Keepin' Records with Mr. Kadri

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Keeping financial records is kind of boring. Actually, it's fun at first because you learn something about your financial situation that you didn't know before, such as an investment you made but forgot about or--more likely, at least in my case--some kind of obligation that got mistakenly erased from the mental balance sheet. Then it gets boring.

This morning, I was talking to Aadil Kadri, a financial planner at Continental Financial Services for a piece I'm working on about asset allocation, and he was showing me how organised his finances are. The guy has a spreadsheet showing all of his accounts, account numbers and total value of the investments therein, separated into categories like stocks, bonds, insurance and so forth. He seemed a little obsessed about it.
His main reason for putting all this info together was sort of surprising, though. For him, it's not meant to track performance of his assets and gauge his net worth; he's organised so that if he gets sick or (God forbid) dies, his family knows exactly what he has and where it is. I guess he's seen a lot of clients for whom this was a problem. It's basic stuff, but it makes a lot of sense: will your spouse know where all your accounts are if he or she needs to tap into your portfolio in an emergency?