One of our August goals is to consolidate accounts. We both have random retirement accounts here and there and it would be nice for things to be in you know, fewer places! Easier to keep track of.
I’ve decided that I will keep my etrade account for now, but I will open up a Vanguard account to consolidate everything else into. Based on my future experiences with Vanguard vs. those with Etrade I may consider moving everything over later. But not right now. The etrade account is mostly in Vanguard funds and ETFs anyway.
At work I’m giving another shot at putting my old Ing money into Fidelity. I tried this last year but Ing lost my forms twice. (They deny they lost them, but Fidelity sent me copies the second time around.)
What #1 did:
Called Vanguard… moving IRAs easy peasy (they say). Moving things that are not IRAs takes a few more steps.
Charles Schwab IRA Roth opened by father with some of my college earnings — Vanguard took info over the phone, sent me a form to sign, asked me to send a copy of my last quarterly statement, and they will take care of the rest. The Schwab website is totally not user friendly. This has been moved (and before congress screwed with the economy too)!
American Century — This is more difficult. It’s basically gift trust money I didn’t know I had that matured after I didn’t need it anymore (there are times when that 5K would have meant a huge boost to our security and my ability to digest meat… but not right after getting a real job). It’s in an overpriced S&P 500 Fund, so that needs to change. Unfortunately the account is so old that it’s labeled “in writing only.” I tried to figure out the form I would need to sell everything, but failed (I think the word “redeem” means sell, but the form was not friendly). I did find the form I need to turn the trust into a “full service” account so I can empty it online or over the phone, so I sent that in, and should now have control. Cost basis on this is going to be a PITA, but the guy on the phone said they would send me a how-to with the sheet when I close out the account. I have a hard time feeling like this money is actually *my* money and I hope to use it towards tuition for one of DH’s relative’s girls within the next couple of years.
Because of the current financial jiggerings, I’m going to wait to actually move the money until the stock market isn’t going up or down 5% every single day. Not having control of when to buy or sell because it’s all automated AND having a few days as money transfers from one place to the next does not work well with large market fluctuations. But I do have the forms filled out AGAIN to make Ing let go (loss in fees ~$300/yr… potential loss from buying and selling when the market is changing 5% within a day: much higher).
What #2 did:
I have put all my stuff in organized piles by organization! I am tracking my spending.
I liquidated a tiny retirement account from 2 employers ago… Accidentally. I found a check — they liquidated the account and cashed it out to me when they didn’t hear from me for a while. I don’t mind the tax hit on $82 or whatever, because that was my original plan anyway. Win.
I still need to figure out what I want to do. And then do it. Market volatility also scares me, but I should figure out what to do before the market settles down so I can just do it then. Actually I have been talking with my partner a fair bit about this, in blips and bits, but that doesn’t make interesting blogging. We have no real decisions. I went through some retirement stuff I found and figured out exactly what I need to ask the TIAA-CREF guy about when he is on campus. And which form to get from HR. Moving my accounts around and trying to decide on which funds to invest in is really, REALLLLLLY boring to me but I guess people like to read about it (well…maybe some people…)? You can also look for more details on our Monthly Challenges page.
Do you have lots of disparate investment accounts? Or are you totally organized and on top of things? (And if so, what’s your secret?)