No One Ever Told Us That - Money and Life Lessons For Young Adults

29 August 2018
Written by Chicago-based investment advisor John Spooner and designed as a guide for the real world, No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Lessons for Young Adults touches on both financial and life lessons; covering everything from financial security through to becoming your own person.

The book aims to fill in some blanks of financial knowledge, particularly within the investment industry, and attempts to provide answers on how to become a thriving professional, develop financial security and grow into your best possible self.

Spooner highlights the importance of managing personal wealth wisely and provides practical advice for building a reliable team of people, developing useful relationships and setting yourself up for a comfortable and secure life, all the way into retirement.

What follows is an excerpt from No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Lessons for Young Adults:

Source: The Boston Globe

Chapter 32: Can You Do It Yourself?

Almost all of you are digital-age savvy. Many of you, I hope, have retirement plans and even investment accounts in addition to your company’s retirement plan offerings.

There are today, a bewildering array of opportunities for advice on investing. But more and more there seems to be a trend toward simple, low-cost index funds that reflect various stock averages. These are plain vanilla investments designed to mirror market movements; they are liquid, and eliminate the need for human advice and counsel in the buying of individual stocks and mutual funds.

Warren Buffet, the legendary investor, dispenses wisdom and common sense where he goes. He has a cult following, in my view not just because he has an outstanding investment record but also because of his wisdom, experience, and counsel. In a country with an increasingly anonymous population lacking in these qualities, people are desperate for good old-fashioned advice, given by someone so fatherly and wise like old-time headmasters and educators, people who more and more seem to be missing from our lives. Buffet has revealed that his will calls for his assets to be allocated 10 percent into U.S Treasury in the averages, funds with no active management by others. In his lifetime, he manages his own money, trusting only himself with the task. Clearly, he really does not ever rely on anyone ever being as astute as he, when he goes eventually to that great Exchange in the sky.

Most of my readers are young, with decades more to live and many decisions for themselves, and their families. Maybe you enjoy making money and investment decisions yourself. And many of you have already chosen index funds to point you in the right directions. I find an overwhelming desire on the part of the public to have real people guide them in the key areas: law, medical and money matters. As you all get older, you suddenly will realise that you don’t have the time to invest on your own. You need hands-on advice, not virtually, not by robots, but by real live smart people who consider the best interest of you and your family. Tough to find. But it can be priceless if you do.

My whole investment business has been built with this something extra. And the special sauce is the personal touch. Our business is the largest and most demanding it’s ever been. We have a practical game plan. We do the investing ourselves, not farming it out to computer programs or outside managers.

In this age of the misinformation revolution, you can find hundreds, if not thousands of answers to almost everything: medical diagnoses secrets to financial success, and the meaning of life and God’s goodness. Or not. You can indeed manage your own money, do your own will or divorce, and find the right drugs for your bursitis. But sooner or later you will need practical help and advice. And you’d better start working at your young ages at building your own team of real people you can summon to your side. Not technology but people who either show up in person to help you or give you a fast appointment to look in your eyes and help you with your problem.

I tell people who are clients and friends, “If you are really in trouble, send up the Bat-Signal, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.” They remember the phrase from Batman. They use it judiciously. But they do use it.

Sooner or later you’re going to need that personal touch, a real one, not a virtual one.

John D SpoonerAbout John D. Spooner

John Spooner is an investment advisor/novelist from America. His bestselling nonfiction includes Do You Want to Make Money or Would You Rather Fool Around? as well as Confessions of a Stockbroker, Smart People, and Sex and Money. His novels include Class and The Foursome. His book, No one Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren has been a Boston Globe #1 bestseller and ranked #2 on Amazon’s bestselling business books list.

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