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Robin Powell: Hello there; It’s very important, for the vast majority of us, that we have a financial adviser — and that we talk to him or her throughout our lives. But there's someone else it’s vital you talk to about investing — your spouse.
Research by UBS found that most affluent and high-net-worth couples in the United States share responsibility for financial decisions. However, certain decisions were more likely to be made by women — those about day-to-day finances or charitable donations, for example. Similarly, some decisions were far more likely to be made by men. Even among younger couples, fewer than one in five women decide about investments.
This is concerning. Investing is the foundation of financial security. And it’s vital that both partners are involved. Investment author and consultant Charley Ellis says the priority is to discuss the benefits of a passive approach to investing.
Charley Ellis: A man talking to his wife or a woman to her husband and saying here’s what I’m trying to do and here’s how I’m trying to do it. If they would both read two or three serious books on investing. Serious books. Not the ones that say “How to Shoot The Lights Out”, “How to Make A Million” that sort of thing. But read serious books, and then have a serious conversation some quiet leisurely Sunday afternoon, and see if they can come up with something they think is really worth doing. They might try Burton Malkiel's “Random Walk Down Wall Street” or if you don’t mind my book “How To Win The Losers Game” just to get started.
If you read those books and said: “Ok, let’s assume for a minute that those books are reasonably realistic”. Because both of us wrote the books trying to be helpful to other people. You would then find there’s a very difficult set of questions that have to do with. “Can you actually find managers who will beat the market on a regular basis for the kind of fee that does get charged?”. And I think that the answer for most people, it certainly is for me, is to turn to indexing.
Robin Powell: Of course, once you’ve made the decision to adopt an evidence-based investing plan, you need to stick to it and talking together as a couple can help to keep you on track. In fact, the evidence shows that when market volatility strikes, men are more prone to give in to their emotions, while women are better at staying the course.
So, yes, talk to your adviser. But remember to talk to your spouse, as well.
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