Author Topic: Financial briefing to coworkers?  (Read 3471 times)

ericbonabike

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Financial briefing to coworkers?
« on: March 15, 2019, 09:55:43 AM »
I'm 42 year old engineer.  Work for a midsize company which is experiencing significant growth.  I am also well on the way to FI, could RE, but kind of like my situation.  My wife and I both have cut hours down to 75%.  We Save 40-50% of our gross income.   And life is generally good, but I am 90% confident I will be fully retiring in about 5 years .  But, as my awareness of wealth management and investing has improved ( I have been on a book/blog reading binge since about 2016), I think I have learned a lot (very recently).    And now I want to give back.

So, I reached out to my HR lady and offered to pull together a briefing called:
"A Simple Path to Wealth at ACME Co"

I want to have a ~45 minute discussion, with about 15-20 minutes of questions to discuss:

1)  Why we should be talking about wealth management strategies
    1a)  The power of "Living within your means"
2)  The benefits of compounding growth, power of 72, etc.
3)  The terrible harm actively managed trading (either yourself or a Mutual Fund) will cause you
4)  How to exploit ACME Co's 401k to maximize wealth growth  (We use Principal and have a few good options of low cost indexes)
5)  A couple of case studies (was thinking like something out of "Millionaire Next Door")
6) A review of "exotic" tax minimization strategies (i.e. backdoor Roth, Roth Conversion Ladder, SEPP plan), and maybe a general case for "how to get your money out of your retirement accounts".


We are hiring dozens of young engineers who have just exited college and I suspect that they know as little as I did when I was that age.  I was hoping to intercede and help them get on the simple path.   


Looking for feedback (critical or otherwise).  Am I on the right track outline wise?  Am I missing anything? Did I bite off too much to chew?  Have any of you folks ever done this?  Have any advise???

Was planning on pulling from JLCollins website a bit (with full credit), MMM (with full credit), and John Bogles "Common Sense on Mutual Funds", and Millionaire Next Door


TheHardenedInvestor

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 10:02:54 AM »
Great outline, and I’d love to listen to your presentation. Only advice, incoming recent grads don’t need all of that yet. They really need to understand how to read a paycheck, basics about Federal income tax, savings rate, how to maximize their 401k, and some basics about asset allocation. You will fill up 45 mins in no time with them and you won’t even complete those topics.

On that note, no way you cover that level of information in 45 mins with questions.

Fishindude

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 10:42:47 AM »
We did some of this stuff at my company.  the frustrating part was, that the ones that really needed the help didn't care enough to participate.
The ones that were already in pretty good shape, approaching retirement, etc. were most interested.

BlueHouse

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2019, 10:49:03 AM »
Personally, I think as soon as HR gets involved, it'll all go to hell, partly because they'll be worried about liability if you say something and someone loses money based on the advice. 
Would you be interested in starting a "club" that meets weekly or monthly as a brown-bag lunch in a conference room and talk about these and other subjects?   I would join one in a heartbeat!



TheHardenedInvestor

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Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 10:52:57 AM »
Personally, I think as soon as HR gets involved, it'll all go to hell, partly because they'll be worried about liability if you say something and someone loses money based on the advice. 
Would you be interested in starting a "club" that meets weekly or monthly as a brown-bag lunch in a conference room and talk about these and other subjects?   I would join one in a heartbeat!

Right. HR will definitely squash the idea of a  presentation. That’s a given. If you ask them, they will say no. They have to say no. They would squash the “club” as well. I’ve seen Slack personal finance discussion channels get squashed by HR.

Saving in Austin

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 11:56:02 AM »
I would think that FIRE is a direct threat to Acme Co.
Do they really want their engineers to retire early ?
Seems like they would bear the cost of training new workers.
I don't think you'd be approved.

scantee

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 11:59:48 AM »
Does your company have employee resource groups? That might be a better avenue for this, if they do. Personally, I wouldnít want to be lectured to on a topic not related to the work by one of my coworkers. I would however be interested in joining a group that had more collaborative sharing.

The_Pretender

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 12:52:23 PM »
I would think that FIRE is a direct threat to Acme Co.
Do they really want their engineers to retire early ?
Seems like they would bear the cost of training new workers.
I don't think you'd be approved.

My understanding is that Employers should look for ways for people to become FI.  Some of the best people I have worked with were FI and they truly loved what they did.  Now in their case, they have more than enough based on their spending lifestyle (my guess is 60-70K/yr) but they believed they needed 5-6M for a safe retirement.  If I were an employer, I would like to know my employees are working towards, close to or completely FI compared to the employee that needs a paycheck.   

Also, everyone at any company is replaceable.  If ACME Co. continues to provide excellent benefits allowing people to become FI in a decade (and choose to RE)... they should be able to attract good talent to back fill.

utaca

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 01:04:21 PM »
Personally, I think as soon as HR gets involved, it'll all go to hell, partly because they'll be worried about liability if you say something and someone loses money based on the advice. 

This is exactly right. Not to mention that OP could be opening himself up to the same sort of liability.

The idea is well-intentioned though!

Curmudgeon

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 01:32:58 PM »
I RE'd from a Megacorp, and we had a 'finance' club there.  It met  during lunch hours, and invited speakers would give talks on various money-related matters.  It had HR's blessing.  Every meeting started with a disclaimer that this was an extra-curricular activity, and views expressed did not represent those of the corp.   That said, we always avoid discussing specific stocks or investment choices and restricted ourselves to more general principles.

Given that, I'm not sure how this is different than any other informal group of employees, whether it's a programming club, a money club, a hiking club, or a 'let's meet after work for drinks' club.   The company is not responsible for things that workers do on their own time.

I say go ahead, and shoot for the club.  One presentation will only whet their appetites for more information, and there will be stuff to discuss on an ongoing basis.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 02:01:15 PM »
I did a baby version of this for my staff. I actually wish I had done a better job because I donít think I was comprehensive enough. I think what youíre planning is great, someone will learn from it. Congrats!

rothwem

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 02:34:40 PM »
Man, as a young engineer, I would've loved to have some sort of talk to figure out what to do.  My first year of work was 2009, and from 2009-2011, I only contributed 3% of my check to my 401k.  During the biggest bull run in fucking history.  I bought expensive bicycles, an almost new BMW, a motorcycle, and stashed the rest in my checking account. 

One pitfall I see to your plan is that since its work, its tough to talk about your personal finances.  But if you don't talk about your personal finances, its hard to establish credibility.  As the saying goes, "don't take financial advice from broke people", how would anyone know if you're broke or not? 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2019, 02:28:52 AM »
I plan on doing something like this with the Soldiers in my National Guard unit. It helps that I'm in charge so they have to sit and listen to me :) We're going to be deploying which means a big paycheck for a lot of young guys. Most will probably blow it all on a new vehicle once we get back and if I can simply convince them not to do that it could equate to saving hundreds of thousands by the time they retire. When I deployed at age 20 I came home with about $15k in savings and spent virtually nothing for 6 months except buying a laptop and an occasional snack or drink. It's really easy to save money when all your food and lodging is provided and the only place to eat out is a Subway or coffee shop.

civil4life

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 01:01:14 PM »
I agree that the outline is over ambitious.  Financial information needs to be taken in in small doses.

I would consider polling the younger engineers.  See what finance topics they are most interested in.  Some might be more knowledgeable than others.  I was one that worked on building my 401k from the beginning.  I tried to share the advantages of that to my coworkers but it was not easy to get others on board. 

The obvious case study of starting now vs waiting 10 years.
Getting free money..i.e. company's 401k match.

Many people are scared/overwhelmed about using the stock market.  I think pointing out that it can be automated and they do not need to be an expert.  ETFs and Targeted funds.

reeshau

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 02:15:14 PM »
Great outline, and Iíd love to listen to your presentation. Only advice, incoming recent grads donít need all of that yet. They really need to understand how to read a paycheck, basics about Federal income tax, savings rate, how to maximize their 401k, and some basics about asset allocation. You will fill up 45 mins in no time with them and you wonít even complete those topics.

On that note, no way you cover that level of information in 45 mins with questions.

Don't forget dealing with student loans!  And buying a house!  The original proposed agenda is great, eventually, but I agree you should take input from the prospective participants.  Addressing their immediate concerns could get them to open up on the important, but not urgent, topics.

I had a similar informal, brown bag lunch group at work.  I was a key, but not only, presenter / participant.  It will probably work better, too, as a discussion and not a lecture--although, occasionally, that can be OK if you have recognized expertise.

Case

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2019, 09:39:24 AM »
I'm 42 year old engineer.  Work for a midsize company which is experiencing significant growth.  I am also well on the way to FI, could RE, but kind of like my situation.  My wife and I both have cut hours down to 75%.  We Save 40-50% of our gross income.   And life is generally good, but I am 90% confident I will be fully retiring in about 5 years .  But, as my awareness of wealth management and investing has improved ( I have been on a book/blog reading binge since about 2016), I think I have learned a lot (very recently).    And now I want to give back.

So, I reached out to my HR lady and offered to pull together a briefing called:
"A Simple Path to Wealth at ACME Co"

I want to have a ~45 minute discussion, with about 15-20 minutes of questions to discuss:

1)  Why we should be talking about wealth management strategies
    1a)  The power of "Living within your means"
2)  The benefits of compounding growth, power of 72, etc.
3)  The terrible harm actively managed trading (either yourself or a Mutual Fund) will cause you
4)  How to exploit ACME Co's 401k to maximize wealth growth  (We use Principal and have a few good options of low cost indexes)
5)  A couple of case studies (was thinking like something out of "Millionaire Next Door")
6) A review of "exotic" tax minimization strategies (i.e. backdoor Roth, Roth Conversion Ladder, SEPP plan), and maybe a general case for "how to get your money out of your retirement accounts".


We are hiring dozens of young engineers who have just exited college and I suspect that they know as little as I did when I was that age.  I was hoping to intercede and help them get on the simple path.   


Looking for feedback (critical or otherwise).  Am I on the right track outline wise?  Am I missing anything? Did I bite off too much to chew?  Have any of you folks ever done this?  Have any advise???

Was planning on pulling from JLCollins website a bit (with full credit), MMM (with full credit), and John Bogles "Common Sense on Mutual Funds", and Millionaire Next Door

I would watch out for being too much of an evangelist.  A lot of people are annoyed by that.  You can let ppl know that you can provide help if they want it, but i would very much back away from forcing yourself on people.  Holding seminars in the workplace is one step in that direction.

I would not mention the finance blogs very much, if it all, at least in any sort of classroom setting. 

Although i and most people here support the FIRE movement, it tends to be markedly anti-corporate america/capticalism/workplace/etc...  you need to keep this in mind, and that you are attempting to build a seminar series within the lionís den. 

Discussions on how to take advantage of the 401k, beyond simply hitting the 19k pretax max, could attract negative attention from the company.  401ks have to be balanced at the Ďwhole companyí level to ensure tehy are fair to all employees, and if you hold a seminar on how to mega backdoor, HR might notice.

The workplace is probably the worst place to try to share details on personal finance, especially with an eye towards FIRE. 

Kayad

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 11:17:43 AM »
Yeah, if it was me at my work, in a one hour presentation, Iíd trim the more plainly FIRE stuff, especially topic 6, and just focus on the power of compounding and low cost funds.  Could be my work culture though.

BlueHouse

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2019, 11:19:39 AM »
I'm 42 year old engineer.  Work for a midsize company which is experiencing significant growth.  I am also well on the way to FI, could RE, but kind of like my situation.  My wife and I both have cut hours down to 75%.  We Save 40-50% of our gross income.   And life is generally good, but I am 90% confident I will be fully retiring in about 5 years .  But, as my awareness of wealth management and investing has improved ( I have been on a book/blog reading binge since about 2016), I think I have learned a lot (very recently).    And now I want to give back.

So, I reached out to my HR lady and offered to pull together a briefing called:
"A Simple Path to Wealth at ACME Co"

I want to have a ~45 minute discussion, with about 15-20 minutes of questions to discuss:

1)  Why we should be talking about wealth management strategies
    1a)  The power of "Living within your means"
2)  The benefits of compounding growth, power of 72, etc.
3)  The terrible harm actively managed trading (either yourself or a Mutual Fund) will cause you
4)  How to exploit ACME Co's 401k to maximize wealth growth  (We use Principal and have a few good options of low cost indexes)
5)  A couple of case studies (was thinking like something out of "Millionaire Next Door")
6) A review of "exotic" tax minimization strategies (i.e. backdoor Roth, Roth Conversion Ladder, SEPP plan), and maybe a general case for "how to get your money out of your retirement accounts".


We are hiring dozens of young engineers who have just exited college and I suspect that they know as little as I did when I was that age.  I was hoping to intercede and help them get on the simple path.   


Looking for feedback (critical or otherwise).  Am I on the right track outline wise?  Am I missing anything? Did I bite off too much to chew?  Have any of you folks ever done this?  Have any advise???

Was planning on pulling from JLCollins website a bit (with full credit), MMM (with full credit), and John Bogles "Common Sense on Mutual Funds", and Millionaire Next Door

I would watch out for being too much of an evangelist.  A lot of people are annoyed by that.  You can let ppl know that you can provide help if they want it, but i would very much back away from forcing yourself on people.  Holding seminars in the workplace is one step in that direction.

I would not mention the finance blogs very much, if it all, at least in any sort of classroom setting. 

Although i and most people here support the FIRE movement, it tends to be markedly anti-corporate america/capticalism/workplace/etc...  you need to keep this in mind, and that you are attempting to build a seminar series within the lionís den. 

Discussions on how to take advantage of the 401k, beyond simply hitting the 19k pretax max, could attract negative attention from the company.  401ks have to be balanced at the Ďwhole companyí level to ensure tehy are fair to all employees, and if you hold a seminar on how to mega backdoor, HR might notice.

The workplace is probably the worst place to try to share details on personal finance, especially with an eye towards FIRE.

You might try, instead of being the teacher, to frame it as you are a learner and want others to learn with you.  You could start by saying something about how much research you've been doing and then take one piece of advice each session and break it down.  For instance, if you're going to talk about "The shockingly simple math", tell the group about this blog entry, and that you've done the math, and you now want to do the math in front of them to make sure you're not missing/overlooking anything.  Let them try to poke holes in it, and at the end, if everyone agrees that it works, that's the most effective teaching method ever and you're not pushing your religion on anyone else.   Added bonus:  They'll understand it enough to help others understand it.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 11:23:53 AM »
Honestly, I think this is well intentioned but also not appropriate.

Itís one thing for outside people giving presentations but unless this is part of the culture for employees to put together little seminars like this on various topics or their hobbies, this is just going to sound like you are preaching to your co workers even if they go voluntarily.

Also, this is the kind of thing that companies pay other companies to do. Youíre giving away your time for free. And yeah I know itís a nice thing to do but not a good idea for companies to get used to their own employees volunteering for them for free.

pbkmaine

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 12:51:08 PM »
I would focus on the following for your first talk:

1) Cash flow and budgeting
2) Maxing out retirement savings

ericbonabike

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2019, 12:30:55 PM »
Man, as a young engineer, I would've loved to have some sort of talk to figure out what to do.  My first year of work was 2009, and from 2009-2011, I only contributed 3% of my check to my 401k.  During the biggest bull run in fucking history.  I bought expensive bicycles, an almost new BMW, a motorcycle, and stashed the rest in my checking account. 

One pitfall I see to your plan is that since its work, its tough to talk about your personal finances.  But if you don't talk about your personal finances, its hard to establish credibility.  As the saying goes, "don't take financial advice from broke people", how would anyone know if you're broke or not?

Hey all, thanks for the great feedback. I've read all of the replies, and want to respond to each and every one, but don't have time. 
I'm going to quote rothwem's reply, because it seemed particularly relevant. 


Yeah, that's gonna be a tough road to walk.  I don't want to appear to be bragging, but I feel like I need to establish my credentials. 

Was thinking something like
"Hey,  I'm a 42 year old engineer who's been working as an engineer for 20 years.  I achieved financial independence about 5 years ago. Last summer, my wife and I both decided to reduce our hours to 75% time.  Why? Because we valued our time together and with our children more than we did the additional income.  I'm not a CPA, financial planner, I don't have an MBA.  So the advice you're going to receive needs to be treated like all financial advice, whether you pay for it (especially if you pay for it) or not." 

And I'd like to also add a personal anecdote of what not knowing has cost me (about $2 million if I do the math correctly).  Letting money sit in CD's because I didn't know how to open a brokerage account.  Buying gold after the 2008 crash.  My 10 year cumulative ROI is 100%.  S&P is 367%.  What the holy hell??   


Slide 1: What is financial independence.    The state of having enough wealth passively generating more wealth to pay all of your bills.
            What is the most important thing money buys:  Freedom.  Freedom to buy "things", freedom to pursue interests or travels, freedom to work for somebody you like, doing work you like. Freedom from a certain amount of stress and worry. 

Slide 2:  Investment Order as pertains to ACME co.  Might need some help from you all about this, as we're in a slightly non-standard situation. 

Slide 3:  Compounding growth plot.  I'm trying to find a plot that shows your investment income versus your outgoing expenditures. Maybe have a couple of these at various income/expenditure levels.  "Teacher makes 60k, lives on 30k.  Is going to be better of than doctor making 200k, spending 180k".   

Slide 4:  Possibly show a plot or two about computing the trust cost of things.  "How much is my primo cell phone/cable/latte/carwash plan costing me".  "How much is that 50k truck really gonna cost me".

Slide 5:  Why we need to be invested in stocks and bonds.  I found a figure in common sense to mutual funds that showed a 200ish year plot of the returns of stocks vs bonds vs gold. 

Slide 6:  4% rule.  Why it's a conservative estimate.

Slide 7:  Why actively managed accounts generally underperform indices by at least their management fee.

Slide 8:  A discussion of ACME's 401k plan and which mutual funds best match the market. And a review of their very nice automatic 401k annual increases (you have to opt in).  We have MANY very expensive funds.  But a few very low cast index funds. Fortunately,  Large cap index, mid cap index, small cap index, bond.  Well, you can create a "total stock market" with the right proportions of those first three.   

Slide 9:  I wanted to close the main discussion with a figure I found on JL Collins website called "This is the top" 

https://jlcollinsnh.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/this-is-the-top.png



Slide 10:  A citing of potential round two (if anybody is interested).
             Roth vs traditional, backdoor roth, best brokerage accounts, tax loss harvesting, how to extract money from traditional IRA/401k before you reach 59.5, HSA / 529's, etc.

Slide 11:  Cite my sources of information.  JL Collins, MMM, John Bogle "Common Sense on Mutual funds", and Millionaire Next Door.

I think 11 slides with that level of content will be informative, not preachy, and actionable.  Our company is a top notch company, but we pay our 401k investor to come in once a year and provide a pitch on how to invest.  They talk a lot about retiring when you're 70.  And replacing 90% of your income.   And don't heavily advertise their low fee funds (they mostly pitch their target age portfolio's which come in about 0.5%.   

I think it's doing a disservice to our company and I'd like to help fix it.   My HR lady said she thinks it's a great idea, but she'll have to ask local office head (VP).  Me and him are friendly, so I'm thinking it'll go through.    I've started pulling slides together already.  I'm gonna try to get them polished up, and if I can figure out to post them to here, I will. 



civil4life

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2019, 07:14:01 AM »
Looks good.

Not knowing the exact content, but I would think Slide 6 would be after Slide 1.

I could not get the link in Slide 9 to work?

For Slide 10:  Does your company offer 529/HSA?  If not I would not go into it.

Brokerage accounts might be a bit risky...giving actual financial advice.

Backdoor Roth is probably a bit complicated if this is meant for more of an intro.

I think tIRA vs rIRA may be too simple.


frugaliknowit

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2019, 08:28:39 AM »
Personally, I think as soon as HR gets involved, it'll all go to hell, partly because they'll be worried about liability if you say something and someone loses money based on the advice. 

This is exactly right. Not to mention that OP could be opening himself up to the same sort of liability.

The idea is well-intentioned though!

+1

Retireatee1

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2019, 09:24:33 AM »
I would think that FIRE is a direct threat to Acme Co.
Do they really want their engineers to retire early ?
Seems like they would bear the cost of training new workers.
I don't think you'd be approved.

The MegaCorp I used to work for would relish the idea of the older, more expensive employees taking early retirement.

bognish

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2019, 02:12:53 PM »
If these are young employees, they are probably more focused on debt than investing. I suggest adding topics on student loans, car loans, mortgages, home equity line of credit and 401k loans. These things are evil in this community, but they might be a good idea depending on individual circumstances. More of your coworkers will be using these than 401k's or other investments.

Good luck with this. I was an accountant for my career and would never get anywhere close to giving investing advice or instructions at work. Closest I got was suggesting books, websites or resources at out 401k provider. Your class may be helpful to a few individuals, but will be hard to pull of without sounding preachy or like you are gloating. You will now be the rich guy at work. Also if anyone loses money with investments it will be your fault.

BlueHouse

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2019, 12:57:54 PM »
I hope you'll share this as motivation.  (from another thread)

Not even sure where to post this and I can't really tell my friends or coworkers, but OMG I have so much money now!  I started reading MMM in November 2018 and now not 6 months later there's so much money in the bank at the end of the month.  Just by looking for ways to save instead of just helplessly giving up my pay I've saved hundreds a month.  Changed car insurance (saving 100), health insruance (500), started shopping at Aldi (500), no eating out and very limited ordering food in (200), and just in general not buying stuff just . . . because . . . I don't even know why I used to buy stuff, but there were boxes from Amazon coming every single day.  I have like 2K more each month with no change in standard of living or quality of life--better really.  Changed cell phone plan (50), cancelled stuff I was paying for and didn't even notice, cancelled dog's health insurance (75).  I actually looked at my calbe bill and noticed stuff we were being charged for that we didn't even have, like HD, and extra cable box.  I started turning off lights when we weren't using them, like at night and during the day--yes we would leave random lights on since I just figured it wasn't making much of a difference.  Started turning down the heat so I wasn't opening bedroom windows to let out heat I was paying for (19% savings over same month last year). 

All the extra in going into my 401K up to the max then into a Roth and I'm so happy and excited now and looking forward to FI.  Instead of being depressed when I looked at our bills, I'm so happy with none of the stress I used to feel about our future.  I'm turning 48 and thought I'd be bummed about it, but now I can't wait to turn 50 and get to put more into my 401K!  Looking forward to biking this spring, maybe to the train into NYC, and saving a few more bucks a day.  Thank you MMM and all of you on these boards.  Inspired!

charis

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2019, 01:54:21 PM »
If these are young employees, they are probably more focused on debt than investing. I suggest adding topics on student loans, car loans, mortgages, home equity line of credit and 401k loans. These things are evil in this community, but they might be a good idea depending on individual circumstances. More of your coworkers will be using these than 401k's or other investments.

I agree with this - most new, young employees and recent graduates, with student loan, etc, debt and saving up for a house, are not in a great place to leap into an idea like "financial independence."  I would start with discussing how they can pay debt, save for a down payment, and increase or max 401K contributions at the same time.  Show the effects of compound interest v. spending (latte math).  That will get their attention.  Then schedule a follow-up for FI and 401K investment options. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 07:31:17 AM by charis »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2019, 02:08:06 PM »
Your slide pack is great. The thing that opened my eyes the most was creating a simple spreadsheet for tracking net wealth. I would have people to start to sort out, where are they relative to assets and debts. Iíd have a whole section on decreasing debts and/or good vs bad debt.

The other thing that was helpful for me was my budget now, vs my budget when I FIRE. The budget now becomes a game of reducing expenses as much as Iím comfortable with to increase my NW; the budget future letís me see how my 25x expenses will sustain me. It also showed me that my future life will look different than my work life.

Good luck!

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2019, 04:51:34 PM »
I have done something similar at my office - we framed it as Personal Finance 101, 201 and 301.  This is 100% voluntary and after regular office hours.  My situation was a little different as I am pretty open about my philosophical stance as it comes to money and I was asked by members of our office if I would be willing to have an open discussion about money.

The first one - well - it was rough.  First of all, I grossly underestimated the financial aptitude of my colleagues.  I was going after much more advanced concepts than they were ready for.  Secondly, it really turned into a Q&A across a wide variety of different topics (40 people in attendance).  The age range was wide but the majority of those who attended were on the younger side.  The 201 class was total plagiarism - I took the Pillars of FI from the ChooseFI guys and walked them through each one and introduced them to some more advanced concepts.  301 class is in the planning stages.

I wasn't as well prepared as you were to present slides etc.  Most of these people weren't even contributing to their 401K and this is publicly traded professional services firm filled with a lot of very smart people.  We spent a lot of time on the basics - debt repayment, budgeting, good/bad credit, credit scores, simple education on selecting investments for 401K and after tax, HSA's - that kind of stuff.  It was fascinating to see how little people really understood about their money - which isn't shocking to this community - but it was hard to believe how bad it really was.

There were some extreme examples in my group from one woman having $150K in student/consumer debt that had recently purchased a new Range Rover.  One of the attendees is a trust fund baby with uber rich parents but he was surprisingly well educated about money/frugality.   The best part of it all is that now my colleagues feel like they can come and ask me questions - you know the ones that really cared and were interested.  They come up to me on a regular basis asking for advice and guidance and I really enjoy that.  It was hard for younger people initially because I am Senior Partner in our firm and many of them wouldn't be comfortable coming to me for this kind of advice before but now they know I have an open door policy and word appears to have spread which is great.

One funny thing: I went on some kind of rant about Starbucks - the cost and long term implications of $5 coffee every day and now everyone in our office makes some kind of comment/excuse to me when we pass in the hall and they have a starbucks in their hand.  At the very least - the message was received. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 05:10:37 PM by WSUCoug1994 »

Case

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2019, 06:25:04 AM »
Man, as a young engineer, I would've loved to have some sort of talk to figure out what to do.  My first year of work was 2009, and from 2009-2011, I only contributed 3% of my check to my 401k.  During the biggest bull run in fucking history.  I bought expensive bicycles, an almost new BMW, a motorcycle, and stashed the rest in my checking account. 

One pitfall I see to your plan is that since its work, its tough to talk about your personal finances.  But if you don't talk about your personal finances, its hard to establish credibility.  As the saying goes, "don't take financial advice from broke people", how would anyone know if you're broke or not?

Hey all, thanks for the great feedback. I've read all of the replies, and want to respond to each and every one, but don't have time. 
I'm going to quote rothwem's reply, because it seemed particularly relevant. 


Yeah, that's gonna be a tough road to walk.  I don't want to appear to be bragging, but I feel like I need to establish my credentials. 

Was thinking something like
"Hey,  I'm a 42 year old engineer who's been working as an engineer for 20 years.  I achieved financial independence about 5 years ago. Last summer, my wife and I both decided to reduce our hours to 75% time.  Why? Because we valued our time together and with our children more than we did the additional income.  I'm not a CPA, financial planner, I don't have an MBA.  So the advice you're going to receive needs to be treated like all financial advice, whether you pay for it (especially if you pay for it) or not." 

And I'd like to also add a personal anecdote of what not knowing has cost me (about $2 million if I do the math correctly).  Letting money sit in CD's because I didn't know how to open a brokerage account.  Buying gold after the 2008 crash.  My 10 year cumulative ROI is 100%.  S&P is 367%.  What the holy hell??   


Slide 1: What is financial independence.    The state of having enough wealth passively generating more wealth to pay all of your bills.
            What is the most important thing money buys:  Freedom.  Freedom to buy "things", freedom to pursue interests or travels, freedom to work for somebody you like, doing work you like. Freedom from a certain amount of stress and worry. 

Slide 2:  Investment Order as pertains to ACME co.  Might need some help from you all about this, as we're in a slightly non-standard situation. 

Slide 3:  Compounding growth plot.  I'm trying to find a plot that shows your investment income versus your outgoing expenditures. Maybe have a couple of these at various income/expenditure levels.  "Teacher makes 60k, lives on 30k.  Is going to be better of than doctor making 200k, spending 180k".   

Slide 4:  Possibly show a plot or two about computing the trust cost of things.  "How much is my primo cell phone/cable/latte/carwash plan costing me".  "How much is that 50k truck really gonna cost me".

Slide 5:  Why we need to be invested in stocks and bonds.  I found a figure in common sense to mutual funds that showed a 200ish year plot of the returns of stocks vs bonds vs gold. 

Slide 6:  4% rule.  Why it's a conservative estimate.

Slide 7:  Why actively managed accounts generally underperform indices by at least their management fee.

Slide 8:  A discussion of ACME's 401k plan and which mutual funds best match the market. And a review of their very nice automatic 401k annual increases (you have to opt in).  We have MANY very expensive funds.  But a few very low cast index funds. Fortunately,  Large cap index, mid cap index, small cap index, bond.  Well, you can create a "total stock market" with the right proportions of those first three.   

Slide 9:  I wanted to close the main discussion with a figure I found on JL Collins website called "This is the top" 

https://jlcollinsnh.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/this-is-the-top.png



Slide 10:  A citing of potential round two (if anybody is interested).
             Roth vs traditional, backdoor roth, best brokerage accounts, tax loss harvesting, how to extract money from traditional IRA/401k before you reach 59.5, HSA / 529's, etc.

Slide 11:  Cite my sources of information.  JL Collins, MMM, John Bogle "Common Sense on Mutual funds", and Millionaire Next Door.

I think 11 slides with that level of content will be informative, not preachy, and actionable.  Our company is a top notch company, but we pay our 401k investor to come in once a year and provide a pitch on how to invest.  They talk a lot about retiring when you're 70.  And replacing 90% of your income.   And don't heavily advertise their low fee funds (they mostly pitch their target age portfolio's which come in about 0.5%.   

I think it's doing a disservice to our company and I'd like to help fix it.   My HR lady said she thinks it's a great idea, but she'll have to ask local office head (VP).  Me and him are friendly, so I'm thinking it'll go through.    I've started pulling slides together already.  I'm gonna try to get them polished up, and if I can figure out to post them to here, I will.

That's a nice plan, but here is a perspective to consider:

Engineers are really the last people that need this sort of financial advice.  There is a reason this forum is heavily weighted towards engineers; they are predisposed to Mustachianism.  They also have career paths that are engineered towards financial success.  Thanks to their wise choices earlier in life (and perhaps a predisposition towards problem solving, and willingness to take hard courses), they end up with high paying careers relative to their level of education (this is meant as a compliment, not an insult).  Engineers consistently make very high salaries.

If you really want to help people, instead of having a workplace seminar aimed at helping fellow engineers (already the cream of the crop), maybe you should target people that are struggling more?  Target lower income people and more challenged communities via community outreach.  Segway that into financial education.  Mustachian principles can really help them.
The potential impact of this is so much greater.

Anyways, this is not to say that what you are doing is not a good thing, but just another perspective to consider.

Malcat

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2019, 07:47:14 AM »
Oohhh...

It's a dangerous game positioning yourself as an "expert" on anything within the workplace, especially personal finance.

I do this in my professional world, although not my actual workplace, and it's an ENORMOUS responsibility being someone that people actually listen to in terms of their finances.

What happens if someone follows your advice and the market has a massive downturn. Do you trust that they won't sell out of panic and then blame you for the losses?

Have you even considered that not everyone will benefit from your advice and it could actually trigger possible negative outcomes?

It's one thing to talk about the basics of living frugally and the power of compound interest, but it's a whole other ball game to suggest how people should actually invest their money, like in index funds, etc.

Hell, even I don't do that and I constantly have people asking me for exactly that advice, which I legally can't give.

You may notice that the more actual expertise and authority someone has, the more careful and measured they are about stating anything from a position of authority.
There's a reason for this...

Be extremely cautious claiming authority, especially when it could affect your professional reputation.

SaucyAussie

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2019, 08:06:19 AM »
I think it is just going to come across as bragging.

What is your real motivation for doing this?

Tuskalusa

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2019, 08:44:05 AM »
I think itís a great idea to show the next generation that saving is possible, and to introduce them to the tools for doing so. I was thinking of doing something similar at mycompany. However, there is the concern that it will come off (unintentionally) as ďI have more that you do.Ē

Because of that concern, Iím starting with a 401k seminar, and will see where it goes from there. Everyone can benefit from understanding why a 401k is valuable. From there, hopefully teams will talk among themselves on how to start saving. Peer groups may be more effective for the next steps.

The other thing I do is try to be a good role model. I bring my lunch.  I model being responsible with company financial decisions. I give advice when asked. Iíve established myself as the ďhelpful finance nerd.Ē  Itís not as direct as a seminar, but I think itís helping folks who are interested.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2019, 09:23:24 AM »
Personally, I think as soon as HR gets involved, it'll all go to hell, partly because they'll be worried about liability if you say something and someone loses money based on the advice. 

This is exactly right. Not to mention that OP could be opening himself up to the same sort of liability.

The idea is well-intentioned though!

+1

On the liability side, I had a coworker say that engineers are exempt from adviser liability.
I haven't researched it past than an initial search for the Advisers Act and ctr+F for "engineer", but I'd appreciate hearing from others that have taken the time to look into it.
Thoughts?

https://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/iaregulation/memoia.htm

"Section 202(a)(11)(A)-(E) of the Advisers Act expressly excludes certain persons or firms from the definition of an investment adviser. These persons or firms need not register under, and generally are not regulated by, the Advisers Act. Excluded are:
... Lawyers, accountants, engineers, and teachers if their performance of advisory services is solely incidental to their professions."

Gondolin

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Re: Financial briefing to coworkers?
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2019, 08:19:57 AM »
Quote
Lawyers, accountants, engineers, and teachers if their performance of advisory services is solely incidental to their professions

+1. Thank you for posting this. My dad (an attorney) used to go around to local schools and clubs preaching about the basics of compounding and the dangers of credit card debt. At no point was there was there any way he was liable for the later decisions of people who attended those presentations.

People on this board (and in general) like to go on about "the liability" like it's some legal catch-all for "someone could bring a frivolous lawsuit" rather than specific responsibilities governed by explicit statute.