Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

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saltycaper
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by saltycaper » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:34 pm

Da5id wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:15 pm

If your issue is "showing off", would you now, for example, ban discussion of benefits of Vanguard Flagship status (an indirect way of saying you have "two commas")? Discussion of umbrella insurance (also in many cases indicates a good chunk of assets worth protecting)? Statements about what to do after you max out 401k/HSA/Roth and don't know what to do with the leftover (indication of pretty decent earnings)? Discussion of bonuses for transferring large amounts of money to another brokerage? Discussion of largish inheritances? All of these may make someone feel like they don't have "enough". But also note that people have issues that need discussing with vastly different amounts of money. And a healthy proportion of people with lots more money are likely just in a different life stage (perhaps 50+ years old) than those with less (maybe 30?). Rather than assume people posting are bragging to strangers, maybe it is well to be more charitable. And a suggestion of a ban is remarkable...
The difference between your examples and the subject of the thread is there are specific questions involved in your examples, while the topic under discussion involves "question-less financial status."
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Riley15 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:35 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:17 am
Since I drafted the forum policies shortly after the forum went live, we've had a requirement that threads be actionable, which we usually describe as "You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation." This requirement was drafted both for the practical reason that a much larger percentage of non-actionable (versus actionable) threads required moderator intervention and for the philosophical reason that such threads were detracting from our mission of providing useful information with a civil tone.

My question has to do with financial status or milestone threads that include no obvious questions or requests for advice. The most common example of these are most of the "2 comma club" threads, but there are variants. Here's some examples (I'm not trying to pick on anyone in particular, these are either recent or came up on top of my search): Disappointed in Missing a Long Term Financial Goal, 2 Comma Club and Other Goals Reached!, and milestone post.

There is no clear actionable content in these types of threads, which makes them technically off-topic. And many of our members clearly feel they are off-topic as these threads are invariably flagged for moderator review. However, they rarely (if ever) cause the kinds of problems that were the reason the rule was instituted, so the moderators have generally been allowing them. But it bothers me to have to make an ad hoc exception to our policies, I'd rather change the policy to match our actions.

So, finally, here are my questions. Should we allow these posts? If so, should we simply deem them to have an actionable component such as an implicit request for a hug, high five or reassurance? Going a bit deeper: Why do people make these posts? Is this an Age of Social Media thing, an outlet for those who would normally post to InstaFace, but don't want to share their net worth with people who are able to hit them up for a loan?

Speaking of social media, I should note that my secondary goal for this site has always been building a community, a comfortable place for people to pass some time and, if they desire, interact with peers. Or I should say, continuing and expanding on the community originally built over on Morningstar by folks like Mel Lindauer and Taylor Larimore and defined in the early days by the kind and even-tempered responses of Taylor. Perhaps community building is the answer. If so, this suggests that such posts belong in Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community. I see that there is at least one such post there now DD just got married !. I'd like your feedback on whether this is something you'd like to see encouraged.
I think you have already hinted on this near the end of your post. It's apparent that these threads are not actionable and don't add any value and are certainly off-topic and distract from more useful threads. These threads obviously belong in Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community where people can be free to post and read them but should not be part of the investing topics. That increases the content and value of the investing topics while still allowing people to share whatever they need to share even if not actionable.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Ragnoth » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:37 pm

Most milestone threads I've seen amount to little more than humble-bragging.

Some of them have value as "inspiring testimonials," although I find it more interesting to hear from people who turned their finances around (e.g., by managing a windfall or moving away from high-fee brokers), or people early in their careers accumulating their first $10k or $100k under BH principles.

That said, they don't severely detract from the forum, and I appreciate that it can be difficult to discuss personal finances and share your successes with friends/family in a less anonymous setting. If I had my druthers they would be cordoned off into a consolidated mega-post somewhere in the community section alongside the "Retirement Class" threads.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:41 pm

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:17 pm
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:58 am
THANK YOU FOR FNALLY ADDRESSING ALEX. These type of bragging posts serve only 1 purpose - TO SHOW OFF. They are EXTREMELY ANNOYING and greatly dilute the quality of the forum. Lots of us are struggling through hand to mouth existence and these people have no shame showing of their millions. I would outright BAN these posters and their bragging posts permanently . Keep your original forum policy intact. It’s solid.
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:29 am
Here’s to $2M —> $3M :sharebeer . Come back and post once you hit $3M
bubbadog wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:44 pm
I realize this post might be perceived as a humblebrag so please accept my apologies in advance. Financial milestones are not something I can really celebrate/share with family or friends.

I am 51 years old and it took me until age 47 to accumulate over 1 million in my investment accounts. It only took an additional 46 months to top 2 million in my accounts which I did today. I have always heard the saying about how the 2nd million is a lot easier. I would have never guessed it would happen so quickly. Obviously the last four years have been great and things can change very quickly for the worse.

I wanted to share with the Boglehead Community, especially those a lot younger and just starting out, that once things get going, compounding really does work its magic!

I have a simple 3 fund portfolio (65/35 stocks/bonds)
Maybe 30-35% of the second million was contributions to my accounts.

I have learned a great deal from this community and really appreciate all of the advice I have been given in the past. :sharebeer

I hate to call you out on this. I understand your intent was one of encouragement. Despite one’s feeling about this issue, it is hard to to talk investing and money without the numbers sometimes.
:sharebeer
Middleoftheroad: What is it you are "calling out" about david's response and statement? Did you find it helpful to know that someone at age 51 hit 2Million after hitting 1 million at age 47? How was this helpful to you? what he is invested in, how much did he save per year, where he lives, how large his family is, what his expenses are, etc.
Personally - I don't understand how it helps people to hear about others that hit milestones with little to no context. If you make $40K yearly supporting a family of 5 a great milestone might be having $200K saved by the time you are 51 (actually a great milestone might be just keeping the family fed without public assistance!); if you make $500K a year it would be a poor milestone to hit $1M at 47. Its all relative and I personally scratch my head every time I see one of these posts.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Da5id » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:45 pm

saltycaper wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:34 pm
Da5id wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:15 pm

If your issue is "showing off", would you now, for example, ban discussion of benefits of Vanguard Flagship status (an indirect way of saying you have "two commas")? Discussion of umbrella insurance (also in many cases indicates a good chunk of assets worth protecting)? Statements about what to do after you max out 401k/HSA/Roth and don't know what to do with the leftover (indication of pretty decent earnings)? Discussion of bonuses for transferring large amounts of money to another brokerage? Discussion of largish inheritances? All of these may make someone feel like they don't have "enough". But also note that people have issues that need discussing with vastly different amounts of money. And a healthy proportion of people with lots more money are likely just in a different life stage (perhaps 50+ years old) than those with less (maybe 30?). Rather than assume people posting are bragging to strangers, maybe it is well to be more charitable. And a suggestion of a ban is remarkable...
The difference between your examples and the subject of the thread is there are specific questions involved in your examples, while the topic under discussion involves "question-less financial status."
Sure. But the post responded to was outraged at people "flaunting" their wealth if I understood it correctly. Little difference in that regard to doing it in a 2 comma thread vs many other ways one can do so, which may or may not be humble brags.

I'm not personally a fan of the question-less threads. But then I don't feel a need for praise/affirmations from others in this regard, and recognize that others appreciate such. They seem harmless to me as long as they don't dominate as a percentage of total threads.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by LateStarter1975 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:54 pm

amitb00 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:22 am
These threads have value. They give examples of BH methods working and may motivate others. You may want to change policy to allow them.

I completely agree. Those threads motivate me a lot. In fact, sometimes, I just search for those "2-comma threads" just to motivate myself that one day I'll get there following the BH methods. Personal finance has a lot to do with behavior and motivation. Threads that show people how to win and become a millionaire is highly motivating and I dare say, much better than many other so-called actionable threads that provide little value to me. So, please do not scrap them.
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:04 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:41 pm
MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:17 pm
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:58 am
THANK YOU FOR FNALLY ADDRESSING ALEX. These type of bragging posts serve only 1 purpose - TO SHOW OFF. They are EXTREMELY ANNOYING and greatly dilute the quality of the forum. Lots of us are struggling through hand to mouth existence and these people have no shame showing of their millions. I would outright BAN these posters and their bragging posts permanently . Keep your original forum policy intact. It’s solid.
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:29 am
Here’s to $2M —> $3M :sharebeer . Come back and post once you hit $3M
bubbadog wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:44 pm
I realize this post might be perceived as a humblebrag so please accept my apologies in advance. Financial milestones are not something I can really celebrate/share with family or friends.

I am 51 years old and it took me until age 47 to accumulate over 1 million in my investment accounts. It only took an additional 46 months to top 2 million in my accounts which I did today. I have always heard the saying about how the 2nd million is a lot easier. I would have never guessed it would happen so quickly. Obviously the last four years have been great and things can change very quickly for the worse.

I wanted to share with the Boglehead Community, especially those a lot younger and just starting out, that once things get going, compounding really does work its magic!

I have a simple 3 fund portfolio (65/35 stocks/bonds)
Maybe 30-35% of the second million was contributions to my accounts.

I have learned a great deal from this community and really appreciate all of the advice I have been given in the past. :sharebeer

I hate to call you out on this. I understand your intent was one of encouragement. Despite one’s feeling about this issue, it is hard to to talk investing and money without the numbers sometimes.
:sharebeer
Middleoftheroad: What is it you are "calling out" about david's response and statement? Did you find it helpful to know that someone at age 51 hit 2Million after hitting 1 million at age 47? How was this helpful to you? what he is invested in, how much did he save per year, where he lives, how large his family is, what his expenses are, etc.
Personally - I don't understand how it helps people to hear about others that hit milestones with little to no context. If you make $40K yearly supporting a family of 5 a great milestone might be having $200K saved by the time you are 51 (actually a great milestone might be just keeping the family fed without public assistance!); if you make $500K a year it would be a poor milestone to hit $1M at 47. Its all relative and I personally scratch my head every time I see one of these posts.
If you read my replies on this thread I am all for sharing info. I find it inspirational and helpful. I am merely pointing out despite David’s strong objection in this thread, he encouraged another forum member to share his numbers in another. Just pointing out the inconsistency and how blurry the line is on this issue.

As I clearly stated “Despite one’s feeling about this issue, it is hard to to talk investing and money without the numbers sometimes.”

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Oicuryy » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:07 pm

Rule 4b wrote: Non-actionable (Trolling) Topics

If readers can't do anything with the content of a topic other than argue about it, it does not belong here. Examples include:
  • US or world economic, political, tax, health care and climate policies
  • conspiracy theories of any type
  • discussions of the crimes, shortcomings or stupidity of other people, whether they be political figures, celebrities, CEOs, Fed chairmen, subprime mortgage borrowers, lottery winners, federal "bailout" recipients, poor people, rich people, etc. Of course, you are welcome to talk about the stupid financial things you have done.
Reaching two commas and saving for your daughter's wedding qualify under the exception for "the stupid financial things you have done".

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by AnalogKid22 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:09 pm

I find threads like these to be motivating. Just like the Dave Ramsey show, I don't get much out of them, but it's motivating to see other people's progress and success through discipline and dedication, especially when so many people in this world are so careless with their money. Saving is hard and it takes courage to commit your hard-earned money to the stock and bond markets. Knowing your persistence will pay off is a great motivator.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:13 pm

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:04 pm
Just pointing out the inconsistency and how blurry the line is on this issue.
Ah - I see - missed your point. Now that I get your point not sure I agree :)
I don't think he is inconsistent. I think his "Come back and post once you hit $3M" wasn't congratulations/encouragement but his way of mocking the post.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:20 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:13 pm
MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:04 pm
Just pointing out the inconsistency and how blurry the line is on this issue.
Ah - I see - missed your point. Now that I get your point not sure I agree :)
I don't think he is inconsistent. I think his "Come back and post once you hit $3M" wasn't congratulations/encouragement but his way of mocking the post.
:sharebeer

I was following that thread closely since it was interesting to me. There are other posts that you should read. I don’t mean to attack David, just showing how hard it is sometimes. :|

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Theseus » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:21 pm

One of the other reasons for the milestone sharing posts (e.g. two comma club) is that BHs want to celebrate something. Such a poster may not be able to celebrate that with others in our society - considering financial status discussion is considered a taboo. Or s(he) may be worried that they will be looked as arrogant or a showoff if happiness is shared in a social context.

IMHO becoming a boglehead and being a boglehead is a journey to the end of life and not just a destination. For me such posts are not celebrating a milestone, they are celebrating the journey. And like in any journey you want to share your happiness with fellow journeymen (people with common goals) as they are the ones truly understand the journey aspect of it. For majority of us, the fellow journeymen are the other BHs and at times not even spouses/SOs (as per one of the recent threads).

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by jpdion » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:24 pm

There is some basic psychological value to threads that demonstrate success using the BH portfolios and processes. The psychological process of "social proof" is at work when unsure individuals look to others to help guide their actions. Numerous "success threads" can be important for new members to bolster their courage to further engage in learning about the BH method, and then to take action in starting to implement the method for themselves. For those who are doing the posting, it can be considered as a form of giving back to the community, thanking them for showing the way. I personally view the Forum as a "community of practice" where I can go to find answers in the experience of others.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by tbradnc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:42 pm

Tamalak wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:48 am
I certainly prefer "unactionable" "I finally reached a million and I want to share the excitement, it's too dangerous to tell family and friends so let me share it with you Bogleheads!" threads vs "actionable" "I am 14 years old and have 5 million dollars, am I doing ok? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)"
Oh I do love those and the "I'm 108 years old and have $10,000,000. Can I retire?" threads.

But seriously, a few years back I hit the 2 comma club and posted about it, making a point to thank Taylor for his assistance back in the Morningstar days - and coming from a relatively poor, blue collar background I was proud and didn't really have any other community but this one who I felt I could share the news with.

I'd vote to leave things as is for now.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by bottlecap » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:55 pm

I think these are posts that you can’t share with others in polite society and that only Bogleheads would truly appreciate. It’s good news, worthy of small celebration, and a confirmation that the “Boglehead way” works.

I probably won’t ever be making these posts, but I don’t mind them and I “get” why they might want to share what is otherwise primarily a secret between spouses.

I’d say just allow them. Creating an inactionable sub-forum might be hard to control and a milestones sub-forum might inundate the site!

As a related issue, I think the “actionable” requirement should be a reason to shut down a thread that is devisive or outlived its usefulness. More of a guideline that a requirement. Otherwise it’s too easy to get around, eg., “I just bought a cat. To make this actionable, what are the financial implications of owning a cat?” It’s also off-putting for members to chime in on an otherwise harmless threads just to say, “How is this actionable?”

It would seem making this a guideline rather than a rule would make life a little easier on the mods, too.

JT

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:03 pm

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:47 am
IMHO, those threads are confirmations that the BH methods work, regardless of income levels. Encouragements to stay the course when markets tank. They are examples of people who make it via BH method despite 1987, 2000, 2008 so I will stick to my AA when the next one hit. The actionable benefits of those threads will be my inaction during the next crash.
I agree with this. Those kind of threads can inspire others. I see no problem with them.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Fallible » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:05 pm

bobcat2 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:10 am

I believe such posts belong in the Bogleheads Community forum.

More importantly, I believe the Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community forum should be split into two separate forums. If someone wants to see when their local group is meeting and what's on the agenda, they shouldn't have to sort thru posts such as DD just get married, Livesoft at 58,000 posts!, Roll Call for the Retirement Class of blah!, Happy Holidays Bogleheads, Where is YDNAL?, To Avatar or Not?, blah blah blah.

The Local Chapters forum shouldn't be the dumping ground for posts the moderators don't know where to put!

BobK :? :annoyed
I agree with separate forums. And with the number of local chapters increasing and attendance expanding, it's time for this forum to stand alone.
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:13 pm

If completely non actionable, moving to Local chapters/Community forum seems like a compromise.

Although I would anticipate once a thread has been moved there, an OP might edit his post to ask, "what do you think?" Or some similar inane question, just to get it moved back.

Regarding humble bragging, in the 2 comma threads, I don't see it. Instead I see genuine joy and pride and wanting to share that with the community that "brung 'em there." The entire Bogleheads community should be proud of these threads, which affirm the wisdom and power of Jack Bogle's philosophy, and serve as inspiration to those starting out. Maybe the subforum should be called, "Thanks Jack!"

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by delamer » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:17 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:45 am
My fear would be that if you change policy these humble-brag threads will start to dominate the active threads and dilute the usefulness of this forum. We already have a problem whereby people don't search recent prior threads before asking questions (e.g. credit freeze versus lock is one of today's examples) causing unnecessary redundant threads. Finding out another person hit the two comma club or retired earlier may motivate some but is also demotivating to others (who are of lessor income/means). If you change the policy we will be inundandated with such threads (and where will it stop? Statements of buying New dream houses, new cars, new watches, large charitable estate donations, dream vacations, finding a long lost lover - will all these be allowed?).
I might be in the minority but I find the actionable policy to be one of the main reasons I participate in this forum far more often than any others I have visited.
If you do change policy and allow these threads - perhaps create a new sub forum for them (if you don't want to name it "humble-brags" perhaps call it "success stories").
This is my point-of-view also.

In addition, limiting increases in workload for the forum’s excellent monitors needs to be considered before any changes are made. (As undoubtedly it will be.)

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by buccimane » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:36 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:58 am
THANK YOU FOR FNALLY ADDRESSING ALEX. These type of bragging posts serve only 1 purpose - TO SHOW OFF. They are EXTREMELY ANNOYING and greatly dilute the quality of the forum. Lots of us are struggling through hand to mouth existence and these people have no shame showing of their millions. I would outright BAN these posters and their bragging posts permanently . Keep your original forum policy intact. It’s solid.
Very strong language coming from a BogleHead who's recent posts were on a thread titled "2nd Million is Easier", in which you humbly explain that the 2nd million is indeed easier. :shock:

Edit to add: Going back further in your posts reveals that you 'humblebragged' on multiple 2 comma club/milestone threads. I wouldn't dilute this thread with hypocrisy :annoyed

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=155991&p=2339713#p2339713]

See above post created by Davidsorensen32.
Last edited by buccimane on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:09 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by TwstdSista » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:37 pm

For the most part, I like them. They give me a goal to work towards, and remind me that it is possible to reach my own goals.

But I can see how they could become a problem if there were too many of them.... Why not just a single "Share your Milestone" thread, similar to the net worth thread?

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:53 pm

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:20 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:13 pm
MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:04 pm
Just pointing out the inconsistency and how blurry the line is on this issue.
Ah - I see - missed your point. Now that I get your point not sure I agree :)
I don't think he is inconsistent. I think his "Come back and post once you hit $3M" wasn't congratulations/encouragement but his way of mocking the post.
:sharebeer

I was following that thread closely since it was interesting to me. There are other posts that you should read. I don’t mean to attack David, just showing how hard it is sometimes. :|
I went back and read more posts in that thread and sorry to say - I still didn't get more inspired - all it made me think was "Boy - I wish I had the aptitude to get through medical school - if so - perhaps I'd have hit $2M like the OP".

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by slayed » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:04 pm

I don't care for the question-less posts and would prefer that they be in a separate sub forum.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Elsebet » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:06 pm

For many people (myself included) this is probably one of the few public places one could comfortably announce a financial milestone, so I would say we should continue to allow those kinds of threads.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by mptfan » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:14 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:58 am
In a clubby atmosphere in which it seems "normal" to have a seven-figure net worth, it is easy to overlook how it might appear to others. In this regard, I remember being stunned by the thread Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage? in which the general consensus was that it was seriously unwise to let such a thing be known.
Why were you stunned by the general consensus?

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by mptfan » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:15 pm

Elsebet wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:06 pm
For many people (myself included) this is probably one of the few public places one could comfortably announce a financial milestone, so I would say we should continue to allow those kinds of threads.
I agree.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Tamarind » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:25 pm

Eric wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:13 pm
tuningfork wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:56 am
Perhaps create "The official 2 comma club membership thread" to let people humble-brag their net worth milestones in one place, and the moderators can merge individual threads into it (putting more work on the mods, unfortunately, until those threads stop popping up).
This seems like a good compromise. It takes the concept of confining to a subforum a step further -- confining the posts to one mega-thread. For those who find these threads inspirational, it furthers that purpose. (Readers can absorb a lot of inspiration from multiple sources in one place. ;-) ) And for those who don't like clutter, it minimizes that too.
Agreed. I like this idea too.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by windrose » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:33 pm

I think they have the potential to be actionable.

I say in 7/10 of these types of threads, a poster comes along.....for lack of a better word, I'll call them a "tire kicker"....and says something like, "Oh, very nice..and, by the way, what does your spending look like?" This usually opens up a line of conversation which is helpful for both the OP and readers, pointing out various things they may not have considered.

"2 commas" for a household making 50K a year? *How they did it* could be useful.

"2 commas" for a household needing an estimated 100K per year in retirement? Depending on age/circumstances, this poster might be in need of some valuable BH advice.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:35 pm

jpdion wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:24 pm
There is some basic psychological value to threads that demonstrate success using the BH portfolios and processes. The psychological process of "social proof" is at work when unsure individuals look to others to help guide their actions. Numerous "success threads" can be important for new members to bolster their courage to further engage in learning about the BH method, and then to take action in starting to implement the method for themselves. For those who are doing the posting, it can be considered as a form of giving back to the community, thanking them for showing the way. I personally view the Forum as a "community of practice" where I can go to find answers in the experience of others.
Outstanding!
Thank you so much for sharing this. I think many would concur.
"Community of Practice".
Nice.

Mahalo,
j :D

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:44 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:13 pm
If completely non actionable, moving to Local chapters/Community forum seems like a compromise.

Although I would anticipate once a thread has been moved there, an OP might edit his post to ask, "what do you think?" Or some similar inane question, just to get it moved back.

Regarding humble bragging, in the 2 comma threads, I don't see it. Instead I see genuine joy and pride and wanting to share that with the community that "brung 'em there." The entire Bogleheads community should be proud of these threads, which affirm the wisdom and power of Jack Bogle's philosophy, and serve as inspiration to those starting out. Maybe the subforum should be called, "Thanks Jack!"
+1
I grew up reading "Horatio Alger" stories under the covers with a flashlight (EverReady Batteries). Since then I have been fascinated with how others accumulate wealth, the "secret sauce" to prosperity. Inevitably, on these "Posts in question", I may ask, "how did you do it?" Because I "really really" want to know and admire them for their efforts. And, feel that others might benefit as well.
Brag for the sake of ego gratification serves no purpose, but if actionable or quantifiable steps are outlined within the post, then it can be emulated.
New Sub-Forum Possible Titles:
"Your Horatio Alger Story"
"Milestones: How did you do it?"

Mahalo,
j :D

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Danzangdc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:01 pm

I vote to make an off-topic or community subforum where anything goes. Same for the "It's national dentist day. Thank you to dentists" threads.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:07 pm

dcabler wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:58 am
I am completely comfortable with those threads. All I would ask is that the title be sufficiently descriptive such that one could easily choose to ignore them if one desired.
First off, I appreciate the work of our diligent moderators to make this a useful and welcoming forum (even if I have been dinged a few times :( )
As a heavy BH scanner and occasional contributor, I don't have a problem with the question-less threads, but I don't have to moderate them ... or even read them if I don't want to.

I do agree that one way to help everyone make good use of the forum is to encourage meaningful titles. So I could, if I wanted, ignore a post titled "new member of 2-comma club" but what would I do with a post titled "question"?

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by H2ogal » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:17 pm

I find these posts useful, especially when they provide some backstory about how they got there, and how they felt about it along the way. They motivate me and show me what is possible. They also provide some guidelines as to what I should expect of myself and when is enough enough? They may not be actionable for OP, but they may spur me to take some action.

I would love to be able to ask friends, so....how much do YOU think you need to have before you retire? Or, how much did you have when you decided it was OK to retire...but I may have less friends if I go there.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by ze233 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:33 pm

I too find these posts helpful and inspirational. As someone still in the accumulation phase, they validate to me the Boglehead philosophy works. If the poster also posts their age, and how they did it, all the better.
On more than one occasion through the years I've found myself searching the forum for the 2 comma club threads to reaffirm to me I'm on the right track.

That being said, I have no problems with them being moved to another sub-forum.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:38 pm

The achievement of the 2 comma club is an affirmation that following Boglehead principles can help in attaining financial security. Many of those threads show commonality with what is found in the wiki - development of a workable plan, use of low cost diversified index funds, ability to stay the course, high savings rate while practicing LBYM. Sure, there can and are a few outliers who reached it via stock options or inheritances, but those instances are far and few between. It’s inspirational to read how others have started out with negative to extremely low net worth and have reached what many feel is just found in a dream.
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Dinosaur Dad » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:43 pm

Because money is so taboo, I think there's a lot of value in these open and honest threads. I'm happy for those who made their number, but in the spirit of the Bogleheads, the value is in each providing yet another case study of what they did to get there.
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by mikemagz11 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:57 pm

Why not just having a running milestone thread that people can post their milestones if they want?

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by sambb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:08 pm

mikemagz11 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:57 pm
Why not just having a running milestone thread that people can post their milestones if they want?
Ding Ding Ding
Winner winner chicken dinner

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by mariezzz » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:48 pm

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:56 am
Please correct me if I am wrong.

I don’t see how someone should be intimidated by knowing others are successful. We come here to learn and to pass on what we learn. I rarely see anyone talking down to people starting out with less. And if you are starting out with less, don’t you want to seek out advice of those who are successful? Isn’t that how we seek out mentors in real life?
+1

A few people have indicated they feel intimidated by the 2 comma club posts - I also don't understand why. This is an anonymous forum, and you can skip those threads easily. I'm not opposed to them (often I don't read them). Many here enjoy them, as attested in this thread.

I doubt I'll reach the 2 comma club before retirement. It's not an important goal for me. However, I may be in a position to retire before 60. The freedom that will bring me is priceless.

Because of the BH website, I've done a better job investing in low fee index funds and allocating my assets (while lurking around the website for a long time) and will definitely have "enough" when I decide to retire. What I consider enough would never be enough for many here, but it will be enough for me. And more than most will have at retirement.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by JoMoney » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:19 pm

I might be more concerned about posts with "actionable" questions regarding what one does with a million dollars.
I tell ya what I do, my balance sheet gets 2 commas at the same time.
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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Alex Frakt » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:26 am

mikemagz11 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:57 pm
Why not just having a running milestone thread that people can post their milestones if they want?
I'm going with this suggestion. The new thread is Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here. We'll see how it works out. Who wants to get it started?

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:17 am
Since I drafted the forum policies shortly after the forum went live, we've had a requirement that threads be actionable, which we usually describe as "You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation." This requirement was drafted both for the practical reason that a much larger percentage of non-actionable (versus actionable) threads required moderator intervention and for the philosophical reason that such threads were detracting from our mission of providing useful information with a civil tone.

My question has to do with financial status or milestone threads that include no obvious questions or requests for advice. The most common example of these are most of the "2 comma club" threads, but there are variants. Here's some examples (I'm not trying to pick on anyone in particular, these are either recent or came up on top of my search): Disappointed in Missing a Long Term Financial Goal, 2 Comma Club and Other Goals Reached!, and milestone post.

There is no clear actionable content in these types of threads, which makes them technically off-topic. And many of our members clearly feel they are off-topic as these threads are invariably flagged for moderator review. However, they rarely (if ever) cause the kinds of problems that were the reason the rule was instituted, so the moderators have generally been allowing them. But it bothers me to have to make an ad hoc exception to our policies, I'd rather change the policy to match our actions.

So, finally, here are my questions. Should we allow these posts? If so, should we simply deem them to have an actionable component such as an implicit request for a hug, high five or reassurance? Going a bit deeper: Why do people make these posts? Is this an Age of Social Media thing, an outlet for those who would normally post to InstaFace, but don't want to share their net worth with people who are able to hit them up for a loan?

Speaking of social media, I should note that my secondary goal for this site has always been building a community, a comfortable place for people to pass some time and, if they desire, interact with peers. Or I should say, continuing and expanding on the community originally built over on Morningstar by folks like Mel Lindauer and Taylor Larimore and defined in the early days by the kind and even-tempered responses of Taylor. Perhaps community building is the answer. If so, this suggests that such posts belong in Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community. I see that there is at least one such post there now DD just got married !. I'd like your feedback on whether this is something you'd like to see encouraged.
I empathize with the difficulties you're encountering. It's surprisingly hard to figure out the best way to run a forum. I support whatever decision you make.

I think people make these posts because they're excited and they have no one else to share their significant accomplishment with due to social, cultural, family, and political issues around wealth.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:41 am

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:58 am
THANK YOU FOR FNALLY ADDRESSING ALEX. These type of bragging posts serve only 1 purpose - TO SHOW OFF. They are EXTREMELY ANNOYING and greatly dilute the quality of the forum. Lots of us are struggling through hand to mouth existence and these people have no shame showing of their millions. I would outright BAN these posters and their bragging posts permanently . Keep your original forum policy intact. It’s solid.
Should they be ashamed of their millions? Was it the earning, the saving, the investing, or the not spending that was so shameful? While humble-bragging may not be a good thing, neither is money-shaming. If you can't discuss money on a mostly anonymous internet forum, where can you do so? And who does it benefit if it is not discussed? In my experience, it benefits the financial services industry to the expense of every one else.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:47 am

A) I think it is bragging.

B) It's actionable to me in the senses that:

a) I just ignore angst on the part of people who only have several million dollars worth of assets; and

b) When poster(s) say they time the market and imply everybody else should too, I know not to pay attention because they've already identified themselves as being in category (lower case) a.

PJW

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:19 am

I think people are mad to discuss their net worth, even in general terms, on a public forum. Even hidden behind "anonymous" identities (our writing style is as individual as a fingerprint, there are algorithms out there which are getting better and better at matching that-- and that's just an obvious example of how "the death of privacy" is evolving).

I also can't find a motivation to do it. Why risk it either intimidating someone else/ causing them to envy OR make them think the less of you (because you haven't made as much money as they have).

I want someone with 50k and with 5 million to concentrate on what I am saying, not who I am supposedly am.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:20 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:26 am
mikemagz11 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:57 pm
Why not just having a running milestone thread that people can post their milestones if they want?
I'm going with this suggestion. The new thread is Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here. We'll see how it works out. Who wants to get it started?
Alex I wanted to thank you for taking on such a thorny question and having the decency to poll posters.

I must admit I am amazed that people would want to talk, publicly, even in an "anonymous" forum, about such things.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by diasurfer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:03 am

I don't read them but they don't particularly bother me, and don't waste my time since I'm not a moderator. The milestone thread seems like a good solution.

The one thought I consistently have when I read the titles to these threads is "how many of these posters are going to come back and tell us when they are back in the one comma club after the next crash?". The market giveth, the market taketh away.

That post, along with a declaration that they are staying the course, is one that I would find inspirational.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by hexagon » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:28 am

Tamalak wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:48 am
I certainly prefer "unactionable" "I finally reached a million and I want to share the excitement, it's too dangerous to tell family and friends so let me share it with you Bogleheads!" threads vs "actionable" "I am 14 years old and have 5 million dollars, am I doing ok? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)"
+1

also +1 posts should be eliminated (except this one).

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by SGM » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:30 am

Where else are people going to discuss what they have or gloat? It is a semi-anonymous way to brag. I am okay with it. Sometimes people discuss how they got there so that can be helpful to some. It seems relatively harmless to me and may inspire early savers. If someone doesn't like it they can just look at the title and avoid reading.

Such posts may help change perspectives. Reaching monetary goals may not really change ones life much. Getting some financial freedom is important, but there are other things in life that may bring more happiness.

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Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Post by randomizer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:35 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:19 am
I think people are mad to discuss their net worth, even in general terms, on a public forum. Even hidden behind "anonymous" identities (our writing style is as individual as a fingerprint, there are algorithms out there which are getting better and better at matching that-- and that's just an obvious example of how "the death of privacy" is evolving).

I also can't find a motivation to do it. Why risk it either intimidating someone else/ causing them to envy OR make them think the less of you (because you haven't made as much money as they have).

I want someone with 50k and with 5 million to concentrate on what I am saying, not who I am supposedly am.
Totally agreed. (But I know I've already made the mistake of saying too much on many occasions.)
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