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Ever had someone ask you for financial advice?

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    Ever had someone ask you for financial advice?

    I have had several folks in my life whose finances are in dire straights and they ask for my advice. The recurring problems are:

    1. I can't get them to come fully clean with their financial picture, so I am trying to play with a deck that has cards missing.
    2. They often love to hear your advice, but then haven't the will or intent to make any sort of wholesale change in their lives to address the problem.
    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

    #2
    Iíve had these conversations with others before and have been on both sides of the conversation.

    I asked a neighbor who retired early if he had any tips for me and he pointed me to Vanguard and Berkshire Hathaway. Got me to move and invest my Roth IRA instead of it sitting at my credit union in CDs. I also had a coworker tell me to refinance my mortgage back in 2008 and I promptly logged in and applied for a 15-year mortgage.

    I have also had conversations with others where I am either talking to a brick wall or we are sitting in front of a computer and logging into their 401k account and picking funds (usually go with target date funds for them) that have lower ERs.

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      #3
      Seems that talking about finances amongst my circle of friends is taboo. Not a peep from anyone. They are all doing fine, so it's not like we have any secrets to bury. Or maybe they aren't and that's why it isn't discussed at all. We were one of the secret debtors and we didn't talk about it.

      The only one I do discuss finances with is my MIL. FIL died 2 years ago and she didn't have a clue what was going on with their finances. I took a look and gave her some advice and talked to her financial advisor. He made some changes I recommended and ignored a few, but overall she has done great. Has a much safer portfolio for her risk tolerance and no chance of going broke. That feels kindof nice.

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        #4
        yes because people can sense when someone has their **** together.

        and no i dont act like a financial expert or anything. many times the less said, the better. it's more likely to create problems if they realize how well you're doing. If you give them advice and it doesnt work out for whatever reason, they may blame you. and in times of economic hardship, they will resent you for being well prepared, and not look up to you as a role model. Other than hinting them to get professional help or something, giving financial advice is generally a lose-lose situation. as texashuckster said, even if you give the most awesome advice, they likely will not have the willpower to execute.

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          #5
          I have had mini conversations with many co-workers and friends it never ends well. They tend to resent you.
          No one seems to tell the truth about their situation and unless it is a quick fix ...then forget it.
          Everyone seems to have too many different priorities as well. It is amusing to listen to all the rationalizations and misinformation they bring up.

          I was thinking about it the other day while looking at facebook. some co-workers are seriously in the same place as when I left them 7 years ago.

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            #6
            My younger sister has asked for, and taken, my advice on a couple of specific things. Maybe it works because she's NOT in dire financial straits, genuinely wants to hear what I think, asks with the intention of taking action, and just doesn't have much knowledge or interest when it comes to personal finance?

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              #7
              Not really. The closest thing that comes to mind was when I explained to somehow about harvesting credit cards rewards. I don't remember how that came up except that I was helping her make her first online order paid with CC.
              "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

              "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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                #8
                I've had a number of people ask for my advice, and I'm always happy to offer it, for what it's worth. My father & brothers all have, and typically heed allot of what I suggest. A couple friends have asked for & gotten very detailed suggestions, though not sure what they've done with it. Otherwise, I'll just discuss financial topics & give minor advice to folks as it comes up.
                "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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                  #9
                  Lots ask for advice. Only my nephew has ever followed up on it. I think people just want to hear "advice" that confirms that whatever they are doing is correct and just keep asking more people until someone agrees with them. No one wants to hear that they shouldn't put lattes on the credit card.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
                    Lots ask for advice. Only my nephew has ever followed up on it. I think people just want to hear "advice" that confirms that whatever they are doing is correct and just keep asking more people until someone agrees with them. No one wants to hear that they shouldn't put lattes on the credit card.
                    Correct. In today's me me me society, people aren't asking for advice, they're asking for validation. Only the people that have already taken conscious meaningful efforts is worth trying to help.

                    It's like people that talk about losing weight by switching to diet soda, but they're still eating super sized mcdonads plus dessert for every meal and getting zero exercise. This past year, i was slowly getting fatter to the point where I made a conscious decision to do something about it. I severely cut back alcohol consumption, started a reasonable exercise program, and portion controlled my meals so my caloric intake was what it was supposed to be. I probably should have did before/after pics because the changes were pretty notable, and in a short period of time. Note - starving myself and eating like a rabbit was not required. Motivation to make lifestyle changes has to come from within.

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                      #11
                      Yes and yet a lot of people do not listen when you give it so I don't bother more than just in passing. If someone wants advice and will sit down and really listen I'll give it.
                      LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                        #12
                        Of course.

                        The problem is they are hoping to hear some kind of secret magical silver bullet answer that will make overnight millionaires without any effort or changes to their jet set lifestyle....

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                          #13
                          For the most part, most people "know" they are right. It is extremely difficult to change someone's mind, much less their behavior.

                          A simple example of this is my current physical condition. I'd eat like crap and only do the gym once a week and spend hours in the house instead of outside, and at the end of the day be oblivious to the fact I am not at a healthy weight, because I "know" I am good enough. But over the last few months of doing meal planning / prep, getting back into jogging, hitting the gym multiple times per week, cutting all sodas and junk food from the diet, I see the pounds dropping on the scale and in the mirror. Nothing I am doing is really that hard, but I had to make it a priority to do it. Despite knowing a year ago I could be in better shape it just wasn't a priority for me.

                          Now if I couldn't convince myself earlier of benefits of striving to be healthier, how can I convince anyone else to change anything else in their lives?

                          Part of whats led to my own personal health improvements came from reading some Dale Carnegie books this year. "How To Win Friends and Influence People" and "How To Stop Worrying and Start Living". If YOU have not read these two books they WILL IMPROVE you as a person. I've tried to expand the scope these books to other parts of my life.

                          Ultimately change has to come from within. Dave Ramsey's phrase about "being sick and tired of being sick and tired" is the key. Until it clicks in the persons head, whether it be money, love, alcohol, health, or what ever, they will not change.

                          "How To Win Friends and Influence People" can definitely help in passing on advice to others. There are soft skills involved. Don't tell them they are wrong. Convince them your idea is better, and better yet, convince them it is actually their idea.

                          The other part of your post about getting all of the information is: How many episodes of Dave Ramsey have I heard over the years where they lay out all of the details, then 5 minutes into the conversation bring up the car loans that they didn't mention when listing debt to start with? People overlook stuff, BIG stuff. I don't know how or why, but they do.

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                            #14
                            yep changing the behavior is hard but everyone has to do it for themselves.
                            LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                              #15
                              A few years ago a fellow teacher asked me how I saved money and could invest. I explained I started a 403b when I was first teaching and it was hard putting that money in, but it grew. I said another thing is we lived below our means and saved money and then invested it. I suggested some ways she could cut her expenses. She said she thought it was just a magic way of saving money -- she really didn't want to cut expenses or do without.

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