {Edmund Burke}

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by LateStarter1975 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:16 pm

Tycoon wrote:
BL wrote:You have probably hit on why many of us like to help out with this website. Folks that come here are at least asking for advice and are more likely to consider it than most of our friends and neighbors would.
This is so true. Friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues aren't receptive to the Bogle approach. I stopped giving advice a long time ago. Now I just nod in reassurance when someone tells me about their investment schemes.

My experience has been that people want to get rich quickly. They aren't interested in waiting 20 years to build wealth.
+1
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Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:06 pm

Most people don't want advice they didn't ask for. Since it's Halloween, let's use it in an example. Do you want someone who is very smart telling you what costume to wear, how much candy to eat, and what time to go trick-or-treating (with your kids if applicable)? They could have great intentions and may even have great ideas, but you may not necessarily see it that way. Long story short: resist the urge to meddle. In the meantime, places like this forum may be good to share your views because people are asking questions and actually want someone to give their thoughts. I know it's hard to watch others do things like wear a really lame Halloween costume or pay high expense ratios (definitely scares me!) but it is their life to live.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Longdog » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:34 am

Ron Ronnerson wrote:Most people don't want advice they didn't ask for. Since it's Halloween, let's use it in an example. Do you want someone who is very smart telling you what costume to wear, how much candy to eat, and what time to go trick-or-treating (with your kids if applicable)? They could have great intentions and may even have great ideas, but you may not necessarily see it that way. Long story short: resist the urge to meddle. In the meantime, places like this forum may be good to share your views because people are asking questions and actually want someone to give their thoughts. I know it's hard to watch others do things like wear a really lame Halloween costume or pay high expense ratios (definitely scares me!) but it is their life to live.
I imagine if there was a Bogleheads halloween party, I'd come dressed as an actively-managed mutual fund with a high expense ratio and 12b-1 fees, and would be voted the scariest of all costumes. :wink:
Steve

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by ikubak » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:10 am

I quit trying to help/convert others a long time ago. There are so many news articles, radio shows, tv shows, and blogs that illustrate the advantages of the 'LBYM/invest the rest' lifestyle that my opinion on the matter carries little weight. And when people don't want to hear it, they aren't going to listen. I don't tell fat people they need to lose weight or drunks they need to quit drinking either. If I really thought that was fun, I would just buy a mirror and have a long conversation with myself. I am always willing to help when someone comes to me to discuss financial matters, but as the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by livesoft » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:36 am

I have had two of my colleagues thank me for converting them. We had lots of fun conversations about investing and their advisors and stock trades. I clearly told them that I didn't go in for any of those kinds of things and was an index fund investor. It took a few years and then my early retirement really opened their eyes since they clearly made much higher salaries than me and still had to keep working. Both came to appreicate index fund investing, following an asset allocation, and rebalancing as needed. Both have thanked me for my perseverance with them and now in mutual conversations with other friends mention the buy-hold-rebalance methods.

So while I do not go out of my way to grab people and tell them what I do, if they ask me, I am more than happy to discuss things. Two of the biggest things that folks do not seem to know about are (1) tax-loss harvesting and (2) gifting appreciated shares to a donor-advised fund. It seems that once you save somebody a few thousand dollars on taxes, they are your friends for life.
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by tim1999 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:44 am

I think a good way to lose friends is to try to meddle in their finances.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by vested1 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:53 am

ryman554 wrote:I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something". What I do have an interest in is being a resource for helping others "see the light" and keep more of their money, in the boglehead way.

Suggest better investments.
Point out ways to get out of debt.
...

Purely as a side activity; I think the sense of satisfaction would be enough. I think many of you also feel this way, but I don't know where to start... No financial accreditation of any sort (just a smart engineer who can do math!) and a desire to help.

We preach to the choir here. How do we evangelize? How do we counter the "salesmen" fronting as investment advisors? Has anybody managed to do so and make a difference in their community?
I felt this way too when the veil was lifted and I learned that it wasn't necessary to pay an advisor to manage my investments, largely due to this forum. Be careful that your new found exuberance doesn't come back to bite you.

Case in point: I only answered questions from friends and family who knew I was close to retirement and asked what my plan was. I took the opportunity to tell them not only the BH approach to index investing and reducing costs, but of the advantages of developing a sound strategy for SS filing. Ooops. Most of those I talked to will be excluded from the options I still have, which may lead to resentment, since most were startled to learn that they could increase their SS income with relative ease. I can now use the various books I loaned out to family, including Mike Piper's and Kotlikoff's as doorstops until Mike's new book comes out.

In my opinion it's best to refer others to suggested reading and valuable forums, such as this one, especially where long term relationships are involved. It's well known that proselytizing in areas of religion and politics is inadvisable if harmony is desired. The same applies to investing and retirement planning.

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Rob54keep
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Rob54keep » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:55 am

I have taught Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace and Crown Financial courses in my local churches. I may not agree with all the investment advice in the courses but the discussions amongst the participants is priceless and very valuable for all.

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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by SQRT » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:57 am

snowshoes wrote:
NOVACPA wrote:You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink
People are weird with their money
I stopped giving advice.
:happy What he said!
Likewise. I do have a CFA but only give advice if asked and even then only tentatively. Other than my daughter of course who actually follows my advice. I have one friend who maintains my advice is the reason he can afford to retire. Makes you feel good but this is very rare. I really have no desire to evangelize. If everybody did what we did, our strategy wouldn't be as effective me thinks.

Traveler
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Traveler » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:02 am

I had a conversation with someone recently about investments (in light of a discussion regarding privatization of SS). She said that the average person, including herself, has no interest in the stock market, it's too hard to understand even though she's well educated (Masters in Education). I told her she could learn about how to invest in an hour a week for six months and it doesn't take a business degree to do it. She said she has no interest, no understanding of finance and she doesn't care to learn. She said it makes her feel stupid and even in college she avoided getting a secondary credential because it required courses in economics. She said she has a pension, an annuity (yikes) and social security so she should be fine when she retires.

I was appalled that a high school teacher had no interest in learning something new (what if her English student told her he didn't want to learn proper grammar, didn't see the point and it scares him?).

All this to say to each her own, some people will never take control of their personal finances. I just hope they don't stick their hands out to those of us who engaged in personal finance when they run out of money.

Ron Ronnerson
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Location: Bay Area

Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:23 am

Longdog wrote:
Ron Ronnerson wrote:Most people don't want advice they didn't ask for. Since it's Halloween, let's use it in an example. Do you want someone who is very smart telling you what costume to wear, how much candy to eat, and what time to go trick-or-treating (with your kids if applicable)? They could have great intentions and may even have great ideas, but you may not necessarily see it that way. Long story short: resist the urge to meddle. In the meantime, places like this forum may be good to share your views because people are asking questions and actually want someone to give their thoughts. I know it's hard to watch others do things like wear a really lame Halloween costume or pay high expense ratios (definitely scares me!) but it is their life to live.
I imagine if there was a Bogleheads halloween party, I'd come dressed as an actively-managed mutual fund with a high expense ratio and 12b-1 fees, and would be voted the scariest of all costumes. :wink:
I'm frightened just thinking about it! Safe to say, you'd win that contest.

JoeJohnson
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by JoeJohnson » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:38 am

Giving financial advice to others is difficult. There are many barriers including financial, legal, and behavioral.

birdy
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by birdy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:19 pm

I have a sister who actually moved and old 401K to Vanguard after I mentioned the VG total stock market fund. When she called Vanguard she remembered I had recommended that fund and Vanguard had reinforced it as a great fund. When she casually mentioned that she did it, I almost fell over!!! Her husband has a "friend" who is a financial planner and he couldn't understand why she didn't use the "friend" instead. I had told her over and over that she could do it herself. They live mostly from paycheck to paycheck and really have no retirement savings (they are in their 50's ). I've been preaching the "pay yourself first" idea for years to them. I feel so sad for my family members, knowing that they will have a rough time living on just SS. You are right. So many people think that SS will take care of everything for them. It's too complicated to invest. They will hit the lottery. I'll worry about it "later". We have lots of time....

I have actually helped a neighbor get his financial house in order. He is very happy doing nothing with his retirement funds at Vanguard! He told me his son just couldn't believe he put money in the stock market---and gave his son the boglehead talk! But some times I just have to hold my tongue and realize you can't save people who won't help themselves.

birdy

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:29 pm

Of course, while we're engaged in helping others become like us, others are trying to help us become like them. :happy
PJW

birdy
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by birdy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:36 pm

How true.......!
birdy

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M_to_the_G
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by M_to_the_G » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:25 am

As I progress in my financial literacy and retirement savings journey, I am increasingly struck by how controversial a topic personal finances is for most people. You might as well begin a conversation about politics or religion. As with those topics, I think the best thing to do is to wait for someone to ask, and even then, to approach the subject in a detached way.

I am amazed at how much personal ego is tied up in finances... and yet so many people are so bad at it. That's a toxic combination, especially if you are clearly more knowledgeable or in better shape financially than they are.

I've found that one way I can reach people with the Boglehead message is to send out emails to a large distro group (my friends or my office coworkers, for example). Because it isn't personally directed at any individual, they tend to be more receptive to the message. Some are openly grateful and say, "Wow, thanks for sending that!" Others won't say a word, but I learn later that they followed my advice.
"It’s basically the plot of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' If you stick around, doing nothing, while everyone around you ****s up, you’re going to win big." - John Oliver

AnilG
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by AnilG » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:31 am

Please be careful even if you are doing for fun, free and as side activity specially if you start to give specific investment advise like suggesting better investments on one-on-one basis. There are several state and federal regulations governing who can give financial advise. Most states require you to be Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and has passed Series 65 Exam. There are some exemptions but they require the same TLAs that you want to avoid (CFA, CFP, etc).

The best I can suggest is to reach out to some of the local RIA, CFA, and CFPs specially older/retired ones and ask them if they volunteer and where and if you can assist them or they can be your mentor.

My wife had similar idea two years ago and, after researching further, gave up on the idea. Basically, most organizations wanted to know if she has the credentials, TLA, background and professional experience in financial planning. And, most people in need for "free" advise have too many other problems instead of focusing on savings, investing, retirement and financial planning.
ryman554 wrote:I have no interest in getting a CFA or any other TLA to prove "I know something". What I do have an interest in is being a resource for helping others "see the light" and keep more of their money, in the boglehead way.

Suggest better investments.
Point out ways to get out of debt.
...

Purely as a side activity; I think the sense of satisfaction would be enough. I think many of you also feel this way, but I don't know where to start... No financial accreditation of any sort (just a smart engineer who can do math!) and a desire to help.

We preach to the choir here. How do we evangelize? How do we counter the "salesmen" fronting as investment advisors? Has anybody managed to do so and make a difference in their community?

kaudrey
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Re: Helping others become like us...

Post by kaudrey » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:59 pm

This might have been mentioned, but if you take a step back and look at what the general population needs, it's really financial literacy training.

I volunteer with an organization that teaches financial literacy to low-income people who are receiving county assistance. There are lots of organizations that do this kind of thing. It may not be at the high level that we have here on BH, but it is a grass roots endeavor that I feel is worthwhile. Even getting most people to "pay yourself first" would be a triumph.

I have helped various family members and a few friends with various aspects of their portfolios/investments over the years, but only when asked (disclosure: I do have the CFA charter). And we discuss financial stuff with our best friends fairly regularly; it's a topic of common interest.

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