Search This Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Expensive Penny

If you have read the side bar you know that I am a financial advisor and money manager for a living. The following is the kind of waste and short sightedness that will bring a business to it's knees. It is also the same kind of waste and robotic adherence to frivolous and unnecessary procedure that will bankrupt a country.

A short while ago, I decided that I would close one of my Bank accounts. Seems simple? Wrong. I carefully balanced my check book and wrote one last check. It seems, however, that there was a teeensy bit of interest that kicked in and I had a balance remaining of one penny! So I tell the bank, go ahead and keep the penny I don't want it......but.....nooooooo. They send me a cashiers check for ONE CENT. Think about how stupid this is and how the costs of sending me one penny add up. First they have to print the check, put it in an envelope, post it. People all along the way are getting paid to send me a penny. Bank personnel, USPS people who send it to my post office and then they deliver to me. If I then cash the check at my bank, the teller and then the processing center and then the delivery service that actually handles the physical check and the other bank then gets the check and processes it, film of the check is made in both banks. And so on and so on.

My one penny probably eventually cost hundreds of dollars. So who pays for the expensive penny? Everyone else who still has an account with the original bank by paying higher and higher fees to cover stupid and avoidable losses.

I have the check framed and near my desk. When I discuss why I think the stock of a particular company maybe or may not be a good investment and bring up the topic of earnings per share and other fundamental analysis issues, I can refer to my expensive penny as an illustration. They should have just kept the penny.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy, that just says it all. I have to pay a 1% hospitality tax to the State of Oregon because I own an RV park. I once overpaid them 34 cents. They sent me a form to fill out requesting a refund. I sent it back and said it would take a half hour to fill it out which was like at least $20 worth of my time so keep it. They then sent me a letter saying that they did not refund any amounts under $1. I figured some bureaucrat is making work to keep his useless job.