Bruce Williams: Where to take EE bonds for conversion
DEAR BRUCE: Is it possible to convert EE bonds at a bank or do I need a broker? — Reader
DEAR READER: While it’s possible that an occasional bank will not do this for their customers, most banks would be very happy to convert EE bonds. There is no reason at all to use a broker. It’s a simple procedure.
DEAR BRUCE: What is a good way to find a broker I can trust to handle all of my affairs? — Debbie
DEAR DEBBIE: You haven’t given me much to work with. How much money you have to invest is the most important part of this equation. If you have substantial funds, you’ll have no problem finding someone to service your account.
Write down how much money you want to invest, your income, age and other assets, then go to at least three or four major brokers and explain that you would like a quote. If you can’t find anyone you like among the first four, try four more. You shouldn’t have any problem, assuming that the amount of money is adequate enough to attract their attention.
If you have a very small amount of money, unfortunately, you’re not going to be attractive to most, if any, brokers. In this case, the only thing you can do is start getting an education because you’re not going to find anybody to take great interest in your affairs.
DEAR BRUCE: I found a long-lost bank check in the amount of $800 that was made out to me, dated December 1986. The bank has changed hands numerous times since then, and the current bank will not honor it. I am of the belief that a cashier’s check is good forever. I really do need the money, which is legally mine. Please advise me on the correct course of action that I can take to recover my money.— J.M.
DEAR J.M.: That’s really an ancient check! The money should still be held as unclaimed monies, which banks are required to turn over to the state when they are not claimed. There it will last forever until someone provides proof of ownership. You’ll not receive any interest.
Write to the state, give them all the details and let them check back through their records. I don’t think there should be too much of a problem in recovering the $800.
DEAR BRUCE: I recently came into $200,000 from a property sale. How do you suggest investing it, in something like a retirement account or the stock market? I am 61 and in excellent health. — P.J.
DEAR P.J.: Since you’re not in the stock market and have no apparent expertise there, I would strongly urge you to go to a broker or two and explain your circumstance. Talk to the broker about what he/she would suggest for you.
You should easily expect to earn up to 5 percent or a bit more.
At 61 years old, you’ve a long way to go, and you want to make that money stretch as far as you can.
That is the best way to handle it, in my view.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided. The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at http://www.taeradio.com. It is also available at http://www.brucewilliams.com.
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