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The Perils of Giving Advice …?

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OK, this is the column that could lead to divorce.

But there’s something I want to get off my chest.

I love my husband dearly. He’s clever and funny and handy around the house.

However, he never, ever, EVER listens to my advice

Over the past 15 years, I’ve encouraged him to:

  •  take up surfing
  •  try to meditate
  •  hire a book-keeper

among other things.

Sure, he’s finally come to the party: but only when someone else suggests the idea. Sigh.

During my great surfing safari of 2002, I would have loved a little buddy by my side, carving it up.

It was only when one of his (male) friends suggested taking up surfing that it happened – after I’d given it up (following a tragic fin-chop in 2003: “Arrrgghhh! Blood in the water!!!)

Believe it or not, I had to retain the services of a Buddhist Monk to convince him of the benefits of meditation.

And it took weeks of frustration, after starting his own business, to concede to hiring a book-keeper.

Well, you won’t be surprised to hear the same thing is happening with our investments.

Despite being dux of the school in maths, I’m discombobulated when a dollar sign is put in front of those numbers.

Hubby – whose father was an accountant – is always the trusted source for financial advice in our house.

Until about six years ago, when I decided to take charge of my financial future.

I started putting money into a Vanguard fund, with a combination of Australian and international shares.

Now, hubby’s one of those bricks and mortar’ kind of guys. So, he saw this a small side project. “Shares are too unpredictable,” he countered.

Anyway, last week, we were filing some documents in the office, when he caught a glimpse of my balance.

Yep, the share market has certainly bounced back in recent years.

Still, he wouldn’t admit he’d been sold on it.

“Yeah, I’ve been listening to some reports on the radio about putting money into shares. Now might be the right time to do it. Where can I get one of those Vanguard accounts from?” he asked.

It’s something I hear all the time from my female friends: why won’t my partner take my advice?

As women, we often play elaborate linguistic games (otherwise known as lying) to get our loved ones to come around to our way of thinking.

You know what I do?” one friend says. “I tell him that one of his mates suggested it. Then, he’ll listen.”

It goes something like this: “Honey, Pete’s investing in (insert fund here). He’s getting great returns. Perhaps we should try it, too?

Another will try to plant an idea with me – gulp! – to suggest to her husband during a dinner party.

It reminds me of passing secret notes at school. Why can’t we just be honest with each other?

Me: “Darling, I know you don’t want my advice. But here it is anyway.

Him: “I’m listening. And I will consider it. But I need someone to second the motion.”

Does this dynamic exist in your relationship? If so, why? And is it evident in your investment strategies?

I believe lawyers call this a ‘caveat’.

Email: tracey.spicer@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Twitter & Instagram: @TraceySpicer


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