The Vagaries of the Modern World


Do you ever wonder what’s going on in this world?  Today I had an interesting experience that kind of highlights how strange things can sometimes be.

Last June we changed our mailing address.  Anticipating that the school would be sold on June 22nd we began processing all our changes of address:  drivers’ licenses, legal changes of address, investments, subscriptions, friends, etc..  We had forgotten about one – dealing with the brokerage firm where Peggy’s Aurora incentive savings program was on deposit.  Remembering about that one account in July we contacted them by phone and found out that we had to complete paperwork and physically MAIL it to them.  I inquired about handling the processing online.  I was told that the form to be completed was available online but that we had to physically complete the form and mail it snail-mail to their offices for the change to take effect.

This all seemed a little bit kludgy in this day and age, but procedures are procedures and we did what we had to.

Months went by.  Statements began showing up at the right address.  All was well.

roth-ira-11

We had not yet converted our investment portfolio from a 401K to an IRA and getting that done this year was on my list of things to do, but one of those that I wasn’t in a hurry to accomplish — in general I hate anything having to do with money.  I’m not financially minded, so I do everything else first and when I can no longer put if off I knuckle under and grit my teeth.

Today we had a rather lengthy phone conversation with the same company. By lengthy I mean +/- 2 hours.  Several people were involved, we got a lot of questions answered and made some decisions.

Then came the interesting part.

  • In order to change our address required the completion of forms and snail mail (or FedEX time) time.
  • In order to transfer our entire account from one place to another we accomplished the entire process over the phone in a short conversation at the end of the phone call.  Those details took all of about 4 minutes.

Go figure.

I’m happy with what we accomplished but it does make one wonder why there should be such an inconsistency in procedures.  It doesn’t matter now.  I’ll soon be dealing much more closely with a very different set of people. And the transfer is not to the company I’ve been dealing with, but still a well known investment house.

I have always expected some consistency, some logic behind how things work.  I’m sometimes disappointed; increasingly more frequently as it turns out. But there’s an old expression about straining at a flea and swallowing a camel — it really seems like that’s the way life goes nowadays.

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