At age of 70 parents ask for financial advice.... - Page 2
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Thread: At age of 70 parents ask for financial advice....

  1. #11
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    Jun 2009
    Okanagan Valley
    Quote Originally Posted by OnlyMyOpinion View Post
    If on the other hand you choose to get involved, I would suggest it is a tall order if it is to be done well:
    They and you have to be prepared for an 'all or nothing' involvement - you will need to understand their full financial picture - account types, assets, debts, investments, pension income, spending, etc.
    You will need to be familiar with the nuances of retirement income (CPP/OAS/GIS, pension credit, etc.).
    You need to be familiar with the types of investments that are suitable for their situation, plans and age.
    It may be that they are in good shape for the future and just need that reassurance, but I don't think you can do them any good by just suggesting they put some money into stock A or fund B.
    Age 70 is not when they should be looking for off-the-cuff investment advice.
    I agree with most of what you said, but not necessarily the degree of involvement. It may be that a cursory look at their mutual fund portfolio (and using fund websites to check fund 5 and 10 year returns) may tell you 80% of the story. What has been the return of that portfolio and is it reasonable for an active fund portfolio? Are the parents being unreasonable in their expectations? Or is it underperforming simply because it is constructed badly in too many 'bad' funds and needs switches to, for example, Mawer funds? I'd see if they are willing to share a 'look see' at the portfolio. If not, walk away. If so and they are interested in your opinions for change, then go for making simple recommendations for simple changes.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mookie's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wizard View Post
    Do you guys usually give your parents financial advice? How would you deal with this situation if it occurred in your family?
    I think that your response totally depends on your relationship with your parents, and how you think your relationship may be affected if you step in to help. I think in general, if your parents have asked you for help, and if you feel like you're able to provide that help, then why not give it a shot?

    I've been helping my parents with their investments for the last 5 years or so, and it has worked out pretty well. I got them out from under a supposed "financial advisor" who liked to sell them high MER DSC mutual funds, and then on top of that, proposed them taking out a huge leverage loan to invest even more. This is when the red flag went up for them, and they changed course, dumped their advisor, and went self-directed with my help.

    Even though I've been managing my own investments for the past 20+ years, I don't claim to be an expert in investing, and I remind my parents of that regularly, but I'm pretty sure I have more of their best interest in mind when it comes to investing than that slime ball ever had. Whenever we need to make adjustments to their portfolio, I always discuss it with them, and get their agreement before proceeding, and I always remind them that even though they've done pretty well these last few years, there are no guarantees, and there is bound to be a downturn ahead at some point.

    By the way, about a year ago I heard that their former "investment advisor" was fined $100,000 and given a 90 day suspension, and a permanent ban on offering leveraging strategies to clients by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada. The reason: he did not pay regard to documents that outlined his clients’ risk tolerance as well as things such as their age, employment status and ability to withstand investment losses, and for failing to ensure that his leveraged investment recommendations were suitable for specific clients.

    Looking back, I'm so glad my parents didn't just blindly follow this crook's so-called "financial advice", and I'm glad that I was in a position to be able to help them out.
    Last edited by Mookie; 2017-05-17 at 02:48 PM.
    If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

  3. #13
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    Jul 2016
    I've got mixed feelings about this topic. We are in our mid 70's and never expected or wanted financial advice from our kids. Of course neither are financially well off nor do they manage an extensive investment portfolio. We are the ones who have fairly large investments and have offered advice to them. That probably applies to most families.

    Guess the difference is we feel our investments will meet our future needs and have control of the situation. In this case the parents seem to have waited till the horses have left the barn before worrying where they are. I don't know how much experience the poster has or if he feels comfortable giving any advice. Asking for help forum this forum suggest does not. If that's the case than possibly a one time fee advisor maybe a viable option. Of course they should put together all the information others have suggested.

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  5. #14
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    Nov 2012
    My parents (also close to 70) started asking me for financial advice a couple years ago. At first I started telling them everything I thought, theories and strategies, but it was too much involvement... I've backed off from that.

    These days what I mainly do is check that they're not getting scammed or talked into a really bad idea. For example:

    - their usual guy at IG (before they abandoned IG) suggested a new all encompassing solution to their retirement: a brand new mutual fund with no history, no track record, high MER, and barely a few million $ AUM. I told my parents that this raises all kinds of red flags and can't possibly be a good idea, and it also shows that their guy is not as good or as honest as they think.

    - their usual people at RBC MF also got very pushy when they heard of imminent retirement and started pressure tactics to force fast decisions and commitments based on limited time promotions & offers. I told my parents that this is a bad sign.

    - they saw a fee-only financial planner. I asked what kind of advice he gave, and I looked at the docs the planner produced. They all seem sensible and plausible. I just looked at it very roughly, to make sure it looked in the right ballpark... 30 minutes of review.

    - the planner suggested a few mutual funds. I didn't recognize all of them but I had heard of one of them before. I dug into it a bit more (looked at performance, holdings, track record, and asked here on CMF) and confirmed for my parents that yes -- this one seems reasonable.

    - occasionally I remind my dad of tax things that he hasn't encountered before or has forgotten, like imminent huge capital gains that will be triggered by switching mutual funds. I suggested standard advice, like delaying sales until next year to spread out the capital gains.
    Last edited by james4beach; 2017-05-18 at 04:48 AM.

  6. #15
    Senior Member Beaver101's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    ^ Your parents are lucky to have a financial savvy son like you but for those who don't ... they're feeds for the sharks.
    Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.-A. Einstein

  7. #16
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    Oct 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wizard View Post
    ... Do you guys usually give your parents financial advice? How would you deal with this situation if it occurred in your family?
    Same way no matter who is it in the family.

    Give a general review with a few specific suggestions ... depending on what happens, either walk away or go a little deeper. Far too often, whomever has their mind made up already or wants the benefits with none of work.

    I learned to be careful early after hearing my uncle spend a fair amount of time discussing with his sister the pros/cons of a type of investment as well as what he thought was the best. Afterwards, he commented "if she is only going pay attention to what her expert recommended - why waste time asking me?".

    The only time Mom asked for ideas, I provided suggestions to her as well as my sister, the main caregiver (knowing she would need help). She followed up only because the suggestion took into account her temperament plus my sister was available to help her with the process. I noticed when it turned out well that my suggestion morphed into being a suggestion from my brother-in-law but thought that wasn't worth making a fuss about.

    Last edited by Eclectic12; 2017-05-18 at 03:22 PM.

  8. #17
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    May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wizard View Post
    ... although I guess he knows that I'm an avid investor.

    So in their early 70's, my Mom and dad have asked me for financial advice about stocks etc b/c they aren't happy with how their mutual funds are doing. They want my advice. Part of me is terrified b/c in my mind I'm thinking you guys are getting older and I thought you had it together, this is no time to be tinkering around. I have two much older brothers that they usually ask for stuff. I also don't want them sniffing into my business as I live my life very discreetly.

    They have asked for your advice, so you are not interfering by offering it.

    You have to be careful not to advise what you would do based on your investor profile. You need to give advice that is compatible with their investor profile.

    Starting to invest in stocks at their age, and with appears to be limited knowledge, is likely a bad idea.

    Ask them what mutual funds they are, or have been, in and what it is they hope to improve. Also what their investment goals are. They may just be in poor performing funds; or overweight in fixed income when fixed income has been performing so badly. It could be as simple as getting them into some better mutual funds.

    "sniffing into your business" - you don't need to reveal anything. If they ask, simply tell them your portfolio would not be relevant/suitable to their needs, as you are younger, have a different investor profile, and have years of experience at investing in stocks.

    As others have suggested, you may need to get to the root case of why they are suddenly asking for advice, which could entail looking at their overall financial picture. But cross that bridge when (and if) you come to it.
    Last edited by OhGreatGuru; 2017-05-18 at 08:35 PM.

  9. #18
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    May 2017
    I don't usually give financial advice but if necessary i will

  10. #19
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2009
    With anybody I direct them to sources of good information. I explain TFSA,RRSP,RESP and direct them to good sources. Go thru drips,gic,bonds,stocks couch potato. Whatever interest them. If they do the work and move to investing great.

    I don't give specific information. If I did my sign would on the gate "Specific Investment Advice Sold Here"

  11. #20
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    Sep 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wizard View Post

    I also found out that my grandmother is going to be experiencing a financial shortfall paying for her retirement residence, and perhaps this may have put my parents into panic mode. Keep in mind they never share anything of this type of stuff with me as I'm the youngest.

    Do you guys usually give your parents financial advice? How would you deal with this situation if it occurred in your family?
    It seems like it is Grandma's rent that is precipitating this crisis. She should be able to get a subsidy for her rent. Go to the management of the residence and ask if they have any subsidiezed units and ask for the contact info for the social worker to apply. If you want to keep a low profile plant the idea in the head of your older siblings, or parents and let them do it. Once she gets a subsidy that should stop the bleeding.

    We can not know things as they are in themselves, but only as they appear to us.

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