Barefoot Investor Scott Pape: How I Taught Nine-Year-Old Harry Styles a Valuable Lesson

Harry is cool with my style

Adrian writes: I am writing just to thank you for your recent book which I purchased for my nine year old granddaughter. She has now created her jars for spending, saving, and giving. Two weeks ago, she and her little friend had a bake sale in Collingwood where they live.

Sales were a bit slow until a lady came by and told them that Harry Styles was at a coffee shop down the road. Of course the booth was packed quickly and they came out with their products. Harry and two of his friends were sitting outside, much to their delight.

The girls approached the group (with my mother not far away) and offered them cookies to sell. Lo and behold, Harry bought three biscuits and gave them $50! Thank you again, you have inspired my granddaughter to be a young entrepreneur!

Barefoot responds: How many girls reach out to Harry Styles and laugh and scream and ask for a selfie? Not your granddaughter – she came to do business! And Harry, what a legend. To be fair, I think spending pineapple on three crackers is a little overrated—even for a rock star.

However, he probably had no idea what the strange yellow note was, and why would he care about it? Now this is a story she will tell her grandchildren.

How safe is my money

Jenny asks: With another bank failure in the US, it’s starting to feel like 2008-09 again. How safe are our banks and our money in banks?

Barefoot responds: Yes, the money in our banks is safe.

The government’s financial claims system protects depositors with up to $250,000 per account holder should your bank, building society, or credit union go up. (And if you have a joint account, each account holder is entitled to the escrow.)

So, if you have more than $250,000, you should consider distributing it to different organizations, so you are covered by the scheme. just in case.

My 80 year old father is about to lose his home

Bill asks: In 2016 my sister and her ex-husband Larry (they were divorced) called my dad to go to a guarantor for a business loan. Larry promised to pay off the loan in three months, and my sister said that if anything were to happen, she would be there to help.

At that time, Larry hired a lawyer to represent my father, and also hired a translator on his behalf. And my father signed. but (attorney and translator notwithstanding) I do not think he understood the full effect of his decision, as there was nothing in his favour.

Fast forward to today and Larry hasn’t been able to repay the loan. Even worse, he defaulted on the original loan several times.

Each time, the amount borrowed is increased to cover the principal and interest on the previous loan.

Now my 80 year old dad has received an eviction notice from the sheriff requiring him to move out by the end of the week.

My father immigrated to Australia in his 40s, and he and my mother worked their way out over many years to pay for their household expenses. My mom put off her cancer treatment when they bought this house to continue working, which advanced her cancer until it was too late. She passed away in 2012. This home is my dad’s heart and pride, and I can’t bear to see him lose it all.

Please, barefoot, will you save us from this mess?

Barefoot responds: This is very, very dangerous

(Which is kind of strange, given that your father supported a man who had already divorced your sister!?). If your father receives an eviction notice, it’s critical that you deal with this matter right away — which is why I called my personal attorney, Dr. Brett Davies, and let him know about your situation.

Brett finds that the guarantee given by your father is potentially unenforceable.

In other words, if Larry (or the attorney) cheats on your father about it, he shouldn’t lose his house.

(Someone should lose their home — but it shouldn’t be your father.)

So, ask some tough questions, like:

Who was Attorney Larry, and was he independent?

Who pays the attorney bill? (If he is representing your father, it is his duty to provide a copy of the file. Get this file.)

Who was present when the “guarantee” was explained? Was your sister there, for example? Was there pressure on your father?

Was the warranty valid? (As you correctly stated, your father didn’t get “anything for himself” by signing the surety. A bank also usually requires the approval of an accountant or financial planner, as well as a lawyer. Did he get that?)

So tomorrow call Mortgage Stress Victoria at 1-800-572-292 and speak to a lawyer. And never invite Larry to dinner again.

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