Saturday, June 2, 2007

Should I Talk More About Personal Finance in My Real Life?

I usually don't talk about personal finance in my real life. But recently I had an open talk about financial matters with my roommate. She is an amazing girl and a sociology major. Though we are close friends, I never told her I was an investor. She knew that I somewhat liked economic and financial stuff, but she wasn't aware to what extent I was familiar with finance.

So, we were having tea and chatting the other day. She said they discussed investing in her last economic sociology class. The professor told that she didn't trust mutual funds at all, because she believed them to be just a sort of financial pyramid. Here I must explain that in the nineties a lot of Russians suffered from businesses that turned out to be mere financial pyramids, that's why they are so distrustful now. Anyway, it turned out that my roommate agreed with the professor. "But of course mutual funds are not financial pyramids!" I exclaimed. "Isn't it the way they work?" she asked. Then she sighed. "I wish I knew more about this stuff, because I have some money saved, but it suffers severely from inflation and I don't know what to do with it."

That's when I realized I couldn't keep silence anymore. I started to speak and went on and on, and she would listen to me. I confessed that I had been putting money in mutual funds for half a year already. I explained how they work. I told about stock market, stocks and bonds, corrections, ups and downs, bullish and bearish markets; about saving consistently and starting early, about compound interest; about retirement, good and bad debts, and so on. Maybe I didn't say much and the information was a bit messed up, but I gave her the general idea. I advised her my investment management company, showed some papers, and explained how to open an account in this company.

At first my roommate was very much surprised. Well, I can understand her, considering that less than 1% of Russian population are true investors, who buy stocks and mutual funds, and the majority of them have big money. Then she said I was "a brave girl" and reproached me for not having told everything earlier. She was really interested in everything I had told, and my information was definitely useful for her.

After that talk I felt a little ashamed. I really should have told all this stuff to her before, because she is my friend and she can benefit from what I know about personal finance. I've learned a lot about money during this year, and I also have the experience that none of my acquaintance have. Shouldn't I now share my knowledge with those who don't know anything about it? Isn't keeping it to myself egoistical?


Krystal said...

I think that if you can find someone in your real life that you feel comfortable talking about finance with, and they understand where you're coming from, then for sure, talking to them would be great! Especially when you can learn from each other and grow your knowledge together.

I don't know about you, but I find it really hard to talk about personal finance in my real life. Most of my friends aren't interested in money like I am. While their goals of buying a home are the same as mine, they don't share the same passion as me for saving up, being frugal, investing, etc. And I've found that they really aren't interested in anything I have to say about money. Maybe they think I'm trying to show them up by suggesting things? I'm not sure. At any rate, that's why I started my blog. :) So I wouldn't have to bother trying to talk to my friends about money. haha

Olga said...

The fact is that I don't even try to talk about personal finance in my real life. Maybe I'm afraid that my friends won't be interested or they will think that I'm weird because I'm interested in such stuff. Now I've started to think that I can at least try to talk about pf to other people. If I get positive feedback, it will be really great. Otherwise I'm perfectly able to talk about other interesting things.

And yes, I'm glad that I can give vent to my thoughts through blogging. ;)

GoldnSilver said...

I think Personal Finance and money are very touchy subject. Many people are very sensitive about it. With my friends and I, we tend to talk about it a bit more as we progress in our lives (got out of college, some of us changed jobs several times).

However, we don't extend directives. For example, I was the first in my group to open a Roth IRA and signed up 401k at work. I never told my friends that this is what they SHOULD do.
A few years later, a couple of them (finally) realize they have no real retirement savings, then they come to me for advice.
I go as far as they are comfortable. I don't know if I am being bad friend for not devouring all of my "limited" knowledge on this subject matter. But one thing I've learned is that, people will not hear you unless they want to. In other words, if they are not receptive to the idea, no matter what you tell them, they will not appreciate it (if not resent it).

Btw, thanks for your comments on my site. I will link yours up to mine.