Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

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celia
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by celia » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:25 am

GCD wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 pm
....but there is a lot of preachy advice given on this site that isn't asked for.

OP: Can anyone enlighten me on x?
Reply: You have a problem with Y and should do Z.
Yes, some threads get off-topic, but there are others like me who interject something new into the conversation when the OP didn't even know that something new should also be a relevant question. So how can the OP even ask a question pertaining to that side topic?

For example, one of the areas I am comfortable addressing relates to those who are getting ready to retire. Often the OP just wants to know if they can afford it financially. They believe that once they retire, they will stay in the x% tax bracket. Since I am well-aware that RMDs and SS starting at 70 can cause some folks' taxes to increase more than they are expecting, I often point out that they should estimate their post-age-70 tax rates before they retire. If the taxes will be a surprise, it might be well to start doing Roth conversions early. They didn't ask about doing Roth conversions, but it will be too late to ask when they are in their 70s, because they then can't change their plans regarding taxes. I saw a couple people this last week who calculated everything up to age 70, and then they thought they are "home free". But without recommending they re-consider what will happen after age 70, they only have the first part of retirement planned.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:58 am

celia wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:25 am
GCD wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 pm
....but there is a lot of preachy advice given on this site that isn't asked for.

OP: Can anyone enlighten me on x?
Reply: You have a problem with Y and should do Z.
Yes, some threads get off-topic, but there are others like me who interject something new into the conversation when the OP didn't even know that something new should also be a relevant question. So how can the OP even ask a question pertaining to that side topic?

For example, one of the areas I am comfortable addressing relates to those who are getting ready to retire. Often the OP just wants to know if they can afford it financially. They believe that once they retire, they will stay in the x% tax bracket. Since I am well-aware that RMDs and SS starting at 70 can cause some folks' taxes to increase more than they are expecting, I often point out that they should estimate their post-age-70 tax rates before they retire. If the taxes will be a surprise, it might be well to start doing Roth conversions early. They didn't ask about doing Roth conversions, but it will be too late to ask when they are in their 70s, because they then can't change their plans regarding taxes. I saw a couple people this last week who calculated everything up to age 70, and then they thought they are "home free". But without recommending they re-consider what will happen after age 70, they only have the first part of retirement planned.
I agree. It's important to answer the question they asked, but I also try to answer the question they should have asked. If that's useful to them, great. If it isn't, take what's useful and leave the rest.
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

GCD
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by GCD » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:09 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:01 pm
GCD wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:45 pm
On the other hand (see my post above), I don't think people should be giving unsolicited advice on things the OP didn't ask about. Which can be a dicey thing I know because maybe someone isn't aware of a side issue that is relevant to their main question.
There is a subtle, but important, line between unsolicited advice and saying something along the lines of "I know you asked about X, but in my experience Y and Z are related to X, so you might want to consider them too".
Absolutely. Part of the problem no doubt is that non-verbals are lost in the brevity of internet posts. I don't think people have a problem with what you, Celia, and WCI are noting.

retiredjg
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by retiredjg » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:26 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:58 am
I agree. It's important to answer the question they asked, but I also try to answer the question they should have asked. If that's useful to them, great. If it isn't, take what's useful and leave the rest.
My thoughts exactly. It is not uncommon for people to be asking the wrong question in the first place.

Sometimes they focus on the trees when the forest is the problem. Sometimes they focus on the forest when the trees are the problem. Some ask about forests when they should be thinking about oceans. And vice versa. :happy

To just let this problem slip on by only answering the questions they asked would be a disservice to the original poster and all the other people reading who may have a similar confusion.

denovo
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by denovo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:46 am

I know this is an old thread, but there's a comment I meant to make but I forgot about.


I feel like compared to a few years ago, the portfolio questions that people ask are way more complex. Make sense, the cookie-cutter easy stuff is on the Bogleheads Wiki, other sites, and on old threads.

The more complex stuff I don't feel comfortable commenting on for fear of giving bad advice.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

MJW
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by MJW » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:47 pm

I have tried as of late to make more of an effort to assist with basic queries.

With the quantity/frequency of similar, basic questions posted on the forum it does seem as if members go on auto-pilot at times with their responses. This can be seen in instances where terminology is used that may have a commonly understood meaning on the forum, but when taken in context clearly had a different meaning to the OP. I see this quite often in threads about emergency funds where a generic answer is given and the responder did not take the time to understand what the OP was actually asking.

The only true “eye roll” threads for me are the ones that go something like: “Hi, I’m 32 years old, make $350K a year; Spouse makes $200k. We have a $2.3M portfolio with no debt and live in a MCOL area. Does it sound to you like we are on the right track?” :|

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