What is "journaling" of assets?

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:50 am

Hoping this isn't a horrifically stupid question, but I've never heard of it and am having a hard time finding an explanation:

My 10 siblings/cousins & I have inherited, among other things, what looks to be a simple, non-qualified brokerage account.

We've been sent, for completion and with NO instruction, a "new account form" and a "journal request" form.

Is "journaling" just another word for "accounting and splitting?"

One form section says:
"Use this letter as authorization to:
__ Journal all assets including monies and securities and close the account
__ Journal only the following assets
__ Journal on a future date
__ Folio advisory only: liquidate delivering account, journal as cash, terminate billing and close delivering account

I don't want to stay with this firm. I am under the impression that each one of the 11 of us are to fill this out.

I don't see an option to "journal my 11th of all of the assets," so I'm not really sure how to fill this out!

Thanks for any experiences you can share...

Dottie57
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:58 am

Doesn't this look like an order to the firm to account for everything at the firm and covered by wiil.

I would think you want the first option or the last. Each of the 11 wants their own share to do with as they wish.
Do you want assets sold and a check cut? This should be an option.

Call the firm up and ask/demand answers to your questions.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 5760
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:08 pm

It's sloppy to use that sort of lingo in letters to clients. "Journal" refers to bookkeeping entries and account records. Is it a Canadian or Caribbean firm or similar?

The institution is basically asking for very specific written instructions about what to do with the account and the various assets held in it: assets transferred to a new account as they are, liquidated or partially liquidated and then transferred, liquidated and account closed with check or wire transfer, etc. They need this in writing for legal reasons.

The estate executor should handle this unless the account was designated to be transferred on death and if so, the new owner(s) are responsible for it.

You can always call the firm and ask for assistance.

Also, if you know where you want to transfer the assets, you can get the receiving firm to assist. Often that's the easiest way to do it.
Last edited by Pajamas on Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Rick Ferri
Posts: 8468
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:40 am
Location: Austin, TX. Twitter: @Rick_Ferri
Contact:

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Rick Ferri » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:15 pm

To journal (verb) in the brokerage industry means to move cash and investments from one brokerage account to another either partially or in full. "We journalled your minimum IRA distribution from your IRA account to your joint account today."

Rick Ferri
The Education of an Index Investor: flounders in darkness, finds enlightenment, overcomplicates strategy, embraces simplicity.

Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:45 pm

This is a California broker/dealer firm. The account IS a Transfer-on-Death account.

I guess I'm going to have to ask Vanguard to see if they can help, but my brother (estate admin) has been trying to get answers from the Calif. firm. They're kind of "playing dumb," like "Well, we don't really know how, in your situation, you should complete this. Just do your best!" And it's my understanding that they can REJECT the forms if they don't think we did it right - so it seems like a ploy to hang onto the money for as long as they can.

Though the estate admin has gotten involved, just so there aren't a bunch of beneficiaries all calling the firm separately, this is NOT going through probate, as it's TOD.

We'll press forward. Thanks for confirming the definition of "journaling."

retiringwhen
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by retiringwhen » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:27 pm

Cara wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:45 pm
This is a California broker/dealer firm. The account IS a Transfer-on-Death account.

I guess I'm going to have to ask Vanguard to see if they can help, but my brother (estate admin) has been trying to get answers from the Calif. firm. They're kind of "playing dumb," like "Well, we don't really know how, in your situation, you should complete this. Just do your best!" And it's my understanding that they can REJECT the forms if they don't think we did it right - so it seems like a ploy to hang onto the money for as long as they can.

Though the estate admin has gotten involved, just so there aren't a bunch of beneficiaries all calling the firm separately, this is NOT going through probate, as it's TOD.

We'll press forward. Thanks for confirming the definition of "journaling."
If you transferring your portion to Vanguard, call them up and ask for transfer specialist. They will help you out and decipher this and choose the correct option for you needs. My wife has been doing this recently and getting a person who specializes in these tasks will help a lot. They know how to talk the lingo to the other side (and know what options work for each institution you are working with, some are automated, others less so.)

Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:52 pm

Interesting. I did call Vanguard, told them what the broker-dealer was asking us to do -- and they kind of just said, "Yes, that's what you need to do." I said, "And, then, once they 'journal,' I do an 'in-kind' transfer to you?" And they said yes. No offers to help, really.

Frustrating, too (I think, anyway) that my in-kind transfer form and other forms (Inherited IRA application) have to be mailed or faxed to Vanguard. I don't have a fax machine I can use without getting in trouble (not for free, anyway), and paying for postage ticks me off. Not sure why Vanguard doesn't allow for secure uploads of scanned files!

retiringwhen
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by retiringwhen » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:58 pm

Cara wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Interesting. I did call Vanguard, told them what the broker-dealer was asking us to do -- and they kind of just said, "Yes, that's what you need to do." I said, "And, then, once they 'journal,' I do an 'in-kind' transfer to you?" And they said yes. No offers to help, really.

Frustrating, too (I think, anyway) that my in-kind transfer form and other forms (Inherited IRA application) have to be mailed or faxed to Vanguard. I don't have a fax machine I can use without getting in trouble (not for free, anyway), and paying for postage ticks me off. Not sure why Vanguard doesn't allow for secure uploads of scanned files!
Did you ask for a Transfer Specialist? They do allow for scanned documents to be emailed, either via their secure messaging or email, but in many cases the need a "wet" signature and a scan will not do. I did a IRA rollover into my 401(K) all via scanned documents.

On the other hand check writing setup requires a paper wet signature, go figure.

Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:49 pm

I'll try again with a Transfer Specialist.

Thanks

User avatar
Phineas J. Whoopee
Posts: 7192
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:33 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:08 pm
It's sloppy to use that sort of lingo in letters to clients. "Journal" refers to bookkeeping entries and account records. Is it a Canadian or Caribbean firm or similar?
...
Yeah. I have a monthly bill I pay online, and the last question before logging off is "Enroll this funding?"

PJW

Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:50 pm

It got even more complicated today, though I didn't think that possible. I spoke to 2 or 3 people in Vanguard's Asset Transfer department - not a lot of help, still.

Vanguard slows the process with lots of time and paperwork if they're going to direct transfer a qualified annuity to an inherited IRA - and it actually as to BE a "like kind" account before it can be transferred, so I have to "convert" it from an annuity to an IRA before I can transfer it to Vanguard.

So I talked to a guy at Brighthouse who explained that a qualified annuity must be transferred to an inherited IRA at Brighthouse BY MY FINANCIAL ADVISOR. They don't do it - they're the annuity people. I explained that I DON'T HAVE a financial advisor, other than Vanguard, and Vanguard was telling me that they couldn't do it.

I go to Brighthouse's website to try to find a nearby, won't-cost-me-a-dime "financial advisor" who CAN open an inherited IRA for me, at Brighthouse, and I have NO clue who that would be. I'm not going to pay someone commission or fee to get money that's mine.

I'm thinking of letting it ride in an annuity with Brighthouse and take 5 year payouts, but that ticks me off, because I won't have any control over the money, until it hits my grubby hands through these teeny tiny payouts

I realize, as I write this, that my exasperation at the complexity of all of this kind of means that I probably SHOULD pay an advisor to help me through this process. I guess it's just frustrating because, as a frugal person, I am with Vanguard because I don't really WANT to pay an advisor (did it once -- they basically said, "I can't tell you to do anything better than you're already doing."). I'm a do-it-yourselfer, as much as I can, and this feels like it's forcing me into a relationship with an advisor -- and I really have not found one I'd want to work with.

Sorry -- just venting, at this point -- unless someone has some advice. Thanks!

retiringwhen
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by retiringwhen » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:41 pm

So this turned out to be an Annuity, not a brokerage account?

Not surprising that you'll have to work with an advisor convert it into an Inherited IRA. We ran into the same problem.

Luckily for the family, the deceased had a broker who administered the account. The estate initiated the process for each of the beneficiaries to create an inherited IRA AT the broker (in our case UBS). Then the distribution could be transferred all under the control of one entity. After that was done, the newly created and funded IRA could "easily" be transferred to Vanguard. The core problem here is the creation of the Inherited IRA Account. There are loads of issues with that. Both Vanguard and the Estate Lawyers told the Executor it was the only practical way to get the money distributed.

BTW, there were not insignificant costs in doing this. It actually began the process of several of the beneficiaries learning the benefits of the DIY BH approach.

Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:32 pm

R.W.,

I apologize. I'm mixing my stories. This is a different account from the inheritance. I'm just venting about the difficulties, and lack of any real assistance (though, in their defense, their hands may be tied) from Vanguard.

Thanks for the description of your experience. That helps. Not to make it easier, but to make it more palatable, knowing I'm not encountering the issues out of any resistance by my aunt's choice of financial institutions, or out of my own individual lack of knowledge.

Looks like it's time for me to get an advisor. May I ask how you chose? Did you go "fee only," or go with any particular national firm? Can Vanguard's advisory group not work this way, for me, if I choose to pay them?

retiringwhen
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by retiringwhen » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:38 pm

Cara wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:32 pm
R.W.,

I apologize. I'm mixing my stories. This is a different account from the inheritance. I'm just venting about the difficulties, and lack of any real assistance (though, in their defense, their hands may be tied) from Vanguard.

Thanks for the description of your experience. That helps. Not to make it easier, but to make it more palatable, knowing I'm not encountering the issues out of any resistance by my aunt's choice of financial institutions, or out of my own individual lack of knowledge.

Looks like it's time for me to get an advisor. May I ask how you chose? Did you go "fee only," or go with any particular national firm? Can Vanguard's advisory group not work this way, for me, if I choose to pay them?
IT does sound like having a some help is necessary. It is a tough problem to find the right person. You may start with one advisor/brokerages that are associated with any existing relationships you have, such as yoru bank. The other option is to find out who you aunt used and see if this person/entity can help as well. It may not be cheap, but it would be logical.

mindbogle
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:28 am

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by mindbogle » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:12 pm

On the Brighthouse Annuity issue - I just went through this. I inherited a Brighthouse IRA annuity from a family member and found the process reasonably straight forward working with Vanguard's transfer department:

Ask Brighthouse for a Beneficiary Claim form.
Fill out the form and select the option to cash out your portion and transfer to an Inherited IRA at another firm.
Call Vanguard and talk to a transfer specialist - tell them you want to transfer your portion of your inheritance to a Vanguard Inherited IRA.
Vanguard will give you their transfer form to fill out.
Send the Brighthouse claim form and associated docs (such as DC) and the Vanguard transfer form to Vanguard for handling.

Vanguard will then send all that is needed to Brighthouse, and if all is in order, Brighthouse will then send the money directly to your Vanguard Inherited IRA.

I went through this same procedure successfully with 4 annuity companies, and Brighthouse was one of the easiest to complete.

MB

Cara
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by Cara » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:52 pm

MB,

I'm going to have to look at my notes again (I'm a lousy notetaker, unfortunately), but I wonder why you got such straightforward info when I got clusterf*** info. Brighthouse telling me I HAVE to find a financial advisor to convert the ualified annuity to inherited IRA - that they do not do it through the claims process; then Vanguard telling me, in essence, that I'm on my own with figuring out how to coordinate this.

I had planned to call Vanguard's advisory department directly and say, "Okay, guys -- If I hire you as my advisor, can you then accommodate this conversion from annuity to IRA that Brighthouse says I need?" Maybe I'll call Brighthouse again and see if I get a different answer.

Thanks - I'll have your post next to me when I call!

mindbogle
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:28 am

Re: What is "journaling" of assets?

Post by mindbogle » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:16 pm

I had planned to call Vanguard's advisory department directly and say, "Okay, guys -- If I hire you as my advisor, can you then accommodate this conversion from annuity to IRA that Brighthouse says I need?" Maybe I'll call Brighthouse again and see if I get a different answer.
BTW, just to be clear, I haven't ever signed up for Vanguard's Advisory service (and associated costs). I talked with my Vanguard account representative who pointed me in the direction of the transfer department. Ultimately, those are the folks that you will want to talk to. But I would first get your Beneficiary Claim form from Brighthouse and verify that you do have the option of cashing out your portion and moving it to an Inherited IRA with another company, as it was in my case. Then get in touch with the Vanguard transfer department and tell them what your options are with Brighthouse and ask them what the easiest path to getting your money into a Vanguard Inherited IRA. Once I informed them what I had coming and what my objectives were, they were very helpful and efficient.

Personally I don't think Vanguard's Advisory service would get you much over what you could do for yourself following the basic (and simple!) investment principles that you can find on this forum, the Wiki, and by reading one or several of the recommended books on investing. And you certainly shouldn't feel the need to "hire" an advisor just to get your money where you want it.

Good luck!

MB

Post Reply