Why Are People So Ashamed About Inheriting Money?


Are you ashamed about inheriting money? Don't be. Our parent's generation has made the most amount of money in the history of the world. A lot of money will be passed along.

How did I get my million dollars? It was simple. One day, I bought an apple for a nickel. That night, I cleaned and polished it. The next day, I sold it for a dime. With that dime, I bought two apples. That night, I cleaned and polished them, and sold them the next day for twenty cents. I repeated that process every day, without fail, until I had amassed $6.40, whereupon my grandfather died and left me $999,994 in his will…” – A Yahoo commenter named Dave

A funny thing occurred on Yahoo Finance the other day. A fellow blogger by the name of Anton was able to get interviewed for a focus piece on how he became a millionaire by age 27. When I first read the article, I was pretty pumped. I thought to myself, Neat! Another guy showing the world that it's possible to get rich through disciplined savings and investing! I had experienced some similar luck with investing, earnings, and savings in my 20s as well so I thought his overall story was believable.

I never once questioned how he got to $1 million because he offered solid tips, invested in real estate, and spoke so eloquently on camera. But I guess the massive amount of attention he got from being featured on Yahoo's front page for a couple days wore on him. He admitted on his Facebook page just days later that he had actually inherited 75%-80% of his net worth from his parents who died years ago!

Immediately, everybody started bashing Yahoo Finance and Anton for the deception in the comments. They've got the toughest crowd online. Despite all the blowback, if his new revelation about his inheritance is true, he's still a millionaire!

Why Are We So Ashamed Of Inheriting Money?

Anton didn't seek Yahoo Finance. Yahoo Finance sought him out. I'm not sure why Anton had to lie by saying he is a self-made millionaire when he could have just said, “I made my millions the old fashion way. I inherited it,” with a smile on his face.

Hopefully Yahoo Finance would have still run the piece, but something tells me they would have passed. We're all simply ashamed of not having made money with our bare hands.

We know from a previous post on Financial Samurai that the average inheritance amount in America is around $180,000. But that's nothing compared to the average inheritance amount for Australians at $500,000! Anton fits right in with the average Aussie, who as far as I can tell, is having a fantastic time!

Every time I'm up in Lake Tahoe, there are Aussies there for three months at a time on their travel abroad YEAR. They are always merry, and now I know why.

average inheritance amounts by country USA, China, India, France, Brazil, UK, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia

Our parents have all had decades to accumulate a massive amount of wealth because they've experienced a tremendous bull market over their careers. I shared with you in my Massive Generational Wealth Transfer post how six of my adult neighbors are living off their parents.

Well guess what? I was invited over to my 7th neighbor's house and she revealed to me that she gifted her 38 year old son a 4 bedroom house in San Francisco. That's at least a $1.3 million wealth transfer.

Hard work, risk taking, and perseverance are no longer necessary ingredients for wealth. Having parents who bought real estate, saved, and invested for decades are all it takes for many 25-50 year old adult children to become wealthy. Parents are gifting their adult children money while they are still alive, because they'll be able to experience the joy of helping their kids out. Why wait until death when there's such a surplus of wealth?

There used to be a time when adult children would be ashamed of still living at home with their parents after college. But after countless movies and articles about how commonplace it is, society has accepted and even embraced the benefits of continued cohabitation as a way to bolster one's finances. Just read the 100+ comments from my post, How To Get Girls If You Live At Home With Mom And Dad to see how it's no big deal. I have 20-something year olds tell me all the time they are living at home without even batting an eye.

I remember rich guys in high school and college would roll up in their nice cars, which were given to them by their parents, while I walked or biked to class. The girls didn't care that the guys didn't work for their cars. They wanted to go for a nice ride too. My point is that even if you inherited your fortune, people don't care so long as they can benefit as well.

The Honor Of Inheriting Money, Not The Shame

The only reason why you'd be ashamed of inheriting your parent's or grandparent's money is if you DISHONOR their money by spending it frivolously on stupid things. If I ever inherit any money, I will probably set up a scholarship under their name, take care of the trees they planted, and make sure their money lasts for as long as possible.

Nobody asks for an inheritance. It just happens.

So for folks out there who want to publicly share their wealth to the world, really consider being more discreet. It's also a good idea to never tell anybody how much you fully make, especially if it's way beyond the average or median. The fame is nice for a bit, but it is fleeting. People will come out of the woodwork to try and discredit you. And if you do want to share everything, I think it's OK to share that you got rich through an inheritance. It's what you do with the inheritance that counts the most!

Common situations people should own up to regarding inheriting money:

* Parents bought you a car. Say it proudly, “Hey baby, my mom bought me this BMW. Wanna go for a ride?

* Parents paid for your private school tuition. You can say, “So what if they paid $200,000 for me to go to private school. It just means that I don't need to get a great job to pay them back! I expect them to pay $120,000 for my graduate school experience as well.

* Parents or relatives hooked you up with a job even though the company doesn't recruit from your school. You can say, “It's not what you know, it's who you know.

* Parents bought you a condo right out of school. You can say, “Renting is flushing down the drain! Always buy property as soon as possible.

* Parents bought you a fancy $10,000 Rolex or $6,000 Grace Kelley handbag. You can say, “Never spend more than you have. That's the simple key to getting wealthy.

* Parents set up a multi-million dollar trust fund. You can say, “I'm not afraid to go after my passions and take risks in life. Failure is for the weak and timid!

OR, you can be really humble and not say any of these things to piss people off. Just attribute your wealth to luck and your parents and say you're working hard to make your own wealth one day! You can very easily register a domain name, start your own business, and see what you're made of.

Recommendation To Build Wealth

Manage Your Money In One Place: Sign up for Personal Capital, the web’s #1 free wealth management tool to get a better handle on your finances. In addition to better money oversight, run your investments through their award-winning Investment Checkup tool to see exactly how much you are paying in fees. I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying.

After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms.

I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.

Personal Capital Retirement Planner Tool

Let's be real now about inheriting money. More and more people are. The Bank of Mom & Dad is real. They are helping their adult kids like there is no tomorrow!

108 thoughts on “Why Are People So Ashamed About Inheriting Money?”

  1. The idea of inheritance makes me feel a lot of negative emotions because, for starters, I felt like I was handed a lot of things and tried to follow rules and it got me nowhere. I could have just instead earned everything myself and found ways to learn online instead of jump through educational hoops to nowhere. Then I was made to feel guilty for being given all this stuff I could have earned myself and manipulative suggestions were given that I should comply when making certain choices or maybe I would lose an inheritance. It’s felt like a kind of slavery and plus I don’t feel the money was earned by the people ethically. Wish I had just been taught to work hard and earn everything myself and that people allowed people to have more freedom to work hard to earn their own living.

  2. My comment is about inheritances and how they really do divide people and they divide families, they way they do this is because people are not equal anymore and obviously inheritance is a LAZY way to get rich and that’s why it upsets people so much, you do nothing and a big stack of cash lands in front of you! i can speak from experience as i am not from rich or wealthy parents and i am self employed but earn very little even though i work really hard and life is hard, i do not had a man or husband to lean on and if i did that would help a lot but i want to be a self-sustaining woman. i had a Aunt who i have have lived 5km from all my life, she lived on a family farm of my mothers parents and she did work on that farm, where the brother ran it as the father died young, she never had any expenses as lived at the family home and never had a vehicle either, she relied on the brother and i used to even call them husband and wife, i never called them that to them but i said it to myself :) anyway, about 2 years ago she ended up being not able to walk anymore because of her back pain, ended up being she had invasive lung cancer and she passed on a few months later…she was anorexic most of her adult life and we believe she smoked for about 10 years before she died. She died with no husband or partner or no children and has amassed 3 million, about 1 million of this she inherited. To my and my mothers horror, when we finally asked the other sisters about her will, as they tried to hide it from us we found out it was written in the will that no money to be given to either of us! All the money and two properties when to the other 2 sisters and their daughters and some neighbours who live close to us even got larger chunks of cash, up to $200,000.00! i can say i loved my aunt dearly and miss her so much each and everyday and i am in so much pain and hurt because of this as i know what was written in her will was not her wishes, i know she loved me and my mother as when we last visited her a few months before she died she was very loving toward us. The other 2 sisters and daughters wouldn’t share any of it with us so you can see the greed of some people, all they want is the money and that’s all they care about. i know in my heart that one of those sisters told my aunt to cut me and my mother out of my aunts will, i just know it deep in my heart as there is no way my aunt would have done that but now i will never ever know but i don’t want to see those people that have her wealth and are having a great time because i suffer each and everyday and its not just because of the money but the hurt of not having her around ever again and the hurt of thinking about those last words that were written and i know she never hated me but that’s the last thoughts i will have of my aunt the rest of my life and can never speak to her about it. i know i sure needed some of that 3 million and there is no reason why i shouldn’t have had some…very, very sad. i wouldn’t wish this sadness upon anyone. Everything is a reminder of her and the only way i can forget it is moving to a new country, which would be nice but not really practical…a beautiful sunny island would be lovely :) can always dream i guess…

  3. Thanks for posting this. It really hits home for me as I recently received a large inheritance and have been thinking a lot of these points through (how I view it, how others would, who to discuss with, etc.) Luckily, it happened at what I would consider an ideal time in my life (mid 30’s). I have already established a successful business (in finance) with a work ethic and appreciation of money to go along. I now view my opportunity to do things at an earlier stage in life than if I did not have this blessing (as opposed to thinking about quitting now, which the money would allow for). Also, I view my job as to be a shepherd of the money, hoping to be able to leave my children with a lifestyle better than my own.

    It always surprises me though when speaking with a friend or client that absolutely does not want to leave an inheritance to their children, regardless of size. I mostly assume that the reason for that view is that they may feel that they are not able to do so and do not want to set up another financial goal that they will not hit. I cannot believe that the “it would mess my kids up” and/or “it would destroy their work ethic” could either be the true reason for the belief that an inheritance is bad. Speaking as someone who is on the receiving end I can honestly say, with first hand knowledge, that it is truly the way parents raise children that impacts how they will handle an inheritance. Letting kids know about it early, talking about money as a family, and instilling the values of wealth and the hard work that builds it early on in a child’s life, and continuing that education is very important.

  4. I have two sets of parents; one set that has done very well financially for themselves and another set that makes terrible financial choices. Now, I don’t expect to inherit anything from either parent, though it would be nice if my financially set parents left me a little something (there’s rumors, but I don’t trust what I hear – most will be donated to charity I’m assuming). I’m just hoping that both sets have enough money for their own medical costs! The second set I’m more worried about, obviously, since they have loads of consumer debt and money tied up in a piece of property that they are having trouble selling (it’s a co-op and the board dislikes my parents.)

    Now, in the case of Anton, I’m guessing he didn’t want to admit he inherited the money because what PF blogger wants to come clean and say, “Hey, I didn’t make my money, but here’s what you should do.”? He probably felt his advice wouldn’t be taken seriously since he didn’t have first hand knowledge himself.

  5. My parents have been poor their entire life. They made bad financial decisions (going on vacations, maxing out credit cards etc) and never had good jobs. They would have to do cash advances on their credit cards sometimes to pay the mortgage. I won’t inherit anything, but I have learned from their mistakes. Because I’ve seen them struggle so much, I’m really financially conservative and slowly building my savings.

  6. I think there is a completely different reason why people feel ashamed for inheriting money. By Nature, people tend to be friends with those that are in similar situations as they are. As time goes by, when people change life styles, situations, etc. they tend to not stay as friends (or as close). So as this goes, If you were in debt, and all your friends are struggling with debt, you have common experiences and are in a common station in life. Then all of a sudden got $2 million dropped on your lap, now you can pay off your debt and pay for all the things you have wanted for a while. Now your friends cannot relate to you and you are not alone. Thus if you are still “in debt and have common life stations” you can relate and even though you are putting on a facade, you can now still be considered in the crowd of your friends.

    I have seen this over and over. I am there now. I am a self made millionaire (at 36). I also inherited 1.3 million dollars when both my parents died (at 44). My spending habits might have changed a little (not much), but I now was 100% out of debt and owned my own 7 year old car. My friends started to gravitate away as I was the guy with almost a 3 million net worth, and they had a 3 car payments and a mortgage. Wealth isolates you. Wealth separates you from a society standpoint. This is why people lie about where they got their money.

    As for the story of Anton, I can see why he lied (by omission). He had true, valid points in his article and everyone familiar with financial management knows he was right. The issue is the article basically put it out as he was self made and that it was “only” his skills/hacks which made him his millions with a 40k a year job. They did not mention the other influx of income, making it dis-genuine.

    While it is an interesting thesis from a sociological perspective, I think further study would have be done to see what the deepest root conclusions could be derived.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You know what my immediate thought that popped in my head? I NEVER want to inherit any sort of money because I never want my parents to die. :(

  7. Funny how the only three categories of people you know for sure have received an inheritance is:

    1. Family – that’s a no brainer

    2. The idiots who spend it on stupid flashy crap

    3. They told you, for no apparent reason – as rare as a unicorn

    The rest stay quiet about it and do something useful: pay down their mortgage or add to their investments. And they know to keep quiet about it because it honours their relatives/friends who have passed by respecting their gift (unlike useless status toys) and spares them from the stigma attached to inheritances in general.

    I could care less about receiving inheritances, or about anyone who does, and it’s a fine place to be.

  8. Maybe it’s the whole American myth/lore of the “self-made” man. No man is an island. Everyone to varying degrees have gotten assistance along the way, some just more than others.

    No one can claim they “did it all themselves.” It’s like that time Obama caused a huge uproar by saying in a speech that “you didn’t create that.” And he had a point: did YOU pay for the infrastructure, the courts, the laws, the police, etc?

    People get all hissy and complain when others have gotten help, but never reflect on the help they have gotten themselves. It’s all relative in my mind and a waste of time complaining about someone getting a bigger hand in life than you.

  9. For whatever reason, there’s a stigma against people who have “come into” money or are perceived as not having worked hard enough for it. Look at the whole “99%” movement. But it goes back way, way further than that…French revolution, maybe? Even earlier? It’s not surprising to me that people feel guilty or scared to be forthcoming about inheritance or good fortune.

    I think there are very few of us who have not benefited from someone’s generosity at one time or another. I know I have. Maybe not in big ways like a huge inheritance, but certainly in smaller ways when times were tough, or just because. My husband bought his first car with cash thanks to an inheritance from his uncle. That money is long gone now, but yeah, it put us a little bit ahead of where others might be who weren’t so fortunate. I still know things, though, and so do others who have been even luckier than me. We could easily have done something stupid and frivolous with the money, but we didn’t. It’s stupid to dismiss good money management experience just because of how the money was acquired.

    Still, regardless of what feelings or biases may be involved, lying is inexcusable and good advice doesn’t make up for it. But lying is also very lucrative, thanks to readers who want the compelling comeback story rather than listening to the advice of a person who has been sensible (and maybe kind of boring) all along. There are lots of Antons raking in the blogging dough, they’re just coasting under the radar with slightly less ambitious claims.

    1. There’s definitely financial gain to be had with more traffic and authority. I’ve noticed what has happened to Financial Samurai over the past 5.5. years. But you’d think that people can eventually see through the lies b/c of some slip or some piece of content that just doesn’t carry much weight.

      This whole thing was just so poorly played out though. Fame and Fortune… be careful what you wish for.

    2. It is Jealousy Steve .. pure and simple. People wonder why this other person – who has not other remarkable skills outside what they have, has been blessed with something they did not get.

  10. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    The portion of my college tuition that was not covered by scholarships was paid for by my parents. When The Wall Street Journal did a piece on me, I stated that, and there was backlash about my story being unrealistic and some people putting down my PF expertise because I didn’t have to contend with student debt. Unfortunately, I think people are quick to dismiss anyone who ever benefited from anything. They spend so much time stewing and comparing their own hardship and misery that they don’t make a change themselves.

    The thing that bothered me about Anton’s story was the deception. It would have been interesting to hear how he leveraged the inheritance.

    1. That is such a shame, Stephanie, that your knowledge was discounted simply because you had no student loan debt. The fact that you and your parents managed to pay for college without debt is a great testament to making plans and doing what was necessary to accomplish that goal. The attitude you encountered is similar to honoring an alcoholic or drug addict for their rehab more than you honor someone who has been sober their whole life. Or believing that a person who no longer cheats on their spouse is better than a person who never cheated. What a strange belief system we have in this country now.

    2. I’d love to read that WSJ piece. That’s pretty cool. Got alink? Not many people can afford the $60,000 a year at NYU, so I think that brings out a lot of jealousy.

  11. Sam, great article! Interesting topic of conversation that people don’t like to talk about…myself included.

    I don’t like to think about it, but I likely stand to inherit a nice six-figure sum if my parents passed. I tell my parents to spend like there’s no tomorrow and take as many vacations and see as much of the world as they can tolerate.

    I tell them this because I’ve seen what ‘undeserved’ wealth can do. Most of the time the kids lose motivation and lack the discipline to further themselves. I use the word ‘undeserved’ lightly, because my family’s wealth came from a family business, that my siblings and I have contributed to as well.

  12. How to live happily within your means, how to save\invest for the long term, how to be generous; that’s all you need to inherit to live well and prosper. Pass that on to your kids and they will do fine too. Any leftover money\inheritance is just the little surprise they get with the lunch they still pack to work.

  13. I do not know anyone who has inherited something of worth. A friend inherited a house from his grandfather but he abandoned it because it is in a very bad shanty compound. None of my friends expect to inherit anything from anyone and we are not mad or saddened about it. We know that we have to work hard for ourselves, but interestingly, all of us want to leave inheritances for our children or future children. I think it is good to leave or give something of financial value to your children, so I do not see why one should be ashamed to receive something. The only reason I would suspect why people are ashamed is that others may see you as not having worked for the good life you have (and they are right, your parents worked for it). I would say that you just count your blessings, move on and don’t tell anyone about the inheritance.

  14. I would say that people “look down” upon an inheritance just like people look down upon a lottery win.

    If you won the lottery of $250 million, you would get 100 times the requests for donations than if your company IPO’s which generated you $250 million.

    It is because inheritance is un-earned and un-deserved

    1. Geoffrey Sadler

      Are people really ashamed about taking inheritance money? Why are people ashamed by inheriting money? I haven’t seen anything like that, frankly. Then again, I haven’t been watching any grown children of billionaires inheriting millions from their rich parents. Maybe they feel guilty, I don’t know.

      The Financial Samurai article here mentions how hard work, risk taking and consistent perseverance are no longer necessary ingredients to get wealthy. So maybe the grown kids are ashamed by that perhaps? Well gee whiz, how about that. I think we all know how to get around all that work ethic stuff — inherit! A no-brainer. Having parents who bought real estate, saved, and invested for decades so their adult children can become wealthy, or at least comfortable, is how they used to do it. But baby boomers and ensuing generations would rather just inherit. It’s easier.

      However, in my view the most interesting item from this article is this – that parents are now frequently gifting their adult children money while they [the parents] are still alive, so they can enjoy helping their grown children, and enjoy advising them on what to do with all that cash, and enjoy watching them receive it and invest it, and spend it. Happy times ahead! Hey, it’s a lot more fun to do it that way than after we’re dead and gone and can’t enjoy it any longer. Unless you believe in Heaven… and the ability to watch your grown kids from on high! Why wait until death is the main point. I agree.

      But when grown siblings who have serious cash flow problems miss the boat, for whatever reason, coming to an agreement with aging parents to get inheritance assets now, before those parents pass away… those siblings have another option, as heirs, to get an advance on inheritance even without generous parents involved – and these days will apply for a large inheritance advance for themselves, or for a small inheritance loan – from an established niche boutique online inheritance advance firm like http://www.heiradvance.com, or http://www.inheritanceadvance.com, or maybe like http://www.inheritancenow.com, so they can access inheritance money real fast, in advance of probate closing, maybe to hire their own personal lawyer, or accountant, or to begin investing with inheritance advance cash… or for whatever purpose. I notice however that most heirs will use their probate advance, estate loan, inheritance loan, or inheritance advance, as soon as possible. Once they get their probate loan, or inheritance advance, interestingly enough… estate arguments quiet down, and the heirs with an inheritance cash advance seem a whole lot happier and more settled. They say money changes people… Well, maybe that’s true, whether it’s an inheritance advance from live parents, or an inheritance cash advance company; all those positive changes prove it.

  15. Sam, I think you’re on the right track about why Anton admitted his lies.

    I suspect that when he inherited, he shared the news with his Navy shipmates. Months later when they saw the Yahoo Finance story, they probably asked Anton why he didn’t mention the inheritance. To Anton, it would make sense to post a remorseful Facebook confession so that he could continue to spin the story before someone else exposed his lies. It looks like he barely did it in time, since by then the Yahoo author had heard from a shipmate.

    The military taught Anton about integrity, and his lies are an insult to veterans. Even worse, his publicity backlash makes it harder for servicemembers to believe that they can save 40% of their income to reach financial independence within 20 years.

    But I’ll keep sharing the math with people and encouraging them to use their military skills & benefits to build their own wealth.

    1. Keep on preaching it, Doug! The math definitely checks out for military financial independence and your blog/story/book demonstrate it as well. I think I’m definitely on my way to FI as well. I can’t wait to add my own story to the list of early retirees/financially independent veterans.

      I agree that lying about your finances to try to promote your site is incredibly insulting, especially since he frequently mentions his military background.

      I guess this is also a great lesson that lying on the Internet only lasts until you get big enough for people to care, and then someone will do the math and take you down.

  16. Donny @ Personalincome

    It is funny how society twist our arms about certain things especially when it comes to finances. The reality is, life is not fair and people have to wake up with the fact that everyone gets a different start.

    Sometimes you have to go out and create your own opportunities, when others have them given to them.

  17. I found out its dangerous to tell people you have money. Wheter you inherited it or not is yet another thing. Because of the crisis things dont look bright at my job, so the other day my collegue was told she looses her job 1th of january. Other collegues where telling each other she can afford it to be without a job because she has plenty of real estate and so she doesn t need this job as much as they do!!! A couple of years ago I inherited a nice appartment from an aunt, and just this month we bought our third rental property! I never for one second thought about telling these things to my collegues!!! Although we are super excited we bought rental property, and we do tell our close friends, I m always a bit sceptical about telling friends about the inherited appartment. IT seems like less of an accomplishment to inherit property, and maybe I,m afraid they would think something like: ” its not hard at all for them to buy rental property, they already inherited an appartment!”
    But for us, the rental property was something we could accomplish without the inheritance aswell.

  18. I used to think I would get an inheritance because my parents have made such excellent decisions. However, part of my family is now having a crisis and I believe my parents could be sucked dry in the next ten years. Now I expect nothing. =/

  19. @Sam-

    It’s not about feeling ashamed, it’s about being prideful. If someone in their late 20’s purchases an apartment that they pay for themselves, they feel proud about it. If their parents buy it for them, it really isn’t anything to feel proud about. Etc etc…it isn’t anything to feel “ashamed” about, just not proud. If someone has 1mm net worth at age 35 without any “help”, that is a great accomplishment. If they inherited it, not really an accomplishment.

    Also, although I understand your point, credit cards do contribute in a small way to building wealth. If you sign up for rewards cards, you can walk away with thousands of dollars a year in rewards. After decades, this could add up…at least to something!

      1. Everything in life shouldn’t be about building wealth, Sam. Some things are just about fun! For some people, credit cards is really the only way they can afford to see the world.

  20. American media tries very hard to find that “feel good” narrative, and if they can’t find it, they gloss over details and build it. No sincerity behind it, just an eye on page views.

    As for your blog, I read your writing because your distinct voice is apparent. Even though I’d be closer to the Anton making $55k example in terms of who I “should” relate to, you write clearly about ways that describe how people can build wealth and develop multiple income streams. That striving to excel should be relatable. Also, your writing and journey is entertaining. Even when I might not agree with a point at times, it’s never dull.

    Or maybe you have really good staff writers and we have no idea!

    1. I do try my best to make the writing interesting because I want to read interesting articles and dialogue as well.

      I’ve been able to clone three writers who sound and think exactly like me in order to produce 3-4, 1,500 word posts a week. Otherwise, how can this be possible for so long?! :)

  21. My parents bought me a brand new car when I graduated college and I dared not tell any of my friends. We weren’t rich growing up but most of my friends were borderline poor – and they would’ve judged me harshly if I told them. They were living paycheck to paycheck just to get by and I had wiggle room in my budget because I didn’t have a car payment. I would’ve never rubbed it in their face, so I told them my parents just helped me with the down payment. Inheritances work the same.

    I suspect someone in Anton’s circle knew about his good fortune and was threatening to expose him. So he came clean to avoid the ensuing media circus. It made Yahoo Finance look worse than him for not thoroughly investigating the details.

    1. I’m envious you got a new college when you graduated! What was it?

      One of the first year analysts we hired rolled in, in a new Acura SUV that cost $42,000 six years ago. He saved his managers some bonus money because they figured, why pay him since he already has an expensive car!

      1. It was a VW Jetta, not exactly something to be jealous about. :)
        I drove it for 12 years, over 200,000 miles.

  22. My parents divorced when I was very young. Dad sold real estate, siblings and I lived with mom who’s career was a secretary. It was a very frugal childhood but we had a roof over our heads and food on the table. After us kids left the nest, and mom retired, I took care of her house, car, and finances. More years go by, she passes and the assets are divided equally. My siblings who didn’t have much interest in her elderly care were surprised at the assets of her modest career and lifestyle. There was no inheritance from dad. (Bless you mom for taking the parental responsibility of raising us!)

  23. My dad always jokes that the day he dies he wants to do so completely broke. I think my parents paying for college is plenty of inheritance. Although, I wouldn’t turn down a home with an ocean view!

  24. This Yahoo story is the exact reason why I enjoy reading your site and other sites by authors who seem to know what they are talking about. You can tell when someone is bullshitting after a while, because lies and facts start to not add up.

    Always be aware of who the author is, and take any advice with a grain of peppercorn. Yahoo Finance is big, but the author of this report is young and doesn’t have more than five years experience.

    Society is screwed with their finances because the wrong people control the media. Blogging gives power back to the people.

      1. writing2reality

        Get rid of the slicing nonsense up top! ;) I expect this to turn into the FS tagline…

        FS, Keeping things real… forever.

  25. Funny you mentioned this guy Sam, because I was one of the hundreds of others with scathing comments. When the article was first published, I matched the dates and incomes and did little math and concluded that this guy had not self made which I mentioned in the comments. The reason most people including yours truly were critical because he was dishonest… Pretending something he was not. I am sure the shame he feels is not due to the inheritance but due to the guilt that he lied and was caught. It easy to run the numbers that he provided that it’s just not possible! Perhaps he should have fudged the numbers better!!

    1. It’s weird though. If you want to lie and get away with it, you should obviously present some realistic numbers to make the story more believable right?

      You can’t contribute $10,000 to an IRA, just like it’s unlikely you are getting $3,000 a month in rent for a $400,000 condo in San Diego.

      It’s just odd that he admitted to lying so quickly soon after. If his Naval colleague didn’t rat him out, then maybe this correction never would have been revealed.

    2. @Sunil, agree completely. The “shame” is not inheriting. It is lying with the goal of gaining admiration, and the status that comes with accomplishment. ime, Yahoo!Finance is the worst. They do these ‘profiles’ on people that leave far more questions than answers, and rarely anything actionable. I recently read a ‘profile’ about a lesbian couple that ‘retired’; when the truth came out, the older one quit her crummy job while the younger one still works and they moved to a mobile home park. Yahoo!Finance also had a story about “powerful women of wealth” that was remarkable in how many of them apparently obtained their net worth through a divorce settlement. Doesn’t sound like something to aspire to.

      @FS, my thought on his quick reversal was that so many people in his personal life would see this, and know the truth. The truth comes out, and the internet is forever. Gonna be a long life for this 27 year-old.

  26. A couple points here:

    1) You never know the whole story. For example, I have one friend who inherited an incredible amount of wealth. He spends a good portion of his winters skiing and summers golfing. He formed a real estate company that barely operates just to give the facade of a normal existence. Ultimately, he lives a modest lifestyle yet nice lifestyle and only those of us who know him from childhood know his real story and his vast wealth. Though others in the community think he runs a successful business and is self-made. Do I fault him for this? Absolutely not, I view it as Stealth Wealth.

    2) How do the Aussies take these gap years and beyond that travel extensively subsequent to getting a real job? Then beyond that manage to pay bills, overpriced mortgages and create a war chest to pass on those sums of money? Are their any Aussie Personal Finance Bloggers out there? We need to hear this story! Through the Irish into that bucket too. Everyone defaulted on all their real estate and they still continue to travel in droves and takes full years off at a time.

  27. I am expecting $0 from my parents and couldn’t care less if I receive anything. That being said, I would not be ashamed to inherit something. I would do something to honor them and/or use it for our kids.

    I think the bigger issue is people afraid to talk about money in an honest way (more than bragging about their latest purchase). Hopefully, all of these blogs will change that!

  28. It’s too bad the story got blown up. Anton should have came out with the truth in the first place and not call himself a “self-made” millionaire. I don’t have a problem with inheriting money and people really shouldn’t feel ashamed for inheriting a bunch of money from their parents or grandparents. This kind of practice has been common since the beginning of time. What’s more important is that you don’t squander the inheritance. What Anton managed to do regardless whether he has received an inheritance or not is still very impressive. He is discipline, managed to save 60% of his income, and invested wisely. How many people out there can proudly say that they’re doing the same?

    A lot of people on the internet like to bash and ridicule others. It’s easier to do that than look at yourself and ridicule yourself for not managing your money and investing your money wisely.

  29. Go Aussies! Although all that inheritance money must be fuelling our ridiculously high property prices…

    Unfortunately I think people seem to feel a loss of respect for those who inherit a lot of money. People always compare to their own situation, and tend to get envious and think “Oh man, now you’re life is way easier! Why do you deserve that when life is so tough for the rest of us!”. It can detract from any real accomplishments that person achieves on their own, because ‘inheritance solves everything!’. Most people want the respect of others and so avoid risking this perception.

    You’re so right about people being drawn to what they can relate to, things that sound like anyone can easily do it, and sure you don’t take that approach here, but that’s what very clearly differentiates you!

    1. Don’t worry Jason, I still respect you and other Aussies, despite your ridiculously high $500,000 inheritance figures thanks to property and the Superannuation system!

      I wonder though.. if Aussies didn’t inherit so much, do you think they’d produce more innovation to the world? At least a Brit invented the internet!

      1. Yes the superannuation system here definitely helps accumulate a good pot of money for ‘traditional’ retirement.

        Interesting thought on innovation, perhaps they would be more innovative and driven to succeed. I’m not fully convinced though – I think Aussie’s are just too laid back regardless of money, and people still manage to lock themselves into huge mortgages regardless of inheritances from what I’ve seen, so there’s still a need to work hard!

        I should also clarify I’m Irish born, but from a young age have practically become an Aussie – I suspect the average Irish inheritance is a little less than $500k?

  30. The ‘average inheritance’ amount seems like a skewed statistic… without details it is pretty meaningless.

    Is this an average inheritance among those who receive an inheritance or average inheritance among the entire population? (I’m thinking the former… one survey I looked at showed 67% of respondents expect no inheritance).

    This is further skewed by using average vs. median. The ultra-rich will make the average much higher than the median.

    What is the median inheritance among the entire population? Perhaps an order of magnitude below the ‘average’ amount listed in the table?

    1. Let’s believe in the the figures John! The media wouldn’t lie :)

      I’ve found it much helpful to just believe everything when I hear about great wealth figures. It stops the envy, and it keeps me motivated.

  31. It’s great that some families are able to give inheritance to their kids. I don’t expect to get anything which sucks :) but it is what it is and I’m fortunate for everything my family gave me growing up. Aussie’s are lucky. Those inheritance stats are impressive!

    1. Yeah, Aussies got it the best! $500,000 inheritance is huge. They’ve got a free life full of travel. Great weather down there too. Maybe we can all move there and get their free health care during retirement. I’m sure they’d love that!

  32. I had followed Anton’s blog and story. If he was open about his inheritance, I wouldn’t have care because because he had a lot of really great personal finance advice. It’s just disappointing that he lied about it.

  33. Todd Guthrie

    Being in finance, you must have heard the saying that wealth lasts for three generations.
    The first generation earns the wealth; the second generation feels obligated to preserve their parents’ legacy and so protects the wealth; the third generation, not having the memory of hard work, experience of money management, or feeling of connection, squanders the wealth.

  34. What makes you believe people are ashamed about inheriting money? Most people I know who have inherited money or property don’t constantly volunteer the information or talk about it, but they don’t lie about it either. This guy on yahoo finance is a fraud. He actually misrepresented his own deceased parents who left him an inheritance as being bad with finances which contributed to his desire for attaining wealth at a young age. Real classy. Who wants to deal with that type of person.

      1. Do you really have to ask? People lie for all sorts of reasons. In his case he obviously wanted his story published in a larger forum than his blog as other commenters have mentioned and he was willing to be less than forthcoming about it and even misrepresent his deceased parents who were financially responsible after all. In his video he comes across as a bit smug to me. Generally speaking as we’re learning about bill cosby, people who voluntarily enjoy telling other people how to live their lives have skeletons in their closet.

        1. If he wanted the publicity and all that goes with it, why would he come out just days later and admit that he didn’t make a million on his own? This is what I’m trying to explore. Thoughts?

          1. Who knows. Yahoo is a large platform, so maybe someone who knew the truth threatened to expose him. Most people don’t voluntarily confess the truth unless they’re left without much of a choice.

  35. I can see why one might be a little ashamed about inheriting their wealth in a country that aspires to be a meritocracy. My parents have enough wealth to last several generations, but dad makes me pay for dinner when we go out and has told us since we were old enough to get it that he’s giving all his money to the church when he dies. I guess I should be thankful for a very expensive but free education and be glad to be able to pay for dinner!

  36. Rockee Dory

    I’d never be ashamed of inheritance. I’d gladly accept if anyone left me an inheritance. Presently I’m fighting my parents to get my fair share of my grandfather’s property which they’re trying to sell. With crazy, narcissistic parents like mine, I’d be lucky to get my fair share from my dead grandpa’s land, let alone getting an inheritance from their crazy asses.

    1. Mgtow Dream

      Reply to Dockee Dory

      you do not have a ‘ fair share ‘ of your grand parents wealth .

      Inheritance does not work like. Either Married wife. of siblings. wether your parents give you a share is there discretion as immediate family and your not

      i think your entitlement is disgusting being honest,

    2. Geoffrey Sadler

      Rockee — I wouldn’t listen to Mr. Dream here… your “entitlement” as he puts it is not “disgusting” at all… it’s perfectly normal. Doesn’t look like English is Mr. Dream’s native language, so who knows what they do in his country.

      Sounds like you need a lawyer. If your estate is still dragging on, or other heirs associated an estate, that are reading this, who also could use an attorney but can’t afford it — you guys might consider looking into an inheritance loan, as it’s often called… really an inheritance cash advance assignment, not an actual loan. But you can take inheritance cash from an inheritance loan and hire your own estate attorney. If you don’t have the funds yourself. You can investigate inheritance loans at a Website that focuses on probate, the inheritance process, inheritance loans, on a site like Loan start or check out a site with opinions from heirs who are experienced with the probate process as well as getting inheritance cash from an inheritance loan, on an informational Website About inheritance.

      All you need is a few hours of research and you’ll better understand what position you’re in, and how an estate attorney can help you get your share of an estate on track — and get your inheritance assets protected.

  37. I doubt he was ashamed of any inheritance. Some people like attention while others don’t. He even did a video and I believe also a Q&A at a later point. This guy obviously likes the attention he got when Yahoo approached him for a story and thus embellished it with the self made angle because he knew admitting that inheritance played a large role meant his story doesn’t get published. The reason his story got published is because it’s very unusual. A college dropout who joins U.S. service accumulating a million at a young age on his own. Financial Samurai working in high paying finance job and Silicon Valley hot shot making million by age 27 isn’t unusual and thus doesn’t get published.

    Nobody likes a liar and a dishonest person. Just ask the former Yahoo CEO who claimed he had a computer science degree when he actually didn’t. He’s relatively young, so hopefully he’s learned a valuable lesson that being dishonest and less than completely forthcoming is never a good idea.

    1. “Financial Samurai working in high paying finance job and Silicon Valley hot shot making million by age 27 isn’t unusual and thus doesn’t get published.”

      EXACTLY. I’ve got a relatively boring hook, which is why if I’m to grow, I think I’ve got to think of some new things in 2015.

      It is interesting though that the mass media almost wants to find SHORT CUT stories of how to get rich. They don’t want to profile people who went a traditional go to college, get good grades, work for XYZ, save ABC, etc. It’s as if they want some type of miracle story that has some secret sauce.

      1. The mass media publishes stories which they believe will sell. The outlier successes, the unusual paths to success make better stories compared to boring traditional routes which are far more common. Look forward to seeing what new approaches you’ll publish in 2015.

  38. I hide my inheritence because the two close people I told too immediately felt upset that their parents did not leave anything and kept saying how lucky I am. They did not stop at that – it was always back to that conversation after that – oh did your mum give you this ring – oh how pretty. I wish I had one too…….this is coming from 2 women who have husbands to care for them and never worked a day in their life! I have 2 kids, single and work hard.

    In my case – it is not that I felt guilty, upset, ashamed or too proud, but more of the fact it causes unnecessary jealousy among friends.

  39. I don’t think shame was a factor in the Yahoo Finance article. It’s just that it isn’t interesting. Inheritances happen all the time. His article was interesting, thus it sold. He lied to get an article about his “story” basically.

  40. I think the majority of it is that you know people will be jealous. Who wouldn’t be jealous of a guy who got a boatload of money by just being born to the right parents? But you’re absolutely right it’s what you do with that money that is most important.

  41. “Furthermore, nobody wants to hear investment advice from someone who worked in finance his entire career. – See more at: https://www.financialsamurai.com/why-are-people-so-ashamed-about-inheriting-money/#sthash.8SHASBpD.dpuf

    Do you really believe this? I come to your blog specifically BECAUSE of your financial background. The best people to learn from are those that know more than you. “Tricks” to reduce spending are nice; however, I can only cut so much out of my monthly budget, but earnings have no ceiling.

    Anyway, I will probably inherit a decent amount of money from my parents. I am not ashamed of it because I am working in order to not NEED that inheritance. I am saving for my own retirement. I purchased my home and my rental property. If one day I inherit something from the hard work my parents did, I would be grateful, but if I don’t I will be ok, if not wealthy by my own labor. If my parents give it away on their death bed, I would have no complaints as it is not my money.

    I think the stigma comes from the false belief that those that inherit wealth would be unable to earn it on their own, or that they would be unable to support themselves without it. The title, Paris Hilton: Heiress. I don’t think people have the same negative outlook to those who are capable of supporting themselves without the benefit of their inheritance.

    1. Jon,

      I do believe working in finance and having an MBA as a personal finance blogger doesn’t really make a big difference. To get really big, you need a juicy hook. My hook is way too logical. Just look at the biggest personal finance bloggers in the world. None of them have any background in finance.

      Anton hooked Yahoo Finance and plenty of other bloggers with his story as only a high school educated, military guy, who made income on the side, and became a millionaire by age 27. That is a good hook, and he hooked the BIGGEST FISH.

      There is no hook for someone who studied hard, went to college, worked at a couple bulge bracket firms, and walked away at 34 because OF COURSE I’m supposed to make a lot of money. Of course I’m supposed to save a lot and be able to afford real estate. And of course I should be able to leave Corporate America in my 30s.

      I’ve decided to challenge myself to see if I could make my mini-fortune again starting from zero. I’ll share a post about this in the near future!

      Love to know more of your thoughts.


      1. Sam,
        Your hook is too logical? Like Pixar’s movies are too good?

        I guess there isn’t a shortage of personal finance blogs, and you could probably increase your readership if you tried to be the Kiyosaki of the internet.

        “I’ll teach you to be rich even though I don’t know!”

        How many of these blogs were started after 2009? All of them. What is going to happen when the markets drop and their readers who are trying to leave the workforce at 30 to “retire” early to ramen and beans lose the shirt at the same time as they sit out of their peak earning years?

        I want to hear from a guy who was on Wall Street during a couple of bears. I want to hear from a guy who doesn’t write every article about some mythical 4% safe withdraw rate for 65 year horizon. I want to hear from a guy who can help me maximize my net worth, not minimize my expenses. Because I hit the threshold for the 35 year old on your “The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Person” at 30 – I want to hear from a guy who challenges me to keep going.

        Keep doing what you’re doing. Let everyone else fight over writing the financial equivalent of supermarket tabloids.

        PS – I would be very interested in following you “starting” from zero.

        1. “Supermarket tabloids,” I like that.

          Hmmm, well, I do have a post on how I plan to get rich again after starting over in the queue. I want to build my wealth through a different way, and that’s through an invention. Getting rich off an invention is like 1 in a million, or more.

          But I think it may be a boring journey that will take 5-10 years to get to a million+. But maybe that’s what readers would like to see.

  42. The american hard work and ‘deserving’ to be rich if you work for it has a dark side. People think you don’t deserve it if you inherited it. And a lot of people care deeply about being judged.
    Its funny, no one minds if you get an inheritance and you’re ‘finally able to fix the roof’ or other non luxurious things.

    The double shame of jealousy for rich people directed at you, and not having ‘earned’ it would stop most people from mentioning anything. Add to it most people in the us find discussing money distasteful…

  43. Done by Forty

    In the case of Anton, I think he caved because he initially lied about it (very publicly), and felt guilty about the lie…rather than feeling guilt about the inheritance. That’s my take, at least.

    There is something different about money earned and money inherited, at least in my experience. I think the different perceptions are largely justified. Money earned is the result of one’s efforts: if you’ve managed to turn that income into wealth, it illustrates even more good qualities about you.

    There’s nothing wrong with an inheritance, of course. I just don’t think it tells you much about the beneficiary.

  44. What a crazy turn of events in the Anton story. I wonder if Yahoo will discipline him or just take down the story or be glad it’s now even receiving more attention…

    Becoming a millionaire at age 27 by getting an inheritance isn’t remarkable in any way.

    Getting an inheritance is fine but don’t pass it off as your own hard work.

    Perhaps Anton got heart-felt emails of admiration from young people after his article went live. He couldn’t keep the lie going on a 1:1 basis.

    1. What’s interesting is an equal blame on Yahoo Finance for not vetting the story completely and Anton. But like I said in the beginning of the post, I never doubted his claims. He gave good advice and was very well spoken.

  45. Shame is a funny thing. We aspire to be in the x% and then are ashamed of it. We have to keep our “wealth in stealth” for how others might react. My finances are my business as much as my marriage relationship or political/religious beliefs. Some people wear these things on their sleeve (or t-shirt) and some people consider these things to be shared only with those closest to them. It sucks being judged and an inheritance is just one more thing to be judged by.

    My simplest explanation for being ashamed of the inheritance is the immediate difference it can create from you and your friends. If you’re not building wealth already there will be all the obvious spending and things that create envy. If you are building wealth and have close like-minded friends, you’re all focused on long-term success and know there is no shortcut to wealth. Yet you just got to pass go 200 times on the monopoly board in an instant.

    The best parallel I can make is that after a family move in my middle school years, I ended up in classes a grade above my peers. This wasn’t being a full grade up. Other smart kids might be in some advanced classes (with me), but being a grade up in the other classes was not available to them – it was some odd administrative decision based on my specific background that landed me in those classes. I didn’t feel that I had earned it or done anything to deserve special treatment, but there it was and nobody else in my grade at the school could join me, no matter their proficiency in that subject.

    So I get it. The shame shouldn’t be there, but it is. When you live your life that people reap the merits of their own actions and receive those of others, it can’t be anything but a jolt.

    1. Some wise words Brett. I don’t understand how people who did nothing to deserve their wealth but be born, wear their wealth on their sleeves. I can understand busting your ass for years and then being proud of your work.

      The easiest way to get out of feeling ashamed to do something that would make you and your loved ones proud.

  46. I think some people feel ashamed at inheriting money because they have been so brainwashed that wealth is evil. They suddenly are part of that 1% that everyone else feels is evil and corrupt. Personally, I don’t talk about what I got from my mom because it is private. If I had a large family or collection of friends, I’d be afraid that they would all develop a need for a loan, so I wouldn’t advertise the fact that I had money. I feel zero shame, however, in how I got my money because when I received it, I was already retired with a great net worth. I had already demonstrated that I knew how to handle money so it would not be wasted.

    1. It is interesting and kind of sad that there’s this heavy view that wealth is evil. Wealth = freedom. But I think people who are wealthy really need to be humble and not throw it in other people’s faces e.g. constantly telling people how much you make, incessant Facebook pictures showing their fabulous lives, etc.

      Activity like this makes those who don’t have the same prosperity hate the wealthy. The extravagant are those who ruin it for the others who stay low key.

  47. Even Steven

    It’s less about the inheritance and more about being dishonest. People go to others for guidance and inspiration and for many the realization that they may be able to replicate their success. An inheritance is something that cannot be replicated that’s what loses people similar to a lottery winner telling me how to get rich, but cutting costs, paying off debt, investing, and being smart with money can be replicated.

  48. I got no problems with people inheriting money, but I do have a problem when they inherited money yet in their mind believe that they earned it and look down upon others because they don’t possess things that they do. They ask…I have a nice car and nice house…what’s wrong with you that you don’t have that? Because yo mommy and daddy paid for it…I’m still trying to save up! And as for online content…we all know that the self-made millionaire story is much more sexy…inheriting money isn’t really something that others can learn to do whereas saving/investing etc is something others may try to replicate. I’m not sure what Anton’s deal is and I’m kind of curious. Is he even a millionaire? I thought he was a website flipper when he started his first website and claimed that he dropped under 100,000 Alexa rank in months and then soon asked to sell the site because he was “too busy.” He was also selling himself as a financial advisor. Even though he was “too busy” he decides to start another blog…hmmm

    1. What was his first blog? I forget.

      Check out this part of my post at the end. I think it addresses what you are feeling:

      Other common situations people should own up to:

      * Parents bought you a car. Say it proudly, “Hey baby, my mom bought me this BMW. Wanna go for a ride?”

      * Parents paid for your private school tuition. Say it proudly, “So what if they paid $200,000 for me to go to private school. It just means that I don’t need to get a great job to pay them back! I expect them to pay $120,000 for my graduate school experience as well.”

      * Parents or relatives hooked you up with a job even though the company doesn’t recruit from your school. Say it proudly, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

      * Parents bought you a condo right out of school. Say it proudly, “Renting is flushing down the drain! Always buy property as soon as possible.”

      * Parents bought you a fancy $10,000 Rolex or $6,000 Grace Kelley handbag. Say it proudly, “Never spend more than you have. That’s the simple key to getting wealthy.”

      * Parents set up a multi-million dollar trust fund. Say it proudly, “I’m not afraid to go after my passions and take risks in life. Failure is for the weak and timid!”

        1. Ah, gotcha. Score one for FS! I was asked by him to do a guest post and I declined then. I asked him to stick around for 6 months, and revisit, but he never did. Lots of folks online flame out or just give up or flip sites like you mention. I’m not interested in fly-by-nighters.

  49. It took me a while to feel this way about gifted money. Even after I reached a point of agreeing with your points above, I still hesitated to post the fact that my dad gave me a $30K UGMA when I got married. It’s interesting that we have no problem talking about saving and investing all of this money for our posterity, but posterity has a problem revealing that they are beneficiaries of it. I think it comes down to being grateful, continuing to work hard, and not giving heed to what others might think.

  50. Great article! I do not read the other blogs because they talk about how to be cheap, everybody knows that. I read your blog because you offer advice on how to turn the money you are saving into more money. Also, inherited a house in Santa Cruz recently, my grand parents bought it in the early 50’s then my parents lived there. It’s only 1400 sq feet so I was thinking I could sell it for $600K, well I had it appraised and since it has an ocean view it appraised for $1.7 million. I am going to pay off my house and buy some rentals, not blow it and not be ashamed.

  51. The problem, or entertainment factor in this case, is that money is just too much of an issue for most people. Anton felt guilty for inheriting the money and not being honest about it and the readers are jealous and angry because they don’t have any money. Sounds like capitalism! Anyways, as long as money continues to be something we value as much as we do, inheritance will definitely remain a controversial topic.

  52. I don’t think someone should be ashamed of an inheritance. I think they should embrace it, hopefully learning from their family how the accumulated the money and hopefully they can duplicate the success. That was the issue I had with Anton story, just wish he would have been truthful from the beginning, just saying I started with this and grew it to that. He does offer good advice, he didn’t have to start out with the lie.

  53. Nina @ RichLife.io

    People forget one key difference. Give an inheritance to someone who doesn’t mind their money and it will be used up sooner than later. Give it to someone who is already disciplined in managing their finances and not only will it be put in the most ideal place for that money (maybe barring some little splurge aside) but they will often also find ways to make the inheritance grow.

    1. Good tip! So for anybody who is kinda dreading leaving an inheritance to their extravagant son or daughter, consider me. I will e-mail you my office address and Paypal address. Thanks for the consideration.

  54. A lot of this has to do with parents from older generations (like mine) who had no financial education to speak of. Learned a few useful tips from their parents who survived the credit-bubble, the resulting stock market crash and depression of the 1930s and/or rationing or any of the great wars. And for them, money was not a conversation you EVER had… even with your spouse.

    That complete lack of financial education was passed down to the “boomer” generation which had the fortune of reaping the rewards setup for them by their parents. Labour jobs that paid VERY well, avenues of growth even for uneducated workers, all thanks to isolated and protectionist borders that offered trade with few (if any) other nations. (HUGE tariffs were the name of the day)

    So the boomer parents didn’t have too many cares as they had decent jobs with many having defined benefit pensions. So they never had to save. Fortunately for them, immigration surged, markets became very global, the the sticky-fingers of wealth began reaching around the world driving up real-estate vaues. So the boomer generation won AGAIN.

    Thus they didn’t need to know much, if anything about money.

    Where does that leave us? Mostly uninformed with parents spouting the old adages about working hard and being loyal which worked for their generations (for thousands of years even). But those old adages are now simply rhetoric in the current global business environment. Workers are a commodity to be consumed and exploited by big business.

    (apologies – this comment spiralled out of control!)

    tl;dr = multi-generational lack of financial information with a socitial norm for making the subject taboo. Additionally, boasting about wealth can make you seem like a jerk, and/or make you a target for exploitation.

    1. The Chinese have a saying, “From rice paddy field to rice paddy field in three generations.” I do wonder whether this generation who is inheriting money now will just blow it all!

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. I appreciate it!

    2. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy.com

      I’m in the same boat, man! My parents were immigrants (and I am too technically) and had little idea of money. They’re still climbing out the debt boat but my sisters and I are all doing well because we’ve learned from their mistakes.

      Also, side note – really interesting how the top two poll results are “nothing” and “300k+.” Talk about a jump!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *