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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Question 4

Dear Dr. T.

   I have never admired the way my father used his money because of the way he treated my mother after their divorce, and how he  tried to buy my affection but never seemed to care about who I am or what I want. I do not want to emulate his materialistic orientation and, therefore, have never paid much attention to money. But, I would like to be more secure financially. Now my father wants to give me a large inheritance, but he wants me to use his financial advisor, who doesn’t listen to what I want. I know my father and his advisor are more sophisticated about money than I am, and with this being the only large bequest I may ever get, I don’t want to act foolishly. But I also do want to have my values and wishes as to how I want to use this money respected. What should I do?

Dear Confused

   The reason you are confused has to do with a history of difficult relationship with your father and how he uses his money. How to resolve this can not be answered in a simple advice column. What I can advise is that, if the money you receive is really to be yours free and clear – rather than in a trust controlled by others and if your father’s advisor won’t pay attention to what you  want, you should find another financial advisor you can feel comfortable with and trust. It is also time for you to pay more attention to money and begin educating yourself about it. There are lots of good books having to do with money and investing. I recommend a few on my website
   As for how to deal with your feelings about and relationship with your father, that may call for some therapy. If you decide to go that route, your therapist should be comfortable focusing on money as one of the main focuses of treatment (see Money and Psychotherapy: A Guide For Mental Health Professionals on my website).
Dr. T.

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