I am going to trip thru today. Just sort of hop over the unnecessary meetings, skip on over the bank and see what is really going on with our personal savings and my works investments.
I woke up at 4am the other morning in a cold sweat. Why. Because i suddenly remembered that my work has investments in Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. OMG. Are you 'effing kidding me. Once i got into work I emailed our investment rep, asking for a 'clear' explanation as to the safety of the City's investments. The investment rep wrote back that he was headed to a meeting and would 'call' me in the morning. That is code for I am not willing to put anything in writing. I FREAKED out, and waited for the phone call, which I put on speaker phone so my entire office could participate. The investment rep informs me, via the phone, that our investments are safe because the government has a moral obligation to make good on the investments principal amount.
Hold the presses, is this not the biggest oxy-moron you have ever heard. The government has a MORAL obligation. That is code for we are SCREWED! I covered my basis and disclosed the information in a packet to the powers that be. Not that they will read it, but it is out there.
Something else that struck me as funny, my work keeps more than enough cash on hand to cover our expenses and gain interest on a daily basis. Last year our normal daily interest ran around $270.00 (A DAY). Over the last two months we averaged below $5.00 of interest a day. The bank rep informs that there may even be an instance where the bank would charge us and we would not earn any interest. That discussion made me 'pause'.
*Not that I was speechless, I was trying to find words in my vocabulary that were not curse words.
Let's break this down, we carry well above our normal operating expense in cash. Cash that is liquid and in theory on hand. Cash that 'we' know the bank is lending out to everyday customers, charging them interest and making well above the principal amount. In return for our 'good' banking relationship, good balance sheet, they are going to actually charge us to lend out our money.
um........NOT so MUCH.
I made it perfectly clear, IF that circumstance EVER occurred. My work would have to re-consider our banking relationship. For REAL, people. Stop trying to screw the good relationships you have. You should be rewarding the people that are in theory the 'slow and steady'. If you are not going to reward us, then let me make myself perfectly clear, you will NOT punish us, while you are making a profit. That is my work spiel.
On the home front. We have a saving account in the country, we have a 401K, we have stocks. All of this does not add up to much, but is it SAFE? I am not so sure. Yesterday had me freaking out, trying to wrap my head around it all.
I am torn over the whole deal. I personally was screwed by a real estate agent three years ago. We re-financed in an effort to take out $10,000 in order to improve our home. The re-finance set up, had us with a 5 yr arm and the check we received was less than $1,500.00.
SWEAR. Loan was loaded with back-end fees, and loads of nonsense that our $10,000 loan only gave us cash of $1,500.00. I was livid, I was screwed. I am not a stupid person, I am educated, and I believed that the real estate agent was looking out for our best interest. Let's just say, lesson learned. We once again refinanced last year to a 30 year fix rate. In an effort to right our wrong, we did not take out anything above or beyond, just lock in a rate in an effort to keep our humble home.
In an effort to bring these 'shady' people to justice I contacted every department, I could think of. The BBB, the attorney general, the real estate board etc. No one could hold them accountable for their actions. I called the company directly, and they ignored me. Why. Because they could, and they knew it.
Our stocks are minimal, I dabble in it to see how it all works. I have an account thru sharebuilder that I have been working on for the last 5 years. I don't have any 'big' names, a few small names and I don't have more than 80 shares in any one company. It is interesting to watch the stocks rise and fall based upon the 'news'. Some of our stocks are in foreign companies, these stocks remain slow and steady. um.......that gives me something to think about.
I am confident that my family will make it thru these troubled times, we may have a greater change in lifestyle than we already do. But we will be together non-the-less.
In the mean time I am going to take out my little savings account and place it under my mattress. *Just in case.
Word to the wise, what I can really gleen from all of this is the following:
1) Pay your house payment on time
2) reduce your credit card debit, these creditors still have free reign to charge enormouse interest rates. Try to get debt free.
3) Reduce your lifestyle if necessary. Try to pay cash for items these days. Try to keep cash on hand. (just in case).
4) Don't be afraid to lose it all, and start over. Count your blessings and remember that your life is bigger than the almighty dollar.
Any other words to wise? I welcome your advice.