“Hey Bob, thanks for returning my call. I was getting worried when you didn’t reply to my emails. I know it was the holidays, but I also know you’re married to that BlackBerry.” I was certain Bob was blowing off my request to cancel his services as my financial advisor.
“Well I didn’t hear the end of your voice mail very well. Which email account did you use?”
“Your MSN account.”
“Oh yeah, I don’t really use that anymore, but I haven’t turned it off either. I forward all of it to a spam filter. I get 1000 emails a day from it so it’ll be hard to find yours’. What are you looking to do? Bob has a loud, high-pitched Brooklyn accent and I always found it difficult to picture him working out of his mountain home west of Boulder.
“Well I want to cancel your management services for Karen’s IRA, our joint account and the 2 kid’s custodian accounts. I setup new empty accounts at Fidelity to move the funds into.”
“I see, well it’s your money and you can do what you want. But I can’t transfer the funds. I can trade them but I can’t transfer them. You can do that yourself at anytime. But wait until end of day Monday for any trades I’ve made recently to settle, otherwise it’ll be a mess. Or you can wait until the end of the quarter. I’ve got you in some really strong high income funds. I think that’s the way to go.”
“No, I’m ready to do it now. Nothing personal, but I feel like I’m ready to manage the funds myself. I actively managed my 401K this past year and did really well. Point being not my return so much as the fact I’ve been giving it attention every day. And I’d like to start trading stocks which is something I can’t really do with my 401K.” I could feel the conversation start to become awkward.
“Really? What was your return?”
“A little over 30%. Not quite as good as the NASDAQ for 2009 but I beat most major indexes.” I beat the hell out your 1% return. I said that to myself.
“Well you know I believe you should stick with mutual funds because you don’t have enough money to have a truly diversified portfolio trading stocks. I can recommend some funds but you’ll have to pay a steep load that I get waived. How do you plan to pick stocks?
“I put a dart board up in my office.” Did I really just say that? Hope Bob has thick skin. I know he’s just waiting for me to admit I watch Jim Cramer and he’s going to tear me apart. I have to end this call.
But Bob talked on for another 10 minutes before I finally said we were stepping out the door to dinner. We did plan on eating that night so I wasn’t exactly lying. I felt like getting a financial adviser to manage our funds was the right call a few years ago. I didn’t have the bandwidth to keep on top of our investments. I didn’t imagine then that I would ever want to cancel his services, but I will tell you this. The conversation was hard. I wish I could have simply sent him a text. In fact, I did try doing it over email initially. 1000 emails a day my ass. Bob is good at what he does, and he’s the professional while I’m a neophyte. But I want to handle it myself going forward. End of story.