Author Topic: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage  (Read 8529 times)

LynnM

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Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« on: March 17, 2014, 04:36:38 PM »
Married a long time and dealt with many, many issues together and made it through remarkably well.  However, we still have HUGE arguments about risk levels in our finances.  He wants it all invested in aggressive high risk like small-cap funds, foreign funds, weird stocks or options.  He has about 80% of our finances invested in this through 401Ks and some other accounts.  I manage about 20% of our finances, and I think I'm risky enough with investment real estate and a cash emergency fund of about 6 months' worth of mortgage payments on our investment property and our personal bills.  I've ridden out the options scenario with him several years ago where he gambled $2500 and turned it into $70,000 in 2 months then lost it all within the next 2 months betting on more options, but if you ask him about it, he says he only lost $2500, and on one level, he is right.  I thought it would be a lesson in risk management.  He saw it as playing with $2500, losing, and moving on.  He always has control of most of our finances, anyway, and I don't say anything about the risks he takes unless he asks (and all I ever tell him even then is I don't understand his all-or-nothing philosophy, why can't he at least balance 10 or 20% of it in safer funds or money markets?), but now he's actually lecturing me, telling me I'm failing us because I didn't make 20+% the last 2 years like he did, and I should admit failure and turn it all over to him.  I think he has to know on some level that those returns will not be duplicated each year, and I think he is totally wrong in assuming that because he was lucky for 2 years that somehow makes him right and me wrong.  He refuses to listen to why I think my allocation for the 20% I handle is better long term, says I am limiting our financial success by not being aggressive like him.  He says we can use credit cards for emergencies, and I should be letting him invest all our emergency fund as we'd have 20% more than we do right now in that account if he had control of it.  What if the economy tanks again, the market falls, and they cancel our cards or lower our limit right at the time we need the money?  I tell him I need that account to sleep at night.  He says I'm actually hurting us, and he appears to really believe it.  I'm exasperated, so if he's right, please try to explain why in a less condescending and hurtful tone than he has done, and if I'm right, please give me some decent way to explain it so he'll understand what I'm saying.  Thank you for any help you can offer.   

homehandymum

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 07:00:07 PM »
Well, I don't think he's right, but I have a moderately conservative risk profile myself :)

No words of wisdom, but I hope you can sort it out amicably. 

My DH and I each choose the risk levels for our own individual retirement savings, but at the moment we have no other investments (concentrating on paying off mortgage first).  If we had widely disparate views on it, we'd probably split the remainder 50/50 and have a friendly competition. 

But it sounds like your competition is less than friendly.  :( 

bikebum

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 07:45:00 PM »
I'm not married and don't have advice, but I don't think he's right either. Best luck to you.

socaso

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 07:46:00 PM »
The past two years of the stock market have been unusual in terms of growth. Personally I wouldn't want to risk my whole portfolio on stocks. You've got to be a little aggressive and a little conservative. He gets to do the aggressive bit and you do the conservative bit. It would be ideal if he would just let this scenario ride and not critique you for it. Since he manages the bulk of your assets this doesn't seem unreasonable. If you could call some sort of truce in which you each agree to manage your allotted bits of the financial portfolio the way you see fit then you would both benefit. If this was 2008 you would look like the wise owl because stocks tanked. That doesn't make you dumb for being conservative when the market is up.

MDM

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 07:50:45 PM »
There are both "Married a long time..." and "...the last 2 years..." in the OP.

Sure, in the last 2 years almost anything stock-related has done well.  And, if one looks at things over a long time, stocks have historically done better than real estate and cash.  But using only the last two years to extrapolate "best in the near future" is naive.

Would need to know more about your overall status - age, current income, current (and projected retirement) spending, net worth, etc - before having more specific thoughts.  If the two of you can collaborate to develop that (so it becomes "our" status, rather than "his opinion/her opinion", it would be good.  Everything expect for projected retirement spending should be factual, not speculative.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 07:54:49 PM »
good luck. hopefully you guys don't have this much tension on other issues.

diversify. :)

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 09:37:42 PM »
So let's run down the list.

1. Takes risks with money that make you deeply uncomfortable.
2. When you express discomfort, acts like you are stupid and wants even more control.
3. Is a bit unreasonable, and then makes you question if you are the one being silly.
4. Expects you to beat his returns or give up control. (my way or the highway)
5. Lectures you.

So this is only a hunch and I don't know either of you. But to me, your post has red flags dangling from every sentence.

Ignore me if I'm off base. It wouldn't be the first time. :)  But if I'm not, you're probably dealing with control issues, not financial issues. A chat with a counselor might give you some strategies for working through your disagreements in  fair and low stress way.

Tyler

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2014, 11:08:15 PM »
But if I'm not, you're probably dealing with control issues, not financial issues. A chat with a counselor might give you some strategies for working through your disagreements in fair and low stress way.

+1.

Also, considering the history with options (chasing 2800% returns in 2 months is downright reckless to me and it's no wonder it vanished), to me it sounds like he may have a problem with addiction to gambling/investing.  That may also explain his demand for more money and gaslighting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting) of your opinion on the finances.  I certainly don't know your husband so take my opinion with a grain of salt.  But I agree that counseling wouldn't hurt either way.

marty998

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 02:49:27 AM »
The market makes mince meat of 99% of traders eventually. One day he will lose the lot and say thanks darling for being conservative with some of our money.

You know that day will come, you need to start tucking away a little bit more and banking profits.

Make a deal with him. Everytime he makes a gain, you bank half together. So for the $70k that he made in 2 months, bank $35k and the rest is play money. That way you never gamble away all your winnings.

If he loses the other $35k, then he can start again with newly earned money, not the previously banked amounts. Meanwhile you keep socking away a pile of cash into something more stable.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2014, 04:17:20 AM »
I agree with most of the above comments. Personally, I would say lets not doing anything till we get on the same page together. I have been married for 18 and have 4 kids so I will say imho you guys might have some deeper issues as well. He needs to move more like the tortoise. Sure he might win the lottery but if he is that crazy about betting then maybe he should just have some small amount to play with and in the meantime you guys invest together in like index funds or? but more conservative. Some of the things he said are disrespectful and hurtful i am sure. Think you guys need to address this.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 05:44:33 AM »
So let's run down the list.

1. Takes risks with money that make you deeply uncomfortable.
2. When you express discomfort, acts like you are stupid and wants even more control.
3. Is a bit unreasonable, and then makes you question if you are the one being silly.
4. Expects you to beat his returns or give up control. (my way or the highway)
5. Lectures you.

So this is only a hunch and I don't know either of you. But to me, your post has red flags dangling from every sentence.

Ignore me if I'm off base. It wouldn't be the first time. :)  But if I'm not, you're probably dealing with control issues, not financial issues. A chat with a counselor might give you some strategies for working through your disagreements in  fair and low stress way.

This. He's not treating you like a partner and sounds like a bully. Especially on the gaslighting another poster added.

To go the analogy route...

If this was a driving situation, say. He really loves to drive fast and weave in and out of traffic and has had many near misses, but so far, no one has been hurt seriously. He says that it saves loads of time and he's not had an accident yet, so his way is the only correct way to drive. You drive at or below the speed limit, and he believes your way is boring and wastes time. When you say that his driving scares you and you are very fearful of riding in the car with him, he makes you feel like you're being silly since nothing all that bad has happened yet. He is overconfident in his driving skills and discounts your fear of dangerous and reckless driving.

This is the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

LynnM

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 05:57:04 AM »
Thank you for all the replies.  Tyler, I looked up "gaslighting" and found it very interesting, and I'll have to mull it over more.  And ShortinSeattle, we did go through a few years of counseling, likely more than average, both personal and family, and we learned a lot about family and teamwork, but you pointing out that he is trying to be controlling again sounds very accurate -- one of the better counselors said a main problem was that we were all alphas (he used to travel a lot for work, usually in charge there, and I ran things at home to keep transitions smooth, but he'd want to be in charge when he was home, causing friction.  Even our children were raised a bit too independent, taught to always question, learn, and think for themselves -- not conducive to following rules as a teenager -- maybe too much so then but they are smart, independent young adults now).

As far as the gambling, that's interesting, too.  He's always acknowledged that he does have a more addictive personality than me, definitely more thrill-seeking as well, but he's channeled it into things like sports knowledge, fantasy sports teams, surfing, fishing, etc.  It's clearly coming through here, however, and maybe helping him see that will relieve some of the pressure between us.  I guess I'm not noticing that part because to me it feels like a personal attack -- he really seems to believe that I'm the one damaging us here by playing it too safe.   Marty998, I tried that specifically, and it didn't work.  We compromised at the time and he put half in dividend stocks (I wanted to pay down a rental property with it to lock it in), but when he lost the first half, he just sold those and bought more options.  It's like he doesn't understand the concept of balancing risk at all.  We've both done a lot of the same research on investments and retirement, but he obviously took away a different lesson than I did.  He truly believes that since we won't need our investments for another 10-15 years, they should all be as aggressively invested as possible.  I think I got through to him, a tiny sliver of light, anyway, last night after I wrote my original post, when I mentioned Meredith Whitney, who was the golden girl for a moment a few years ago but recently closed her firm showing 3 years of no profit (we used to watch a lot of CNBC).   Even professionals who do it for a living can get it massively wrong after being so right, so why does he think he's going to call it right enough of the time to risk it all?  Anyway, I saw his brain turning on that one a little.   If he feels this strongly about it, though, and so do I on my side, not sure how a compromise is going to come about on this one.  We're usually much better at finding a win-win when we disagree. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2014, 06:04:10 AM »
+1 to the controlling, I really liked the driving analogy.

And re stocks - Nortel  ;-(

Send him off to read Jim Collins on investing - MMM has had a guest post from him.  http://jlcollinsnh.com

LynnM

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 06:39:24 AM »
...

This. He's not treating you like a partner and sounds like a bully. Especially on the gaslighting another poster added.

To go the analogy route...

If this was a driving situation, say. He really loves to drive fast and weave in and out of traffic and has had many near misses, but so far, no one has been hurt seriously. He says that it saves loads of time and he's not had an accident yet, so his way is the only correct way to drive. You drive at or below the speed limit, and he believes your way is boring and wastes time. When you say that his driving scares you and you are very fearful of riding in the car with him, he makes you feel like you're being silly since nothing all that bad has happened yet. He is overconfident in his driving skills and discounts your fear of dangerous and reckless driving.

This is the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

This is so close it's creepy!  Except that he did total our car (I wasn't with him) years back, and we've compromised because we travel frequently.  We agreed that if he wants to drive with me in the car, he has to drive much more safely than he obviously does when I'm not with him (Arrive Alive! we always say now), and he agrees to let me take over if I think he's driving too aggressively without any arguments or comments about getting there later than if he drove.  I agreed on my side that on long trips I will set the cruise control 7 mph over the speed limit instead of at the speed limit as long as there isn't much traffic, to be renegotiated the second I get a ticket because of it.  Years later, we still haven't had a ticket (knock on wood), so I'm used to the 7 mph-over now and even do it when he's not in the car with me.  Maybe I can use that to help us figure out a valid compromise here.  The financial issue just seems so much more important, yet the car issue is likely more so as your life is really on the line there, and we came up with a decent solution for that one that works very well overall.   

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2014, 07:10:31 AM »
...

This. He's not treating you like a partner and sounds like a bully. Especially on the gaslighting another poster added.

To go the analogy route...

If this was a driving situation, say. He really loves to drive fast and weave in and out of traffic and has had many near misses, but so far, no one has been hurt seriously. He says that it saves loads of time and he's not had an accident yet, so his way is the only correct way to drive. You drive at or below the speed limit, and he believes your way is boring and wastes time. When you say that his driving scares you and you are very fearful of riding in the car with him, he makes you feel like you're being silly since nothing all that bad has happened yet. He is overconfident in his driving skills and discounts your fear of dangerous and reckless driving.

This is the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

This is so close it's creepy!  Except that he did total our car (I wasn't with him) years back, and we've compromised because we travel frequently.  We agreed that if he wants to drive with me in the car, he has to drive much more safely than he obviously does when I'm not with him (Arrive Alive! we always say now), and he agrees to let me take over if I think he's driving too aggressively without any arguments or comments about getting there later than if he drove.  I agreed on my side that on long trips I will set the cruise control 7 mph over the speed limit instead of at the speed limit as long as there isn't much traffic, to be renegotiated the second I get a ticket because of it.  Years later, we still haven't had a ticket (knock on wood), so I'm used to the 7 mph-over now and even do it when he's not in the car with me.  Maybe I can use that to help us figure out a valid compromise here.  The financial issue just seems so much more important, yet the car issue is likely more so as your life is really on the line there, and we came up with a decent solution for that one that works very well overall.

I agree it's a great analogy, and that's awesome that it actually reminded you of a similar conflict you two compromised on and worked through in the past. I wonder if bringing that example up with your husband would help, or not because he hasn't had the experience of "totaling" your finances yet?

nereo

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2014, 07:14:44 AM »
but now he's actually lecturing me, telling me I'm failing us because I didn't make 20+% the last 2 years like he did, and I should admit failure and turn it all over to him.  I think he has to know on some level that those returns will not be duplicated each year...
What jumped out at me about your post is his supposed "success rate" of 20+%.  Whenever you are looking at how "well" investments have done you need to compare it to a benchmark.  In 2013 the S&P 500 returned +32.4% with dividends reinvested.  In 2012 it was 16%.  If he's earned ~20% over the last two years after taxes, he hasn't beaten a simple index fund, he has badly trailed it.  If he's trading frequently, than the tax man can easily erase 1/3 to 1/2 of all the paper gains (Capitol Gains taxes). To beat the S&P in 2013 with options and frequent trading he would have needed gains of well over 40% before taxes. 

I can't help with your marital problems - I am set to be married this year so I have no real experience yet. 
I do like the idea of taking half of all gains and socking them away in a more stable environment, forever.  I also think it's important for investors to track every investment they make and compare it similar companies and to an appropriate index, including taxes.  I suspect both of you would realize that his leveraged and optioned strategies are loosing money year over year.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 07:24:07 AM »
Stories like this are why separate finances in marriage work for so many people.

Good luck resolving it when he has an attitude like that, yikes.

Personally, I'd approach it as 90% of this is couples money and we BOTH have to agree on it. He can have 10% "mad money" to gamble with if he must, similar to how many couples compromise on spending with a set amount of personal, no questions asked money.

Failing that, I'd start building a firewall between your money and his because divorce seems inevitable without resolution.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 09:09:32 AM »
I have a tendency to want to increase risk in our portfolios and my husband is a lot more conservative. We resolved it by setting our joint account at moderate-high, my retirement as ultra-aggressive and his retirement as moderate. We also had a conservative account - but I've chipped away at its low risk over the years, because every other account has out performed it - even in the downturn.

But I don't do what your husband does. I work in tax. I see the tax returns of gamblers who go to the casino and gamblers who play the options market. There is little difference between the two, other than that you can at least deduct all of your options losses.

This isn't investing - it's gambling. I would see if you can get him to stop options trading in exchange for a moderate increase in risk in your portfolios. But, personally, I would be uncomfortable with him managing it. In your shoes, I would want to hire someone. That said - I don't see this conversation coming out in your favor.

So you should protect yourself by maxing out every retirement account that's in your name. Refrain from sharing the statements.

hybrid

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 12:16:23 PM »
Ahhhh, the anonymity of the Internet. It allows one to seek and to give frank opinions. Frank opinion coming.

Why TF does your husband control 80% of the investments and you control 20%? Did you defer or simply abdicate 30% of your responsibilities when it came to the investing side of the equation? Or is the 80% "his money" and the 20% "your money"?  I'm really lost here. Whatever is going on, it sure doesn't sound like a partnership of equals, and I strongly get the sense you both  played a role in that arrangement.

So if we are going to take the car analogy one step further I would ask why is he driving in the first place if he is being so reckless behind the wheel? At what point do you insist he pull over?Because if you do, you need to be prepared to either take the wheel yourself or get someone else to.

I further agree with the notion that you both get financial (and perhaps marriage) counseling, because I think you need a neutral 3rd party to get involved at this point. Perhaps it makes better sense if you had a third party manage your investments and you could both sit down with that person and go over the level of risk you are (un)comfortable taking to meet your goals. That way at least you could more or less be on the same page regarding risk and reach a good compromise. I don't think your husband is entitled for one minute to declare how much risk is acceptable, but then again, he already has 4/5 of the car, doesn't he?   

AJ

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2014, 12:33:55 PM »
FWIW - I manage 100% of my family's money, I am very comfortable with aggressive risk, I have no problem with active trading and have done day trading and options before (rather successfully, tyvm)...

...and I STILL think your husband is in the wrong with this one. A fool and his money are soon parted - and putting all your funds into aggressive investments is foolish. There needs to some amount of balance and hedging, no matter how comfortable one is with risk.

I agree with others that (based on your description) it sounds like there are control issues at play. Even with my own propensity for risk-taking, I would still be very uncomfortable in your shoes. I think at a minimum you should insist on managing 50% of the assets until you guys can come to a mutually-agreeable arrangement that respects both of your risk profiles.

DoubleDown

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2014, 01:22:07 PM »
Tough situation.

I'm a big optimist and a fairly heavy risk-taking married guy. As advised above, try to find a shared vision and agreement. But honestly, once those attempts fail (and I do unfortunately believe they'll fail given your description of the current situation), I'd insist on splitting your investments 50/50, where you decide how to invest half of your savings. Having a significant portion of those assets in your name alone would be a good idea. Your husband is being reckless with your financial wellness and future, as well as with your feelings. I wouldn't usually advocate an ultimatum like this in a partnership/marriage, but I think it's going to be called for here, and I think his response to your insistence on separate investments will be telling as well. Standing up for your (reasonable) request will likely have other benefits to your relationship dynamic.

Having separate finances is very common, there's no shame in it and could be a great thing both for your financial and marital health in this case. Good luck.

phred

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2014, 02:14:14 PM »
Most anyone could make 20% these past two years.  How did he do 2008 to 2009?  Remember that the stock market is something like a sine wave -- right now it's up, later on it will be down and most will not know ahead of time when that will be.
  If you work, then, for your own protection, I would put any raises and bonuses you may get into a separate investing account he doesn't know about.  The key is to somehow avoid listing it and the income on a tax form without running afoul of the law
  Emergency funds are just that -- for emergencies.  If you rely on credit cards for emergencies, then you may be paying 20% interest.
  Finally, there is an old Wall St. saying based on what really happens: Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.  Pigs, in the investing sense, are aggressive high risk investors who frequently buy on tips and generate lots of fees to stockbrokers.  They get such an adrenaline rush from being in the game that it is hard for them to stop.

LynnM

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2014, 12:27:13 PM »
Thanks, all, for the informative responses.  I am going to come up with a few scenarios I would be comfortable with, and hopefully we will discuss it more rationally and find a decent compromise this weekend. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2014, 07:09:47 PM »
A lot of people have been suggesting marriage counseling and while I think that's a good idea, I also think that you should consider pursuing SOLO counseling with a different counselor. Couples counseling can backfire when one partner has that kind of dominance. Good luck!

Daleth

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2014, 07:22:28 PM »
I love the driving analogy. It's perfect.

I'm not married and don't have advice, but I don't think he's right either. Best luck to you.

If I step away from my personal preference for being slightly cautious so as not to put my family's future at stake, I can see how a case might be made for concluding that there is no right or wrong here, since what you're dealing with are two different personalities with two different needs. That said, there's a big difference between friction caused by, say, different sex drives in a marriage (which affects only the relationship) and friction caused by one spouse being willing to gamble with **80% to 100%** of the family's money (which affects the relationship, the kids, the housing, the retirement, the ability to educate the kids and help them get launched, the ability to care for aging parents, the ability to respond to emergencies, etc. etc. etc.).

But looking at this just as two different personalities/needs, this is a marriage and it won't work if you don't respect each other. The fact his investment philosophy, if you can call it that (I'd call it a gambling addiction, but perhaps that's too harsh?), is totally different than yours means there's going to be tension; the only fair way to resolve it, if you cannot come to an agreement, is to each have half of the joint/marital money and invest it as you each see fit. So rather than you giving him your 20%, he should give you 30% more so that you each have 50-50. (Have you noticed how many of us say it should be 50-50? And none of us think 80/20 makes sense or is fair?).

If he refuses to see that you two are at least equal here--at least equal in rights to this money and in the legitimacy of your different needs--then in your shoes I would insist on marital counseling because he is trying to run roughshod over YOUR NEEDS, which are just as legitimate as his. (Personally I think yours are MORE legit than his, because I suspect he has a gambling addiction, and an addiction is by definition not a legitimate need... but try this "only fair way/equally legitimate" approach first; it'd be interesting to see how he responds.)

Now let me tell you a little story. In the late 1950s one of my granddads found out about an amazing investment opportunity and put all his and my grandma's money into it. At first it seemed to be doing great, so he hounded her to just sign the damn paperwork so he could get a loan with their house as collateral, in order to invest that loan in this amazing investment opportunity.

Can you predict how it ended? She put her foot down; to paraphrase, she told him "You've already invested all our cash--that's enough; you're not putting our home at risk no matter how great an investment this is. I don't care if it means we end up less rich; I'm not letting you bet our home on this." And she refused to sign the paperwork. He was really mad at her... but then the investment tanked and they lost everything he had invested in it. So they lost everything they had... except the house, a lovely place that they raised their kids in and lived in for several more decades, which is still in the family today--and by the time she passed away it was worth about $1 million.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 07:40:40 PM by Daleth »

LynnM

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2014, 06:41:37 AM »
Thank you all for the candid comments.  It is what makes these forums work so well (if somewhat hard to hear).  We did discuss things further, and he admits his position comes more from a place where he's frustrated that we aren't where he thought we'd be financially at this stage, admitting his opinion is based on hindsight and if the market had tanked again, he wouldn't feel the same but likely appreciate the diversification (like Daleth posted about the grandparents), so mostly irrational anger and frustration that should not have been directed toward me. 

So, we haven't solved the issue entirely, but it has definitely helped us understand that irrational fears or anger, especially when directed toward each other, are potentially more harmful and risky than any investment decision we could make.  We had formed a plan together several years ago and were executing it very well, I thought, actually cutting our expenses over $1000/month, maxing out the retirement accounts, etc., and I've been searching out tools like these forums where we can find real solutions to achieve our goals from people who've actually done it.  We've at least agreed we need more frequent, frank investment discussions, more input and compromise on our investment choices at this stage, not separate decisions where I feel I have to be super cautious with my investments because I feel he's being too risky with his and neither of us comfortable with the other's choices.  I actually feel stronger going forward, so hopeful we can work it out. 

MDM

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2014, 07:03:30 AM »
LynnM, thanks for the update, great to see what has transpired, and best wishes for ongoing success.

gobius

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2014, 10:50:38 AM »
So let's run down the list.

1. Takes risks with money that make you deeply uncomfortable.
2. When you express discomfort, acts like you are stupid and wants even more control.
3. Is a bit unreasonable, and then makes you question if you are the one being silly.
4. Expects you to beat his returns or give up control. (my way or the highway)
5. Lectures you.

So this is only a hunch and I don't know either of you. But to me, your post has red flags dangling from every sentence.

Ignore me if I'm off base. It wouldn't be the first time. :)  But if I'm not, you're probably dealing with control issues, not financial issues. A chat with a counselor might give you some strategies for working through your disagreements in  fair and low stress way.

This. He's not treating you like a partner and sounds like a bully. Especially on the gaslighting another poster added.

To go the analogy route...

If this was a driving situation, say. He really loves to drive fast and weave in and out of traffic and has had many near misses, but so far, no one has been hurt seriously. He says that it saves loads of time and he's not had an accident yet, so his way is the only correct way to drive. You drive at or below the speed limit, and he believes your way is boring and wastes time. When you say that his driving scares you and you are very fearful of riding in the car with him, he makes you feel like you're being silly since nothing all that bad has happened yet. He is overconfident in his driving skills and discounts your fear of dangerous and reckless driving.

This is the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

+1.  Great analogy.

homehandymum

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Re: Help with different financial risk levels in a marriage
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2014, 02:11:36 PM »
Glad to hear you've had a good discussion.  Best wishes for the future!