TODAY   |  October 23, 2013

Jean Chatzky: How to break up with your broker

TODAY Financial editor Jean Chatzky answers viewer questions like how to break up with your financial adviser and your credit card companies.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> financial advisor or credit card company or your bank, it maybe time for a break up.

>> dumping the financial institutions in your life can be a little complicated. here with common sense advice to help you move on is jean chatzky.

>> why is this so hard to do?

>> there's personal interaction and people get skittish but the paperwork can also be confusing. we'll sort it all out.

>> let's go through these. breaking up with a financial advisor . where do i begin?

>> with all of these situations, you have to died where you're going before you leave. with your financial advisor if you're going to open a new brokerage account , do that first. they'll help you pull the assets out of the old account. at that point, you make the break up call. you can do it in e-mail but you can also do it on the phone or if you have had any problems that you need to document, you want to do it in writing. you want to get everything back from that financial advisor that they've got. if they've got a copy of your will or other estate planning documents, get that. and understand that with this transaction, there maybe some cost incurred because they need to sell securities on your behalf and finally if they are authorized to sell securities on your behalf, revoke that power. you'll need a form from your current advisor in order to do that.

>> make sure you do the research on that one. what about credit cards ? if you have a credit card company you're unhappy with. you're big on saying don't close them out.

>> well, don't close them out because it can take your credit score down.

>> right.

>> so you don't want to close it in the six months before you get a mortgage or a car loan. otherwise, you can. but you have to manage it properly. again, first figure out where you're going. what credit card in your wallet that you already have are you going to use instead or are you going to open a new one and transfer the balance? once you know where you're going, go ahead and either pay down completely your old credit card or transfer the balance understanding that you may pay a 3% balance transfer fee in order to do that. at that point, you pick up the phone , you call customer service . you close the credit card account and you document this. write down who you are talking to, when are you talking to them, and then do the same exact thing in writing and a month down the road, pull your credit record . make sure it reflects that the account was closed by you and not by the credit card company.

>> and quickly, what about breaking one the bank? you want to move all of your akounlts somewhere else.

>> well, you have to be very, very careful about your automatic payments. 20% of people want to switch banks. about half of them don't do it because of the automatic payment mess. really make a good list of what's coming in and what's going out automatically and try at all costs to leave yourself a cushion so that you don't lose any money or run into insufficient payments.

>> all right. such great information. thank you so much. we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

>>> bring your dog to work day , hoda and kathie lee .