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Elderly - Get Out of Stocks and Mutual Funds

Written By: Dan Stanley  |  Posted: Friday, December 21st, 2012

It is not possible to be strong enough regarding what I am about to write.  It comes not from being a professional financier (whatever that is). Rather, it comes from a son sorting out his eighty seven year old mother's estate. Not only am I sorting it out, I am working on finding out why it took such heavy losses over the last several years.

Old LadyConventional wisdom would say the markets took losses during that time, and she was one of the victims.  True, but was this necessary?  Not at all.  Here is the burr in my saddle.  This was not only not necessary, but more than likely (I will know in the end) it was due to incompetence in various regards.

My dear father who is now in heaven would have been wise to have left a trustee in charge who would see all this.  In so many areas he did the wisest thing, and was successful in business all his life.  In this case, though, he didn't leave someone who could and would oversee our mother's assets.  What he did do was leave a bank and their financial people in charge to oversee it.  The job they did so far failed miserably, yet in the process I am finding out how much they made while losing our mother's money.  Be sure of this, for a financial institution to use the excuse that the market went down (so too bad) is inexcusable.   That person or institution is incompetent at best and deceptive at worst.  The whole time you are losing your money they are making money as a rule.  Realize this and remember.  It is not necessary for you as an elderly person to be losing your money in the market.

But I will go further; I am on the verge of filing a complaint with S.E.C.  The S.E.C. is an oversight organization that regulates financiers in such institutions. According to a reputable tax man, the maximum allowed stocks that are not guaranteed for a woman eighty and up is thirteen percent of her complete portfolio.  This safeguards her due to the obvious.  My observation so far is our mother's monies far exceeded such safeguards.  If they did, those handling her monies bear responsibility in this matter.  We shall see.

No elderly person, then, is wise to be in the stock market in my opinion (unless they have money to play with).  It is far too volatile and all of us know elderly people in our lives who have suffered losses due to this scenario.  All elderly people can put their monies in CD's or Fixed Annuities or something like that.  The percentage of increase is low relative to the stock market, but at least it always makes a little.  Yes, inflation eats away at it. Yet when a person is old, they must accept the fact they will lose some due to inflation (which is an underhanded means by which the government steals the elderly person's money). What they don't want to accept or have happen is to lose half or more of what they have earned and saved over many years.

And last, the elderly person needs to not assume a financial investor or representative or bank necessarily looks out for what is best for them.  They are looking out for what is best for them, even if that means at your expense.  Money is the bottom line, no matter how old you are.  Sure, you might find a person here or there who puts you first, but the record of so many losing so much tells on all those who try to defend financial institutions.  They may be professional but that does not mean personal.  And not personal means look out.

So look out, dear elderly person.  Get out of the stock world completely is my advice.  If you need help, call me and I will direct you to some sound means as I am able.  I am not a financier, but I am a pastor. As a pastor my life is filled with helping people by the grace of God.   This includes everything from felons working for me to helping people not only save money, but how to also keep it.

                Dan Stanley is an owner and contributing editor of The US Journal.  Email:  Phone: 715-839-8628.

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