Friday, June 29, 2007

Investing for Dummies

I don't pretend to understand how to manage my retirement investments, so a couple of months ago I turned my funds over to professional management. At the time I'd been doing well with three funds, but the financial manager offered diversification. I have no clue about the bond market and wanted to protect my retirement funds, so I signed up. The manager would charge me 1.1% of the value of my account.

I'm deliberately not going to reveal which company I used (don't want to be sued) but I turned one account over to professional management on April 30th and was dismayed to discover that the value of my investment was decreasing almost every day I checked on it. I decided to give them time to improve, but today, at the end of the quarter, I decided to bail out.

I called my "manager" and told him that I was disappointed in his results and wanted to resume control over my account. He launched several sales pitches designed to convince me to give him more time, but I'm facing the end of the quarter where the value of my account is lower than when he began to manage it and to add insult to injury, he's going to send me a bill for managing my account for the past 2 months.

He was still trying to convince me to give him more time. He blamed the market. I told him that I noticed that he'd invested a portion of my money to real estate funds and pointed out to him that I watch the news and I know about the defaults on sub-prime mortgages and if I had been managing my accounts, I would not now be holding any real estate funds.

I finally got tired of arguing with him and told him that I don't really need to pay him to lose my money - I'm perfectly capable of losing my own money for free. He didn't have a response to that, so I'm now in control of my own funds again.

Now what to do?