Custodians like Schwab sometimes have separate departments for managing “retail” accounts (for people working directly with Schwab) and “institutional” accounts (for people, like our clients, who work with an investment advisor). Often, these different departments have different forms that do exactly the same things.
I recently got a phone call from our representative at Charles Schwab (the custodian of many of our client accounts), and they received a form that the client sent in on their own to add a feature to their account. Unfortunately, it was a form for the retail side of Schwab which does not allow the investment advisor—Merriman—to act on what the client was trying to set up.
In this case, Schwab was fortunately able to do what the client needed, but I had to send the client another form with the investment advisor information so Merriman could help the client with this feature in the future.
Our clients pay us to manage their accounts, and we want to help in any way we can. If a client wants to add a feature to their account we encourage them to come to us so we can avoid this type of confusion. As a client, it’s always best for you to call us first to get the best out of your account.