Sound investments..

Or: Why Bogleheads should maybe start giving relationship advice:

I don’t know much about investing money at all. Beloved does, and he’s a Boglehead. He has explained it to me as a way of investing that needs no constant tinkering, endless newspaper reading or screaming at stockbrokers to sellsellsell and buybuybuy NOW!!

Instead you look at your lifelong goals, wants, needs and possibilities. You also look at your current situation. Then, you make a plan. You save a lot and invest in a portfolio that fits your goals. Regularly (but not daily or weekly) you reassess the goals, wants, needs and possibilities, and tweak your portfolio to reflect the changes. This should bring you, regardless of short term market fluctuations, safely and comfortably into retirement.

To me that  seems kind of what one would want for a marriage too. You assess yourself and ‘invest’  in a partner that fits your situation. Regularly, but not daily or weekly, you reassess both your situations. If needed, you renegotiate, adjust and grow, ending with a happily ever after. And a well-off life after you retire.

Just for fun, I want to see if the five major Boglehead principles for investing can be translated into relationship advice too. Here goes:

1 Live below your means

In money terms, this will allow you to save. In relationship terms, it could mean that you do not continually test your partner, or continuously ask them to sacrifice their happiness for yours. make sure you ‘give’  at least as much as you ‘take’ so that no debt of resentment will accrue.

2 Asset allocation (holding bonds) is essential

Bonds aren’t very exciting things to invest in. They’ll give you back what you put in, but not much more. You generally have them for a long time, and they stabilize the value of your portfolio. For love: invest in the long term of your relationship. Make sure you don’t just agree on the awesome trip to Japan next year, but also on your midlife ambitions and retirement dreams.

3 Buy low cost funds that are widely diversified

A strategy to minimize risk and maintain value when the market fluctuates. Have a life outside of your marriage! Getting married is awesome.You get to be each other’s favourite person of all time. Forever! But if that only person is all you have, things get tense fast. Occasionally, you’ll need some stories to bring home. You need to have a network outside of your partner. Have family, have friends, a hobby and a passion. Don;t let your entire happiness depend on this one other person. If they crash, you lose everything.

4 Tax efficiency matters

Because every dollar Uncle Sam doesn’t get, goes on to get compound interest for you. So, be careful in which account to put your income. Make sure to pick the parts of your relationship worth putting energy into – don’t invest energy into solving your one and only disagreement if it is not deeply vital. You can use hat same energy  in a different ‘fund’  (say: the one that says ‘footrubs’  or ‘let me make you your favourite food’) which builds you compound love interest in the long run.

5 Stay the course

When the market fluctuates and you seem to be losing money, don’t panic and sell! Don’t be tempted to go for quick sells and buys in the hopes of more profit but instead, keep holding on to your well-balanced relationship, even when things don’t go very smoothly. It’s okay if a relationship has a few downs amidst the ups and plains. One argument (or a month of them) doth not divorce material make. Like with well-managed funds, a well-managed relationship in which a balance exists, will often return to it’s equilibrium of steady performance. Marriage is a long-term commitment. Like a retirement account, it’s something that you build on for your entire life, so that you will have a joyful, worry-free old age.

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2 Responses to “Sound investments..”


  1. 1 andee July 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I have a crush on your blog! I found you on A Practical Wedding from todays discussion of Dan Savage and I thought you were so smart and practical and honest. So thank you for sharing…and I’m excited to follow your blog!


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