Proximity irrelevant when choosing a broker


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Posted Online: March 19, 2013, 9:41 pm
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DEAR BRUCE: My wife and I, both retired, received a nice inheritance in the form of stocks and bonds. The investment company and the representative who dealt with us are in our hometown, but we have since moved many states away.

Should we continue with this same office and representative, or should we now deal with the company's office in our new town? Of course the original representative would like to keep us; we just don't know if this is wise or not. — Joseph in Michigan

DEAR JOSEPH: Given that the representative handling the stocks and bonds apparently has done a decent job and had the confidence of your benefactor, and considering your lack of knowledge in this area, I would have no problem keeping the investments with the original representative.

The fact that he or she is in another state has no relevance.

I originally lived in New Jersey and now live in Florida. I still have investments with a company in my first hometown. In today's world, no matter where the broker is, he's in your backyard.

DEAR BRUCE: Is there any way I can protect myself from my husband's debt? — Reader, via email

DEAR READER: You have asked a profound and deep question to which there is no absolute answer.

First, it depends on what you have signed during your marriage. Generally speaking, a husband and wife are both considered liable for debts incurred during the marriage. Even if the courts decide that your husband is responsible as far as creditors are concerned, you — as his wife — are very much on the notes.

If you are as concerned as you appear to be, you should consult an attorney in your state and find out precisely what you can do now to protect your interests. Time is your enemy; get on it.

DEAR BRUCE: Can you explain a little about CDs? I want to leave some extra money to one of my children, and a relative suggested buying CDs. This way it would not be in the will, as I don't want the other children to feel like I am favoring one over another. One child has more need, and one of the others cannot understand that. — R.P., via email

DEAR R.P.: As I have said many times in my column and on my show, I wouldn't feel any guilt about giving one child more than another. Needs vary, and everyone should understand that. You have every right to leave whatever to whomever.

You can buy a CD in your name with a provision that it will become that child's upon your death. Nobody has to know that you set it up this way. Just be certain the beneficiary knows the CD is there, so that he or she can contact the institution quickly and have the money turned over to him or her.

(Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com or to Smart Money, P.O. Box 7150, Hudson, FL 34674. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)

















 



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  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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