Wednesday, May 8, 2024
HomeMutual FundI finally managed to share all financial details with my wife!

I finally managed to share all financial details with my wife!

It is quite common to see one partner (either the husband or the wife)  utterly uninterested in money management and investing. They take for granted that the other partner will handle everything. Perhaps this contrast is higher in households if one takes an additional interest in personal finance.

Although my wife is super-smart and capable (no, she is not beside me as I write this!), she is not interested in money management. I have tried several times to share our financial planning details and investments with her, but she would get bored within minutes, and I would give up.

It was quite disconcerting that many members of the freefincal community know the funds I am holding   – thanks to the annual audits – but my wife had no clue. A few years back, I was on stage when someone asked me the funds I held. When I had difficulty remembering, many audience members helped me out.

For someone who kept harping about investing risk, I was not practising what I preached. It was not for want of trying, though! I felt like a failure until I realised I would never be able to explain aspects of goal planning to her because she was not interested.

However, I could provide her with all the information – funds, stocks, which fund is for what goal, etc. And thankfully, I have managed to do this. Here is what I did.

  1. Use the freefincal mutual fund and stock portfolio tracker on Google Sheets. Enter all investments and tag them to goals. Add an emergency contact sheet with the contact info of my SEBI Registered Investment Advisor friends from my curated list: List of Fee-only Financial Planners in India (SEBI RIAs)
  2. Mark those sheets with a distinct colour.
  3. Give access to my wife and walk her through where is what—just the basics.
  4. Place the sheet in here Chrome bookmarks bar. Since this is synched, she should see it on any device she is logged into. Remember, we change laptops every few years!
  5. Get an MFcentral account. The registrar and transfer agents, KFintech & CAMS, run this. One account for funds in which I am the primary holder and similarly one for her.
  6. The login IDs (PAN numbers) and passwords are stored in LastPass. I know, I know, the security aficionados are ready to pounce on me. I am not too worried because:
    • MFcental requires a security question to be answered. This answer is not stored anywhere, and my wife can answer questions for both accounts.
    • Even if someone gains access to MFcentral, they cannot redeem funds without opt authentication (sent to a feature phone).
    • Even if they redeem, it will only hit our bank accounts. So, the hacker has to have access to these bank accounts as well. One cannot transfer from these bank accounts without double authentication.
    • The hacker cannot change bank details so easily. They need a copy of the existing bank account cheque to change the bank account or will have to provide a physical request.
    • So that is reasonably tight security.
    • My wife set the LastPass master password. So she can access it anywhere.
    • I fully appreciate that LastPass has had security breaches, and Bitwarden is a better solution. But LastPass has an easy-to-use interface, and it suits my purpose.
    • The aficionados are still going to have a go at me. Well, they don’t pay my bills.
  7. Place the link to MFCentral in the Chrome bookmarks bar.
  8. Discuss with her what each link is for and who to contact if assistance is required.

She still does not know which fund/investment is tagged to what goal, but considering that enough has been invested for both goals, it is not an urgent priority. If you are in the same boat as me, you can try the above approach. There are other utilities for investing and tracking, but I prefer the above combination.

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About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.

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