Should your spouse know your investments?

Making an investment when you’re single can be hard, more so when you’re making money decisions for two (and for the whole family)

Alena Mae Flores

veteran business journalist

MONEY TALK When making investment decisions one should take into consideration one’s family financial situation

If you have been financially independent for so long, should you involve your spouse or partner in your investment decisions? Should your wife or husband or life partner have a say on when and where you should put your hard-earned savings?

For most people interviewed for this article, yes, it pays to tell your spouse about money matters.

“Investment decisions should be made by spouses together since these could affect family finances. It is also wise that each spouse know of potential fund sources in case of unforeseen or unfortunate events that could take a toll on the family. Knowing the family’s investments allow for better planning for the future, including travels and retirement,” Cris Larano, a freelance journalist and radio broadcaster said.

He said investment decisions should take into consideration each family’s financial situation.

“Is the couple still young and without children? Then higher-yielding, highly liquid but riskier assets may be advisable. If they have kids, then a life insurance-investment hybrid is desirable because it protects the children’s future and income to the insured at maturity. If the spouses are closer to retirement then government bonds and other dividend-earning assets should be the preferred investment,” Larano said.

Energy Assistant Secretary Bodie Pulido, for his part, said, transparency plays a key role in both making your relationship work, including business decisions that will directly impact your family life.

 

‘Investing is an important matter that spouses should discuss and agree on and be aware of in case something happens to the other spouse. In a conjugal relationship, any investment is a mutual concern.’

“Marriage is a partnership and considering that an investment has a direct impact on your and your partner's finances, he or she should know. Moreover, in considering where and what to invest in, having another perspective, another opinion, can inarguably help,” Pulido said.

Czarina Brodit, who has a joint business with her boyfriend said partners should be transparent with each other. “Especially with investments, if anything bad happens, your partner should be able to decide,” she said.

While there is no hard and fast rule of whether couples should have joint or separate bank accounts, couples should know about their spouse’s investments.

“I believe that while couples should maintain separate bank accounts, both should know their partner’s investments and current financial standing. This is to be prepared if anything should happen. Investments kept from one’s spouse prevents access to potential funds in the face of an emergency situation,” J. Corpuz said.

“However, this does not mean that knowledge of the spouse’s investment gives you the right to access this on a whim for some retail therapy. Respect should prevail,” she said.

If the planned investment will come from the couple’s fund, then each party should disclose the details of the investment, says Theo Sunico,Triconti ECC vice president for operations.

“My assumption is that the money in common fund is generally used for household payments (electricity, water, rent, etc.) so if an amount will be inaccessible for a period of time, it should be disclosed,” he said.

If you have a two income household and each spouse maintains a separate account, Sunico said couples should be able to do what they want with their money without having to ask permission.

Later on, Sunico said it would still be better to inform one’s spouse just so they know.

“Investing is an important matter that spouses should discuss and agree on and be aware of in case something happens to the other spouse. In a conjugal relationship, any investment is a mutual concern of both spouses. However, if the marriage regime is not based on conjugal partnership, then either party may or may not disclose their respective investment,” said William Pamintuan, an official of Manila Electric Co.

What if you informed your spouse yet he or she does not want to invest in your planned business endeavor? Like any relationship, learn to listen and learn to share your plans so both sides are heard. Consider the pros and cons of when or where to investment and why.

Ask your partner why he or she does not like such type of investment and learn to compromise. Look at your long-term goals and how your investments will play into them.

Should you leave every investment decision to your spouse alone because you trust them? It would still be prudent to carefully study, learn and talk about your investment plans before taking the plunge to avoid finger-pointing and stress on your relationship when faced with financial losses.

 

About the Author

ALENA MAE S. FLORES is a business journalist for nearly two decades having covered the Securities and Exchange Commission, Board of Investments, Telecommunications and Energy beats. She is a former president of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines and Best Energy Reporter during the EJAP Journalism Awards in 2010.



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