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Investment Tips for my Wife if when I die

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Just when I was thinking that the Mrs was getting bored by my musings over the intricacies of trading in low volume stock, she mentioned that it's important that I explain in detail, as otherwise she wouldn't know how to manage our money if I die. This article contains my suggestions to her, on how to manage our money should I die. In the unlikely event that she dies first, she can ignore this blog entry!

Keep it simple

I have confidence in my wife's abilities, but trading stocks successfully takes more time & passion than I am confident she'll be able to commit to the task (considering that she's never traded a stock up to this point) - especially considering that she'd have less time on her hands as she'd need to spend more time looking after the kids' needs, and running our business. My first piece of advice is therefore to unburden herself and avoid any investment strategies involving trading stocks.

Investing is an arena in which a little knowledge can be more dangerous than knowing nothing, especially when combined with unwarranted confidence. Medical professionals, for instance, are notoriously lousy at managing their assets, as they by their nature have loads of confidence in their abilities and when they've learned a bit about stock trading may try execute with an unwarranted confidence in their ability.

So, my advice is rather than trade the underlying stocks herself, to pay appropriate asset managers to do so.

The good news

All the money we've been squirreling away for our retirement and general savings, now has one less mouth to feed; so there should be a bit surplus. The bad news is that my active income stream has been lost, but there will still be passive income streams for some years to come (from our jointly owned, private business), and the surplus savings should compensate somewhat.

The bad news

You may initially feel like you are wallowing in money, but it gets used up quicker than you'd think. Our death strategy allows the surviving family to survive but not to thrive. It's best to think of the savings as a (substantial) buffer to provide the space to reduce costs to the new income stream (income stream from private business + investment returns on savings).

Let the kids see out their current year in their (expensive) private school, and then move them to the cheaper and closer public school - this will feel harsh and difficult to do, but it's better than running out of money in a few years time. There are a number of other luxuries which can be gotten rid of, but the school will have the biggest impact. A possible revenue enhancer is to rent out the outside room.

It is likely that friends and family will offer their assistance, accept it, and if they ask how they can assist, suggest that they help sponsor one of the kids through school.

Investment Strategy

Without going into much detail, my suggestion is to invest as follows:

Caveat

Our family have unique circumstances - e.g. no debt, and my advice to my wife may not be appropriate to you and your circumstances. For most families life insurance would be a critical part of their plan.

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