Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fighting with Forms

I have spent most of the day wrestling with forms, both on the internet and in hard copy. We have decided to sell off all the small shareholdings which we have acquired by legacy. 100 shares divided by 3 amounts to a very small holding.

If you don't have a broker you can sell on the internet, but it isn't really easy. Plus the costs can be prohibitive. We have one shareholding that is worth about $300 and the fee to sell it from one internet broker who advertises "easy and cheap sales" would be $50. Guess for whom the trade is most profitable? We enquired about real world fees as well - even higher.

So we decided to go with the well known subsidiary of a bank. It was easy to set up a trading account on the internet, but to get the best financial deal we had to open a separate bank account. Not so easy! I downloaded a 25 page document. All the document had to be sent back to them - not just the applicable pages. I could see the postage being very expensive. And I initially read it wrong and thought we had to go through the 100 point bit (driver's license or passport + a piece of mail addressed to your domicile plus identification by bank staff as well as a statutory declaration from someone who has known you for more than 12 months who fits into a list of approved occupations). We have had a joint account at this bank for more than 40 years so I was cranky - to put it mildly!

I charged off to the local branch and spoke to a lady who was very kind to me (obviously has to deal with seniors often) and pointed out that I had not noticed that having an already established account exempted us from all this. I came home and filled in all the relevant pages then noticed that it was to be sent to a postage paid address, so I couldn't even feel hard done by that!

I am not sure how long it will take before we can actually sell the shares we want to get rid of. I am also belatedly feeling some sympathy for students who misread exam questions!

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