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Old 10-04-2015, 05:17 PM   #41
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If you have over 1 million with Vanguard you are a Flagship member and get free suggestions from a financial advisor - no sales stuff.
Fire the bum!
Any portfolio over a one Million $ makes you eligible for Private Client status at Fidelity. You get no cost, non-selling dedicated advisor and support team. Many if not most of the advisors are CFP. If you prefer personal touch, most large metros have a Fidelity office. You can buy any ETF at 7.95 and choose from a large selection of no-load mutual funds.
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:51 PM   #42
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The meeting went as usual for the first 15 minutes and then he told us if we didn't put my husband's 401K into an account with his company he would no longer be our financial advisor.

I believe this is financial blackmail and my first instinct is to leave but we have really liked the ease of someone looking over our finances and doing a decent job of it. We like him and have felt comfortable dealing with him.
If I were you, I would've dumped him the second he threatened me! How rude! Instead of appreciating your business he pulls this on you.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:35 PM   #43
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Well I've heard the why didn't you just leave the meeting many, many times in the last few days. We had an extended family dinner and Monday morning is our coffee time with friends. I'll admit we probably are too nice.

Right now I'm just afraid. This guy is in control of most of our money. We're not taking SS yet and although we have some money in our control including the 401K which we could live on for 4 to 5 years. We retired thinking taking money from the account he manages was going to be retirement income. We have received two auto deposits so far and being a fiduciary and licensed we hope we will continue to receive deposits until the accounts can be transferred. I thought retirement was looking good and one greedy jerk can really mess it up. Transferring funds is not going to be fun but my husband and I are both educated and I know we can do it. I'd just rather be on vacation.

I emailed the Wealth Enhancement office with my complaints and have yet to hear back from them. I really want them to look at their web page which says they are:
Dedicated to Building Life-long Partnerships


I can't believe I bought into this. I really thought I was a good judge of character.

For those who asked I can't tell you the exact amount we've paid to them over the last years. And no, no one told us we were expected to turn the 401K over to them. If they need clients who have a portfolio which is over 2 million to make money why did they take us in the first place?

This has been a real disaster for me. I wake up in the night worrying about money which is something I've never done before. We're looking into Vanguard but it's not going to be easy to transfer everything.

Who knows if I ever hear anything from the main office but I'll let you know if I do.

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Old 10-05-2015, 03:51 PM   #44
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When I transferred my 457 funds (similar to 401k) to an IRA at Vanguard it was easy. I called Vanguard, the guy there set up a conference call with Fidelity, where the 457 was, and confirmed with Fidelity that I was me and wanted to move the funds. A week later I get the check, made payable to Vanguard and "For benefit of Walt34" or similar language, and I mailed that to Vanguard.

There was some paperwork to fill out for the account, naming beneficiaries and the like, but not terribly onerous. I maybe spent 30 or 45 minutes on the process all told. Not at the same time though.

The reason I moved the funds was that Vanguard's fees were significantly lower than Fidelity's, at least on the 457 account.

The hardest part is simply overcoming the inertia to do it.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:20 PM   #45
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NBS54,

These folks are FINRA/SPIC members, relax. They may hit you with some miscellaneous fees, they will soon be a distant memory! Relax, take a deep breath, you've already done the hardest part.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:49 PM   #46
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NBS54 - Please don't blame yourself. This is not your fault at all. This guy was thrilled to manage your 1 million dollar account...He just got greedy. Try not to worry. This will all be behind you before you know it.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:52 PM   #47
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NBS54 - Please don't blame yourself. This is not your fault at all. This guy was thrilled to manage your 1 million dollar account...He just got greedy. Try not to worry. This will all be behind you before you know it.
+1

This forum is sprinkled with stories very similar to yours, folks who saw the light and took the necessary steps to make a change for the better.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:33 PM   #48
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When I transferred my 457 funds (similar to 401k) to an IRA at Vanguard it was easy.

The reason I moved the funds was that Vanguard's fees were significantly lower than Fidelity's, at least on the 457 account.

The hardest part is simply overcoming the inertia to do it.
Interesting. I probably wouldn't do this until I turn 59.5. Govt 457b is probably the most ER friendly tax deferred plan available. Heck, even when I turn 59.5, there's a good chance I still won't rollover funds from 457 to IRA. Of course, aside from ERISA protection, it probably helps that we have both a stable value fund and VIIIX in our 457 plan, not to mention a brokerage option that gives me access to Vanguard funds and ETFs.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #49
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Interesting. I probably wouldn't do this until I turn 59.5. Govt 457b is probably the most ER friendly tax deferred plan available.
For me it was neutral so it didn't matter. I haven't taken anything from it and don't plan to for a while. It is part of the safety net for DW if I get The Big Ache before she turns 66 and can take her full SS, right around the time I have to take RMDs from it. Oh well, first world problem.
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:53 PM   #50
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To OP...

What would make them think they can get your 401(k) now... that is usually an asset that is held until the person retires in their 60s...

And there are protections that come with the 401(k) that do not come with an IRA...



But, your biggest problem will be potential taxes... unless you can get Fidelity or Vanguard to take your holdings as is, you might owe a big cap gain.... if that were true, I would spread it out unless they decided to hit me with big fees for having a small account... and it would be smaller as I would move everything I could that did not have a tax attached...

Take your time.... no rush... just make sure the FA cannot do anything without your permission....
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:06 PM   #51
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Anyone can manage their own money. Its amazingly easy with virtually no knowledge or tools.
I beg to disagree. It is amazingly easy if you have some knowledge and tools.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:22 PM   #52
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.. just make sure the FA cannot do anything without your permission....
+1

Someone who wants to raise their own fees by 40% might also say you agreed to buy some high commissioned thing. At a minimum, I'd find the voice recorder on my phone, call him on speaker, and politely confirm that no transactions are to be done without your approval.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:46 PM   #53
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I live in the Twin Cities and my DW and I moved our money to Wealth Enhancement on retirement. From 2009 through 2013 I earned less than a 3% return while the market was doing great. I moved to Fidelity in 2014 and am managing myself. The FA put roughly 20% of our funds in non-trade REITS. I think this was to keep us as clients. As far as ss he advised me to take my money early. He said "I would rather you take the government money rather than your own". Totally self-serving. Take ss so you don't take from your IRA. He also always pushed annuities and life insurance. When the markets tanked in 2008 he said annuities would help us to protect our assets. Every annual review was a churning session - we don't use them anymore, we want to move you to xxxx. Having first hand knowledge of that company I would run away as soon as possible.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:39 PM   #54
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Hi all,

... we put all our money with a financial advisor with whom we have been very happy with...

At this point we may go out on our own although we've used others for many years to help us and we've done well. ...

we had been very happy with how our finances have been handled. He was very helpful when my husband decided to retire early. ...
These sorts of stories pop here from time to time. What I always find the most interesting is - how do these posters determine they have 'done well' (relative to what? relative to a simple 2-3 fund portfolio?), and why are they happy with the 'advisor', or feel that the advisor has been helpful?

When pressed, the poster typically can't back these statements up objectively, it was just a feeling. It really takes a little DIY knowledge to have a frame of reference for what 'doing well' is, or to know if some one was really helpful, or just going through the motions. And if you know enough to judge that, you know enough to just DIY. It doesn't take much at all.

You'll see


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Old 10-05-2015, 08:55 PM   #55
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+1 what Chemist said. You might like the advisor you have as a person but you are unknowingly and unnecessarily driving down the highway shoveling your money out the window in detrimental fees. Now they are even pressuring you. I would only add that Vanguard might even help you with the transfer process, saving you much of the hassle and confrontation with your current firm. I have about the same as you but have left two advisors in my 20 years of investing. The first was Waddell and Reed when I was a true know nothing sucker who wised up after educating myself, and the second Charles Schwab, which was very good to work with for the most part but their advisor rep finally insulted my indexing proclivities and was also just not Vanguard. I am glad I moved in both cases when things no longer smelled right. if it smells like a skunk... Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:14 AM   #56
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I beg to disagree. It is amazingly easy if you have some knowledge and tools.
Exactly! See my earlier post:

Should we stay
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:35 AM   #57
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I beg to disagree. It is amazingly easy if you have some knowledge and tools.
Depends on your definition of "some knowledge". It doesn't take much time, effort or skill to look around and see that a portfolio of 1/2 Vanguard Sp500 fund and 1/2 Vanguard Total Bond fund will beat just about any adviser's 50/50 portfolio.

I think you're splitting hairs. The point is that you dont have to read a book, study for months or anything like that. Anyone smart enough to amass a million dollar portfolio can manage his/her own portfolio with very little effort.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:10 AM   #58
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Depends on your definition of "some knowledge". It doesn't take much time, effort or skill to look around and see that a portfolio of 1/2 Vanguard Sp500 fund and 1/2 Vanguard Total Bond fund will beat just about any adviser's 50/50 portfolio.

I think you're splitting hairs. The point is that you don't have to read a book, study for months or anything like that. ...
A big +1.

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Old 10-08-2015, 07:11 AM   #59
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Why the U.S. Is Headed Toward a Retirement Crisis –- and How to Fix It - TheStreet

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Combine that standard business practice with all the industry's forms of legal larceny -- revenue sharing, 12b-1 fees, hidden trading costs -- and their game plan appears straightforward: Heads they win, tails they win.

This is why many of the world's richest people are money managers, and the investment business has produced a greater number of billionaires than any other industry in the U.S and worldwide.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:07 PM   #60
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I said I would give an update from our fiasco. Today my husband and I talked with the Vice President of Compliance and Vice President of Sales from the Wealth Enhancement Group.

It was a good call. They admitted our advisor was wrong but he realizes it and is willing to take us back without converting our 401K to his account. This isn't going to happen but it felt good to know someone higher up in the company acknowledges his bad behavior. I think they knew how mad I was. My husband even told me I was talking in my "mad voice". He was calmer but he is also the one who says there is no way we would continue with the company. He says the advisor probably was saying what he wanted to but only changed his mind when others told him it wasn't a good idea.

This is going to amaze most of you but we have have an appointment to see another financial advisor tomorrow at the local bank which we use. I knew when I posted that this group as a whole doesn't like financial advisors. They have done very well for us. I can't give you detailed year by year returns but I can tell you we have received some great advise and we have made some great returns.

My husband made a good salary throughout his career but certainly nothing spectacular. I was a SAH mom for many years and worked part time and then full time for about 15 years. I made an average salary. Yet we were still able to accumulate a nice retirement portfolio. We also paid for our three children's four year college tuition. They all graduated with their undergraduate degrees with no student loans. We have given generously to our church and other charities. We live in a lovely home that we had designed and built just for us. I've traveled more than I could have imagined when young. We gave our daughter a big fat mid-western wedding. I'll have to admit that was like driving down the road throwing money out the window but she's still married and we have two grandchildren so we can't complain.

What I'm saying is we could never have accomplished these things without saving and investing and the help we've gotten along the way has made a big difference. I started on my own by joining an investment club and buying DRIP stocks in my 20s. When IRAs started I started buying them on my own.

We began to have enough money that we thought we would like more advice and were clients of Edward Jones for about 25 years. They suggested stocks that made us a whole lot of money. We bought AOL at our broker's suggestion and in the two years we held it we made more money on that than I did at work. And he told us when it was time to sell.

We decided to move to a financial advisor because I had IRAs everywhere. I bought something new every year for years and years. As we got older we thought we needed someone to put everything in one place and we knew we were getting to the point where we needed some more conservative investments. So we ended up with advisor we have now and I can honestly say he gave us some great advice until he got greedy. We were going to take SS when my husband retired but he showed us the advantage of filing and suspending and for him to wait until 70 to receive benefits. Of course he could die early and it won't be that great of a plan but that's a risk we're willing to take as he's in excellent health.

We're also looking into Vangaurd and I will talk to someone there too before we make a final decision of what we're going to do. I feel so much better after talking to someone from the company. We made it clear we wanted no more trading done without our explicit consent and they assured me if we leave the process will go smoothly. We will continue to receive our monthly check until our account is closed. At this point I just want to make the best decision for us and what will make us feel the most comfortable. Everyone has different things they are willing to spend money on. I have friends who spend $1,000 a year in donations to the athletic department at our local university to get good parking places for games and that is small potatoes compared to what they spend on season tickets and traveling to out of town games. I don't think they are stupid, I just think they're spending money on something that's important to them.

I didn't mean to write a novel but I do thank you all for your responses and let you know we did get some results and I feel better. I wish it wouldn't have happened but we'll go on and hopefully make a good decision for us. Remember, what's good for you may not be what's good for us. Thanks again.
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