Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Questions with No Answers-So Where Do You Turn?

My recent visit, with husband, to Bil and my mother in law was most interesting.

Right now I have one question that I don't have an answer to. 

Are there any financial advisors out there that truly want to help people?  If there are, I would dearly love to find you.

I'll try to put this briefly.  (that's hard, for me!)

Bil has worked for many years in a sheltered workshop environment, and saved his money.

Some years ago someone at a bank talked my mil into buying a variable annuity for him.  He was only in his 40's when she made this purchase for him.

Then, several years later, a financial advisor talked her into exchanging that annuity for another variable annuity.

Now that person isn't in the business any more.  Now, the present one wants her to surrender the annuity and put the proceeds into a brokerage acount.  He says they will use only conservative investments.

It would seem this annuity has lost big in the stock market.  Planner #3 says the annuity has limited funds, and there are heavy fees involved.  It's no wonder.  I know little about this product and my research reveals it is a complex product that may not have been a suitable investment for a man with autism.  Instead, she trusted someone at her bank to tell her what was best.  Like she trusted the second advisor, who left the field soon after selling her the second annuity (I believe she went to work for a radio station). And now planner #3, who has filled the void-well maybe he has Bil's best interests at heart.

Or maybe he just wants to make a buck too. Although one thing in his favor is, he says he is fee only - so I may have some confidence that this man isn't just trying to make another sale for the sake of commission.

My husband talked to him today over the phone, at the request of my mil.

So now this burden shifts to us...where in a way it should be.  So....

How do we know what will be best for Bil?  Where do you get information like this? 

All I know is-he has lost money he will need to live from one day, and I don't know how to do what is best for him now.

Now what?  I don't think the NY Insurance Department will be of any help.  But where are all their laws they have to protect consumers?  Where were they for Bil?  For Bil, who has no idea what has happened with his money.

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