Has cleared his debt, but bank won’t co-operate.

Q – I have a problem I hope you can help me with. In the last few years I have had severe financial difficulties, I was forced to close my business and sell the family home. I have now settled with all of my creditors and I am working hard to get back on top, but here’s my problem.

Although I have never invested in the stock market before, I have been following a certain stock over the last while and I was going to purchase some. The problem is that my bank won’t set me up with an account, cash not margin, even though the funds are in my account. They say it is due my recent financial problems, even though they are settled and never involved my bank. I have looked into a stock broker but the price to purchase is very costly and I would like the freedom to buy and sell the stock as I as I please.

Can you suggest an alternative? Another bank does not seem to be an option. – H.D.

A – My initial reaction is that the bank is doing you a favour. You say that you have never invested in the stock market, so this is not familiar territory to you. The marks right now are very treacherous, with the world wracked with uncertainty. It hardly seems like a good time to take a flyer, no matter how good the stock looks.

You have done an admirable job of recovering what appears to have been a financial calamity. It would seem to me that you should stay on a course of financial prudence. If you have paid off all your debts and you want to invest, consider buying a new home to replace the one you had to sell.

So much for the lecture. If you are still bound and determined to go ahead, then I suggest you go back to the broker and talk to him about opening a margin account with his firm. It may be expensive, but it’s probably the only way to do this. But don’t say you weren’t warned if things don’t work out. – G.P.