Who knew I had an IRA?: A Memory.

I received a weird call from my dad the other day, urging me to visit a website and login.  He noted that I had received a letter from this company called Folio Investing and they stated I had money in an account and the listed email account.  My mind immediately went to phishing, but he shared that he already had an account with this company, so they were legit.


So I go to the site.  They want my username and login.  No idea.  I call customer service and got to talk with a person immediately!?!?!  The rep that answered was awesome, though I’m sure slightly frustrated that I didn’t have any of the information he needed, username, password, accurate past email, etc., but he helped me get set up and logged in. Seriously best day with customer service ever.

Here’s the story:  When I was about 19 or 20, I was into finances and the stock market and I (still vaguely) recall opening an IRA and managing an investment portfolio.  When I looked at the portfolio, I had a laugh as the picks were really reflective of where I was at that time in my life: tech stocks, Phillip Morris and Coors.  I had also added Corning, Inc for good measure and because they are a local favorite.  I had apparently invested this money, forgotten about it and walked away.  Neat trick.  Fast forward a decade or so (heavy on the so) and the company I had originally invested in has folded and sold the holdings to Folio Investing, who then works diligently to track down the owners of accounts like mine.

So the awesome news is that I have almost $3k saved toward retirement that I had forgotten about and that grew from likely $500 or less, but the really disturbing part is that I am still struggling to remember this, and this isn’t the first time I have completely erased something from my memory banks that falls under ‘kind of important’.

I forgot that I got a ticket in my mid-20’s and argued with the DMV until I remembered a few days later that the officer had been *really* excellent and given me a much lower infraction that I likely deserved.

I forgot that I had been to Florida three times until I saw pictures and discussed particular events that I did remember, but hadn’t integrated fully.  It was with my mom, we had a good time.  Sorry mom.

Now, I’m not saying that I have something wrong with me as nominally my memory is like a bear trap, but it’s super-interesting they way that memory works and why it fails.

UPDATE!  January 23, 2016:  I just received a yearly statement for an IRA I thought I had closed out.  I’m like a forgetful squirrel!

Marie Wheeler