Thank you for your comments about the pictures. Now that we are almost 8 years later, he is really doing well. He is able to use his hand and arm at almost full function. He does have a decreased strength in that arm, but for everyday tasks...it isn't noticeable. The only way to truly know is to put him through invasive testing, and we won't do it.
So the money is in the cash account, and we met with the Financial Advisor (FA) early this week. She proposed a balanced portfolio to show us. Keep part in cash, incase we need faster access to it. The rest are in bonds, mutual funds, and something called an "absolute return" fund by Wells Fargo.
This is how the conversation went, as I heard it:
This is the Blah Blah account. As you can see it thingy thingy blah blah. In 2005 it did bippity boppity boo. This is important because zippity doo.
After listening to her explain 3 bonds or something....I just looked at her. I flat out said...I have NO idea what you just said. She asked what I didn't understand......um, all of it!!! She kind of just looked at me, and said "you know the difference between a stock and bond, right?" Um, nope. I asked if she had an Investing for Dummies book I could borrow.
She didn't laugh.
I never took economics, business classes, or anything remotely related to those. I am great at numbers, but the vocabulary she used.....way beyond my comprehension. She tried to explain some things....I think I started to glaze over. Then we got to a bar graph. Yay!! I am good at graphs!!! But I didn't like this one.
It showed the rate of return and it was in the high teens at the start of the chart. It steadily went down until 2008 where it tanked when the stock market bottomed out. Then it spiked back to where it started, and dropped again and just kept going down.
Now wait a minute....how on Earth is this GOOD? The rate of return just kept going down? Why would we want our money in something that each year gives us less than it did the year before?
Because she showed us another line graph that showed how the money (a fictional 10K to start) gained almost 150% over 10 years (it was just under 25k at the end). But I just could see it all tanking.
I don't have the stomach for this. I don't think I could EVER work on Wall Street or be a Day Trader. No worries about any of that.
She asked if I was going to follow all of this once the money was invested....will I be flipping out every time the market dips. Nope....because I have no idea about this, and I will probably open the statement and then follow it. I just look at the end number, and if it went up or down. She said, then what are you getting upset about????
We talked about A class vs C class (paying fees upfront, or as we go)
and decided to go with C class. We liked the flexibility that C class
allowed, vs being wedded to a fund family.
In the end, the money would be conservatively invested in a mixture of vehicles, at an average of about 7% rate of return. Then I wanted to know about these PEOPLE. Huh? She said they hire analysts that decide to........blah blah. NO!
I wanted to make sure these people weren't investing in places that sold small children, or participated in creating nuclear devices, or supported sex trafficking. She just looked at me and said even if they did, they wouldn't advertise it. C'mon....I am not going to put money somewhere I don't think is good. She said if this fund is good enough for Harvard, it should be good enough for us.
I said that Harvard doesn't have an emotional obligation to the people they answer to. We do.
This is why I do what I do.....and why she does what she does. She sees the numbers. I see the people. I see our son. And I don't want to screw him over.
She kindly sent us a few more pieces of information regarding the funds she presented that more matched what I needed to know. And thanked me for my candor and emotional investment in our kids. I probably just need to read it more carefully.....and then I will be fine.
So this weekend I will read about the Blah Blah and the Thingy Bits. And then move ahead.
The unfortunate backlash to all of this....is now I am freaking out about retirement, pensions, what will happen in 20 years, and all sorts of other stuff. Perfect!!!