Personal Finance 


When I was a kid, my parents would get letters sent to them and a guy named JT TEN WROS. I had no idea who this JT guy was but I always figured it was a friend of my parents or perhaps the English name of a relative. It was always tricky growing up because I never knew anyone’s name (you don’t call relatives by their name, or even an Uncle Joe, you called them by their “rank,” i.e. fifth uncle) so I figured it was just someone’s name. While I don’t think anyone has the last name of “Wros,” you never know what immigration officers can write down as you pass through immigration, right?

It wasn’t until later that I saw the guy appears on my statements, specifically my wife and my Vanguard statements! How’d he get there? Who is this JT guy and how the heck did he get on our account?
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How to Combine ING Direct Accounts

My lovely wife and I both opened individual ING Direct accounts before we were married. In the latest step towards consolidating our financial accounts, we’ve decided to take all of our individual accounts and work towards combining them when it made sense. We’ve left investment and retirement accounts alone but online bank accounts are perfect for combining. Our latest move was to combine those ING Direct accounts into one.

I called a CSR yesterday to discuss consolidating our accounts and learned that the process is much simpler than I imagined. You can’t consolidate two separate ING Direct login accounts but you can add a joint account holder to an existing savings or checking account. This will turn an individual savings account into a joint savings account, let’s see how easy it is.

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 Investing, Retirement 

Two Become One: An Easier Way To Combine Accounts

Late last month I wrote about how my wife and I were going to consolidate our Vanguard accounts by transferring the assets in her individual mutual fund account into my individual mutual fund account. As it turns out, there is an even better way to do this and I was surprised the original Vanguard CSR didn’t mention it (I don’t blame him as I did ask him three different questions and this was the third and least significant one).

The easiest way to do this was for me to open a Joint mutual fund account with both of our names on it, something you can do entirely online, then call up Vanguard and request that they transfer the assets from my wife’s individual account and my individual account into that joint account. By doing it on the phone, with all the verbal verification of our individual security data, we could skip a trip to a bank to get a signature guarantee. (I manage to always miss the branch managers or go to banks that don’t have a manager able to do a signature guarantee – I still haven’t changed the accounts for my TreasuryDirect account!)

This was all kicked off when I called up Vanguard to confirm I filled out their Asset Transfer form correctly. The form, while not too complicated, was a little confusing because it had two places for signature guarantees, lots of optional information, and I’m easily confused and befuddled. When I called them up, the CSR just asked if I preferred it if she did the transaction for me. Ha, of course I preferred it. 🙂

The phone conversation took fifteen minutes, which included a lot of explanation, and the conversion/consolidation process took approximately five business days; our accounts are now finally consolidated!

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