I review every bill that comes in and, approximately once a week, I check all of my accounts (banking, investing). This is to ensure that nothing is cuckoo.
Almost every week, something is.
Not yet convinced of the importance of reviewing our statements?
Okay: Today I glanced at my investment accounts. Now, a lot of people urge us not to do this until reallocation time, because we can get anxious watching the wild swings and dips of the stock market. If we’ve learned about investing and then chosen a path, we need to ignore the pendulum and proceed valiantly as planned. In investing, this is key.
However, my investments happen to display alongside my daily banking info, so I see it without trying. And today, I saw that in the tiny test account I had set up for my little kid to observe, there’d been an inexplicable dip. More weirdly, it was not accounted for in his stock accounts. It was his cash that had dropped! Either we’d been stolen from, or…
Sure enough, the investment firm had charged a maintenance fee. I called the brokerage up.
Super fast, the agent explained: “In March, we created fees for all accounts under a certain amount.”
But my account is NOT under a certain amount. The firm had simply neglected to “link” all my accounts, thus charged me a massive percentage of the smallest one.
No way, Jose!
The agent quickly resolved the matter—linking the accounts so that this cannot happen again, and refunding the fee and tax. He then threw in another $50 for my trouble.
In 15 minutes, I had made $75. That’s $300 per hour!
I swear I make about 1/4 of my income just reading laws, small print, and statements.
Action: This week, double-check at least one statement. If there is an error, take 15 minutes to have it corrected.