Color of Money: Four lessons from the stock market if you're looking for love

Michelle Singletary on

-- Don't take more risk than you can afford. At the end of the day, you literally have to sleep. And if your investment portfolio is so risky that you're suffering from insomnia and night sweats, you many need to be more conservative in your investment choices.

With love, don't risk your peace of mind by staying with someone who doesn't share your financial values. For example, are you willing to fall in love with someone who is deeply in debt but not concerned about paying it off? surveyed 2,000 Americans about what types of debt they considered a relationship deal-breaker.

Three out of every four people surveyed considered credit card debt a good reason to kick someone to the curb. Payday loans came next, followed by student loans.

I don't think you should dump someone just because he or she has debt. However, if the person is an unrepentant spendthrift addicted to credit cards, that can become a huge problem if you're an ardent saver who loathes debt.

-- Manage your expectations. None of us should be shocked the market is down. It's always going to be in flux. So, we have to learn to live with the highs and lows.

This is also true in relationships. I met a wife fuming that her husband couldn't manage money.

"How did he handle his money while you were dating?" I asked.

The question made her pause. He hadn't changed.


"You knowingly married an elephant and now you expect him to act like a giraffe," I joked.

I suggested they seek counseling and take a financial class to help them manage their money differences.

"In the relationship with both your partner and your portfolio, don't let emotions rule the decision making," said Michael Eisenberg, a CPA and member of AICPA's Financial Literacy Commission. "Developing a plan, whether for financial purposes or for personal purposes, will help you analyze and understand strengths, weaknesses and risks."

Whether you are investing in the stock market or looking for love, the more you know, the less likely you'll end up broke or with a broken heart.


Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook ( Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group



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