Category: Stocks

The Moneyist: My father inherited money from his parents — he now tells people he earned it due to his (nonexistent) investment prowess

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Dear Moneyist,

Growing up, I was quite close to my paternal grandparents. They were very active in my life.

While they were living, they frequently disagreed with my dad’s financial decisions, and felt my uncle, my dad’s brother, did well for himself, and, therefore, did not need any money. So they repeatedly told all grandchildren, including me, that their estate would be divided among us, the grandchildren.

My grandparents were transparent with regards to their finances, and even told us where they kept their will. When my grandparents finally passed away, my uncle was named the executor, and finally read the will. Their will specified that everything would be split between my dad and my uncle, contrary to what they told all of us growing up. Naturally, that came as a great disappointment to us.

My uncle, with his half, decided to honor the spirit of what my grandparents said over these years, and decided to give each of his children some money. He tried to convince my dad to do the same with his half. My dad refused.

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My dad took to Facebook, telling people of his newly-found wealth, and bragging about his supposed investing prowess when he did not earn that money himself.

My grandparents were frugal, and worked for that money. Additionally, my grandparents financially supported my dad as I was growing up.

My dad would go on, and share the various ways he helped my sister and me financially — only, that it is a lie. It is all quite embarrassing. Everything in my adult life I worked for. My dad did not pay for, or support me throughout college.

He got remarried, and has done more to support his wife’s children who my grandparents never met. He went against my uncle’s advice, and never signed a prenuptial agreement, and is in poor health. It is very likely that my sister and I will never see a penny of our grandparents’ money.

He has even told me that he has no obligations to me, his daughter, and we were on non-speaking terms for two years.

The Moneyist:I want to propose to my girlfriend — but how do I divide my estate between her and my daughter from a previous marriage?

I never asked my dad for money until more recently when I started a new chapter of my life and wanted a loan to bolster a down payment. He went ballistic that I even asked — never mind that I asked him a year in advance of the planned house purchase.

For additional context, a few years ago, I was in a position to buy a property, and my grandparents said they would help, but then later had to withdraw the offer due to market downturn.

My relationship with my dad has soured to where I find it difficult to talk with him. My father lives in his own world where he believes what he wants to believe, and he has an adoring group of people who admires his supposed investing prowess, and his financial generosity towards his family. He is not the type of person who would agree to going to counseling.

It makes me sad what our family has become.

The only way I could see things changing is by starting with the truth. I would like my dad back, but I am afraid he is too far gone.

Any ideas?

Loving Daughter

Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Dear Daughter,

Separate your relationship with your father from your financial needs and wants. If you want him in your life in a way that suits you both, while maintaining healthy boundaries, be sure of your own motivations first and foremost. Mixing up your emotional needs and wants with your financial needs and wants will quickly rust the wheels of this relationship. In fact, you may need a new set of training wheels. It might be possible to sustain a relationship with this man in a way that is healthy for you, but it may not be the kind of relationship you had hoped for 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.

Don’t expect him to change. If you reconnect with your father, and you give time out of your life for him and vice-versa, maintain realistic expectations. Sometimes, when we repair a broken relationship, we believe it will be the kind of happy, nourishing experience we had always dreamed it would be, but then we slowly realize that the reasons it broke down are still present, and the reasons two people don’t quite click are also still there. Furthermore, if he is not capable of being honest with himself or others on or off social media, he will find it difficult to be honest with you.

The Moneyist:We were friendly with our neighbors for decades, until recently. One day, they introduced us to their financial adviser…

Any requests for money are a trigger for him. Whatever buttons you inadvertently pushed when you asked him for financial help will get pushed again. Who knows why? Maybe they triggered insecurities or resentments he harbors about his first wife and/or first family. Inadvertently or not, it sounds like your grandparents used money to ensure that you would remain engaged with them throughout your life. But remember that your father is their child. Don’t allow history to repeat itself. The financial co-dependency ends here. By all means, tell him how you feel. It may not be enough.

Your dad may or may not be organized enough (or, indeed, embittered enough) to leave a will and exclude his children from his first marriage. If there is no will? You will receive a percentage of his estate along with his second wife, according to intestate laws of his state. Whatever happens, try not to take it personally. It’s difficult at the best of times, but your father’s antipathy toward you in all likelihood has absolutely nothing to do with you at all. It’s much more likely that his antipathy is related to how you and your siblings make him feel about himself. You can’t control that.

Let me share a story with you. When I was a kid, a suggestion was made that I become a member of the golf club where my father and brother were members. My father reacted so vociferously that the subject was never raised again, to my knowledge. When he died, he left me a small sum of money for golf lessons. I wasn’t sure if that was meant as an acknowledgment that he could have been kinder or more inclusive, or whether it was a bad joke. I thought I had been left with a question mark, but it was not my puzzle to solve. So did I give the money back? Did I take golf lessons? Not on your nellie. I no longer had any interest in golf, so I took myself for a slap-up meal instead.

What does it all mean? Take care of yourself first and foremost. Be good to yourself because you can’t count on others being good to you.

Tread carefully and, remember, if at any time this relationship makes you unhappy or causes you grief or stress, it’s OK to walk away.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, +1.45%  group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch.

Personal Finance Daily: What can I do now that I’ve had my COVID-19 vaccine and my mom put me on her house’s deed and my brother wants half

This post was originally published on this site

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CDC Director: ‘I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have and, if I can’t tell it to you, then I can’t tell it to the governors’

President Joe Biden has outlined a goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, which some analysts describe as ambitious.

‘I’m tired of being the only one with moral values’: My mother put me on the deed of her home. Now my brother wants half

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My sister is a single mother and thinks ‘squatter rights’ is the way to secure housing in the pandemic. What can I do?

‘She has been better with her money the last three months, but she has been very irresponsible in her spending the last few years — paying for breast implants, for example.’

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Key Words: Dr. Fauci: Double masking is ‘common sense’ to prevent COVID-19 transmission

This post was originally published on this site

‘It just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.’

— Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on double masking

Dr. Anthony Fauci says two masks are better than one.

“It just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s Today Show this week. “That’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not issued official guidance on double masking. It did not advocate wearing face coverings until April 3 last year to help prevent the wearer from spreading coronavirus, but since then health professionals say it also helps the wearer.

“A mask is like an obstacle course for particles to get through,” Linsey Marr, an expert in virus transmission and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, told AARP. A second mask “increases the chance that the particle will be trapped before it gets through.”

As of Tuesday, 99.9 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19 and more than 2.1 million people had died. The U.S. had 25.3 million cases and 421,890 fatalities, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

Fauci recently said that more people will be able to get vaccines by April to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Everyone will be able to get a vaccine. So I think by the end of the summer, if we get 70% to 85% of the population vaccinated and get a good herd immunity.”

U.S. President Joe Biden last week signed a mask mandate for all federal workers and anyone on federal property. They should, the mandate said, “all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”

Biden said, “We want to get it to 1 million vaccinations per day. The idea about having everyone for at least 100 days — at least — wear a mask. Everyone uniformly, so we don’t have disparities where some people are adhering to public-health measures, and others are not.”

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Pfizer PFE, +0.06% and German partner BioNTech SE BNTX, -0.80% have said that a final analysis of their vaccine candidate showed 95% efficacy. Meanwhile, Moderna MRNA, +4.47%  said its vaccine candidate was about 94% effective.  

BioNTech and Pfizer said an in vitro study found that their COVID-19 vaccine neutralizes the two new highly infectious variants that have emerged in the U.K. and South Africa. The results were published on the preprint service bioRxiv and have not yet been peer-reviewed.

A vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca AZN, +0.54%  and the University of Oxford is safe and effective and showed an average efficacy of 70% in a pooled analysis of interim data, according to a recently published peer-reviewed study.

The Moneyist: My sister is a single mother and thinks ‘squatter’s rights’ is the way to secure housing in the pandemic. What can I do?

This post was originally published on this site

Dear Moneyist,

I am a 30-year-old woman who has built a stable and happy life for myself, after growing up in a family that was often unstable emotionally and financially. I love my family, but as I become more successful, my family needs more and more of my support.

My sister and her son moved into my father’s one-bedroom apartment in July (which is going against the lease). I was very against this living situation due to it being way too small for two adults and a rambunctious child.

My sister said she had no other options because her credit is terrible, she has little savings, and she was brought to court around an eviction (that was dismissed but she says it still hinders her). She has now been laid off for not having child care, and is collecting unemployment. My father was struggling to pay for his apartment on his own, as well.

Their relationship has now deteriorated to a level where I do not think they will be able to continue living together. My aunt is the co-signer for my father’s apartment, and says she can let my father stay in her spare bedroom if he works with her to fix his finances. My aunt has been trying to help me, as she knows I am overwhelmed mediating their arguments and finances.

The Moneyist:I want to propose to my girlfriend — but how do I divide my estate between her and my daughter from a previous marriage?

I told my sister we will need to find another place for her to live after April, and that I would cosign if she sat down with me to go over her finances. She cried and said it would be impossible to find a place being unemployed, and that no one cares about her ending up homeless.

She said she will refuse to leave the apartment if management doesn’t let her take over the lease. She believes that since she is a single mother with a child, they will not be able to evict her. I have tried to explain there could be very negative consequences on her tenant record and my aunt as a co-signer (since my sister is in the apartment illegitimately to begin with), but she says everything will be fine.

I do not want to hold my sister’s past mistakes against her, and COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on single mothers. She has been better with her money the last three months, but she has been very irresponsible in her spending the last few years (paying for breast implants, for example). She cannot stay with me, because I am serving as a head of house in one of my alma mater’s dorms, which grants me and my partner a free apartment.

How should I proceed with my sister, in regards to her “squatters rights” argument and me co-signing in the future for her? Am I being too supportive, or not supportive enough? For me, it is not about the money so much, I am glad to support my family as I make more than they do.

I feel guilty even having my own financial goals (paying down student debt, down payment for a home, travel), when they are struggling in this way. I am becoming more and more dispirited as I feel immense empathy for their legitimate struggles, frustrated by their lack of agency, and guilty for the stable life I have built for myself.

Sincerely,

Sister Struggles

Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Dear Sister,

I will answer your letter in two parts.

Firstly, your sister. The hard, bitter truth is you can only help people who want to be helped. Your sister appears to want what she wants when she wants it. She wants to be accommodated by you, her father, and her landlord. The world owes her a favor, and she is going to call in that favor again and again. For her to exclaim that no one cares if she ends up homeless when you are actually trying to help put a roof over her head suggests that she is using the same manipulations that may or may not have worked in the past.

If she walks close enough to the edge, one of her family members will pull her back and bail her out. Perhaps it’s a test of your love for her, or maybe it’s because she has and will continue to put herself first. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on single mothers, but I don’t think your sister can blame the pandemic for her current plight. It sounds as if she has been making questionable decisions before the pandemic and, unless she has some kind of white-light moment, she will continue to make them afterwards.

If you are putting your credit rating and money on the line, she should meet you more than half way. As it is, she seems unwilling to play by the rules, and see how her actions impact those around her: people who care about her, and the landlord of this property, who is likely to be struggling too. Nothing appears to be her fault. Even the reason she lost her job does not lie at her doorstep. In order to change, people have to take accountability for their own actions, and they have to be willing to change. Based on your letter, your sister shows no signs of either.

The Moneyist:We were friendly with our neighbors for decades, until recently. One day, they introduced us to their financial adviser…

Now, to you. The guiltier you feel for the life that you have earned for yourself, the more those around you will be able to turn their problems into your problems. Given your father and sister’s unsuccessful and dysfunctional cohabiting arrangement, your family system may be based on a series of co-dependent relationships, where chaotic personalities and family discord are a familiar space. Sometimes, we are attracted to situations that feel familiar to us. Although it may feel wrong and uncomfortable, we have been conditioned to return there again and again.

You are not responsible for your sister. She is responsible for herself. It may be hard to watch her make bad life decisions, especially when she has a child, but you have worked hard for the life that you have, and you have every right to enjoy it. You are not beholden to your family for a lifetime of debt that will be paid time and again with your peace of mind and happiness. Whatever your sister’s problems are related to borderline or narcissistic personality disorder, or substance abuse, and/or a sense that she is always done wrong, that’s her gig.

Your father moved out. There is no reason you should be left holding your sister and her baby. Try this: You didn’t create her problems, you are not responsible for them, and you can’t cure them. (I am not the first person to say that. It is a popular mantra for people who are trying to disconnect from co-dependent relationships.) Your father is your father, but he is also just another human being in the world doing the best he can with the life skills that were given to him. The same is true for your sister. You have a right to live your life, free from her drama.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, +1.28%  group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch.

Personal Finance Daily: Biden is reversing Trump’s transgender military ban — but workplace discrimination remains a problem for LGBT Americans, and when can younger, healthy people get vaccinated?

This post was originally published on this site

Hi there, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories:

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When can younger, healthy people get vaccinated? A former Biden COVID-19 adviser says it will be months

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CDC Director Walensky: ‘I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have’

President Biden has outlined a goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, which some analysts describe as ambitious.

‘I’m tired of being the only one with moral values’: My mother put me on the deed of her home. Now my brother wants half

Before our mother passed away, she quitclaimed the deed of the home to me, and she also added me on to all of her bank accounts. My brother was there and he said nothing.

Biden is reversing Trump’s transgender military ban — but workplace discrimination remains a problem for LGBT Americans

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Life after the COVID-19 vaccine: Americans won’t rush back to restaurants, ball games — or public transportation

‘The arrival of vaccines won’t automatically flip a switch to put the world back on its pre-COVID path,’ said Scott McKenzie, global intelligence leader at Nielsen.

We were friendly with our neighbors for decades, until recently. One day, they introduced us to their financial adviser…

‘We dug trenches, poured concrete foundations, and worked to build our house; they hired contractors. They traded in cars frequently; we ran ours into the ground.’

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Key Words: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky: ‘I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have’

This post was originally published on this site

‘The fact that we don’t know today, five days into this administration and weeks into planning, how much vaccine we have, just gives you a sense of the challenges we’ve been left with.’

— Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday, “I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have and, if I can’t tell it to you, then I can’t tell it to the governors, and I can’t tell it to the state health officials.”

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, she said, “If they don’t know how much vaccine they’re getting, not just this week but next week and the week after, they can’t plan. They can’t figure out how many sites to roll out, they can’t figure out how many vaccinators that they need, and they can’t figure out how many appointments to make for the public.”

Walensky added: “The fact that we don’t know today, five days into this administration and weeks into planning, how much vaccine we have, just gives you a sense of the challenges we’ve been left with.” Biden, meanwhile, pledged to forge ahead with a massive $1.9-trillion stimulus package when he takes office in a government with a Democratic-controlled House and Senate. President Joe Biden has outlined a goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, which some analysts have said is a challenging amount of vaccinations given the bumpy rollout thus far.

Also see: The Moneyist — the ethics and etiquette of your financial affairs

As of Monday, COVID-19 had infected over 99.2 million people worldwide, which mostly does not account for asymptomatic cases, one of the major ways the virus has spread around the world so quickly, and killed over 2.1 million, including 419,225 in the U.S. The U.S. has the world’s highest number of COVID-19 cases (25.1 million), followed by India (10.7 million), Brazil (8.8 million) and Russia (3.7 million), according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.57%, S&P 500 SPX, -0.30%  ended lower Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.09%  ended slightly up after posting fresh record highs earlier in the week, as reports showed that lockdown measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are taking an economic toll in Europe, and as President Joe Biden’s proposed new round of fiscal stimulus ran into opposition in the Senate.

Another factor buoying up markets. The progress on vaccine research — which, assuming they work, could eventually bring people back to their place of work. President Biden is calling on Congress to provide the $160 billion for a national vaccination program, “expand testing, mobilize a public health jobs program, and take other necessary steps to build capacity to fight the virus,” according to a statement issued by his team.

BioNTech SE BNTX, +2.85% and Pfizer PFE, +0.19% said a final analysis of their vaccine candidate showed 95% efficacy. Meanwhile, Moderna MRNA, -1.47%  said its own candidate was 94.5% effective. A vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca AZN, +1.33%  and the University of Oxford also showed an average efficacy of 70% in a pooled analysis of interim data, according to a peer-reviewed study published last week. That’s about the same level of protection as a flu vaccine.

The Moneyist: ‘I’m tired of being the only with moral values’: My mother put me on the deed of her home. My brother suddenly wants half

This post was originally published on this site

Dear Moneyist,

My brother and I lost our parents in 2019 months apart. My stepfather passed away, leaving his inheritance left to our mother. My brother helped pay for my stepfather’s service, and was repaid once my mother got our stepfather’s inheritance.

My brother renovated my parent’s home while our mother was still alive. My brother was given several bonds by our mother for the renovation supplies and his labor. He sold some of our stepfather’s belongings, kept the money. Our mother said she was fine with that, and so was I.

My mom’s illness got worse. I am single, so moved out of my apartment to be the caretaker of our mother once her health declined. My brother is married. He took care of our mother while I was at work during the day. I would take over for the rest of the evening.

Before our mother passed away, she quit-claimed the deed of the home to me, and she also added me on all of her bank accounts. My brother was there and he said nothing. We took turns taking her to the doctor, and he never mentioned dividing the home, or what would happen to it after our mother passed away.

The Moneyist:My sister became my late father’s power of attorney, took out a reverse mortgage on his home, and drained his equity. What can I do?

I asked my brother on several occasions if he wanted the house, and each time he said no. The home is free and clear, and no mortgage is owed. I previously offered to give the house to him, sell it or rent it out, and my brother said no to all of these options. Once our mother passed away, I removed her name from the deed, and now the deed is in my name only.

Time has passed. I have settled into the home, and now my brother wants me to sell it, and give him half of the value, or take a loan out for half of the house, and give it to him or give him half of what my roommate gives me for rent. He said that things aren’t fair. My brother stated that I have no bills or mortgage, and he has to pay $2,000 a month at his home.

The money left from our mother’s estate was all put back into the home, plus more. I gave my brother $10,000. I also shared our mom’s life insurance with him, and gave a little to his son. If he wanted the home, and the money he was there during the entire process when our mother did the paperwork. I want to know whether I am legally obligated to sell the house that was left to me to satisfy my brother? Could he take me to court for half?

Signed,

Tired of Being the Only One Living on Moral Values

Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Dear Tired,

You are convinced that you are 100% in the right. Anything else that contradicts that appears to be a stance that is morally questionable. Your brother may have been going through a lot of emotions during that time your mother was sick and, for better or for worse, you sound like a very single-minded character. He could have thought, ‘Let her have it if it means that much to her.’ Or, ‘I can’t deal with this right now.’ Or, ‘It’s just another example of our mother showing preferential treatment.’ Or even, ‘How do I stand up my sister? Once she wants something there’s very little anyone can do about it. No one can get in her way.’

You’re coming from the unwavering position that it’s A-OK that your ailing and/or dying mother, who was relying on you for her care, signed her share of the home over to you, and if your brother wanted to do something about it, well, he had his chance. Not everyone is as strong-minded or goes after what they want. Not everyone thinks clearly when they are grieving the death of one parent, and facing the demise of another. Are you legally obligated? He could challenge you in court, although there’s no guarantee he would succeed. Are you morally obligated? All things considered, I believe you should share half your parents’ house.

The Moneyist:My wife and I have 3 kids. I also have 3 kids from a previous marriage. How should we split our house among these 6 children?

I have a few questions for you. Why would you not share the house? Why are you entitled to your mother’s home, and why is your brother not entitled to his share of your family’s estate? Because you decided your mother should quit claim her share to you, and he had his chance to disagree with that or not? Because he had his chance to say “yay or nay” and, tough luck buster, time’s up, and he sold some of your stepfather’s belongings, so if he can do that, you can have the house? One car or watch, or whatever it was that he sold, does not mean you can walk away with the lot. That is sharp practice. This is not a game show where “winner gets all.”

This is a family home. It’s time to consider sit down with your brother, and a lawyer, and consider your own moral stance on this issue too.

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Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch.