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“I’m 44 and I want to retire in 10 years”: My husband’s technology company gave him shares. It is now 40% of our net worth. Should we diversify or keep?

Dear Quentin,

My husband and I disagree on whether he should diversify his tech stock.

He got this stock during his five years of employment at a tech company. He wasn’t worth much at the time. Now the company is a household name.

As a result, the value of this stock has exploded and now represents 40% of our net worth.

We’ve been married throughout this journey, and it’s exciting to have stocks that are worth more than our house or retirement accounts.

“I want to sell at least some of the stock and diversify.”

I want to sell at least some of the shares and diversify. I find it too risky to be so heavily invested in a single stock.

My husband continues to believe in the company, and he is proud to be a fundamental element of its success.

When we talk to our financial advisors, they talk about diversification, but my husband fails.

I am 44 years old and I want to retire in 10 years. My husband feels the same.

What would you recommend in this situation?

tech wife

Dear tech woman,

You cannot win without losing, or lose without winning. You diversify and the stock continues to climb like Amazon or Tesla, or you own 100% of the stock and it takes a nosedive with an increasingly volatile stock market.

Or maybe you go full throttle and diversify – as all financial analysts rightly advise, I might add – and thank your lucky stars you did after the stock tumbled, and that you support reasonable, if not spectacular, growth.

You might meet halfway: sell half and keep half. You have halved your risk and you are both betting on your own respective options. Whatever you do, make a pact for a result without recrimination. Monitor, evaluate and review.

People bring their own experiences: if someone has invested in Enron and their portfolio has exploded, they will ask you to diversify as soon as possible. If they were one of Amazon’s first employees, they’d be smiling from their San Francisco mansion.

“You might meet halfway: sell half and keep half.”

Just because you’re using a product or service doesn’t mean you have to hold that stock, and emotional involvement doesn’t equate to success, so do your own due diligence on stock and analyst reports, and familiarize yourself with the competitors.

I remember the fable of the woodcutter with three wishes. He saves a fairy under a fallen tree and gets three wishes. His wife wants sausages, he gets mad because he wants a sausage to stick to his nose.

Then? They realize that their disagreement has cost them dearly, so they wish they were taken out of the woodsman’s wife’s face. They end up back where they started, but they realize they were happy before the wishes were granted.

Another story from the Facebook group Moneyist: “My mom’s friend had stocks her husband won and he didn’t want to branch out. The company was a household name. They had a 40 room house in Denver. He is dead. The company no longer exists. »

I leave that to you with the blessing of God – and of this fairy.

Iyou can email The Moneyist for any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Discover Moneyist’s private Facebook group, where we seek answers to life’s trickiest money problems. Readers write to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Ask your questions, tell me what you want to know more or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets not being able to answer the questions individually.

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