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Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...
Old 02-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #21
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Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...

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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Wow! That is quite an accomplishment.

Yes, it sure was, huh? We are now with Vanguard, thankfully. I grew up knowing nothing about investing. I always knew my parents saved money (a lot), but never really knew what they did with it. They still will not talk about it and my mother actually gets angry if I try to discuss the stock market. My hubby's father only invested in CDs back when they were earning 18%. Nobody around us talks about money or investing. Most people around here live paycheck to paycheck. So although I know we will most likely never be considered "rich", I feel good about what we have learned and how we are investing now.

That's why I am encouraging OP to not beat himself up about lost opportunities. You only can do what you know.
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Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...
Old 02-02-2014, 06:39 PM   #22
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Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...

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Wow! That is quite an accomplishment.

Yah. "...Ameriprise to Primerica..." Wait? What?!??

Fortunately, he got better. ;-) Vanguard is a much better place in terms of lower expenses leaching away at your funds, and a good range of choices to build a portfolio out of.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:55 PM   #23
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Fortunately, "she" got better.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:36 AM   #24
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Fortunately, "she" got better.

Mea culpa. Must be all the Monty Python dialogue tying up scarce brain capacity.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:41 AM   #25
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Also in regards to my VUL, I emailed my advisor to see if I could just pay for the cost of the policy and not invest any additional money in order to save on the monthly cost and avoid the surrender fees but she never responded. Any one know if this is an option or will they not allow it?
I once had an Ameriprise VUL. If I remember correctly, you have the option to stop making contributions to the policy. The premiums on the life insurance will then be paid from the cash value. If the cash value is low enough, it will eventually fall to zero and the life insurance policy will lapse. Otherwise, you can do what I did and wait patiently until you can withdraw the remainder of the money without paying surrender fees. Get ready for some pushback from your advisor.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:22 PM   #26
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Am I being na´ve that since my financial advisor at Ameriprise has CFP & CRPC designations that she should be acting in my best interests as far as growing my money and making the best investments? Despite the front-loads and high expense ratios, maybe the funds perform better than other funds and make up for those fees? Am I just being optimistic and hopeful?
?
Rules of Conduct - CFP Board

Above links to Code of Conduct for CFPs. I do not believe there is any mention of acting as a fiduciary.

I don't think you are being optimistic and hopeful, unfortunately, I think you are being borderline delusional.

You can do this on your own, with the help of some study on your part. But you must have the fortitude to develop an appropriate plan and stick to it when the inevitable corrections occur. Passive indexing, eliminating the layers of fees you are currently saddled with, will make a HUGE difference.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:16 PM   #27
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Am I being na´ve that since my financial advisor at Ameriprise has CFP & CRPC designations that she should be acting in my best interests as far as growing my money and making the best investments?
Well, yes. They do not have your best interests in mind. They have in mind their paychecks and commissions and the reviews they get from their supervisor because they generate income for Ameriprise. Your interests are only relevant to the extent that they can persuade you to keep sending them money.

Please, please read the books that have been suggested.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:05 PM   #28
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Correcting my own comment, Section 1.4 DOES say the CFP must place the interests of the client ahead of his own, and goes on to say to act like a fiduciary.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:27 PM   #29
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Correcting my own comment, Section 1.4 DOES say the CFP must place the interests of the client ahead of his own, and goes on to say to act like a fiduciary.
When a person gains the CFP designation, does it always mean he/she is acting in that capacity? Clearly, that same person could go to work as a stock broker and would not have a fiduciary responsibility to his clients. And if that person goes to work for Ameriprise ?

The roles of advisor and the client should be spelled out in the relevant written contracts/agreements.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:21 PM   #30
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I'm one of the ones who got away from Ameriprise. Cost some money to get out of the VUL but it was worth it. Our investments have tripled in the four years since we've been investing on our own. Partly because the market has been going gangbusters, partly because we've been pouring every extra cent into the market, but also because we're in very low cost index funds.

I can GUARANTEE that we would have a much smaller portfolio were we still with Ameri-crooks... Oops did I say that?

My feelings about them are so negative that I no longer like Tommy Lee Jones now that he's their spokesman!

Google the coffee house investor or couch potato portfolio. Keep it simple, keep it in index funds, rebalance when needed and save yourself a bundle of money in the process.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:10 AM   #31
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When a person gains the CFP designation, does it always mean he/she is acting in that capacity? Clearly, that same person could go to work as a stock broker and would not have a fiduciary responsibility to his clients. And if that person goes to work for Ameriprise ?

The roles of advisor and the client should be spelled out in the relevant written contracts/agreements.
According to the Rules of Conduct, these standards are binding on all CFPs regardless of their title, at all times.

Last comment, that the roles are spelled out, not to mention the means of compensation, also appears to be a requirement.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:14 AM   #32
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I absolutely love this forum and everyone that has provided their wisdom!!! I will definitely get started on reading the books! I'm SO excited to take ahold of my finances and investments. All these years with Ameriprise I knew something was fishy but never really trusted my gut because I trusted my FA since she was so nice. But little did I know...

Just last year I moved my 401k from Fidelity to Ameriprise on the recommendation of my FA and now I find out they are charging me all these fees!! It makes me so upset and I want to just cut all ties but I don't want to jump the gun.

So my plan is to just take a few months to study and read up on investing before I break the news to our FA who obviously is not acting as a fiduciary with my best interests in mind. Now I know that even with the credentials, it doesn't mean that they are acting in that capacity unless otherwise stated.

I am so grateful that I found this site and all of you wise investors!!! I can't thank you all enough!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:20 AM   #33
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Way to go cucumber! Nobody cares about your financial welfare as much as you do. Becoming an informed investor will give you power and will save you money. Lots. Let the journey begin!
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:42 AM   #34
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+1 to pretty much everything already said. I do have one comment on the VUL.

To decide whether it is worth cashing the VUL policy out and paying the fee look at the ongoing costs. If you have a 10% cancellation fee, compare that to the fees of the funds inside the policy. Add in any wrap or account fees. Then add in the extra cost for the life insurance versus the cost of a term policy. Typically, these VUL policies have really expensive insurance policies compared to term.

You may find that you have a one to three year payback on just pulling your money out now. Also, consider the joy you will have by not having to deal with Ameriprise again.

Remember cucumber, at one time everyone on this forum knew less than you do now. We all have some similar story about buying overpriced investments and being with rip-off investment firms.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:04 AM   #35
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I will definitely get started on reading the books! I'm SO excited to take ahold of my finances and investments.
Super! This is going to save you a lot of money. More importantly, you'll understand and have more control over your finances which is a great feeling.

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It makes me so upset and I want to just cut all ties but I don't want to jump the gun.
You are right to study up on these things, but remember that it is not hard. Don't get "analysis paralysis," because the perfect investment plan can only be designed in retrospect. A "good enough" plan will put you ahead of the vast majority of investors and probably well ahead of where you'd have been with Ameriprise. But be sure to stay mad about this--mad at Ameriprise and mad at your FA. She'll be just as friendly the next time you see her--don't give in! Every day when you get to work, remember that part of your paycheck--part of your life in that office--is being used to buy your FA nicer things that should be yours instead.

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Google the coffee house investor or couch potato portfolio. Keep it simple, keep it in index funds, rebalance when needed and save yourself a bundle of money in the process.
Lisa is a success story, she escaped Amerirpise just as you are doing. The web sites she recommends are a good start.


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Remember cucumber, at one time everyone on this forum knew less than you do now. We all have some similar story about buying overpriced investments and being with rip-off investment firms.
Oh, yes.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:11 AM   #36
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I just opened an account with Vanguard and invested in my first Vanguard Roth IRA in their target retirement fund!! Yay!!! I just want to hurry and move everything over to Vanguard because I get more and more upset every time I think of how much money Ameriprise sucked out of my retirement!!! Can't wait to read all the books and study up!! I feel like I'm in college all over again. Ha! Thanks again!
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:19 AM   #37
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Remember cucumber, at one time everyone on this forum knew less than you do now. We all have some similar story about buying overpriced investments and being with rip-off investment firms.
+1
My first $5,000 went into a "high return, tax-advantaged" variable annuity. I must have been a really easy target. To that point, I didn't know anything about investing so the advisor could have said anything and I would have given him all my money. It's been 20 years, and I still remember what he looks like (sort of like a snake with slicked back hair) and how angry I was when I learned what I had invested in.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:24 AM   #38
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I just opened an account with Vanguard and invested in my first Vanguard Roth IRA in their target retirement fund!! Yay!!! I just want to hurry and move everything over to Vanguard because I get more and more upset every time I think of how much money Ameriprise sucked out of my retirement!!! Can't wait to read all the books and study up!! I feel like I'm in college all over again. Ha! Thanks again!

Congrats!!! Happy day!
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:58 AM   #39
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+1
My first $5,000 went into a "high return, tax-advantaged" variable annuity. I must have been a really easy target. To that point, I didn't know anything about investing so the advisor could have said anything and I would have given him all my money. It's been 20 years, and I still remember what he looks like (sort of like a snake with slicked back hair) and how angry I was when I learned what I had invested in.
Probably a guy with a mortgage, wife, and kids. He has to sleep at night, look at himself in the mirror when he shaves. IMHO, we come across folks in life, who's entire purpose is to teach us lessons.

I'm probably full of crap, but it's kept me outa jail, for running over a couple of id10ts.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:43 PM   #40
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Got a call from an Ameriprise salesman today. Pushing the usual VUL with promises of "guaranteed" returns that were so unbelievable I could hardly believe I was talking with a supposedly professional FA.

When I pressed him on the fees, his commission, and surrender policies, he became more and more flustered, and finally told me that I should not bother with the details, but simply transfer all my retirement accounts to him and trust him as he had my best interest in mind - always.

When I asked him for a list of his clients that would be willing to speak with me, he stalled for a while, blurted out an expletive, and abruptly hung up on me.

I then called my ex-friend who had given him my name and admonished him severely.
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