Author Topic: Why are some people so easily triggered by what others do with their money?  (Read 5491 times)

Sam

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Curious!

What are some of the reasons why people are triggered when I write what I do with my money and my investments? I always get some upset responses from my private newsletter (https://forms.aweber.com/form/70/414890070.htm) if I decide to buy or sell something.

I'm called lucky. Or I'm blamed for market timing, etc.

Investing and money is meant to be used for a better life.

Why do you think people get upset over how other people spend and invest? Id like to write a follow up post!

thanks
Regards,

Sam

ManInAVan

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I often wondered the same when criticized for certain spending or investing choices.  I think it's just fear response from insecurity.  Investing would create a lot less fear if there were very hard and specific rules.  I think people like to believe every decision they have made is right (obviously) and when that get's challenged the response is often insecurity. 

It's hard to question yourself, but the fact is that things change and new information becomes available.  Sometimes I make choices that need "revisiting" and I try to be okay with that, but it's definitely not easy when it relates to something that can create a lot of fear or stress.


Sam

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Here's one reason from Twitter from @WallStreetPlayboys that makes sense:

People would rather see you fail even if you did nothing to them.

Also every time you buy or sell someone is doing the opposite so they think you are insulting them.

Given there are two sides of the market, and most people are long, if you sell, it may be perceived as an affront to them.
Regards,

Sam

Sydney

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It reminds me of mom shaming. Money and parenting are both very personal and complex topics. People tend to be hyper sensitive about their money and kids so emotions can run really high. People who are going through issues of their own tend to lash out against others because they perceive certain actions as “wrong” when they’re often just personal choices.

Nigel

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As someone providing public advice about investing you are going to get slings and arrows from time to time.  Likely a zealot from a different camp like MMM, Bogleheads, etc.

Plus your focus is different from most if I understand it correctly:  west coast HCOL (+ NYC) with high salaries.  The moves you make may be very different than what makes sense elsewhere.  Even east coast HCOL like McLean.

polama

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There's three traits that I think all of us are guilty of from time to time, but that maybe 15% of the population is just terrible about.

The first is an inability to see things from a different perspective. If buying something would be irresponsible for you, it must be irresponsible for everyone. If you had advantages in life, then everyone must have those (and those who fail must be morally bankrupt). If you had disadvantages in life, then anyone who succeeds must have cheated.

* I was in a common area in a basement of a college building where two maintenance workers were fixing an escalator. A girl came over to ask if there were other stairs? They pointed her to them, and after she left one looked incredulous at the other and said "yeah, of course there are other stairs! It's a public building, there's got to be at least 3 exits from the basement!" In a "can you believe how dumb she is" way. Buidling codes were basic knowledge to him, and you have to be pretty stupid to lack basic knowledge. I see this over and over, where people hugely overvalue the skills and knowledge of there profession.

The second is a tendency to substitute people in our past life in for others. Perhaps you had a boor of an uncle who droned on about all his stock picking prowess. Perhaps you got cut off in traffic by a fancy luxury car. Now suddenly anybody with a fancy car is a jerk, or anyone actively trading stocks in a loudmouthed idiot.

* I'd worked with a gentleman for perhaps 6 years before becoming his boss. Overnight I became this frightening father figure looking to catch him out and upbraid him. It took months to reassure him. Years of knowing me, of seeing me manage others fairly, etc. couldn't stand up to some bad experiences with authority figures long ago.

The third is good old cognitive dissonance meshed with a poor grasp on uncertainty. If you say I should do one thing, an I recently did something different, one of us must be wrong and it's not going to be me. And the more you make sense, the the wronger you have to be to balance out that my choice was the right one.

So when you post on the internet:

People don't know you, so they insert whatever person you vaguely remind them of. If they had a bad relationship with that person, they've already got a bad relationship with you.

Then they evaluate your choices through there own circumstances, and if these don't mesh chalk it up to an error in your thinking.

But of course, if you're otherwise rational seeming, there's some tension here. Why would you be so wrong about this? So they want you to acknowledge the error in your ways so there thinking can be totally blameless. So it becomes important to tell you, to scold you, to try to get you to admit they're right.

Sprinkle in the unhealthy relationships poeple have with money, and tada, instant scolding whatever you do.

Cheezus

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Here's one reason from Twitter from @WallStreetPlayboys that makes sense:

People would rather see you fail even if you did nothing to them.

Also every time you buy or sell someone is doing the opposite so they think you are insulting them.

Given there are two sides of the market, and most people are long, if you sell, it may be perceived as an affront to them.

I didn't even think of that, but it's totally true.

It all comes down to jealousy.  You are less likely to feel this way about someone who earns or has less than you.  It's why our democratic system is pretty broken, too.  The old saying, you eventually run out of other peoples money, same concept.  It's easy to vote for high taxes when you aren't in that bracket.  You don't care what happens to those people, they are better off than you, so who cares if they fail?

Sam

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There's three traits that I think all of us are guilty of from time to time, but that maybe 15% of the population is just terrible about.

The first is an inability to see things from a different perspective. If buying something would be irresponsible for you, it must be irresponsible for everyone. If you had advantages in life, then everyone must have those (and those who fail must be morally bankrupt). If you had disadvantages in life, then anyone who succeeds must have cheated.

* I was in a common area in a basement of a college building where two maintenance workers were fixing an escalator. A girl came over to ask if there were other stairs? They pointed her to them, and after she left one looked incredulous at the other and said "yeah, of course there are other stairs! It's a public building, there's got to be at least 3 exits from the basement!" In a "can you believe how dumb she is" way. Buidling codes were basic knowledge to him, and you have to be pretty stupid to lack basic knowledge. I see this over and over, where people hugely overvalue the skills and knowledge of there profession.

The second is a tendency to substitute people in our past life in for others. Perhaps you had a boor of an uncle who droned on about all his stock picking prowess. Perhaps you got cut off in traffic by a fancy luxury car. Now suddenly anybody with a fancy car is a jerk, or anyone actively trading stocks in a loudmouthed idiot.

* I'd worked with a gentleman for perhaps 6 years before becoming his boss. Overnight I became this frightening father figure looking to catch him out and upbraid him. It took months to reassure him. Years of knowing me, of seeing me manage others fairly, etc. couldn't stand up to some bad experiences with authority figures long ago.

The third is good old cognitive dissonance meshed with a poor grasp on uncertainty. If you say I should do one thing, an I recently did something different, one of us must be wrong and it's not going to be me. And the more you make sense, the the wronger you have to be to balance out that my choice was the right one.

So when you post on the internet:

People don't know you, so they insert whatever person you vaguely remind them of. If they had a bad relationship with that person, they've already got a bad relationship with you.

Then they evaluate your choices through there own circumstances, and if these don't mesh chalk it up to an error in your thinking.

But of course, if you're otherwise rational seeming, there's some tension here. Why would you be so wrong about this? So they want you to acknowledge the error in your ways so there thinking can be totally blameless. So it becomes important to tell you, to scold you, to try to get you to admit they're right.

Sprinkle in the unhealthy relationships people have with money, and tada, instant scolding whatever you do.

Love all of this! Thanks for the perspective!

Do you think that it's odd for someone NOT to be triggered by what other people do with their money?

I've found that as soon as I tell myself, "Everything is rational," any type of judgement goes away.

Examples:

1) If someone has 100% of their net worth in equities today, good for them. They rationally believe the upside reward is greater than the downside risk, and can take the risk.

2) If someone wants to buy a $100,000 car, good for them. They must love cars and must be able to afford the car, otherwise they wouldn't buy the car.

3) I tell myself I don't have 4-pack abs anymore b/c I enjoy food and relaxing more than having 4-pack abs. Rational!
Regards,

Sam

Sam

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Here's one reason from Twitter from @WallStreetPlayboys that makes sense:

People would rather see you fail even if you did nothing to them.

Also every time you buy or sell someone is doing the opposite so they think you are insulting them.

Given there are two sides of the market, and most people are long, if you sell, it may be perceived as an affront to them.
***************

How can there be jealousy though if someone says, "I've decided to take down risk and sell my stocks and hold 3-month Treasuries paying 2.41%,'?

You can only have jealousy if you cannot do the exact same thing.

I dislike giving investment advice partially b/c everybody has an opinion, and I have no desire to change anyone's opinion. I'm just sharing what I'm doing with my money, that's good for our financial situation.

I enjoy reading what other people do, and sometimes deploy a similar strategy. I certainly don't get upset at someone for making a financial decision.

I didn't even think of that, but it's totally true.

It all comes down to jealousy.  You are less likely to feel this way about someone who earns or has less than you.  It's why our democratic system is pretty broken, too.  The old saying, you eventually run out of other peoples money, same concept.  It's easy to vote for high taxes when you aren't in that bracket.  You don't care what happens to those people, they are better off than you, so who cares if they fail?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 08:51:52 AM by Sam »
Regards,

Sam

polama

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...

Love all of this! Thanks for the perspective!

Do you think that it's odd for someone NOT to be triggered by what other people do with their money?


Probably odd never to be, we're all humans. I think it's hard to not to be a little frustrated when somebody is living it up irresponsibly and you're frugally saving. Or if a family member you genuinely care about is doing something you 'know' they'll regret. Or to be judgmental about somebody's priorities when they don't align with yours.


Quote

I've found that as soon as I tell myself, "Everything is rational," any type of judgement goes away.

Examples:

1) If someone has 100% of their net worth in equities today, good for them. They rationally believe the upside reward is greater than the downside risk, and can take the risk.

2) If someone wants to buy a $100,000 car, good for them. They must love cars and must be able to afford the car, otherwise they wouldn't buy the car.

3) I tell myself I don't have 4-pack abs anymore b/c I enjoy food and relaxing more than having 4-pack abs. Rational!

I like the approach. The "Fundamental Attribution Error" (I'm late because of unlucky circumstances. You're late because you're a jerk) is a pretty strong bias in our heads , so it's worth reminding yourself that it's more likely that you don't have the full story then that another person is being bad/stupid/immoral/whatever.

I try to practice stoicism and divide the world into what I can control and what I can't. Somebody else's car choice? Well out of my control and just not worth any emotional energy. They can live their own life.

Mobius

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For some, it is just simple human jealousy/envy. The less happy someone is with their own life, the more they tend to experience this. They see your accomplishments as their failure. Some may give typical socialist type 'logic' to the reasons for their feelings, but that allows them to externalize their envy and not have to admit to themselves that the problem lies within.

Unhappy people tend not to respond well to others being happy.

CallieSF

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Great question. Recently I was chastised for not spending my time and money traveling all over the world given my early retirement situation. I was literally frowned upon! I find more personal happiness giving to and attending charity events in my community, teaching in my side-hustle-turned-career, traveling to awesome events and seeing F&F all over North America. Plus I live in California and close to Hawaii--it doesn't get much better than that. Ironically, all of these people that lecture me are either broke or in heavy debt. I shared a recent blurb on money psychology (Are you a Spender, Saver, Avoider or Investor?) and man did that stir up some commentary! Bottom line: I think some people are jealous of others who can afford to do what THEY want to do deep down, but can't (or shouldn't due to their financial situation.) We have the chance to live their dreams, and somehow that gets crossed over into a very judgy situation. They forget that some of us have had great discipline over many years to become financially independent and free on our own with many sacrifices along the way. How you spend your time and money is about personal choice, and no one else's business!
Very few people "put it out there" like you do Sam, so just ignore those people and keep up the good work educating others.
Thank you for all of your insights, charts and updates over the years. Sharing is caring!

Sam

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Great question. Recently I was chastised for not spending my time and money traveling all over the world given my early retirement situation. I was literally frowned upon! I find more personal happiness giving to and attending charity events in my community, teaching in my side-hustle-turned-career, traveling to awesome events and seeing F&F all over North America. Plus I live in California and close to Hawaii--it doesn't get much better than that. Ironically, all of these people that lecture me are either broke or in heavy debt. I shared a recent blurb on money psychology (Are you a Spender, Saver, Avoider or Investor?) and man did that stir up some commentary! Bottom line: I think some people are jealous of others who can afford to do what THEY want to do deep down, but can't (or shouldn't due to their financial situation.) We have the chance to live their dreams, and somehow that gets crossed over into a very judgy situation. They forget that some of us have had great discipline over many years to become financially independent and free on our own with many sacrifices along the way. How you spend your time and money is about personal choice, and no one else's business!
Very few people "put it out there" like you do Sam, so just ignore those people and keep up the good work educating others.
Thank you for all of your insights, charts and updates over the years. Sharing is caring!

Good on you for following what YOU want to do with your time and money!

Yes, my case is a little different b/c I put thoughts onto paper for folks to judge. But the more I find out from those who are upset, the more I realize they are upset with something going on in their lives.
Regards,

Sam

Joshea123

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Re: Why are some people so easily triggered by what others do with their money?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 10:33:48 PM »
This point came up in a discussion between myself and a friend of mine last year.  We both met when we were backpacking in Australia. Friends back in the UK would call him 'Mr Holiday' when he went back due to actually having the tenacity to leave his home town. Despite the fact that any of people in our age range in the UK (mid 20's) could get a visa quite easily for Australia and make a change if they wanted to. Jealousy and resentment can come from those who sometimes you've known the longest or are closest to. I think that can be a hard thing to reckon with.

But hey you can't please everyone I guess, no matter what decisions you make.

Deanna - Ms. Fiology

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I think people react out of their own wounds. When they see someone else doing well with their financial investments, perhaps it reminds them of how they've messed up. Additionally, when someone like yourself, Sam, who is a bit of a financial figure and is doing very well, you get judged and scrutinized for every move. You are under a microscope.

Money is personal, a mystery to some, and usually linked to daily habits. It can trigger a lot of emotion.
Deanna

KentBnntt

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I think it all comes from our culture. We've been always taught not to talk about the money, about our spendings and income. It was kind of impolite and ashamed to discuss salary with colleagues, rent expenses with friends, etc. That is why, I think that when you share something about your financial experience, people start attacking you.  ::)

Sam

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I think it all comes from our culture. We've been always taught not to talk about the money, about our spendings and income. It was kind of impolite and ashamed to discuss salary with colleagues, rent expenses with friends, etc. That is why, I think that when you share something about your financial experience, people start attacking you.  ::)

Maybe that’s true. But it seems pointless.
Regards,

Sam