• Briefly Noted
  • Briefly Noted

    Raising Cash: A Trip to Your Attic May Help

    Need a creative source for extra cash?

    Many people currently in need of cash may find themselves looking around their attics and storage areas wondering what they could sell and how much it would sell for. The American Society of Appraisers offers advice to people who want to sell their antiques and collectibles.

    Appraisers stress that there are a wide range of places to sell things, depending on what they are and their value, and it is important to understand what the options are.

    Some outlets for selling collectibles and antiques include:

    • High-end regional and national auction houses: This is for very valuable collectible items, antiques, or art work. Auction houses charge a percentage of the sale price as well as fees for insurance, catalogue photographs, etc.
    • Antiques dealers: Antiques dealers will either buy the piece from you outright and re-sell it, or they will sell it for you and take a percentage of the sale price. When selling to an antiques dealer, it is a good idea to have an appraisal by an independent appraiser of the item, or have a good idea of its value so you ensure that you are being properly compensated. Be sure to get a consignment agreement that protects your ownership and sets up the date by which you must be paid after the sale.
    • Local catalogue auctions: Local auction houses will include your item in scheduled auctions that feature similar types of property grouped together for sale. These items are offered in a catalogue, which is often posted on-line. The auction house will take a percentage of the sale price and charge for additional costs such as insurance and photography.
    • Local weekly auctions: Local auction houses also hold regular catch-all auctions that sell a variety of items that are normally less valuable than items included in the catalogue auctions.
    • Consignment shops: Consignment shops will sell your items for you, but usually for a relatively high percentage of the sale price, and if things don’t sell quickly they normally lower the price of the item to help it sell. Be sure to get a consignment agreement that protects your ownership and sets up the date by which you must be paid after the sale.
    • Do-it-yourself: Options for selling items on your own include on-line sites like eBay and Craig’s List, yard sales and flea market stands.

    To find an appraiser or to learn more about appraisals, you can log on to www.appraisers.org.

    Source: The American Society of
    Appraisers, Washington D.C.

    Full-Service Satisfaction: Edward Jones Ranks Highest

    In the midst of economic uncertainty, the relationship between investors and their financial advisors becomes the most crucial factor impacting investor satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction survey.

    The study found that the financial advisor is the most important aspect of overall investor satisfaction, comprising 30% in 2009—an increase from 22% in 2008. In contrast, investment performance declined in importance, accounting for only 15% of overall satisfaction, compared with 24% in 2008.

    Edward Jones ranked highest in investor satisfaction, performing particularly well in convenience and account statements. Banc of America ranked lowest. Below are the top-ranked and lowest-ranked firms, along with their scores on a 1,000-point scale.

    Full-Service Investor Satisfaction
    Top-Ranked Firms Rating Lowest-Ranked Firms Rating
    Edward Jones 784 Fidelity Investments 721
    LPL Financial Services 773 Wachovia Securities 721
    Charles Schwab 771 Wells Fargo Investments 708
    Raymond James 758 Merrill Lynch 707
    Ameriprise Financial 754 Banc of America 700

    The 2009 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study measured overall investor satisfaction with full-service investment firms based on six factors (in order of importance): financial advisor, convenience, investment performance, account offerings, account statements, and fees. The study was based on responses from nearly 4,500 investors who make some or all of their investment decisions with a financial advisor, and was conducted from March to April 2009.

    Source: J.D. Power and Associates, www.jdpower.com.


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