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The most underestimated secret weapon that will make you rich!

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December 04, 2009 – Comments (11)

My wife.

No, I don't mean my wife specifically.  But your partner or spouse.  I have read columns and columns from tons of investment and news sources, but this very important secret weapon never gets mentioned.  There are all sorts of investment strategies...sure.  There is also a very Fool orientied philosophy to pay off debt, live at or below your means, and invest for the long term.

This is something that I am adamantly a believer of.  Outside of my house, I have been debt free since I was 23.  I live well, but well below my means.  I am a saver.  I'm not cheap, but I do look for sales.  I love investing, I love business, and I love reading and learning more.

So does my wife.

We have earned good money, but never 6 figures.  Both of us received the same three very important things from our parents: 1) an understanding of the value of money, 2) our education, and 3) a debt free start to our adult life.  No fat trust fund, no start up money.  Just the basics.

We choose to live a simple life.  We chose to buy an expensive, small condo in our city rather than a house in the burbs (and believe me:  housing is expensive in Europe), but we both ride our bikes to work (and all over the place for that matter).  We have one car.  We have a big screen TV, but we spend our time with our kids playing or reading.  We have fewer 'things', because our 1100 sqft. condo can't hold them.  We live way below our means, but we take GREAT vacations -> more quality family time.

We will be millionaires before we are 40.  The house will be paid off in 5 years.  We will retire at 60 (or earlier).

We decided a number of years ago that we are our own best trustees of our wealth.  We created our own 'tool' for financial models (via Excel, of course).  We do our own research, and we try to convince the other that it is the right decision...which is always a tough sell.  We have different investing philosophies and backgrounds due to our different cultures (German vs. American).  But we have made it work.  The first discussions were long, believe me.  We have a boring investing strategy:  buy and hold.  Sell only when you have to.  We are not traders.

Without such a strong partner - be it from a spending/saving standpoint or an investing standpoint - I would have accomplished much less.  WE have accomplished a lot together, WE have a great strategy, and WE are the best financial advisors that we could have.

Not because we are smarter than the rest of you.  But because we are a great team.

The next time you see a good financial article or make an buy/sell decision,  ask your spouse or partner for their thoughts and ideas.  If you can figure out how to get interested into your own financial well-being together, you will be better off.  You are the best stewards of your money.

If you can figure out how to make it work, together, you will achieve more.

I have been wanting to write this for a while...I hope you enjoyed the post.  Your comments are highly appreciated.

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 04, 2009 at 6:30 PM, fmahnke (88.18) wrote:

Congratulations

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#2) On December 04, 2009 at 8:32 PM, rustyph (< 20) wrote:

I'll second that

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#3) On December 04, 2009 at 8:43 PM, hhasia (62.53) wrote:

Well done.   To keep things simple I like to remember this:

A mans brain works like a hotel hallway with doors on each side of the hall. Behind each door is a room representing different features. A room for work activities, a room for play, a room for kid stuff...

A womans brain works like a washing machine. Everything can be connected together at some point.

Put these two brains together on the investing front with patience and love thrown in...no wonder there will be early retirement and great holidays.

 

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#4) On December 05, 2009 at 11:58 AM, go4buffs (96.30) wrote:

I'm not too sure I'd go around calling my wife a wash machine, but I know what you mean...makes sense and is a good comparison...yet another reason we fit so well together.

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#5) On December 05, 2009 at 12:47 PM, hhasia (62.53) wrote:

I am a washing machine, lol

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#6) On December 05, 2009 at 4:17 PM, rexlove (99.56) wrote:

Maybe your wife is your secret weapon - but over here in the States - women are more like weapons of wealth destruction or WWD.

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#7) On December 05, 2009 at 4:28 PM, dantefromsomm (< 20) wrote:

i think youd really like and enjoy the three main rich dad poor dad books they have audio to. alot of what you said you have done well is discussed in ways to do much better and for better benefit of course through out the 3 main books.if you actually go n get them believe me youll thank me

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#8) On December 11, 2009 at 1:15 PM, RonChapmanJr (32.92) wrote:

Great post.

My wife and I just spent some time going over our net worth and retirement plans (we are 29 and 28 respectively) last night.  Making plans and goals about concerning money can be a great enhancer to a marriage. 

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#9) On December 11, 2009 at 1:32 PM, lemoneater (71.15) wrote:

Great post! I wouldn't even be investing if my husband hadn't given me some of the money that he inherited from a relative for the purposes of investing. He told me that I had more time so I needed to do the research. He has a knack about observing the health of companies better than some analysts! He predicted the bankruptcy of Circuit City a couple years before it happened--a perfect shorting opportunity missed since I don't short stocks. He also has insight into certain technological stocks.

Since the money belongs to both of us, I'm even more motivated to make careful choices.

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#10) On December 11, 2009 at 3:28 PM, go4buffs (96.30) wrote:

@RonChapmanJr:

While my wife and I are a few years older (with 2 young kids), we do find ourselves doing our financial stuff together.  We have different strength, weaknessess, and tendencies...but we do it together.

It's a bit geeky, but fun.  We've created our own 'tool' to manage our money and to model our retirement.  We both know where we stand, and we are confident, that we will be better stewards of our money than an investment banker.

I'm glad to hear that we're not the only couple out there doing this.

Thanks for your post.

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#11) On December 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM, TicoHombre (< 20) wrote:


Great post! My wife has almost 0 interest in all things financial.  She'll politely listen when I get excited about a company and explain the prospects and my ingenious ways to capitalize on them.  But she could live very happily if I never mentioned stocks etc. However,  she is frugal, content living a simple life, and hated debt as much as I do.  Therefore, we too are debt free.  We paid cash for our 2009 Nissan Altima.  We travel (just spent 3 years doing volunteer work in a Latin American country.  We own investment properties in two countries and a business (through which I invest in the market).  We are getting ready to start another business (self-financed) and live well below our means. This would be extremely difficult if not impossible to do If I had a spouse who wasn't content with a simple life and had a higher calling than all the material glitter that seems to fuel other's thinking. Married now 28 years, I am blessed.  Thanks again for your excellent post. 

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