A very interesting article by Roger Wohlner about the danger of “Financial Clutter”.
When dealing with new clients and prospects, I often encounter financial clutter. I define financial clutter as a lot of “financial stuff.” Just like that overstuffed closet or garage, if you don’t sort through it you won’t know what you have.
The two most common forms of financial clutter I encounter are:
Multiple, overlapping accounts. Perhaps a couple might have 3-4 IRA accounts, a 401(k) from a current job and one or two others from prior jobs, a brokerage account, an annuity, etc.
Often in addition to many accounts, the client or prospect will have what can best be described as a collection of various investment vehicles. Mutual funds, individual stocks, annuity sub-accounts.
One problem in both cases is that for most people it is just too hard to keep track of all these investment holdings, and more importantly these holdings rarely if ever are viewed as a total investment portfolio. Whether or not someone has the knowledge or expertise, proper review and monitoring of one’s investments takes some amount of time. As busy as we all are with work, family, and life in general managing our finances can get pushed way down the list.