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Journal of No. 118

February 1st, 2011

A Yay and a Boo @ 09:55 am

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First a big yay to Fidelity Brokerage Services. They maintain the UC Retirement Savings Program, and with one simple, pleasant phonecall, I was able to get them to cut me a check to rollover my modest sum to my IRA. Besting the stated 7-10 day turnaround, I had the check in my hand in 4 days, and now it wings its way toward its final destination in my account at E*TRADE. Fidelity is wonderful. Use their services, buy their investment products. This has kindof been a paid endorsement.

And then a big BOO! to VALIC [formerly AIG VALIC, but they dropped the AIG, when that association would even sully VALIC's name] who administers the retirement account from NDA, where I worked for one year and racked up a paltry sum. I have a desire to perform the same rollover transaction, but have been stymied on several occasions. A couple years ago, I called the person who administers the account at VALIC. She said, 'no problem' just use ETRADE's system to request the rollover transfer. This sounds great. I go to ETRADE, fill out some forms, send off the request. Then get a message back 'Unable to process at this time.' I try to sort out the mess, and am finally led to the conclusion that VALIC person #1 didn't know what she was talking about. What I need, is a properly filled out form from VALIC. Which requires my signature, my wife's signature -- notarized -- to prove I'm not swindling her out of her fair share of the $800, which might have sheltered her in her dotage after I'm gone, if only I hadn't moved the money from a retirement account with one company to a retirement account with a different company, AND the signature of the plan administrator at NDA. Sadly, I fall for VALIC's trap and get discouraged and give up.
But encouraged by my excellent interaction with Fidelity, a company not unlike a mixture of kittens and unicorns in the deep affection and great esteem I feel for it, I tried again with VALIC, calling not the incompetent plan administrator, but the general line. VALIC person #2 beats out #1 by following her flowchart relentlessly to -- The Form -- which she emails to me. She does at least give me the name of the person at NDA who needs to sign the form. Or at least she tries. "It's Hope, no Pope Beauwaeauoy. That's B-A-Y-H-A-Y." I guess I'm just glad she didn't say Pope Benedict. Anyway, it appears the name I want is actually Hope Bowhay.
But I am going to make this happen. Despite everything VALIC throws in my way. I am going to get my money from VALIC!
But let this be a warning to all and sundry! Do not patronize VALIC. Do not warn VALIC of oncoming cars. Do not pee on VALIC if VALIC is on fire. VALIC is composed of slugs and nightsoil.
(The foregoing opinions are uttered with satiric intent and do not allow VALIC to keep my money or take more of it.)
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Date:February 1st, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
How you feel about VALIC is exactly how I feel about E*Trade. Just so's you know. HATE them. HATE*HATE*HATE*HATE Oh so much hate.

How you feel about Fidelity is exactly how I feel about them. Endlessly kind, helpful, informative, patient, on the ball, one step ahead of me, and almost certainly anointed with heavenly grace and wisdom. Gurus and gods go to them for sorting out their portfolios. Mere mortals taste enlightenment upon calling their helpline or stepping foot in one of their brick & mortars.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:April 4th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)

Hey Google Spider d00ds!

File under
customer review
customer opinion

Journal of No. 118