Thanks to our readers, I have been able to solve (partly, anyway) the mystery of an investment my grandmother set up for me.
Reader Claire (of Tired But Happy) commented,
I can see how you would want to avoid approaching your grandmother. Another idea would be to just call the brokerage firm. You wouldn’t even necessarily need to speak to your g-ma’s broker.
Great idea, Claire! I found the brokerage’s phone number online and called it. I got the automated system which prompted me for my social security number. I punched it in, figuring my gig was up. But it accepted it, and prompted me to set my new password. I punched that in and was immediately offered to “Push 1 for account information.” I did!
Since I didn’t speak directly to a broker (I am trying to be as discreet as possible), I only got the basic information. The account is worth around $12,000 with the assets invested entirely in the Franklin Templeton Utilities Fund Class A (FKUTX). There have been no redemptions, transfers, exchanges or purchases. The system listed three recent distributions, each about $90, and said they were reinvested.
So, some of my basic questions have been answered. I now know how much the account is worth, what sector it is invested in, and how actively it is being managed.
Some questions are still unanswered. Most baffling is why it is invested in an income fund if my grandmother isn’t taking the distributions as income.
Now what? There’s the old adage, “Don’t count your eggs before they hatch,” and I’m pretty sure this account counts as an unhatched egg. Since my grandmother has never spoken of the account I suppose she may be counting on it as an emergency fund for herself. This is all fine with me. The most important information I have gained from all this is that I now know I am (potentially) over-invested in energy utilities. Without counting on her money specifically, I can “work around” it in regards to my retirement investments. I hold an energy stock in my Roth IRA (Ameren Corp, AEE), and surely own stock in energy utilities in the mutual funds in my 401(k). I am also over-invested in income funds. In addition to the FKUTX fund I also have shares in MFS Research Bond Fund A (), another income fund. At my age my portfolio should be weighted more toward growth than income. So my plan now is to dump these kind of investments in my retirement accounts and purchase more large cap mutual fund shares instead. Him disagrees with my logic, believing I should pretend I don’t know about the possible windfall. What do you think?