At about 4:50, my work phone rang it and was Nathan asking me if I was coming for our appointment. Damnit. I completely forgot about it. I had put it on my personal calendar, but not on my work one. I asked if he wanted to wait for me or reschedule for some time next week, which really would have to be next Friday with my school schedule.
"Well, I'm already here at the office, and next Friday, I'm trying to head out of town early, so I'll wait."
I hit the most horrendous traffic on the way to his office. 540 from west of Creedmoor Rd. was bumper to bumper, crawling. I got off at Creedmoor Rd. and took Strickland over to Six Forks, and then headed south on Six Forks to his office. It took me just under an hour to get there -- it's a 20-25 minute ride at most.
Always a pleasure talking to Nathan. He showed me two of my IRAs that used to be invested in two funds when I first started going to him, that he moved to different ones for me. These are two of my biggest rollover IRAs. The one was around $80,000 when I gave it to him, and he showed me that if I'd kept it in the one it was in before he moved it for me, it would now be worth $57,000, but in the one he moved it to for me, it's now worth $120,000. Same basic story with the other one. He was so proud of himself. :-)
We talked about the new AMEX Exclusive Gold Package program AMEX is introducing that he'd like to get me in. "You meet all of the criteria (at least $100K in assets with AMEX, x number of years as a cleint with them, have one of their "One" accounts), except one," he said, which was basically that I have to add $10,000 into any financial instrument of theirs. It can be anything -- a savings account, checking account, annuity, CD, whatever; the only requirement is that it be "new" money. That is, I can't just move some money already in some account with them into a new account with them.
I told him I would think about this. I don't have $10K just laying around right now. I have some savings, and I'll have about $10K worth of IBM stock money coming available over the year next year, some in July and the rest in December, but I'm not sure I want to put it there. I told him to stop the $500 a month I'm giving him now going into my "middle tier money," and I'll divert that to my savings each month to put toward the $10K.
One of the attractions of this "gold package," is that you get lower rates on mortgage loans. Basically, if you're in the program, they subtract 25 basis points from the going mortgage rate. So, once I get in the program, I may refinance my mortgage, since it's at something like 7.25%. This could take my already low mortgage payment of $379 down closer to $300 I would think, assuming the rates don't skyrocket before I can do it. Can't beat that.
At the end of the meeting -- I should have known this was coming with his bragging at the beginning of the meeting about how well he's done for me -- he said, "Oh yeah, one last thing, it's that time of year again -- for my annual fee." In past years, he's charged me $500 for the year, and I'd get reimbursed $250 of that from IBM. IBM stopped the program last year, which he knows, and had said when they announced it that he was going to give his IBM clients a break on the annual fee since they won't any longer get reimbursed. I'm glad he didn't ask me what I thought would be fair, because I would have said $300 or $350. He said, "How about $250?"
"Deal," I said. Charge it to my American Express card so I can get Frequent Flyer points. :-)
I checked in with Robert to get an ETA from him, and then stopped by K-Mart on Western Blvd, and the Harris Teeter over on Buck Jones or whatever that road is.
At K-Mart, I bought some hair gel, some Tilex, a 1" three-ring binder notebook, and 5 packages of 5-tabs for my "project notebook" in ENG 518. Oh yeah, I grabbed a bag of "new" Caramel Milky Way bars, too.
At the Harris Teeter, I bought some cooked hot wings for a quick dinner, some Healthy Choice Ice Cream Sandwiches (on sale, buy one get one free), cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bologna, Tostito Bite Size Rounds, two CPK BBQ Chicken pizzas, and hot dogs.
Robert arrived around 8:00PM, and we did a most challenging crossword puzzle -- one from the Independent, I believe. We got all but about three words.