Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Money Management & Apoplexy

Want to see someone wig out?

Contact your stockbroker of XX years and tell him you're taking the whole wad and transferring it all to some other fund(s).

Tick... tick... tick... tick... BOOM!

That's right. Two Tuesdays ago my father and I met with a gentleman about putting together living trusts for Ray and my mother. I'm sure you can guess where I come into this whole thing as the only heir to either of them.

This is a whole new thing for Ray - I have some working knowledge of wills and trusts, but not nearly enough to give any kind of advice - other than "you need to have this". So Ray, making yet another foray into the whole new world of making big decisions, has hired this gentleman to set up all these different things. And one of them was to take the money out of Smith Barney, who has been managing it for (I don't know how many) years.

Apparently the contact at Smith Barney had a bit of a hard time with this. He told Ray to call him later when John left. I told Ray not to - sadly, Ray is not used to be tough with people and I don't want this guy trying to wheedle him back. I doubt he'd vacillate and actually reverse this, but why even let the man torture him?

Oddly enough, I am not sure why the need to fight for this. Smith Barney is a huge name in this kind of area; my parents have more $200,000 and less than $2,000,000. What is the big deal? They have clients with many, many millions of dollars. This is a drop in the bucket. I guess this guy has to fight for it - he may only deal in small, personal finances rather than the multi-million dollar whatevers - people or businesses - so he has to try to hold onto them. Whatever. I'm amused, personally. Smith Barney never contacted my parents to offer changes or suggest moving money around to maximize what they can get. I'm fairly sure that they do that for their larger clientele. So this is a good move.

The apoplexy part just sounds like so much fun! I wish I'd been there to hear the conversation.

My parents are not worth a whole boatload of money - that range is an outrage as I'm certain they aren't $1,000,000 - but then the house may be the deciding factor. Their liquidation funds are one thing, but the house is an unknown - at least to me. They bought it in 1981 with a check - yes, one check, that I held in my hot little 13-year-old hands that was $89,000. (You can start laughing now - there isn't an outhouse in Wayne that costs under $150,000!) I can honestly say I can't even take a stab at what a Cape house with 1600 square feet of property goes for.

What it won't be is our house (mine and Luis'). We have a house in Parsippany that could eat theirs for lunch. But that is not the biggest factor. The real issue with it is that it is on a very busy road, where it takes me 15 minutes of waiting to back out and get on it. No, thank you. And I have no plans of moving again. I also have zero desire to live in Wayne. So the house will promptly be sold when I inherit it. Which, to be honest, I want to have my father in my life far more than I want the house and the money. Money is nice, but it doesn't replace family.

So, I am enjoying this. I'd be happier only if John tells Ray to divest some of their money by giving me $12,000 a year! (Hey - I can be bought. Don't think I haven't any sense of avariciousness. I am just greedy as the next person!)

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