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Keep the Harmony Alive: Discussing Investing with Your Partner

FINRA Staff
Wedding Rings on Money

Before making the decision to tie the knot, couples may have various requirements. Some may insist on living together first, others that their families meet. But how about this one: having a frank conversation about money and investing.

Disagreement over money is a common source of tension for couples and an oft cited reason for divorce. But these discussions are impossible to avoid as you build a life together and plan and save for retirement.

When it comes to investing, couples might have different ideas about financial goals, the types of products to invest in and the level of risk they are willing to take with the family's portfolio. Fortunately, there are things couples can do to bridge the investment style gap and keep the peace. Here are four tips to help you keep the harmoney in your relationship.

"The key to maintaining harmony in a relationship is to begin with a conversation. It's important for each partner to understand the other person's tolerance for risk."

Communicate. Like many other issues in relationships, the key to maintaining harmony is to begin with a conversation. It's important for each partner to understand the other person's tolerance for risk. It's equally important for couples to talk about their financial goals and how soon they hope to achieve them.

It's a good idea to touch base regularly about household finances and working together to create solutions—like a budget or investing plan.

Get educated. Knowledge can give couples the power to resolve financial differences. If you work to learn the basics of investing together, you can feel comfortable knowing you are using the same vocab and both understand the risks involved with different investments and different strategies.

Get started with the FINRA Foundation's free Course to Smart Investing, which is designed to fit into your busy lifestyle. And, bonus, the theme of the course sequence is love and relationships!

Divide and conquer. For some couples, it might be better to divvy up accounts and responsibilities. You might have the more conservative partner handle the savings for short-term goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house, where a conservative approach is often justified.

The more aggressive partner, in turn, could possibly oversee savings for long-term goals like retirement, where investments can be more aggressive when retirement is still many years down the road.

Hire a referee. Sometimes couples simply can't figure things out on their own. A financial professional can help couples get beyond two opposing investment styles and make recommendations based on what's mutually beneficial for the couple.

It might just be worth the cost and effort. After all, managing a relationship is hard enough without having to fight about money.

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