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When relatives give bad advice

Your FICO® Scores can impact your loan interest rates, terms, approvals and more.
Senior Contributor

When relatives give bad advice

My extended family is a bit weird with money.

The people who are broke love to give advice and promote themselves as experts in all areas of finance, particularly regarding investing. As they try to tell me how they are brilliant investors, either they don't know...or don't care...that I know they're nearly broke (based on what their far more credible parents/siblings/spouses have said).

The people who have money and invest prudently usually play dumb and try to avoid discussing details around others so as not to arouse jealousy.

One relative knows I'm a savvy CC user into perks and miles but still tries to convince me about a number of what might be called CC urban legends.

Another relative recently talked to me (not to a general group) for several minutes about how he recently made X% in 2 months on Z company, and didn't care in the least when I took my phone out then and there and, after looking at the company and clarifying his precise claim, expressed fake confusion and only vaguely hinted the claim was impossible. (To have made X% in Z, one would have had to own it for many years.)

On another occasion, he was talking about stocks and he pressed me for the value of my investment in some given company. The true value was $X, but I responded with about 1/20th of X.

Another broke relative talked about company XYZ and how a long history of not paying a dividend allowed it to pursue all kinds of growth. I knew XYZ had paid a regular dividend for decades, but took out my phone and said something to the effect of "according to such and such website" it was "now" paying a dividend.

Anyone in a similar situation? How do you respond to the propagation of bad advice (and general financial BS) by relatives who shouldn't be giving it?
Major spend: CSR, CFU, BBP, Costco
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, ED, BCE, Arrival, DoubleCash
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, SPG Luxury, Delta Platinum, Aviator Red
Plan to close: Savor
Message 1 of 16
15 REPLIES 15
Senior Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice

Truth be told, while it doesn't help the propagation of misinformation, I usually just let those relatives share their bad advice and just go back and perform clean up later. I've learned that people who don't solicit your advice or feedback generally are not receptive to corrections. However, I too, am open to suggestions from this thread.

Starting Scores FICO 8 (Feb '18):
EX- 519, TU- 530, EQ- 545

Current Scores



Message 2 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice

Okay.

 

That's it. That's all I say to most bad advice. It sounds like these are people who have had decent influences for many years and have chosen to ignore them. Like @

 


TU FICO 8: 767 (5/19) — Ex FICO 8: 764 (5/19) — Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer
Message 3 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice

There's not really any danger of the smart people listening to the broke people...but the broke people may listen to the other broke people, not able to distinguish good from bad advice.

 

After a bit more thought, though, I figure the advice-givers like the sound of their own voices too much to really listen to any advice from others, good or bad.

Major spend: CSR, CFU, BBP, Costco
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, ED, BCE, Arrival, DoubleCash
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, SPG Luxury, Delta Platinum, Aviator Red
Plan to close: Savor
Message 4 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice

I nipped this issue in the bud by not speaking with most of my relatives. The ones I do occasionally talk with either don't share advice or know where we each stand financially and usually ask for advice instead.

Message 5 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice

Probably doesn't help the conversation at all, but I am one of those broke people who is good at investing. Or I should say was good at investing, I haven't bought a stock in a decade.

 

A river cannot be measured with a bucket. Being broke for most people has little to do with their investments, or investment ability, and more to do with their balance of lifestyle choices versus income.

 

That being said, all bad advice and misinformation, is bad advice and misinformation. So you certainly have reason to say that they are bad at investing.

 

 

Message 6 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice


@iced wrote:

I nipped this issue in the bud by not speaking with most of my relatives. The ones I do occasionally talk with either don't share advice or know where we each stand financially and usually ask for advice instead.


I'm on good terms with most of the family and see them often.

 

One (generally financially responsible) relative asked me to review her cards and suggest changes. We talked about cards for maybe 20 minutes. Convinced she understood everything I'd said, she made no notes and dismissed my offer to write out a few possible changes she might consider.

 

The changes she subsequently made weren't exactly awful but were definitely counterproductive.

Major spend: CSR, CFU, BBP, Costco
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, ED, BCE, Arrival, DoubleCash
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, SPG Luxury, Delta Platinum, Aviator Red
Plan to close: Savor
Message 7 of 16
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice


@wasCB14 wrote:

@iced wrote:

I nipped this issue in the bud by not speaking with most of my relatives. The ones I do occasionally talk with either don't share advice or know where we each stand financially and usually ask for advice instead.


I'm on good terms with most of the family and see them often.

 

One (generally financially responsible) relative asked me to review her cards and suggest changes. We talked about cards for maybe 20 minutes. Convinced she understood everything I'd said, she made no notes and dismissed my offer to write out a few possible changes she might consider.

 

The changes she subsequently made weren't exactly awful but were definitely counterproductive.


I also avoid discussing CC recommendations aside from with my spouse. My family has different travel/spend preferences than I do so I'm not going to get involved with that or the associated rewards cards/structure. If they want to fly Spirit airlines and stay at Priceline-picked hotels, that's their loss.

 

I wouldn't sweat the note-taking part. I personally do not take notes, either, and I imagine a lot of people are the same. I occasionally miss a detail but if I can't remember simple details then I'm too stupid to deserve knowing what they were. It's also entirely possible that she agreed to your changes to avoid debating it but went her own path later. We're all guilty of that one at some point in our lives.

Message 8 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice


@iced wrote:

I also avoid discussing CC recommendations aside from with my spouse. My family has different travel/spend preferences than I do so I'm not going to get involved with that or the associated rewards cards/structure. If they want to fly Spirit airlines and stay at Priceline-picked hotels, that's their loss.

 

I wouldn't sweat the note-taking part. I personally do not take notes, either, and I imagine a lot of people are the same. I occasionally miss a detail but if I can't remember simple details then I'm too stupid to deserve knowing what they were. It's also entirely possible that she agreed to your changes to avoid debating it but went her own path later. We're all guilty of that one at some point in our lives.


Envy may have also played a role.

Major spend: CSR, CFU, BBP, Costco
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, ED, BCE, Arrival, DoubleCash
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, SPG Luxury, Delta Platinum, Aviator Red
Plan to close: Savor
Message 9 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: When relatives give bad advice

You aren't going to get anything out of trying to prove them wrong.  People believe what they want to believe and if you argue with them they will just get angry at you. And if you do prove to them they are wrong they will only get more angry with you. 


Probably best to just agree with them or change the subject.  

 

I did try to talk my co-workers out of investing in virtual currencies when they were at their peak.  They just got angry at me.  They lost a ton of money and then sold out and  moved on to buying overpriced stocks like Facebook when it was at its peak.  Tried to explain why it was overvalued and they just got made at me.  Really it is a waste of time.  

 

 

More cards than I can mention in a signature.
Message 10 of 16