Sunday, March 09, 2008

March Is Consolidation Month

After writing the post Account Proliferation or Consolidation?, I've decided to make March the month to re-consolidate the companies who handle our financial business. Our goal will be one bank , two brokerages and two credit cards.

Banks. We currently have two active accounts at different banks, our joint account and one I opened for direct deposit for my part time job. Unfortunately, since writingAccount Proliferation or Consolidation?, I realized I had forgotten about two dormant accounts, an Internet account and a left over account in Japan from my assignment there. My current plan is to close out all accounts except our joint checking and savings account at the place I have been banking for over 20 years.

Credit Cards. We currently have three credit cards, one in my spouse's name and two in my name, Discover and American Express. Our goal is to have one account in each persons name for the purpose of personal credit rating scores. Thus, one of mine will have to go.

Brokerages. We currently work with three brokerages, of which two are discount brokers, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. The other is the brokerage of my financial advisor. For risk management reasons, we like to split our money between two brokerages, in case one has significant financial issues. At this point, we will likely eliminate one of the discount brokers. In addition, we will also get to a single type of account (e.g. IRA or Roth IRA) per person.

In the remaining three Sundays of March, 2008, I will write about our analysis and final decision in each area. Our guiding principle will be "Simple is good." Hopefully, this consolidation will significantly reduce our financial record keeping.

For more on New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for another segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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