The Cost of Patience

Cost of Patience

There is a common phrase that I am sure you have heard, or even said, on more than one occasion.

Patience is a virtue.

In most situations, I completely agree and believe that maintaining a patient approach to things has a lot of benefits.

As a parent, being patient with your children as they try to learn how to accomplish a new task on their own is invaluable. When we are rushed there is a tendency to jump in and do it for them, however that can have negative consequences when it takes them longer to learn how to do things independently.

In the workplace it is important to be patient with your colleagues, direct reports, and boss.

Embracing Patience

The DGI community is one that seems to truly embrace patience, as we can all appreciate starting from scratch and building up our investments and dividend portfolios.

It is not a get rich quick process by any means.

Think of that first dividend payment that you received–it may have been only a dollar or two, or possibly even pennies.

For the impatient people, that might seem discouraging and turn them off of dividend investing. However, for most of us, that was the motivation for what this approach can do over the long-term if we remain true to the strategy and maintain our patience.

The dividend snowball grows over time and eventually you begin to reap the rewards.

When Patience Backfires

While we understand the value of patience, unfortunately there are times where we either lose sight of that or things don’t turn out quite the way we desired.

A few months back, I had received a letter from an old employer that I was fully vested in their pension program and I could opt to leave the money alone to receive the full benefit at retirement age, begin taking monthly payments now as a reduced benefit, or elect to receive the reduced benefit as a lump sum now.

The letter sat on my desk for about a month before I jumped into the DGI community headfirst. In early June I decided that it would be best for me to take the lump sum benefit now and put that money to work for me as part of my Divvy Dad Portfolio.

On June 7th, I initiated the rollover of the pension to my Fidelity account.

Or at least I thought that I did.

At the time I was told that it may take 4-6 weeks to process, so I was patient.

And I waited.

Every day my eyes would be drawn to the big $0.00 balance on the rollover IRA that I setup at Fidelity for this process, and I would wonder when the funds would appear.

My goal is to use these funds to establish holdings in a handful of REITs, and I’ve been scouring through the CCC dividend list to narrow down my selections.

Research has been done and all I need now are the funds to appear at Fidelity.

I remained patient.

As June was coming to a close, my anticipation was growing on a daily basis that the funds would arrive and I’d be able to get in my orders to buy my REITs.

Maybe the funds will be there tomorrow.

Nope, but I remained patient.

The 4th of July holiday has come and gone, but still no money has been transferred. The nagging feeling that something wasn’t right continued to grow and I tried to rationalize that maybe the rollover would complete after the holiday.

I remained patient.

Finally, after over a month since initiating the transfer, I called the benefits center from the old employer to inquire on the status of my lump sum rollover. The retirement specialist kindly took my information and looked up my account.

I could hear the clicking of the keyboard.

She asked, “May I put you on hold for a moment?”

That’s usually not good, but I remained patient.

When she came back on the line, she shared that while she could see that I had provided the information to initiate the rollover, something had happened and the process had been canceled. She wasn’t sure what happened, but she would be happy to help me fix it now and get the rollover initiated.

Unfortunately, the process requires them to send me a form in the mail, which myself and Mrs. DivvyDad need to sign in the presence of a notary and then mail back. Once they receive that form back, the rollover will be scheduled for the end of the following month, which she said will be the end of August if we get the form returned right away.

The 4-6 week process that was initially explained to me is quickly turning into a 4 month process.

All because I was patient.

Time Will Tell the True Cost

Overall this is not a big deal and I admit that the whole situation is sensationalized here, however I’ve been itching to make my REIT purchases and get those dividends working for me–and I am sure many of you know that feeling.

I want to grow that divvy snowball.

Down the road, I might look back at this situation and realize that the patience of waiting for the process to run the natural course and take considerably longer may have been a benefit.

Or I will look back and see that the REITs I am interested in have shot to the moon causing me to miss out on 1-2 dividend payments and capital appreciation.

If I were a betting man, I’d probably put my money on the former though.

Because sometimes patience can be tricky like that, and what feels like a lost opportunity in the moment turns out to be a blessing in disguise because you were patient (even if it may not be by choice).

10 thoughts on “The Cost of Patience”

  1. Argh that sucks. I hate it when fairly simple procedures get botched up and take forever. Especially in the internet era now and we still hassle with forms and notaries.

    Oh well, hopefully the funds will land soon and you can get your dividend on! 🙂

    1. Me too, and I will be eagerly awaiting those funds to give a boost to that forward dividend income!

      I think the internet has also changed the expectations a great deal, as we have come to expect things to be instant. Sometimes it is good to slow down, but I agree that the hard copy paper process feels antiquated.

  2. Here’s hoping that there’s a smooth transition Divvy Dad. I do agree that patience is a virtue, but sometimes you just have to make that phone call. I dealt with this as recently as yesterday. Movers were supposed to come to my house to move my items. I waited and waited and eventually got tired of waiting. I made a phone call and was told that they’d been to the house twice already, and no one answered. They verified my address and finally showed up, at the end of the day! Sometimes, situations call for a lack of patience.

    Regarding DGI, I remember when I started my blog, a friend of mine kind of laughed at the idea that I was only going to be making $33 a YEAR, and scoffed at the idea that anyone would be interested in my blog because I had such small numbers. Honestly, I tried explaining it to my mom, but I don’t think she can get past the fact that I was only making pennies or a few dollars with the companies I was invested in. Now, my portfolio is projected to make me over $1000 in a year. Again, not enough to quit my job, but definitely moving in the right direction.

    The real value of dividend growth investing comes not just from the dividends today, but from the compound growth that one can expect in the future. All of that requires a great deal of patience.

    1. Ugh, glad that the movers finally showed up but I know that can be so frustrating. It reminds me of situations where a company says they will be there between 8am-12pm, and then don’t show up until 2pm.

      On the DGI front, you hit the nail on the head and have demonstrated the power of that patience. Hopefully that friend of yours that was laughing is now taking notice of the progress that you have made and may be reconsidering their feedback.

  3. Interesting story DD. I believe (not the most positive take) that if it can go wrong it probably will. So there is a fine line in my mind between being patient and being proactive in one’s follow up. I think the two behaviors actually apply to different life circumstances. Tom

    1. Tom, that is a really interesting point as I know that some aspects of my life I am quite the pessimist about while others I tend to be much more optimistic. Over the last 6-9 months I have been trying to address those areas where I have more pessimism, but I will say it has been a slow and difficult process–which has been testing that patience.

  4. I agree that patience is a good quality but sometimes you gotta get things moving along because others won’t do it for ya! It’s annoying that the quality of service at a lot of these places isn’t what it should be !

    1. That is true, and in hindsight I definitely wish that I had been more diligent in that regard as then my money might be there soon. It has not been fun having a list of stocks that I want to buy but need to wait for the transfer to execute the orders.

      Fortunately with the snafu, they are now paying extra attention to the process as they called me yesterday with a status check.

  5. That’s annoying and frustrating Divvy. I’m sorry. I would have been like you. Patient, but constantly checking on the process. What’s interesting is that no one thought to communicate this to you during the process and let you know that you would need to mail in the forms. I’m sure it won’t cost you that much in the long run, it is just more of an annoyance than anything.

    Ready for a crazy twist here. I kid you not, this is a true story. I opened this article in a new tab to read. We are transferring our securities from Capital One to Ally Investing. My transfer processed this week, but my wife’s was still waiting. They sent an email 10 days ago that it would take 5-7 days to process, but still, no action. So I started a “Chat Now” conversation with them about what was taking so long. While I was waiting, I started to read your article about the exact same thing haha Like you, I waited and am now working through this.

    Best of luck with the transfer!


    1. Exactly–had the first person I spoke with mentioned that there would be a form that my wife and I needed to sign, I would have known there was a problem after just a few days when the form didn’t arrive. In the grand scheme of things, it really is not a huge deal though but still a lesson learned for future.

      That is crazy that you found yourself in a very similar situation as you started to read this post! Hopefully they square everything away and the transfer of your wife’s account gets completed without any more hiccups.

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