Bank Business

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My daughter is about to check her phone until she realized she didn’t know about an account at this bank.  Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

My daughter demanded to know how my Ex got his hands on her and her brother’s money and as she peppered the manager with questions I could tell the man was not used to such a forceful and determined young person.

“Have the papers been filed against him?” she asked our lawyer.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Are we using this or are we going to nail him?” she asked to everyone’s shock.

“What?” Kylie queried when she saw the look on our faces. “I understand the concept of leverage as well as the next person but no matter what you do make sure you get back our money.”

Shane had been going through the bank statements with a highlighter when he nudged his sister and pointed to something. He took a red pen and placed an asterisk next to it then got his sister’s phone and took a picture.

“May I kindly speak to her, please? Knowing my father, I assume there is a ‘her’ he manipulated to get access to our accounts.”

The manager called in the woman.

“Do you consent to have this conversation recorded?” asked my daughter putting her phone in the middle of the table.

The woman hesitated and then slowly noted. “A verbal answer is required,” my daughter explained.

“Yes,” replied the woman.

My daughter pushed some papers across the desk to her. “Please state your name and tell me if this is your signature on this document?” directed Kylie.

“My name is Teresa Mayers and yes this is my signature.”

My daughter went on. “Can you please explain what this form is for and how it came to be added to these accounts?”

“It is a form that allows the named person, in this case, Walter Haynes, full access to the account. Why, because he wanted to be able to better manage to money on the account.”

“What about the persons whose names were on the accounts? Couldn’t they manage the money themselves?”

“He said his children were minors and his wife was a heavy spender. He was afraid she would drain the accounts.”

Kylie pushed another set of papers forward. “Can you see a single withdrawal on this account? When you see the first withdrawal, please state the date.”

She stated them for both accounts. Kylie pointed to the paperwork to access the account.

“How soon after access was granted did the removal of monies happened?”

The bank teller replied. “One week.”

“Who did the withdrawals?” asked Kylie.

“The person who signed the form Walter Haynes. Why are you asking me these questions? You are minor.”

“It’s my money you gave that man access to. My money he has been spending on goodness knows what. So I can ask as many questions as I please. But last question. Did you call the owners of the account or the person in charge of the account to verify the validity of the letter?”

The bank teller looked puzzled. “No. It was signed and dated.”

“Correction,” said Kylie. “The signature is a forgery.” The woman’s eyes popped open.

“My mother would never have signed this letter. Plus, when this was written, we were all in the US looking at universities. I’ve not spoken to my father in almost three or four years why would I want him managing my money?”

The bank teller shrugged, unable to reply. “I want his authorization revoked and a flag put on the account so that the next time he comes in to make a withdrawal, the police are called. I’m done playing games,” said Kylie.

“What do we need to sign to make it happened?” Kylie leaned back in the chair, waiting.

The manager started to get the necessary paperwork and placed the needed blocks on the account so no withdrawals could be made until the children were each twenty-one or older.

“Rental property?” asked Shane to Mr. Divine.

Mr. divine looked at the balances of both accounts.

“By twenty-one, if the market is right. It’s more than possible.”

“Sweet,” said Shane with glee.

Lindsay looked at her daughter going over paperwork and asking questions when she didn’t understand. Kylie’s maturity never ceased to fill her with awe. Her instincts told her this situation with Walter would be reaching a tipping point by the end of the next two to three weeks. During that time things would get really heated and she needed to have her fire extinguisher ready.

 

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Shot Across the Bow

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The bank manager was in for a shock. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The lawyer broke into a huge smile.

“Fraud,” said Mr. Divine.

“Correct,” came the reply. “And theft of thousands of dollars from the children that he used on whores.”

“So what should we do? Bring this to the custody hearing for the kids or countersue?”

“I love how this woman thanks,” said the lawyer.

“He will not expect this countersuit and it will send him scrambling. After we file the papers, we will need to hit the bank. Someone in there give him access.” Explained the lawyer.

“When we were married. Well separated, I found out he was sleeping with this girl in the bank and used her to block my access to our joint account information.”

“He did this before. I love it,” said the lawyer with a laugh. “I think it is time for him to learn a lesson with a punishment to fit the crime.”

So on our dining room table, over wine and laughter, a plan and papers were drafted. As soon as we got proof they were filed we would be hitting the bank.

Things went smoothly and with the papers in hand and lawyer next to us, we hit the bank.

“We are here to see the manager,” said our lawyer.

“May I ask who is it an what it is about?”

“The lawyer handed over his business card and said in a loud voice. “It is about fraud and theft of monies from two accounts in this bank.”

The words drifted downstairs and a murmur could be heard. The time we turned up at the bank had been chosen with purpose. The place was busy. It worked. The secretary scrambled up.

“One moment.” She raced into her boss’s office and in less than two seconds the manager was in front of us.

“Good morning. Can I help you?” said the man.

Our lawyer handed over the papers and he took them. The man took out his glasses and started to read. “Charline, hold all my calls,” he instructed and urged us to follow him.

“This is a serious allegation,” said the man. “Can I see your proof?”

“It’s in your files. Only two or three people can give permission for him to have access to these accounts. The minors who they belong to don’t speak to him. The grandmother who opened the accounts and we know she didn’t do it. She hates the man, always did. Then the mother who is here and sure as hell didn’t give him permission.”

“That is my children’s nest egg. Why are withdrawals being made? Nothing is supposed to be withdrawn until they are twenty-one or twenty-five,” Said Lindsay arms folded.

“Get your files,” urged the lawyer.

 

Lawyer on Board

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Kylie could become very dramatic when she wanted to make a point.  Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

That afternoon when Mr. Divine came home, he came with the lawyer who did our divorce. The kids were still in heavy tidy-up mode in their rooms but they took a quick break to say hello.

“You got this right,” stated Kylie with a pointed look at the lawyer.

“I’ll try my best,” replied the lawyer.

“More than your best,” insisted Kylie. “Because if that person gets rights over me, I’m taking my brother and we’re running away.”

Shane slipped his hand around his sister’s waist in solidarity.

“I remember how he was,” said Kylie. “Especially after he just left mom. He was a bully. Always saying horrible things to us. It threw us into a bad place and we are not going back there.”

There was no mistaking how serious the kids were.

“We understand Kylie,” Lindsay said not wanting the idea of running away to take root. The thing is, Lindsay had a feeling she was too late in that department. Kylie could become very dramatic when she wanted to make a point. She was a focused and determined child. Lindsay could even go as far as saying stubborn. The lawyer would have to act fast.

“When I got the call I immediately told the investigator that I would need the information he had been collecting,” explained the lawyer. “When I got it I saw your ex is still hopping from woman to woman. All of this while he is living with the woman he left you for. In her house.”

Lindsay was shocked. “How did you get information on him so quickly? I was sure it would take days.”

“I never took the investigation off of him Lindsay,” said Mr. Divine. “I knew once we had the children there was a possibility he would try to get custody again. I wasn’t about to let that happen.”

Reaching out Lindsay twined my fingers with Mr. Divine’s and he lifted my hand up and kissed it.

“And that is why I call the expletive that’s causing this drama nothing but a sperm donor,” said Kylie. “We got this,” she told Shane and walked off with a huge smile.

Lindsay prayed she was right.

Build and Grow

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Bit by bit our plans where falling into place. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

With the children’s help, we’ve got five companies we plan to approach to talk about creating a partnership. Mr. Divine’s guy came back and cut the number down to three because the other two gad bad business practices which included and but was not limited to, dodgy associates. By that, I mean people that can get you thrown into jail or killed. That made things a lot more simple.

Over the next few weeks, we set up meetings to speak to the people in charge of the businesses we wanted to deal with and started to draw up contracts about what would be expected by both parties. We tried to keep things basic as we still needed to have a proper chat with the people we planned to approach.

The first guy we spoke with was the guy with the paddle board business. He was interested in what we had to say but wanted us to explain how the business would exactly benefit him. As passionate as I was about the possibility of working with partners to boost the business I didn’t want to give too much away.

Mr. Divine did most of the talking, with myself adding in bits and bobs as we went along. By the second presentation we had the process down to a T. Two of the three people we approached were interested and we worked with them, continuing negations to get the way how we would link the businesses established. The kids, because they were smart, figured out what we were doing and added another company into the mix.

By the time we were done, we had established contracts with three companies and were setting up a one month trial run to work out any potential problems we might encounter. We are all eager to evaluate the outcome so we can move forward. Another step along the exciting path to discovering one’s full potential.

Review This and That

reynzo-522685-unsplash My girl enjoying paddle boarding. Photo by Reynzo on Unsplash

“So what do you think?” I whispered to Mr. Divine as he suited up in a life jacket after the demonstration about how to use a paddle board.

“Not bad. The man answers questions with patients and tries to tell you everything you need to know. He explains potential problems and understands not everyone is at the same level.”

I nodded. “He runs a very tight ship. I like that.”

“So he goes on your list of people to approach about a partnership.”

“For now. I know you need to do your investigative wizardry to make sure the people who looked good were truly good.”

“I’ll get my man on it at once but for now let’s enjoy this.”

We spent the next hour playing on the paddle boards. The kids were truly enjoying themselves and after the time was up we went back to the car and got the picnic we had packed.

“So what did you guys think?” we asked the children. We hadn’t told them what we were going because we wanted an unbiased, unfiltered reaction.

Over the past few weeks, we had also been teaching them how to evaluate businesses, situations, events for business potential. Kylie was an ace at it so far but more than once Shane had revealed some truly amazing insights. In the quiet of the night when we talked, Mr. Divine noted that the children truly had the potential to dive into the business arena and do amazing and noteworthy ventures. They just needed to be trained to too at the things often overlooked by people on a daily basis. Believe me, they are getting the training.

Since the initial talk about making your money work for you, the children had been devouring information about business. Learning as much as they could about the stock market and how to choose stock. Right now, everything business caught their attention and they were always trying to come up with good business ideas.

“This guy is really good mom. Can we come again? He really knows his stuff.” They went on to explain what they thought about everything and why. The guys were on track and so were we.

Business Boost

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I always make sure I put in the work to get my business right. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

For the last few days, Mr. Divine and I have been talking back and forth about what I want I want to do which my business. Well maybe do is to vague a reference. It was more about what we are trying to accomplish while I tried to develop new, solid business ideas to strengthen and possibly expand the business.

Since it started, the business has been getting steady calls to take groups on various types of hikes. Due to the fact we traveled quite a bit this year I hired another staff member of staff so I could have an extra person to keep on top of office work and make sure everything was running smoothly. By making that hire, things got better organised and we were able to add a few more hikes to our schedule. Now its time to see what else was possible.

“Okay,” I murmured as we sat down to talk one morning while the children were out visiting friends. “The company has a solid handle on the hikes. It’s now to consider what we can add to make things more interesting. I was thinking to add some other outdoor activities to our hikes, maybe by teaming up with some other companies.

“I love the idea of more outdoor activities but my worry is the other companies. Finding the right ones to work with is the hard part. Your company has a top rep. One wrong move by working with the wrong company and that could ruin you.”

“So we do intense research to make sure whoever we do work with has the values we agree with,” countered Lindsay.

Mr. Divine smiled. “Okay. What do you think is the best to add to the hikes?”

“From just doing some basic research I’ve been thinking of some related things like paddle boarding, scuba diving. Maybe some horseback riding. I also remember coming across a place that does zip lining.”

Mr. Divine nodded. “These are good additions. What do you think about adding a photography focused hike?”

“That sounds super interesting. In fact, I think it is something I would love to add to the business. But how?”

“I think we can do it the same way we do the hikes now but put more emphasis on stopping at key points to take pictures. You have to get your skills up with the camera showcase what elements they can discover. It would be a good way to draw their interest.”

“We will get all these things to come together and it would be a brilliant new addition to the business.”

I smiled as joy filled every inch of my being.

“Time to go out and figure out the best companies to collaborate with dear. Time to have some fun.

Business Mind

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Making sure my business work for me means knowing what my money is doing every day. Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Money and how I use it has been on my mind for the past few weeks and the next money related item in my agenda to tackle is my little side business. I have it on a separate account at the bank, but I think I need to make some changes.

Mr. Divine found me one afternoon making notes I’m going over the paperwork for the company.

“What’s up?” he asked sitting down next to me.

“it’s not so much that something is up but that I would like to set things in place so if that the money that is made by the company is allotted usefully.”

Mr. Divine urged me to explain what I had in mind. “I want to establish a salary for myself and the children so I can take the money that comes in and invest it like you do. I have some money that I put into an investment a while back but I have not added to it.

He listened as I continued to explain my overall vision. From there we started to toss ideas back and forth as we looked at the company’s income and what was the best course of action. By the end of our pow-wows, I was truly happy with the ideas we came up with and the decisions we made.

With a solid plan in place, we made appointments to go to the back and put systems in place to transfer the money to the various organisations where I needed them to go. We also took out a lump sum from the account to start the rotating investment plan that Mr. Divine explained to the children.

We visited the various financial companies that we planned to use and started the accounts that were needed. To do the three month rotation we figured out how to get things done while we were travelled and it was not as difficult as we initially thought.

“I’m so happy that we got that done,” I told Mr. Divine as we walked through the car park.

“Me as well,” he said pulling me closer. “Now we just have to look at the business and see if  there are any major changes you want to put into place before we have to leave and take the children to school.”

“Back to some major brainstorming to see what possible ways we can maybe up the business,” I said with a smile.

“Brainstorming. That is always non-stop fun. Let’s get going,” said Mr. Divine as we got into the jeep and headed home.

Money Lessons

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I had so much to learn about money and how to make it work for me. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I came home from visiting Noel to find everyone in the kitchen cooking. We got to talking and after I told them about the incident that happened while I was as Noel’s. It prompted a lesson about money and how to make it work for you. The conversation had the children’s full attention and when we sat down to dinner that was when the back and forth started.

As we settled down to dinner we continued to talk.

“So dad, explain how you made your money work for you?” urged Shane as we sat down.

“Well they are several methods,” he stated to tell us. “ Some low risk, some middle risk and others insanely high risk.”

“Which ones do you use?” asked Kyla as she poured salad cream dressing over her veggies.

Mr. Divine laughed. “All of them.”

Kyla smiled at his comment.

“I rotate my money between stock market investments, high yield accounts, money market and treasury bonds. I set money into fixed, high-interest accounts in cycles or fixed deposits.”

The kids looked at Mr. Divine confused as they waited for more of an explanation.

“So I have a business from which I get a monthly salary. From that, I established a budget. What I need to send each month to pay bills and survive and a little fun money. Then I have the money I plan to save and use for investment. I also have an emergency fund.”

As we ate he explained more. “For me, a cycle is every three months. I take the money I saved over three months then divide it into sections and invest it. Some I put into investments that mature in five years. Others go into the money market, another set into the stock market.”

The children sat there listening, and I could see Kyla had on her thinking face.

After Mr. Divine paused she started with the questions.

“So you have your investments set up that after the initial investment period you get a lump sum coming at you every three months. You can then re-invest it as is when it matures or add on money that you set aside to invest.”

Mr. Divine laughed in delight. “And you, my dear, are thinking like a successful business person.

We spent the rest of the night talking about investing and investments. How to manage them. The risks of the stock market. Making smart investments. Overextending yourself. It was an educational night. Not just for the children but for me as well.

The next day I dragged Mr. Divine with me to the bank. We looked at my account and the children’s accounts. Next, we removed three-quarters of the money from each account and make our way to the credit union and investment broker. It was time to make our money work for us.

Money Madness

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Talking over dinner.

When I got home from my visit with Noel, I found Mr. Divine in the kitchen cooking dinner with the kids. From the looks of it, we are going to having some type of stir fry chicken with baked sweet potato with salad.

“How was your day, honey?” asked Mr. Divine as he stirred the pan on the fire.

“It was good. In fact, the best word for it would be interesting.”

He paused mid-stir. “What happened?”

“Well, while we were talking Noel got her bank statement in the mail and that was when the drama got epic.”

“Over her bank statement?” said Mr. Divine. “What did they do?”

“Had five dollars extra in the maintenance fee charged to her account. Then when she finally found a number of calls on one would answer. She had to press the extension for wealth management to get an answer.”

Mr. Divine’s jaw dropped. “Yikes. That’s….unheard of.”

The children watched us, listening to my explanation of what happened. As I continued the story I could see Mr. Divine becoming very disturbed by what he was hearing.

“That sounds insane. When I call the bank I never have that problem.”

“And I bet your account is under business or wealth management and you have a specific person you talk to about your account. Someone who knows you and sees to your every need.,” I said as I climbed onto the stool in front of the bar top that extended from the countertop.

He nodded as he mixed the pasta into the chicken and veggies he had stir-fried. “I see what mean.”

“So what’s the huge difference,” asked Kyla as she cut vegetables for a salad. Shane handed her the leaves of lettuce he had washed and continued on to the other veggies and fruits he had on the counter close to him.

“The way bank staff deals with you basically. Your dad has a direct line to someone in the bank and they scramble to help him but when most of us call the bank its a different story. We have to hunt for a number firstly. Then we call and call but no one answers the phone.”

Kyla looked at me shocked. “Really!”

“Sadly yes,” I replied. “That why Noel is so against banks. Nowadays its fees, fees and more fees and little or no service.”

“So what can you do?” Shane dried his hands and moved to stand next to Kyla while he asked the question.

“It’s about being very strategic with your money. Making it work for you,” said Mr. Divine.

The kids looked at us confused. “What does that mean?”

Next Step

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My children love Berlin. Love, love, love it. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

While we were away indulging out wanderlust we were keeping track of the next steps we wanted to take in our lives but we were not about to let that distract us from having a good time. The news we had been waiting for reached us during our three-day stopover in Berlin. Kylie got several emails about grades, school and the scholarships she has applied for. From there we put things into place while we continued our trip through Europe. All the necessary information was forwarded to the schools the children wanted to go to so things would be in place when we got back home.

The trip became even more exciting now we got the news about the kids going to the schools of their choice. As we traveled we allowed the children to the take the lead more so they could strengthen their navigation skills in a big and times more complication environment. They helped each other, figuring out how to uses maps and find out information in a country where they didn’t speak the language.

“I’m really enjoying this mom,” said Kylie as she tiptoed and looked through the crowd to see more of the stalls set up at Kunstmarkt, a huge flea market in Berlin.

“There is so much history and culture here. I think going to school here would be a lot more interesting than the US.

Mr. Divine laughed at her remark. “That is probably very true. We can check and see if your university offers a study abroad program. Another option is to do your Master’s Degree or make sure your first job is in Europe.”

“Can I do that?” she asked excitingly.

“Yes,” Mr. Divine replied as she held his arm and looked up him in awe.

“It’s time for both you and Shane to dream big and discover the world. Strengthen your language skills and travel.”

The kids looked at each other and nodded. Their excitement visible. They both had their sights set on choosing a new skill they wanted to discover and develop, plus the fire to go after it. I can’t wait to see what language or languages they choose.