Once you have made the decision to have your assets professionally managed, there are several steps involved in completing the transition. This guide is meant to shed light on what you should expect in the first few months. In this post, I will cover the initial steps.
Paperwork (me), Signatures (you)
As you may expect, there is significant paperwork involved in transferring accounts. My goal is to make it as easy as possible on you, by pre-filling documents and presenting them to you, ready for signature. We can do this via Fed-Ex, or we can schedule some time together in my office or your home if you are local to the area.
To be able to do this efficiently, there are things I will need from you that I may not have collected during a planning engagement, such as beneficiary information, your drivers license information, social security number, for example. This information is critical to the account opening process both for IRS regulations as well as the Patriot Act.
Some of the forms I will be preparing for your signature might include account creation, IRA creation, Account transfer forms (this moves investments from your previous custodian to Pershing, under Compass Financial’s management), an Investment Policy Statement, and a Client Service Agreement. There may be others, such as “householding” election, ACH set up for transfers to/from your checking account. Again, my goal is that these forms are well prepared for you and ready for signature.
After submission, the transfer process begins. In many cases it is completed in one week, however, there can be instances where a longer transition occurs. Additional paperwork may be required (common with annuity transfers and employer sponsored plans), or liquidation of proprietary mutual funds may have to precede the transfer.
I often am asked how best to notify the old manager. I would say it depends on your relationship. A simple email or phone call can do the trick. I can help with this if needed. No advance notification is required, however, it usually is done out of courtesy.
You will receive notifications from Pershing & Net x Investor (the software) that your accounts have been created, and you will be provided with online access. While the account transfers are in process, you will not be able to see them in NetxInvestor until they have been released from the old provider. Rest assured, however, that I can see each step in the daily transfer log, and am checking these each day until everything is transferred and accounted for. I will notify you once the transfers are complete, and I will get started on your investments, as outlined in your Investment Policy Statement.