Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

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Topic Author
Mister E
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:50 pm

Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Mister E » Sat May 11, 2019 2:38 pm

Seeking advice for my 23 year old Son. I (Father) have worked primarily as a Handyman Self-Employed so I'm not sure what to tell him regarding career and life balance etc.
He is:
23 years old.
Single.
Bachelors degree from UCSD Electrical Engineering.
Works at 100+ year old Business Machine Company (started Sept. 2018).
Lives in S.F. Bay Area pays $700 mo. rent.
$0 dollars debt (sort of understands Boglehead message).
Income $75,000 per year.
Used Hyundai
$15 k in Credit Union Acct.
$10.2 in Fidelity 401k (will match 100% of 5% of contributions) does this mean $900.00 for $18,000 contributed?
$1k in regular IRA, Vanguard Acct (I opened for him at 21yrs old)

Not sure how excited he is with the job, but he understands he needs to "make a living".
how does he meet people and still enjoy his youth?
I understand that these are good problems to have but I'm out of my league as to how you "Professionals" live?
I will get him to read Bogle's "Little Book" I just want him to get some guidance from someone who has been down
a similar path, I haven't.

runner540
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by runner540 » Sat May 11, 2019 2:46 pm

Has he asked for your help? If he made it thru college with his engineering degree and landed a good job, he's doing fine! No debt, saving, he's fine.

People, "professional" or not, all need community/friends. I've moved several times as a young adult and met people via church, work, sports, volunteering, etc. Making friends out of school takes a little more effort. $700/month rent sounds like he has roommates.

The 100% match of 5% sounds like if he puts 5% of salary in, they will put another 5% ($3750). But he should read the plan documents or ask HR himself.

Get him the "The Next Millionaire Next Door" (update of the classic). It busts the myth that a high salary is enough to be wealthy, or that people who "look rich" actually are.

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plantingourpennies
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by plantingourpennies » Sat May 11, 2019 3:39 pm

Mister E wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Not sure how excited he is with the job, but he understands he needs to "make a living".
how does he meet people and still enjoy his youth?
I understand that these are good problems to have but I'm out of my league as to how you "Professionals" live?
I will get him to read Bogle's "Little Book" I just want him to get some guidance from someone who has been down
a similar path, I haven't.
I grew up in Appalachia around farmers, miners, mechanics, machinists, contractors, etc, and then made my career in IT consulting. Lots of stuff is the same; if you work hard doors will open for you. If you lie, it'll catch up with you eventually, etc.

Some things are different-he'll get judged more by what he wears, so he shouldn't be afraid to spend a bit here. I thought 300$ shoes were the dumbest thing i'd ever spent money on, but they started more conversations with VPs and clients than any other single thing I did.

He has the opportunity to make a ton of money in tech, especially in the SF bay. If he can live like a college student for the next 5-10 years and invest the rest he'll do very, very well. I almost quit early in my career b/c of a bad manager...it's natural for young people to get frustrated early on. Offices can look like a cage when you're coming in on a monday morning, and you don't have much autonomy at first. I'm glad I rolled with the punches and stuck it out.

Lots of fun stuff to do out there-world class camping a couple of hours to the east, sailing in the bay, concerts, shows, great food. Tech is a young crowd, he should have no trouble meeting people. Jack's Little Book and Millionaire Next Door are both good money books...but make sure he has asked for your advice before giving it to him. If he hasn't yet...just ask him how he's doing and let him talk.
Last edited by plantingourpennies on Sat May 11, 2019 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Mister E
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Mister E » Sat May 11, 2019 3:57 pm

Thank you both for your thoughts! Both have provided some insight that isn't taught at school, this is what he is seeking. He is reading this.

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Watty
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Watty » Sat May 11, 2019 4:06 pm

Mister E wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 2:38 pm
$10.2 in Fidelity 401k (will match 100% of 5% of contributions) does this mean $900.00 for $18,000 contributed?
No, 5% of his $75K salary is $3,750 for an entire year. If he contributes $3,750 then the company will also contribute $3,750 so he will have $7,500 in his 401k. Getting this is always a good idea.

$75K is a good salary in most of the US but in the Bay Area that is not a lot because everything is so expensive and taxes are so high. If he mentions that money is tight he is likely right so don't think he is squandering his money.

You might also encourage him to post here.

One thing that I did when I was a little bit older than him was that I committed to myself to save half of any future pay raises and that helped me get to the point here I was saving a high percentage of my income ten years later and it was painless. The saving can be for different goals like retirement, saving up the down-payment for a house, saving to pay cash for the next car etc.

runner540
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by runner540 » Sat May 11, 2019 4:30 pm

Mister E wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 3:57 pm
Thank you both for your thoughts! Both have provided some insight that isn't taught at school, this is what he is seeking. He is reading this.
Career wise, he should focus on getting as much varied experience in his company as possible (even if it means longer hours), and meeting people inside and outside of his company and learning as much as he can. Become a "go-to" person for your team. Don't be a complainer. If you don't interface with clients, treat everyone above you as a client and peers as a potential client. Dress slightly better than you think you need to. Put your phone away in your bag/car during the day.

Update your resume/project list every 6-12 mos, so you are ready to send it when a recruiter calls. Keep LinkedIn up to date.

nvambith
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by nvambith » Sat May 11, 2019 4:32 pm

Regarding career, the bay area has offices for almost every large semiconductor company, all of whom hire EEs.
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5ESOX/components/
In addition, the large "SW" companies like Apple, Google, FB, etc also have large HW divisions.

If he is not too excited about his current job, he could try interviewing for jobs in other companies.
The interviewing process can be illuminating, and help one learn what skills one needs to develop in order to get these jobs.
Also, the people one talks to give a good clue about the general vibe / quality of the group one is joining.
With that, it should be quite possible to find a job that's more exciting / a better fit.

Also, jobs at a company that is minting money will generally have larger pay raises than jobs at a company that is just getting by, independent of one's performance.

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TexasPE
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by TexasPE » Sat May 11, 2019 5:59 pm

Give technical societies a try - they have monthly meetings and he can meet new people. A couple of suggestions

https://www.isa.org/

https://www.ieee.org/

Employers often cover dues and dinner meetings and it shows management his interest in self-development

I always recommend Toastmasters

https://www.toastmasters.org/

the world's largest nonprofit communication and leadership program. He will meet people from many fields with a common interest. Improving his communication skills will stand him in good stead wherever his career takes him.
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill

BlueCable
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by BlueCable » Sat May 11, 2019 6:32 pm

You don't want to live like "professionals." Live like you make half as much as you do. Read The Millionaire Next Door.

What kind of EE are you? Power, software, control, semiconductors, electronics,? EE is a huge field and the advice varies based upon your skills and interests.

Goal33
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Goal33 » Sat May 11, 2019 6:37 pm

I have the same degree from the same university. Also moved to SF Bay Area out of college. I made 50% more out of college 6 years ago. I’d suggest focusing on wage growth as #1 priority.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

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dratkinson
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by dratkinson » Sat May 11, 2019 6:39 pm

Suggested books. (What I wish I'd known when I was in my 20s.)
--The Only Investment Guide You’ll Every Need, Tobias. (Personal finance topics.)
--The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. (Specific How-to investing advice.)
--Date...or Soul Mate, Warren. (Priceless if it helps avoid the expense of a bad marriage/divorce.)

This set of books is my go-to HS graduation gift.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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Duckie
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Duckie » Sat May 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Mister E wrote:Lives in S.F. Bay Area pays $700 mo. rent.
Where is he living to only pay $700 rent in the Bay Area?

Topic Author
Mister E
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:50 pm

Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Mister E » Sat May 11, 2019 6:49 pm

He's living in a decent rooming house in Berkeley with covered parking. It's not bad.

3504PIR
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by 3504PIR » Sat May 11, 2019 6:51 pm

It is clear to me that you have done an exceptional job as parents for him to be in the position he is in today educationally, financially and getting started in his career. Well done!

He is gaining valuable experience in his initial career job, and as he continues to work hard and mature in his field, greater opportunities will present themselves without a doubt. I would encourage him to be user friendly to his clients and co-workers and to take your example and work hard. You have made a living through your skill and reputation. Those are excellent examples that you can continue to show him and talk with him here and their about how those attributes of yours can benefit him now and in the long run. Finally, I would tell him to aggressively look to improve himself at work though volunteering to join teams who are working on tough projects and with senior staff he respects. Socially, I would encourage him to look for activities and groups who engage in things he either enjoys or might enjoy, for example, cycling or spin classes or hang around a sailing marina and go out with sailboats who need crew and sail in groups. Lots of 65 year olds with sailboats looking for anyone able to lend a hand. Generally those types of activities have a strong social aspect and he could make some new friends pretty quickly. If he is less physically inclined, maybe a robot club or something like that. Assuming he is a big gamer, he should balance his time gaming with group hobbies.

Well done, you’ve done a great job as a parent and must be very proud.

Topic Author
Mister E
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Re: Advice sought for my Son, Career and Investing

Post by Mister E » Sat May 11, 2019 6:58 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:37 pm
I have the same degree from the same university. Also moved to SF Bay Area out of college. I made 50% more out of college 6 years ago. I’d suggest focusing on wage growth as #1 priority.
You are probably spot on here. I've been telling him to stick where he is at for a year or 2 longer and to be sure to have another job lined up before considering any moves. But then I have no experience to go on and don't want to send him down the wrong path.

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