Friday, October 19, 2007

A Complaint About the Third Avenue Funds

THIS HAS BEEN SATISFACTORILY RESOLVED.


My son had been frustrated trying to get his money out of a Third Avenue Value fund. Actually, all that he is trying to do is transfer the money to Fidelity Investments, where he already has an account.
He has had statements notarized; sent letters and emails; reported changes of addresses.
Nothing seems to work.
BUT AN ORGANIZATION CALLED KEANE KEEPS WRITING TO HIM, AND TO ME, OFFERING TO HELP US RETRIEVE MONEY OWED TO HIM. THE ORGANIZATION ALSO PHONES ME. Of course, Keane would collect a commission for retrieving that money.
How does Keane know we have been having trouble getting that money back?
I have a suspicion.
Now comes a letter from PFPC saying that there is a RPO stop order on my son’s account, and he must submit a letter of instruction – bearing a Medallion Signature Guarantee. Whatever the hell that is. Ok, it’s a surety bond. The required amount: $1,000,000! (I think my son has $3,000 in his Third Avenue account.)
The problem, writes PFPC, is that the Post office has returned mail as undeliverable to my son’s former address.
Well, he moved. And he has sent in a change-of-address letter.
My son checked with banks in the area where he lives; none had ever heard of the term Medallion Signature Guarantee.
Anyway, is PFPC/Third Avenue in cahoots with Keane? Is someone at PFPC/Third Avenue getting kickbacks from Keane?
Of course not.
But the superb Third Avenue funds, like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion.

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