Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Financial Wizardry

We met with our financial advisors this morning.

Silly me. I always thought you needed finances to have a financial advisor. Apparently this is optional in these hard economic times – now you can have an advisor to tell you what you would do in the event of finances. And that’s handy, I suppose.

I’m not really sure why I go to these meetings. I have no real grasp of finances more complicated than “try to spend less than you earn” but less complicated than the Dawes Plan. There’s a great big black box in between those two end points that just mystifies me, one that is decorated with arcane symbols such as “401k” (which, frankly, sounds like a NASCAR event to me) and that responds to chanted psalms containing the word “tax” with various prefixes and suffixes attached. Money goes in, money comes out, and it’s all magic as far as I’m concerned.

Naturally I’m the one who ends up paying the bills at the end of the month, because the universe has a sense of humor that way.

Fortunately for all concerned, Kim generally handles investments in our house. This means we actually have investments. And insurance. And even a couple of those numbered things that allow you to save money for your children’s education down the line, since the fact that we are both college professors is actually rather counterproductive in terms of having enough money to send our kids to college.

Again, the universe has an odd sense of humor.

This particular meeting went about the same way that most of them go. We went down to the Local Coffee House and quickly identified the representative of the financial firm who was there to meet us. Not that this was hard, mind you. Find the guy with the tie and briefcase in the middle of the coffee house full of people who look like they’re on their way to a baseball game and you’ve got a good chance of success that way.

We sat down, exchanged pleasantries, and then it was 45 minutes of me nodding and answering the occasional direct question while Kim handled the actual business of managing our money.

I’m just there to dress the set.


Beatrice Desper said...

You may have to send your daughters to Canadian schools, the way American prices are going. Any chance of a double nationality?

David said...

Nah - we're Americans through and through.

Now if only our politicians could say that.

Beatrice Desper said...

Oh, I don't see nationality as a zero-sum sort of thing.In a lot of ways, I've been more American since I left the States.