As your question appears in the second half, so will my answer. Like you, I will provide some background. I remember buying gasoline for $1.759 per gallon. I am so old that I remember buying gasoline for $0.759 per gallon. I recently paid $2.759 per gallon. You claim that your relative is not getting a very good return. Some would suggest that, at $2.759 per gallon, I am not getting a very good price on gasoline. Rates, yields, returns and the price of gas are not what they once were. It is actually difficult to get a pretty bad return relative to the current market. I suspect your relative is no longer getting what he used to get but he is getting a fair return.
About record keeping. Your Uncle Sam benefits at your expense when you keep poor records. There are substantial penalties for failing to report everything. Most high school graduates can manage one checking account, one savings account, several charge cards and about 20 CDs and stocks at different institutions with little more than the following: a) a wall calendar b) a shoe box and c) a stack of 3 by 5 cards. Don't misplace the shoe box. If you can use a spreadsheet, it is even easier. Backup your data.
There are a several reasons why you shouldn't consolidate all his cash and put it in a single mutual fund account and then put together a mix of investments that work well for him.
- you are doing it backwards 1st put together a mix of investments that work well for him 2nd consolidate the assets. Your phrasing suggests a general lack of understanding
- most CDs have penalties for early withdrawal.
- while you enjoy managing your 401K in a single online account, your older relative might not be as comfortable with a lack of paper statements (see shoe box above)
Let me tell you a little about my 401K. x% blue chip, y% small cap, z% bonds, w% foreign stock. Once a quarter, I change my current contribution to re-balance current value towards my target percentages. Every 30 months or so, I consider changing my asset allocation. The allocation considers my age, my spouses age, our childrens ages, my risk tolerance and my intermediate view of the markets. Your mileage my vary.
- set reasonable expectations for returns
- organize your records
- get an asset allocation plan
- reduce the number of accounts
in that order