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A Series of Stories…
Some of the best educational material that we collect as advisors comes from your personal stories about investing. Real experiences are so valuable because they come with a context and background—making them an incredibly valuable tool to assist in our own decisions.
In addition to our clients’ stories, we get nearly as many from those we encounter outside of the office in our day-to-day interactions. Consider this story from a flight several years ago:
A middle-aged woman sitting next to me introduced herself when she saw one of the recent Swedroe books in my hand. She was particularly interested because she had just lost her parents and would be inheriting their estate in the coming months. One issue weighed heavily on her mind. Her parents chose to restrict access to her inheritance while giving her sister more favorable treatment. Sitting right there on that plane, she broke down.
Hers is a lesson we’ll never forget. She had one wish: If only her parents would have said something—anything—directly to her, she wouldn’t be left with so many questions about their decision. What concerns did they have? How did her sister earn their trust, and she did not? Why did they leave her to find out from an attorney?
We often say that a simple conversation with your children or other beneficiaries can create a powerful dialogue about deeper issues. One example: Is there anything they can understand about your wishes to make them better stewards of your wealth?