There's Peace of Mind in Cleaning Up a Mess

Yesterday's client was bogged down by her finances. She wasn't sure how many mutual fund investment accounts she had. They were spread out in cubby holes, drawers, files, under other things and on her desk. So complained about how much money she lost with these accounts, though she lost the bulk of her money over eight years ago. She talked about her loss with the impact of it just having happened. She got hunched over, and her eyes squinted, and her jaw tensed.

I suggested we round up all the mutual fund information. She didn't want to. And then she started talking about how much money she lost in the market. She said she originally didn't want to get these mutual funds, but people she knew talked her into getting them. She wanted to buy another investment which actually went up. She forlornly talked about how rich she could have been if she had only done what she wanted.

She was lost and entangled in the past. Rather than reason with her, I gathered together all the mutual fund papers and then organized them by names. She had four mutual funds. I matter-of-factly showed them to her. She looked at their current amounts and started to bemoan her losses again. But I stopped her.

I said it was natural to be upset about her losses. But the time of mourning had passed. The best thing she could do now is take care of her finances. There's a lot of peace of mind in cleaning up a mess. She started to settle down. Her clarity was coming back. She said that she would like to take the money from three of the mutual funds and put it in the fourth which she felt would become strong again. I had her call the stronger mutual fund and ask how to do that. They said they would send her the paper work.

We shredded the excess mutual fund papers she didn't need anymore, and put the ones she did need into a mutual fund file.

Her anguish and turmoil was gone. She was quiet on the inside.