Backstory: After my father died unexpectedly in 2008, my mother gave her taxes to an 80 year old accountant recommended by a neighbor. (Note: the accountant is recently deceased. He understated my mother's income in 2012 by about 75%--less than the lowest social security--which has made her liable for huge penalties and interest fees.)
The accountant recommended his broker. Within a day, my mother had given the broker part of her money to manage. He now has 100%. At our initial (and only) meeting, he was very evasive about compensation etc.
I have been worried about this guy over the years since my mother has no idea what her holdings consist of, what her rate of return is, etc. I spoke to him on the phone last summer and asked him a few questions and he told me "Your ego is too involved." He didn't answer the questions.
Luckily, my brother who has been uninvolved now ways we should look over the broker's records. Since my mother likes and trusts men more than women (she says this! to me!), this is good.
So, with her permission, I sent the broker these questions.
1. What specifically are xxx 's holdings? For instance, there is a category TIAACREF[note, the broker had my mother remove her TIAA money; it is now under the broker's mangement)--what are the specific holdings under that rubric?
2. What is the asset allocation?
3. For stock holdings: what percentage is in mutual funds and what percentage is in individual stocks?
4. What percentage of assets is in IRAs and similar pretax vehicles? What percentage is in post-tax?
5. What kind of turnover does her portfolio have? How many sells/buys have been engaged in? What are her total transaction/investment expenses for 2014? 2013? 2012?
6. What is her total return for 2014? 2013? 2012?
Thank you for your attention. We look forward to hearing from you.
Here is the reply: Good questions. I think it is time to reevaluate the portfolio.
Any suggestions about how I might reply to this? Anything I should do?