My MIL came over yesterday and during the course of the visit she told us of going to her bank to have some money invested. The money had been in an account at one of the banks B and I use - an account that allows her to get the money at any time and the account is guaranteed but like most savings accounts these days it doesn't pay very much.
B and I don't interfere with how my MIL spends her money or invests it but we do try to keep an eye on where she's putting her money and lend advice when necessary. Late last summer she got the idea to close the checking account she had at the bank she'd used for decades to put it in the same bank that Gerd used. This new checking account would pay her interest and she insists that she doesn't pay any monthly fees for it but I'm not sure that's the case. B and I didn't like the idea of her doing that but hey - it's her money.
We haven't said anything else about her financial decisions until she told us she was going to close the one savings account she had and invest it with the bank where she's got her checking account. B really gave her a look and she quickly said she wouldn't take all
of it out but most of it. My MIL told us that she had an appointment with an investment adviser and he was going to help her put this money in a place that would keep it safe, give her ready access to the funds and pay her a little interest - essentially the same damn thing where the money was but whatever.
When my MIL was visiting yesterday she told us the appointment didn't go as she had planned and she didn't think that she would be investing with them after all. First, when she arrived for the appointment she was told that the man with whom she'd made the appointment wasn't there. Instead they had her see some man who my MIL described as looking as though he'd just started shaving yesterday.
Let me break in at this point to describe my last experience with seeing an investment adviser from our bank. It's not possible for B to get to the branch where she works so she comes to visit us at home. A particular investment account's time had run its course and therefore the funds needed to be reinvested so when she came for the appointment she was armed with information about different investment options that would fit our needs - about six different accounts. She had pamphlets and details all printed out, all with little folders - everything tidy and thorough. Our adviser knows our financial situation and our investment goals and so she brought information only for options that would fit within those bounds. In short - she knows what she's doing and when we speak with her I don't become panicky.
Compare this with the experience my MIL had. Her adviser thought it would be a good idea for her to put the money - money where there will not be additional funds added - in an account where most of it would be put into stocks. She'd definitely get more return on her investment if she put most of it in stocks.
I suppose Junior Investment Adviser failed to notice that my MIL will turn 75 years old in about three weeks. Oh yeah. She's got plenty of time to let that fund just grow and grow.
My MIL was also given some written information to take home with her to, one assumes, assist her in making her final decision. It was a piece of paper with part of a corner raggedly torn off. One one side were some figures and percentages scribbled along with some illegible names of some funds. The other side was covered in doodles, presumably made by Junior Investment Adviser - lots of large U-shaped figures with dots or vertical lines covering them. They somewhat resembled wings or perhaps they depicted saggy, poxy breasts.
You know when I'm at home looking over financial information given to me by my banker, nothing instills confidence in my bank more than a doodle strewn piece of scrap paper.
My MIL told Junior that she would like to speak first with her son before making a final decision and after leaving she went around the corner to another bank to make an appointment with them. It's one of the banks B and I use. It's the bank where up until last year my MIL had her checking account and one of her savings accounts. B and I were gracious and refrained from telling her "I told you so!".
Obviously it takes more than one person or even one branch to plunge a bank into financial disarray, especially when that bank has accounts in dozens of countries and hundreds of millions in assets. However, Citibank, in the future you may not want to have employees who disregard appointments and instead send barely-pubescent youngsters out to sell stocks to old women who cannot take any sort of risk of losing their initial investment and who will be pushing up daisies before they make back any money they lose in the stock market - the one that plunges downward every single day, especially since your company name is already mud in every language in which it does business. And Citibank, I know you're hurting for money right now, but could you please buy your employees some paper on which to write serious investment offers? I'm fairly sure that even the worst school of business and economics would tell you that giving financial advice coupled with semi-pornographic doodlings is not the best way to sell your products.
- Society's Child - Janis Ian
- Lukey - Great Big Sea
- Night By Night - Michael Stanley Band
- I Wish The Best For You - Emerson Hart
- C'mon, C'mon - The Von Bondies
- Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel
- Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills & Nash
- Devoted To You - Everly Brothers
- Something's Gone Wrong Again - The Buzzcocks
- Family Tree - Loretta Lynn
Labels: finances, Friday Shuffle