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-   -   Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice... (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f26/hi-ameriprise-client-needing-advice-70411.html)

cucumber 02-02-2014 04:01 AM

Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...
 
Hi, I am just finding out about this message board and am learning a lot. I need some advice. I am 34 and have been with Ameriprise for the past 7 years. I have been reading posts on here about Ameriprise which made me dig deeper into our investments. My wife and I were suckered into the VUL and quickly figured out it was a total ripoff but now can't get out of it because of the surrender charges, which I was very unhappy about. I don't know too much about investing so we really rely on our advisor to guide us in doing what is best with our money. After reading all these posts though, I have a feeling that might not be the case. So my questions are...

Should I continue with Ameriprise since I am very unsure of how to do it on my own? I really would like to switch to Vanguard but am afraid I won't know what to do or how to invest. Is it possible to move my funds to Vanguard and just keep my Ameriprise advisor and have her advise me on the Vanguard investments? Since we don't have $500K of investments yet, it looks like there might not be many advisors that might want to take us on as clients. I just don't know what to do and I despise paying high fees if it doesn't make sense. Please help!!!

MichaelB 02-02-2014 06:18 AM

Cucumber, welcome to the forum. Here are a couple threads that you may find helpful.

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ter-57353.html

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ise-61331.html

Texas Proud 02-02-2014 07:52 AM

I will answer your last question....

No, you should not stay with them and invest in Vanguard.... first, I do not think they would do it as they want to get fees from your investments.... but second, it is a bad decision...

Start reading about investing and some of the basic portfolios...

Also, even with a small amount of money you can get investment 'advice' from Vanguard using their risk tool... it is kinda simple, but a good start...


https://investor.vanguard.com/what-w...own?Link=facet

tsoispf 02-02-2014 08:30 AM

Recent Departure
 
We recently walked away from Ameriprise after 13 years. So happy now. Same deal, this community and the folks over at bogleheads.org woke us up to the reality of the fees we were paying for what I feel was sub par service. We chose to go with Fidelity. They have advisor services available too. Although we're doing it advisorless. We could easily have gone with Vanguard though. I hear a lot of good things about either pick.

I highly suggest reading Vanguard's own John Bogle's book "Little Book of Common Sense Investing" and then following that up with some time over at bogleheads website.

Best of luck!

AnIntentionalRoad 02-02-2014 09:25 AM

Welcome!

By far, the most important things you should be doing right now are:
- educate yourself on basic personal finance, IRAs, 401k, having an emergency find, general saving for retirement, stocks vs bond's vs mutual funds, term vs whole life insurance, commissioned vs fee-only advisors, etc
- don't move any money until you've spent 6 months getting some knowledge

There are plenty of introductory personal finance books out there. You could even look at a Suzy Orman or Jean Chatsky type book and watch their shows on TV.

If you don't like reading, tough. Do it anyway, or pay the price in retirement.

travelover 02-02-2014 10:14 AM

Your "adviser" at Ameriprise is not your friend. Your task now is to extricate yourself at the lowest possible cost. They will take a pound of flesh from you out on your way out the door.

The good news is that you can get all the investment advice you need here, at Bogleheads and with some reading.

cucumber 02-02-2014 12:54 PM

Thank you for all the responses!!! I appreciate any and all advice since I am just starting off.

Thanks dfalk on the book recommendation!! I will definitely start off with that book. Any other recommendations on books for a beginner that I can read in order to feel comfortable enough to get out of the grasps of Ameriprise? I will be reading up as much as I can before I begin the process of leaving Ameriprise.

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?

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?

samclem 02-02-2014 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
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?

Cucumber, you need to run away from Ameriprise. The advisor gets paid by recommending high expense funds. There's >tons< of evidence that these funds perform no better than low-cost funds even >before< the costs are taken into account, and their returns are much worse if we include the impact of the fees.
Yes, you are being optimistic and hopeful, and it only benefits this "advisor," not you. You shouldn't be apologetic about ending the relationship, the whole thing should make you angry and eager to move on and cut your losses.

Do a search for "Ameriprise" on this site to see how others have been treated.

Welcome to the board, and good luck.

Ready 02-02-2014 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
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?

In a word...YES.

I'm afraid it's really that simple. Do any google search on comparing index funds to actively managed funds and you will find that the actively managed funds, which your advisor is likely putting you in, rarely outperform index funds. Many of us on the forum invest in a lazy portfolio consisting of one domestic index fund, one international index fund, and then a bond fund or CD, or some combination of the two. It takes little effort to manage and requires you look at it only periodically to do a rebalance.

Even if you paid an advisor hourly one time to help you select the funds, you would be far better off than staying with Ameriprise and paying their ongoing fees. These advisors like to keep portfolios very complex to intimidate their clients into staying with them, but the portfolios, with the associated fees, almost never outperform the lazy portfolio. They simply can't because of all the extra fees they layer on.

Read a book or two, and if you still need some help with your investments, post your questions on this forum or the Bogleheads forum and you will get far better advice from the collective wisdom of the forum members than any one paid advisor will give you.

Ready 02-02-2014 01:11 PM

Samclem - hey, were you looking at my notes when you wrote your response? :laugh:

Is it possible that we spend so much time together on this forum that the whole group begins to think alike?

samclem 02-02-2014 01:18 PM

Ready, Hey, your post was just like mine! I think sometimes we all spend so time on this forum that we all begin to think alike. :coolsmiley:

Happy Groundhog Day to all!

brewer12345 02-02-2014 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
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?

You will have to read your policy to see what you can and cannot do. Typically VUL policies allow you to stop funding them if there is enough cash value in the policy to pay the policy expenses. However, do you need life insurance? Di you buy this for life coverage or as an "investment?" If you need life coverage, go get a 20 year term policy from someone else and dump this overpriced pig of a policy. If you don't, just dump the policy and get on with life.

cucumber 02-02-2014 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 1410489)
You will have to read your policy to see what you can and cannot do. Typically VUL policies allow you to stop funding them if there is enough cash value in the policy to pay the policy expenses. However, do you need life insurance? Di you buy this for life coverage or as an "investment?" If you need life coverage, go get a 20 year term policy from someone else and dump this overpriced pig of a policy. If you don't, just dump the policy and get on with life.

I do need life insurance. I actually have a VUL and a term through Ameriprise because initially we couldn't afford the VUL to cover our needs so our advisor advised to get the balance with a term so we did since we trusted her. Didn't think to confirm any suspicions that she was acting in our best interests since I thought that's what CFP's fiduciary and ethical responsibilities were to the client.

Ready 02-02-2014 01:54 PM

Cucumber,

A CFP is not a fiduciary. They are a sales person who has passed some exams that qualify them to carry a title. A real estate agent must pass exams and have a license as well, but they clearly are motivated to sell property and earn commissions, not worry about whether you can afford to buy a home or whether the one they are showing you is really the best one for you.

If you want them to act as your fiduciary, send them a legal document that they must sign agreeing to act as such and see how they react to it. I suspect their reaction will be quite enlightening for you.

panacea 02-02-2014 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ready (Post 1410507)
Cucumber,

A CFP is not a fiduciary. They are a sales person who has passed some exams that qualify them to carry a title.

A point of clarification here... A financial advisor can be a CFP and also act as a fiduciary. They are two separate issues. Regardless of an advisor's credentials, you simply need to find out whether they act as a fiduciary... or not.

Walt34 02-02-2014 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
Thanks dfalk on the book recommendation!! I will definitely start off with that book. Any other recommendations on books for a beginner that I can read in order to feel comfortable enough to get out of the grasps of Ameriprise?

These have been suggested and I agree with the suggestions.

The Millionaire Teacher. A great "first book" on saving/investing. I'm about to send a copy to DW's nephew & his wife, who are great people but in debt up to their eyeballs and trying very hard to get out.

The Millionaire Next Door. Published in 1998 this one is a classic and deservedly so. Some of it is dated but the principles are not.

How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street. A bit more detailed than Teacher but also a good entry-level book.

Edit to add: You don't have to actually buy these books. Check the library first.

travelover 02-02-2014 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
....... Any other recommendations on books for a beginner that I can read in order to feel comfortable enough to get out of the grasps of Ameriprise?.........

These are good resources here, too. I personally like the Bogleheads Guide to Investment book.
Investment Books

dontworry 02-02-2014 05:54 PM

I just wanted to say...try not to beat yourself up too much while you are in process to handle things yourself. We were with Ameriprise, then switched to Primerica before I knew anything about investing (smart investing). While with Primerica, I finally starting reading the right books and researching the smart stuff. It took me a little while to build up my confidence and finally switched to Vanguard. Read the books suggested above, read here, read Bogleheads. When you feel comfortable, take over as your own FA and you will save mucho dollars. And feel good about what you learn and the steps you take because many never learn the best way to invest!

pb4uski 02-02-2014 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
Thank you for all the responses!!! I appreciate any and all advice since I am just starting off.

Thanks dfalk on the book recommendation!! I will definitely start off with that book. Any other recommendations on books for a beginner that I can read in order to feel comfortable enough to get out of the grasps of Ameriprise? I will be reading up as much as I can before I begin the process of leaving Ameriprise.

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?

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?


Find out how much you would get if you just surrender the VUL. Also find out how long the policy is likely to provide coverage if you just don't make any further premium payments and let it run off and compare to the value of the life coverage provided. Then do one or the other but don't put any more new money into that pig.

brewer12345 02-02-2014 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dontworry (Post 1410631)
We were with Ameriprise, then switched to Primerica

Wow! That is quite an accomplishment.

dontworry 02-02-2014 06:30 PM

Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 1410637)
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.

M Paquette 02-02-2014 06:39 PM

Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 1410637)
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.

dontworry 02-02-2014 06:55 PM

Fortunately, "she" got better. ;)

M Paquette 02-03-2014 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dontworry (Post 1410653)
Fortunately, "she" got better. ;)


Mea culpa. Must be all the Monty Python dialogue tying up scarce brain capacity.

FIREd 02-03-2014 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)

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.

gcgang 02-03-2014 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
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.

Walt34 02-03-2014 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1410470)
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.

gcgang 02-03-2014 10:05 PM

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.

samclem 02-03-2014 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gcgang (Post 1411099)
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.

Lisa99 02-03-2014 11:21 PM

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? ;D

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.

gcgang 02-04-2014 01:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samclem (Post 1411106)
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.

cucumber 02-04-2014 01:14 AM

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!!!!!!!!!

Meadbh 02-04-2014 01:20 AM

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!

2B 02-04-2014 06:42 AM

+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.

samclem 02-04-2014 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1411135)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1411135)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisa99 (Post 1411127)
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.


Quote:

Originally Posted by 2B (Post 1411155)
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.

cucumber 02-05-2014 03:11 AM

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!

panacea 02-05-2014 06:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2B (Post 1411155)

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. >:(

dontworry 02-05-2014 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1411509)
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!

MRG 02-05-2014 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panacea (Post 1411520)
+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.
MRG

Coolius 02-05-2014 12:43 PM

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. :o

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. :fingerwag:

travelover 02-05-2014 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coolius (Post 1411649)
........my ex-friend ..........

:laugh:

Walt34 02-05-2014 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coolius (Post 1411649)
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.

Salesmen always hate intelligent customers don't they?:laugh:

haha 02-05-2014 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coolius (Post 1411649)
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. :o

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'm impressed. It's really hard to get these guys to drop their pose, and you certainly did!

I have never been called by any financial products salesman. I must turn up on some stay away list.

Ha

gindie 02-05-2014 10:36 PM

I can't remember if the OP said he needed the insurance. If it is needed, then don't completely surrender the VUL until you have other insurance in place.

comicbookgujy 02-06-2014 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samclem (Post 1411106)
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.

I work in this industry. People in my firm with CFP designation are nothing more than sales people. Plus getting a CFP isn't hard. Getting a CFA is hard. Selling high commission products such as annuities is what get them the big bonus.

Fiduciary? LOL. Only person they are looking out for is themself and their paycheck. That's why I'm trying to ER. Working in this industry sucks. It's all about a money grab. People only care about sales number.

You don't met you sales goal, you will have to take your CFP designation somewhere else. RE agent have a fiduciary responsibility too...but do you really think they are looking out for your best interest?

My advice, learn more about investing and stick with low expense index fund with Vanguard or Fidelity. the 1% to 2% you're paying won't beat the index

Lakewood90712 02-06-2014 01:25 AM

Kind of strange, this thread is 4 days old, and so far , no sign of an Ameriprise sales , uh , I mean "Advisor" troll signing up and trying to defend the company. ;)

panacea 02-06-2014 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by comicbookgujy (Post 1411959)
I work in this industry. People in my firm with CFP designation are nothing more than sales people. Plus getting a CFP isn't hard. Getting a CFA is hard. Selling high commission products such as annuities is what get them the big bonus.

Fiduciary? LOL. Only person they are looking out for is themself and their paycheck. That's why I'm trying to ER. Working in this industry sucks. It's all about a money grab. People only care about sales number.

Geez, I feel like I just posted this but I guess it was the same issue on another thread... whether an advisor is a salesperson has nothing to do with being a CFP, it has to do with the fee structure of the firm. Most firms are commission-based, which results in biased information and a sales environment and CFPs can fall into the same trap. However, an advisor in a fee-only environment are not incented to sell products and hit sales goals, making that type of firm a better fit for CFPs IMO. Also, only about half of CFP applicants actually obtain the designation... granted that's probably a higher pass rate than the CFA but they're two different areas of expertise. Having said all that, I agree that no one cares more about their own finances than themselves.

cucumber 02-10-2014 03:39 AM

I've been reading up on Mutual Funds, expense ratios, front loads, and index funds. There's still a lot for me to learn and my initial plan was to learn as much as I can first and then start moving my money out of Ameriprise. But as I read about index funds versus mutual funds and as I look at my 401(k) that I moved to Ameriprise's actively managed account that has literally earned $479.60 in the past year for my $50,000 that I rolled over, I really am considering just telling my advisor that I want to move it to Vanguard and put it in the Vanguard 500 Index Fund for the time being. At least it would be hopefully earning a little more, right? Would this be a good move? It's making me so upset that I moved my 401(k) from Fidelity to Ameriprise and am paying 5-6% loads and 1-2% in expense ratios and also because it is actively managed, I believe I am paying another fee. It makes me so sick but I don't know what to do. We have about $200K in Ameriprise but not sure how the rest is invested. I just know about this one because it was a big chunk of change that I did recently based on the recommendation of my advisor. Am I being impatient and jumping the gun?

cucumber 02-10-2014 04:25 AM

Another question since I am learning to DIY. Btw, I'm loving Vanguard! So my advisor would normally project how much we need to save each month for a particular goal. So for preschool tuition currently it is about $10K per year. I know Vanguard has the LifeStrategy Funds which make the AA simple but how do people calculate how much to put away every month factoring in inflation, returns, time, etc. My advisor used to just plug it into her program and it would spit out a number and that's how much she said we would need to save every month and give to her to invest in order to have enough to pay for preschool when the time comes. I think that's one of the parts I'm scared of. That I will calculate it wrong and not put in enough.

2B 02-10-2014 05:25 AM

Hey cucumber. You are not being impatient. You have just realized you are being hosed big time. I think it is reasonable to move everything to Vanguard ASAP. You could maintain your current asset allocation until you figure out where you want to be.

Expect Ameriprise to give you some grief when moving. Expect calls from you FA and expect your paperwork to get delayed. The final indignity will be the fee they charge for closing your account.

I'm not a big fan of target date or life strategy funds. I'd rather have control of my asset allocation.

As for predicting what you need to save, you will just have to wing it like the rest of us. You can't accurately predict how much your investments will return and what preschool tuition (or anything else) will actually cost in the future. The shorter the time frame the more you should look at CDs or something that won't lose value. If you are going to save three years for a year of $10K preschool, you would need to put away $280/month. You can hope that the interest equals any price increase. Longer term savings like for a distant retirement can be planned with any of the financial calculators that are around. You just can't assume they are perfect and you are always safer to over-save.

samclem 02-10-2014 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1413533)
Am I being impatient and jumping the gun?

No, you are apparently doing some good reading and learning a lot. If you want to stop the high fees/costs right now, just move all your funds to Vanguard. You can put it in a fund, or a group of funds, right now as a temporary measure while you do more reading and make plans for your permanent asset allocation.
No one can know what the "best" fund/mix of funds would be. A lot depends on your risk tolerance. I'd say that for most people, the best single-fund, set-it-and-forget-it answer would be the appropriate Target Date Retirement Fund. These contain a mix of assets that the folks at Vanguard believe are likely to be appropriate for a person retiring at various dates in the future. You'd have exposure to US stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, etc. Later you'll probably decide to customize your asset allocation, and that's fine (as 2B says, with the Target Funds you can't tweak them to maximize tax efficiency, etc). I'd say 80% of investors would be better off in a low-cost Target Fund than in following the path they are currently on (hot stock sector of the month, investing in 100% CDs to "avoid risk" etc).

The simplest thing: move everything to a Vanguard money market account (or two: one for your IRA, one for your other investments) while you figure out what to do next. That stops the Amerirpise fees and assures your assets won't go down if the market dips. The big risk with this is that you'll miss any gains if stocks go up while your money is parked there. On average (over many, many years) stocks have gone up over 8% per year, so on average you'd be better off leaving your money in the market (even with Ameriprise) than having it in a money market fund. But, years are very seldom average, and 2014 probably won't be average, either.

Good luck!

Ready 02-10-2014 09:00 AM

I find Target Date funds a bit challenging in the ER world. They start with the assumption that you work until 65 years old. So for me, based on my age of 47, it would tell me to have a very high percentage in equities. I would guess around 80%. However, because I'm semi-retired, I would not want to have that much exposure. However, if I choose a fund that is designed for someone in retirement, it will drop the equity exposure significantly, again under the assumption that I'm around 65 years old and have at most a 30 year time horizon to plan for.

So I find myself looking for a target date that is somewhere in between the two, and I realize that by the time I find just the right date, I could have just as easily set the AA myself by using a lazy portfolio of two index funds and a bond fund or two, and then gradually adjusting the mix as I age.

In addition, I suspect that if the stock market does extremely well over the next decade, I may go one of two ways - keep the equity exposure high and go for it, or ratchet back because I've "won the game". I like having control over that, and I would not want some fund manager to be making all of those decisions for me.

Texas Proud 02-10-2014 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ready (Post 1413594)
I find Target Date funds a bit challenging in the ER world. They start with the assumption that you work until 65 years old. So for me, based on my age of 47, it would tell me to have a very high percentage in equities. I would guess around 80%. However, because I'm semi-retired, I would not want to have that much exposure. However, if I choose a fund that is designed for someone in retirement, it will drop the equity exposure significantly, again under the assumption that I'm around 65 years old and have at most a 30 year time horizon to plan for.

So I find myself looking for a target date that is somewhere in between the two, and I realize that by the time I find just the right date, I could have just as easily set the AA myself by using a lazy portfolio of two index funds and a bond fund or two, and then gradually adjusting the mix as I age.

In addition, I suspect that if the stock market does extremely well over the next decade, I may go one of two ways - keep the equity exposure high and go for it, or ratchet back because I've "won the game". I like having control over that, and I would not want some fund manager to be making all of those decisions for me.


I think you are spending WAY to much time analyzing a target date fund... the difference between a 2020 and a 2025 fund is going to be minimal....

And who says they are based on you working till 65??? Nope, they ask you what year you plan to retire, not when you turn 65.... now, you might think that when you retire at say 50, the asset allocation is not what you want, but what they are doing is moving money to more income producing investments instead of growth investments as the vast majority of people are going to be living off their income from the fund...


I think the OP can do a target for now, getting it into Vanguard ASAP and then worry later if that AA is not right for her and adjust then....

Ready 02-10-2014 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Texas Proud (Post 1413603)
I think you are spending WAY to much time analyzing a target date fund... the difference between a 2020 and a 2025 fund is going to be minimal....

Well, I suppose I do like to analyze things!

Looking at the Vanguard Target Date fund for people who are in retirement (VTENX), I see an AA of 39.66% equities. If I move to a 2015 fund (VTXVX), it increases to 53%.

Based on my retirement date of last year, I would be in VTENX at 39.66%. If I were 65, I might be comfortable with that. But retiring mid 40's, that just doesn't feel right to me. And even 53% feels too low for my time horizon, even though that fund is for people who don't even plan to retire for two more years.

There is nothing wrong with these funds, but I would just recommend that an investor decide what AA they are comfortable with first, and then pick the fund that gets them there, rather than simply picking a fund based on their retirement date.

easysurfer 02-10-2014 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samclem (Post 1413584)
No, you are apparently doing some good reading and learning a lot. If you want to stop the high fees/costs right now, just move all your funds to Vanguard. You can put it in a fund, or a group of funds, right now as a temporary measure while you do more reading and make plans for your permanent asset allocation.
No one can know what the "best" fund/mix of funds would be. A lot depends on your risk tolerance. I'd say that for most people, the best single-fund, set-it-and-forget-it answer would be the appropriate Target Date Retirement Fund. These contain a mix of assets that the folks at Vanguard believe are likely to be appropriate for a person retiring at various dates in the future. You'd have exposure to US stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, etc. Later you'll probably decide to customize your asset allocation, and that's fine (as 2B says, with the Target Funds you can't tweak them to maximize tax efficiency, etc). I'd say 80% of investors would be better off in a low-cost Target Fund than in following the path they are currently on (hot stock sector of the month, investing in 100% CDs to "avoid risk" etc).

The simplest thing: move everything to a Vanguard money market account (or two: one for your IRA, one for your other investments) while you figure out what to do next. That stops the Amerirpise fees and assures your assets won't go down if the market dips. The big risk with this is that you'll miss any gains if stocks go up while your money is parked there. On average (over many, many years) stocks have gone up over 8% per year, so on average you'd be better off leaving your money in the market (even with Ameriprise) than having it in a money market fund. But, years are very seldom average, and 2014 probably won't be average, either.

Good luck!

Cucumber,

I agree with what Samclem says. Especially the idea of moving everything to a Vanguard (in one money market for non IRA, and one for IRA) while you figure what to do next.

Years ago, I wasn't as deep in with a CFP as you are, but did just that. Moved everything to Vanguard, then learned about index funds and Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). I've been happy with that strategy ever since.

cucumber 02-10-2014 02:28 PM

So I told my advisor that I have been doing research and am seriously considering moving all of our funds to Vanguard. Here is her response.

" I can assist with any changes to Vanguard funds and you can do this within your Ameriprise brokerage account. I do like some of the Vanguard funds, but just because they have lower fees, does not make them the most competitive overall. Which funds were your looking to invest in? I can help compare and offer suggestions."

Does this mean Ameriprise offers Vanguard funds and I don't have to move it? I'm so confused. So low fees aren't necessarily good? Are there times when you would want to pay high fees in order to get high return? But there's no guarantee and it's not really a proven method is it? From what I've read so far, it sounds like I would want the lowest fees and most diversified (i.e. Index funds).

gcgang 02-10-2014 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1413758)
Here is her response.

" I can assist with any changes to Vanguard funds and you can do this within your Ameriprise brokerage account. I do like some of the Vanguard funds, but just because they have lower fees, does not make them the most competitive overall. Which funds were your looking to invest in? I can help compare and offer suggestions."

Reply: "Thank you very much for your offer of assistance. However, I am looking eliminate a significant layer of fees, that being yours."

Animorph 02-10-2014 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1413758)
So I told my advisor that I have been doing research and am seriously considering moving all of our funds to Vanguard. Here is her response.

" I can assist with any changes to Vanguard funds and you can do this within your Ameriprise brokerage account. I do like some of the Vanguard funds, but just because they have lower fees, does not make them the most competitive overall. Which funds were your looking to invest in? I can help compare and offer suggestions."

Does this mean Ameriprise offers Vanguard funds and I don't have to move it? I'm so confused. So low fees aren't necessarily good? Are there times when you would want to pay high fees in order to get high return? But there's no guarantee and it's not really a proven method is it? From what I've read so far, it sounds like I would want the lowest fees and most diversified (i.e. Index funds).

Don't fall for it. Kind of late to be offering that now.

Call Vanguard and get them to do the transfer. They should be able to assist you and do most of the work.

samclem 02-10-2014 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1413758)
So low fees aren't necessarily good? Are there times when you would want to pay high fees in order to get high return? But there's no guarantee and it's not really a proven method is it? From what I've read so far, it sounds like I would want the lowest fees and most diversified (i.e. Index funds).

Your Ameriprise rep would prefer to keep you in her high-fee funds AND also collect her advisory fee. If you've wised up to that, she'll help you go to Vanguard funds and skip the high fund fees, but she'll still get her "cut" from the advisory fees (and maybe even charge you a brokerage fee to move the money). Do you really want to pay her over 1% every year for that? You've got $200K with them, that amounts to over $2000 per year.
High-cost managed funds do >not< outperform low cost funds. On average, they underperform them for three reasons:
- Fees charged to you to pay for their managers
- Added taxes you'll pay due to their trading (in a non-401K/non-IRA account)
- Added trading/transaction costs for the stocks they sell inside the funds.

Every year a share of managed funds do outperform their index. It's usually a small share, sometimes it is many. But nobody knows which funds these will be. Ameriprise doesn't know, and neither does your FA. If they did know, if they could invest and earn even slightly better than market returns on a consistent basis, they could become fabulously wealthy by trading options, they would not need to pester people like you and I so they can skim off a small commission. They don't know which funds will outperform, and if they tell you otherwise then they are simply lying.

If you tell your FA which Vanguard funds you plan to invest in, you can bet her "research" will turn up several funds with better performance- - -in the past. Maybe with much higher risk. Just like I can tell you with 100% certainty who will win the 2014 Super Bowl.

Keep reading the books on low-cost investing ("Bogle on Mutual Funds", etc). Your FA is only looking out for her commissions. Don't back down, escape and be ruthless about it.

MRG 02-10-2014 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1413758)
So I told my advisor that I have been doing research and am seriously considering moving all of our funds to Vanguard. Here is her response.

" I can assist with any changes to Vanguard funds and you can do this within your Ameriprise brokerage account. I do like some of the Vanguard funds, but just because they have lower fees, does not make them the most competitive overall. Which funds were your looking to invest in? I can help compare and offer suggestions."

Does this mean Ameriprise offers Vanguard funds and I don't have to move it? I'm so confused. So low fees aren't necessarily good? Are there times when you would want to pay high fees in order to get high return? But there's no guarantee and it's not really a proven method is it? From what I've read so far, it sounds like I would want the lowest fees and most diversified (i.e. Index funds).

She's just looking out for herself. I dont think Vanguard offers funds for FAs (class c) but if Ameriprise is involved you will be paying them something.

You understand, there are few active fund managers that consistently beat their index. Even if they do, in taxable accounts the churn could eat up any extra retuns from taxes. Your on the correct path, run away.

If this advisor thought Vanguard was the correct place to be, likes some of their funds, why didnt they put you in them to begin with? You know why!
Best wishes,
MRG

FinanceDude 02-10-2014 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samclem (Post 1413768)
Your Ameriprise rep would prefer to keep you in her high-fee funds AND also collect her advisory fee. If you've wised up to that, she'll help you go to Vanguard funds and skip the high fund fees, but she'll still get her "cut" from the advisory fees (and maybe even charge you a brokerage fee to move the money). Do you really want to pay her over 1% every year for that? You've got $200K with them, that amounts to over $2000 per year.
High-cost managed funds do >not< outperform low cost funds. On average, they underperform them for three reasons:
- Fees charged to you to pay for their managers
- Added taxes you'll pay due to their trading (in a non-401K/non-IRA account)
- Added trading/transaction costs for the stocks they sell inside the funds.

Every year a share of managed funds do outperform their index. It's usually a small share, sometimes it is many. But nobody knows which funds these will be. Ameriprise doesn't know, and neither does your FA. If they did know, if they could invest and earn even slightly better than market returns on a consistent basis, they could become fabulously wealthy by trading options, they would not need to pester people like you and I so they can skim off a small commission. They don't know which funds will outperform, and if they tell you otherwise then they are simply lying.

If you tell your FA which Vanguard funds you plan to invest in, you can bet her "research" will turn up several funds with better performance- - -in the past. Maybe with much higher risk. Just like I can tell you with 100% certainty who will win the 2014 Super Bowl.

Keep reading the books on low-cost investing ("Bogle on Mutual Funds", etc). Your FA is only looking out for her commissions. Don't back down, escape and be ruthless about it.

Not defending Amerprise at all, but what she told is true, however, there are usually TWO ways to hold them...........

1) You can buy them in a brokerage account for a flat fee, like $40. Most big companies like Ameriprise can do this.

2)She can put them in your fee-based Ameriprise account, and you will pay the wrap fee amount on that account.

easysurfer 02-10-2014 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Animorph (Post 1413767)
Don't fall for it. Kind of late to be offering that now.

Call Vanguard and get them to do the transfer. They should be able to assist you and do most of the work.

+1.

Texas Proud 02-10-2014 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ready (Post 1413611)
Well, I suppose I do like to analyze things!

Looking at the Vanguard Target Date fund for people who are in retirement (VTENX), I see an AA of 39.66% equities. If I move to a 2015 fund (VTXVX), it increases to 53%.

Based on my retirement date of last year, I would be in VTENX at 39.66%. If I were 65, I might be comfortable with that. But retiring mid 40's, that just doesn't feel right to me. And even 53% feels too low for my time horizon, even though that fund is for people who don't even plan to retire for two more years.

There is nothing wrong with these funds, but I would just recommend that an investor decide what AA they are comfortable with first, and then pick the fund that gets them there, rather than simply picking a fund based on their retirement date.


But if you look at the survivability of both of these ratios, they are pretty darn close....

I agree with you that an investor should decide on an asset allocation.... but if they have not done that, then a target date fund will do it for them... they can adjust later if they wish or if they get more invested...

Ready 02-10-2014 06:05 PM

I remember going through a similar process as Cucumber when I was getting out of actively managed funds at Fidelity and looking to replace them with index funds. My Fidelity rep suggested I could buy the Vanguard funds through Fidelity. However, when I asked about fees, it became clear that it made no sense to do so. I seem to remember there was a fee of either $35.00 or $75.00 per transaction each time I bought a Vanguard fund. So if I wanted to dollar cost average into the fund once a month, I would have to pay this fee each month when I made a purchase. Whereas Vanguard was no charge to purchase their own mutual funds. So it was a pretty easy decision for me to move to Vanguard. Come to think of it, they could have suggested the Vanguard ETF equivalent, but my rep wasn't very savvy I guess.

I can't see any logic in your Ameriprise rep validating your idea to go with a very low cost index fund from Vanguard, but still paying her 1% to hold the money at Ameriprise. It just seems completely ridiculous, and if she suggests you do so, then you pretty much know who you are dealing with.

Feel free to humor her and let her give you some suggestions. It will be very enlightening to folks like me who have never used a company like Ameriprise and have only heard things about them on forums like this one and Bogleheads.

cucumber 02-11-2014 01:00 PM

I obviously have a lot to learn because I looked at the prospectuses of my funds and it clearly said there were loads but my FA is telling me differently. So now we are planning on meeting with her to discuss all the fees on our account. Here was her response. I am thoroughly confused and will obviously need more time to study investments. 😥 Thanks to everyone for your support and guidance!! I truly appreciate it.

"There are no 5% load fees on the investments that we made. Here are how your 2 accounts are set up:

1. Active Portfolios: This is a wrap account that is being actively managed via Home Office/Wilshire investments- who manage institutional dollars. They buy and sell on your behalf and don't charge any transaction fees to do so. It does have a management fee of 1%. All your dollars were invested when we first opened the account and no initial fee was charged.

2. Your brokerage account is invested in "C" shares which has a 1% backend fee if we sell them prior to 1 year. Thereafter we can make changes at any time and there is cost to do so."

travelover 02-11-2014 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1414187)
....... Here are how your 2 accounts are set up:

1. Active Portfolios: This is a wrap account that is being actively managed via Home Office/Wilshire investments- who manage institutional dollars. They buy and sell on your behalf and don't charge any transaction fees to do so. It does have a management fee of 1%. All your dollars were invested when we first opened the account and no initial fee was charged.

2. Your brokerage account is invested in "C" shares which has a 1% backend fee if we sell them prior to 1 year. Thereafter we can make changes at any time and there is cost to do so."

I'd head for Vanguard based on #1 and #2. This is of no advantage to you.

MRG 02-11-2014 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1414187)
I obviously have a lot to learn because I looked at the prospectuses of my funds and it clearly said there were loads but my FA is telling me differently. So now we are planning on meeting with her to discuss all the fees on our account. Here was her response. I am thoroughly confused and will obviously need more time to study investments. 😥 Thanks to everyone for your support and guidance!! I truly appreciate it.

"There are no 5% load fees on the investments that we made. Here are how your 2 accounts are set up:

1. Active Portfolios: This is a wrap account that is being actively managed via Home Office/Wilshire investments- who manage institutional dollars. They buy and sell on your behalf and don't charge any transaction fees to do so. It does have a management fee of 1%. All your dollars were invested when we first opened the account and no initial fee was charged.

2. Your brokerage account is invested in "C" shares which has a 1% backend fee if we sell them prior to 1 year. Thereafter we can make changes at any time and there is cost to do so."

Normally c class shares carry a 12b1 fee (max 1%.), in your case their only charging a 1% deffered sales charge. Many times c class shares also carry a higher ER than their equivalents.
MRG

Walt34 02-11-2014 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1414195)
I'd head for Vanguard based on #1 and #2. This is of no advantage to you.

+1

Fees matter. A lot. Compounded over years/decades the differences are surprisingly huge.

easysurfer 02-11-2014 05:00 PM

Cucumber,

It's important to ask yourself do you want to be an active investor or passive investor.

I think that many (myself included) start out as active looking for the right method, but decide to go the passive route.

Here's a link with an interesting football analogy:

What Is The Difference Between Active and Passive Investing?

Quote:

Active investing is like betting on who will win the Super Bowl, while passive investing would be like owning the entire NFL, and thus collecting profits on gross ticket and merchandise sales, regardless of which team wins each year.

Lisa99 02-11-2014 05:09 PM

From a former Ameriprise customer, don't let her confuse you with industry speak.

Bottom line, with the money you have invested at Ameriprise you could have a completely self-invested portfolio that would cost you a fraction of what you're paying now. On just a $100,000 portfolio, would you rather pay $1,000/year in mutual fund fees (minimum) + $750/year for the privilege of talking to your FA advisor a couple times a year or would you rather pay $180/year in total for all fees? $1750 or $180... was an easy decision for us ($180 is based on paying 0.18% on our Vanguard portfolio which is even higher than some here pay at Vanguard).

And here is another way to think about it which I don't think I've seen yet in this thread yet (sorry if I missed it).

When you retire, you'll be able to safely withdraw 4% of your portfolio per year to live on (there are differing views on the safe withdrawal rate but I'm keeping the math simple).

Ameriprise charges 1% of your portfolio/year MINIMUM which leaves you only 3% that is yours to spend. Is your FA REALLY worth 25% of your annual retirement withdrawal?

So when you get in the million dollar range, if you're with Vanguard (or Fidelity or any other very low cost investment company) you get to withdraw and spend $40,000 (minus about $720 in fees) per year. If you're still with Ameriprise when you retire, they'll charge you $10,000 and you get to only spend $30,000.

See now why your FA is fighting tooth and nail to keep you?

gcgang 02-11-2014 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1414187)
I obviously have a lot to learn because I looked at the prospectuses of my funds and it clearly said there were loads but my FA is telling me differently. So now we are planning on meeting with her to discuss all the fees on our account. Here was her response. I am thoroughly confused and will obviously need more time to study investments. 😥 Thanks to everyone for your support and guidance!! I truly appreciate it.

"There are no 5% load fees on the investments that we made. Here are how your 2 accounts are set up:

1. Active Portfolios: This is a wrap account that is being actively managed via Home Office/Wilshire investments- who manage institutional dollars. They buy and sell on your behalf and don't charge any transaction fees to do so. It does have a management fee of 1%. All your dollars were invested when we first opened the account and no initial fee was charged.

2. Your brokerage account is invested in "C" shares which has a 1% backend fee if we sell them prior to 1 year. Thereafter we can make changes at any time and there is cost to do so."

That sounds correct.

Your active portfolios are in Class A or I shares, which have "lower" expense ratios, probably around 1%. You are then paying 1% for the wrap features on top of the individual funds' ER. Loads are normally waived when you're in a wrap.

The Class C shares' ER usually run 0.75-1.00% higher than their comparable A or I shares equivalents, meaning again, you are paying about 2% per year in 1 and 2 above.

brewer12345 02-11-2014 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gcgang (Post 1414378)
That sounds correct.

Your active portfolios are in Class A or I shares, which have "lower" expense ratios, probably around 1%. You are then paying 1% for the wrap features on top of the individual funds' ER. Loads are normally waived when you're in a wrap.

The Class C shares' ER usually run 0.75-1.00% higher than their comparable A or I shares equivalents, meaning again, you are paying about 2% per year in 1 and 2 above.


Holy crap! That is starting to get close to variable annuity territory, AKA getting banged in the bakehole.

thedaily 02-11-2014 09:34 PM

I was with Ameriprise. Horrible decision on my part. Smartest decision was leaving them. I guarantee you'll pay more than the surrender charge in fees. I had an annuity with Ameriprise and I ate the surrender and was down 50% before I moved it over to Vanguard. It took many years but I'm finally up 20% or so. The fees at Ameriprise will drain your bank account.

dontworry 02-11-2014 10:29 PM

Your FA at Ameriprise will continue to try to talk you into staying. They are trained to do so and most are pretty darn good at it because they are salespeople. I would suggest just calling Vanguard and they will assist you with transferring your money. You can bypass the Ameriprise FA that way.

I had the same song and dance when deciding to leave Primerica. First I discussed with the PA FA. Wasn't long and I got a call from another PA FA higher up the food chain. She was going on and on about how actively managed funds will make more money etc. I wasn't confident enough yet at that point but finally got to the point where I just called Vanguard and it was pretty easy (with their help) to transfer all of our IRA money to them. Didn't have to deal with any more high pressure calls from Primerica.

You can do this!!!

Just a little anecdote...my DH is on a small town rural fire department. They have a small retirement benefit which apparently has been managed by Ameriprise. The guys just found out their fund only made 6.something % in 2013. Needless to say, there will be some changes coming with the management of that fund!

cucumber 02-14-2014 12:48 PM

What's the difference between the $750 annual advisory fee and the wrap fees that apparently is also being charged to me which I had no idea of? Is that something that my FA is collecting as commission on top of the annual advisory fee that we are paying?

FIREd 02-14-2014 01:03 PM

Do you get a "personalized" financial plan from your advisor every year? The $750 fee sounds like what I used to pay annually for my computer-generated plan bound in pleather. Then, on top of that, I had to pay for any wrap fees and/or commissions.

cucumber 02-14-2014 01:27 PM

She supposedly evaluates where we are versus our financial goals and tells us how much more we need to invest to meet those goals. Or if we need to move our funds or for example move my 401(k) monies to Ameriprise so it's consolidated. If that's what you mean by a "personalized" plan, then yes she does.

FIREd 02-14-2014 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1415486)
She supposedly evaluates where we are versus our financial goals and tells us how much more we need to invest to meet those goals. Or if we need to move our funds or for example move my 401(k) monies to Ameriprise so it's consolidated. If that's what you mean by a "personalized" plan, then yes she does.

Then I think you are paying her $750 for doing that annual review for you. And you have to pay her extra to actually invest the money. That's where the wrap fee and/or commissions come in. I urge you to comb through your statements and try to figure out how much that advisor is costing you on a yearly basis. You might be shocked. Once I went though that exercise, there was no doubt left in my mind that I was paying way too much for the service provided.

Looking back through my 2001 statements:
We paid $500 for the annual review
Then:
My IRA contributions: invested in A shares at 5.75% sales charge = $39 paid in commissions
DW's IRA contributions: invested in A shares at 5.75% sales charge = $86 paid in commissions
Muni bond fund: invested in A shares at 4.75% sales charge = $57 paid in commissions
Rolling over DW's old IRA into a variable annuity (!!!): $147 paid in commissions to purchase funds

Total $829 for a total under management of ~$50K. That's a whopping 1.66% of portfolio value paid in fees and commissions. But it's even worse because I have no idea what DW's IRA annuity and the 2 VUL insurance policies he put the rest of our money in actually cost us. So we were possibly well over 2%.

MRG 02-14-2014 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1415466)
What's the difference between the $750 annual advisory fee and the wrap fees that apparently is also being charged to me which I had no idea of? Is that something that my FA is collecting as commission on top of the annual advisory fee that we are paying?

My thinking is the advisor fee is to pay for advice.

My understanding of wrap accounts is they 'wrap' fund loads and other fees/charges into one place. I also understand they don't include all costs, like being able to buy the same fund yourself for 30bps lower ER.

Wrap accounts were introduced by FA's because they weren't making enough from some customers. The public was also starting to realize that a 5% front end load may not be a good choice. If I call it something different maybe a percentage of people will ignore it.

Bottom line they are there so some FA's can make more money. I wonder who's paying for that? IMHO.
Best wishes,

MRG

easysurfer 02-14-2014 11:16 PM

Cucumber,

Another thing to consider is in a bad market year, you'd still be paying the advisor fees. If you expect the advisor to be on the ball and protect you from losses...more likely the advisor will tell you that's how the market is.

cucumber 02-26-2014 03:23 AM

Follow-up:

When I inquired about the fees that we were paying at Ameriprise and that I was considering moving our funds to Vanguard, our FA quickly wanted to schedule a meeting to discuss the fees and obviously convince us from moving our funds to Vanguard. So we met with her today.

After reading constantly for the past month or so and reading all your comments, I was pretty sure I was going into the meeting with one goal in mind which was to move our funds from Ameriprise to Vanguard. That unfortunately didn't happen. :(

Our FA started out comparing the funds that she has us in versus a similar fund at Vanguard so that she could compare "apples to apples". She had beat each one of the Vanguard funds. I was speechless. She then proceeded to tell us that the higher fees are offset by the higher returns and that each fund serves a purpose. So for example, the BlackRock fund (BRBCX) that she has us invest in is to mitigate the downturn in the market which if we put our money in an index, the downturn would possibly be more severe. I was again speechless because it sounded good and made sense. All my beliefs in high fees being bad were just shut down by what she told me. Although I've been reading constantly every night, I still felt like I didn't know enough to make an argument against her seemingly valid points.

Her one and only advice other than keeping all the same investments with her since they are doing well and I guess better than whatever Vanguard fund she compared it with, was to change one of our IRA investments from American Century Strategic Allocation Aggressive CL B (ALLBX) to Vanguard Star (VGSTX). Is that a good move?

Finally my one and only redeeming point was that our 529 plan was being charged a 5.75% sales charge and therefore was netting only like 2.95%. I questioned her on that and she looked uncomfortable at first and then she agreed that I should move it. So planning on moving to a Vanguard 529 plan. Or is the Schwab 529 plan better? Any advice?

I am still convinced that moving all my funds to Vanguard is the best decision but I don't know how to disqualify her claims and in addition, how to cut ties with our FA since she is so nice (although she seemed to be a little annoyed today...). Can anyone help me disqualify her claims and finally push me over the fence to leave Ameriprise?

Please help!! :(

target2019 02-26-2014 05:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1420303)
I am still convinced that moving all my funds to Vanguard is the best decision but I don't know how to disqualify her claims and in addition, how to cut ties with our FA since she is so nice (although she seemed to be a little annoyed today...). Can anyone help me disqualify her claims and finally push me over the fence to leave Ameriprise?

Do you have a list of the recommended funds and the comparable VG funds you took to her? If it's posted in this thread, I'll go back and look.

This is how a fee-based advisor works: Nice (at initial meeting) > Really Nice (when you are in office for initial evaluation) > Gushing (when you sign up) > Annoyed at your questions. The investor falls back in line, and the process starts over at Nice.

You don't need to disqualify her statements. Now you want to be nice to her, since you were not nice, and she was annoyed. If you really believe that Vanguard is the place to go, then why not call them, and have them initiate the process?

One caution is that you need to be careful about moving investments that have a tax consequence.

You'll get there. :)

clifp 02-26-2014 05:42 AM

Nothing like a mention of Vanguard, and fees to scare the crap out of Amerprise.

Since she mentioned BRBCX. I thought it would be fun to do a comparison of it vs a comparable Vanguard fund. One of the challenges in figuring out performance is picking the right comparison. There is no perfect comparison. But a very good starting point is the Morningstar classification and the asset allocation. The blackrock fund has 65% cash and bonds,and 35% stock. It is listed as moderate allocation fund. Long time forum members can probably already guess what fund I'm going to use to compare.:)

Look at the chart below. As you can see the yellow line after 10 years as grown from 10K to just $20K (19,744 to be exact) while the blue line is a shade under $16k. But just as important look at what happened during 2008 and 2009 the blue fund dropped well below 10K to $8,600 or 35% decline from early 2008 peak. The yellow fund stayed above $10K the wwhole time. Now which fund would you rather own Yellow or Blue?
BRBCX Chart BlackRock Managed Volatility Inv C Fund Chart
https://globalquote.morningstar.com/g...1-5-14:::B:USA
It probably won't surprise you to learn that Blue fund is the BRBCX. Nor will it surprise long time forum members to learn the yellow fund is none other than Vanguard Wellesley.

So it is all fine and dandy to say
Quote:

So for example, the BlackRock fund (BRBCX) that she has us invest in is to mitigate the downturn in the market which if we put our money in an index the downturn would possibly be more severe. I was again speechless because it sounded good and made sense.
It all does make sense except for the simple fact that we had an awful downturn in 2008 and 2009, and that fund was suppose make downturn less severe, barely out performed 100% stock fund like Vanguard total market. The Vanguard Wellesley fund which is moderate/conservative allocation fund very similar to BRBCX not only made more money during virtually any period than Blackrock, but I bet most owners of Vanguard slept far more soundly at night than the Blackrock owners during the crisis.

There is a bunch of math to prove the Vanguard fund is less risky than the Blackrock fund eventhough they have a virtually identically percentage of stock and bonds. But since the math recently won a Nobel prize, I only have basic understanding of it..

One of the paradox of investing is that you need to be a very sophisticated investor to understand if you FA is doing a good or bad job. And understand concept like investment styles, time weight returns, and Sharp ratios.

But to to invest yourself with index funds is simple read a book, spend a few hours on website like this. Put the money into a index fund and once a year or so rebalance and you are done.


If you have any more comparison of Amerprise vs Vanguard fund to make I am sure we can help provide a different view.

2B 02-26-2014 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 1420305)
Nothing like a mention of Vanguard, and fees to scare the crap out of Amerprise.

+1

The FA is a salesman (women) and has had a lot of training and probably experience in how to convince people to not move their money. I suspect her comparisons did not include any loads or management fees. She also got to pick the time frame and which funds to compare. Some group of funds always beat the index funds over a given time period. The problem is that nobody has consistently done it and nobody has successfully predicted which ones will.

All the research says that in the long run a diversified portfolio of index funds (with low fees) will outperform an equivalent risk adjusted portfolio of managed fund. You can either believe the results of decades of academic research or the person who makes a living off of the fees collected from your money.

Htown Harry 02-26-2014 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 1420305)
One of the challenges in figuring out performance is picking the right comparison.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2B (Post 1420308)
I suspect her comparisons did not include any loads or management fees. She also got to pick the time frame and which funds to compare.

Can you tell we're suspicious of her comparison method? :)

There's another trick used to stack the deck for a particular comparison: comparing price appreciation for one fund against the total return of another fund.

An example of how including reinvested dividend and capital gains distributions makes a very significant difference:

https://si.wsj.net/public/resources/i...1201135704.jpg

As clifp suggests, the "appreciation from $10,000 invested" comparison avoids this.

I'm curious. Did she share copies of her comparison data with you? Or just attempt to dazzle you with a slide show? If the latter, it's very likely an indication of the comparison's validity.

Sue J 02-26-2014 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1420303)
I am still convinced that moving all my funds to Vanguard is the best decision but I don't know how to disqualify her claims and in addition, how to cut ties with our FA since she is so nice (although she seemed to be a little annoyed today...). Can anyone help me disqualify her claims and finally push me over the fence to leave Ameriprise?

Please help!! :(

I'm sorry you weren't able to accomplish your goal on the first try.

The fact that she is annoyed that you want to control YOUR OWN MONEY should be a sign that it's your decision to make. Sometimes NO is a complete answer.

travelover 02-26-2014 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1420303)
........
I am still convinced that moving all my funds to Vanguard is the best decision but I don't know how to disqualify her claims and in addition, how to cut ties with our FA since she is so nice (although she seemed to be a little annoyed today...). Can anyone help me disqualify her claims and finally push me over the fence to leave Ameriprise?

Please help!! :(

I'm really sorry to read this. The bottom line is that it is your money and you don't need permission from anyone to invest it as you see fit.

Find out the tax implications of moving this money. You need to understand this in any case. Then, people here can help you reallocate it at Vanguard.

REWahoo 02-26-2014 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1420303)
I am still convinced that moving all my funds to Vanguard is the best decision but I don't know how to disqualify her claims and in addition, how to cut ties with our FA since she is so nice...

Sigh...

You don't need to disqualify anything, all you need to do is call Vanguard and get the ball rolling to move your funds. The problem isn't how nice your FA is, it's your lack of resolve to take control of your own financial destiny.

The only thing keeping you handcuffed to Ameriprise is your reluctance to use the key you hold in your hand. Be strong - do it.

karluk 02-26-2014 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1420367)
I'm really sorry to read this. The bottom line is that it is your money and you don't need permission from anyone to invest it as you see fit.

Find out the tax implications of moving this money. You need to understand this in any case. Then, people here can help you reallocate it at Vanguard.

I am absolutely dumbfounded that OP finds it necessary to engage in a debate with the FA about the merits of Vanguard vs. Ameriprise. When I go to the bank to withdraw money, I would be aghast if the teller started arguing with me about whether I should make the withdrawal. It's none of their business, and I would certainly report such behavior from a teller to the bank's management. I don't see why the same shouldn't happen to this FA.

Ready 02-26-2014 09:37 AM

I think I would like to hire this woman to work for me. If she is this good at sales, I bet she could make me a lot of money!

pb4uski 02-26-2014 09:40 AM

To me in comparing two funds, the important thing is to make sure they are really comparable based on style, AA for balanced funds, etc. Then clifp's analysis of total return/value of $10k for 3, 5 and 10 year periods are metrics that I key in on. Then I look at volatility measures like duration for fixed income and beta for equities.

I suspect that your FA cherry-picked Vanguard funds that underperformed her selections and if you dive into the details you will find that they are not really comparable funds.

However, if a fund was comparable and total return after fees exceeded the low cost fund for 3, 5 and 10 year periods and volatility was comparable then I would consider the higher cost fund. The rub is, few asset managers can beat the index by more than the fee difference for 3, 5 and 10 year periods.

MRG 02-26-2014 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1420303)
Follow-up:

....Bunch of good stuff I deleted. .....

Finally my one and only redeeming point was that our 529 plan was being charged a 5.75% sales charge and therefore was netting only like 2.95%. I questioned her on that and she looked uncomfortable at first and then she agreed that I should move it. So planning on moving to a Vanguard 529 plan. Or is the Schwab 529 plan better? Any advice?

I am still convinced that moving all my funds to Vanguard is the best decision but I don't know how to disqualify her claims and in addition, how to cut ties with our FA since she is so nice (although she seemed to be a little annoyed today...). Can anyone help me disqualify her claims and finally push me over the fence to leave Ameriprise?

Please help!! :(

I deleted some of your post to get to the point. Other's have given excellent comparisons.

So think about the 529 plan, she set it up or advised, correct?

If so why did she put you in a fund with 5.75% sales fee? You know why. If she gives you one bad piece advice, why believe anything she says?

She's annoyed because she sees you getting smarter, knows you're going to keep getting smarter. She's worried, how do I replace this persons fee's, I got a car to pay for.

You don't see it yet but you did very well. Use the 529 as your motivation.
Best wishes,
MRG

ERD50 02-26-2014 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cucumber (Post 1420303)
Follow-up:

....

Our FA started out comparing the funds that she has us in versus a similar fund at Vanguard so that she could compare "apples to apples". She had beat each one of the Vanguard funds. I was speechless.


You should not be surprised. She appears to be good at what she does, which is to make her look good to you. But pick it apart a little, and just like after you learn how a magician does a trick, you might say "Ahhhh - so that was all it was!"

See the trick - she picked the Vanguard funds to use in the comparison. Now do you honestly think she just picked the first fund that seemed like a good benchmark, or did she do her homework, and only select funds that made her look good?

What would you do if your paycheck depended on it?




Quote:

She then proceeded to tell us that the higher fees are offset by the higher returns and that each fund serves a purpose.
Of course she did. See clifp's response.

Quote:

All my beliefs in high fees being bad were just shut down by what she told me. Although I've been reading constantly every night, I still felt like I didn't know enough to make an argument against her seemingly valid points.
Here's the thing. Do you believe it? Have you seen enough evidence, from people who have no financial interest in this to be convinced? Then act accordingly, and move the funds away. If not, then keep studying until you are convinced one way or the other. But clearly, the Ameriprise person is biased - I'd look elsewhere for info.



Quote:

Finally my one and only redeeming point was that our 529 plan was being charged a 5.75% sales charge and therefore was netting only like 2.95%. I questioned her on that and she looked uncomfortable at first and then she agreed that I should move it.
So after being pressed, she admitted they were collecting 5.75% of your money for no benefit to you? But only after you questioned her on it? What does that tell you about her motivations to do what is right for you? What else will she try to get away with, until you catch her? Is that who you want handling your investments? :facepalm:


Quote:

Please help!! :(
You have everything you need. At this point you must help yourself!

-ERD50

ziggy29 02-26-2014 10:22 AM

I think we are developing a reputation as a place for recovering Ameriprise clients to enter rehab and provide support for one another. :)

Animorph 02-26-2014 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 1420305)
Nothing like a mention of Vanguard, and fees to scare the crap out of Amerprise.

Since she mentioned BRBCX. I thought it would be fun to do a comparison of it vs a comparable Vanguard fund. One of the challenges in figuring out performance is picking the right comparison. There is no perfect comparison. But a very good starting point is the Morningstar classification and the asset allocation. The blackrock fund has 65% cash and bonds,and 35% stock. It is listed as moderate allocation fund. Long time forum members can probably already guess what fund I'm going to use to compare.:)

Look at the chart below. As you can see the yellow line after 10 years as grown from 10K to just $20K (19,744 to be exact) while the blue line is a shade under $16k. But just as important look at what happened during 2008 and 2009 the blue fund dropped well below 10K to $8,600 or 35% decline from early 2008 peak. The yellow fund stayed above $10K the wwhole time. Now which fund would you rather own Yellow or Blue?
BRBCX Chart BlackRock Managed Volatility Inv C Fund Chart
https://globalquote.morningstar.com/g...1-5-14:::B:USA
It probably won't surprise you to learn that Blue fund is the BRBCX. Nor will it surprise long time forum members to learn the yellow fund is none other than Vanguard Wellesley.

So it is all fine and dandy to say
It all does make sense except for the simple fact that we had an awful downturn in 2008 and 2009, and that fund was suppose make downturn less severe, barely out performed 100% stock fund like Vanguard total market. The Vanguard Wellesley fund which is moderate/conservative allocation fund very similar to BRBCX not only made more money during virtually any period than Blackrock, but I bet most owners of Vanguard slept far more soundly at night than the Blackrock owners during the crisis.

There is a bunch of math to prove the Vanguard fund is less risky than the Blackrock fund eventhough they have a virtually identically percentage of stock and bonds. But since the math recently won a Nobel prize, I only have basic understanding of it..

One of the paradox of investing is that you need to be a very sophisticated investor to understand if you FA is doing a good or bad job. And understand concept like investment styles, time weight returns, and Sharp ratios.

But to to invest yourself with index funds is simple read a book, spend a few hours on website like this. Put the money into a index fund and once a year or so rebalance and you are done.


If you have any more comparison of Amerprise vs Vanguard fund to make I am sure we can help provide a different view.

Wellesley is an actively managed fund, though because of its past performance and Vanguard low expenses everyone likes it. Here we've been saying switch to cheap index funds, the FA says her active funds are better, and now we're saying our active funds are even better, based on past performance?

Anyway, to OP, each mutual fund needs to have gains that are better than the index by the amount of their expenses in order to match the index. Using Ameriprise, each of the funds must cover their expenses plus whatever Ameriprise is charging you, just to match the index. If those expenses add up to something around 2%, it is actually very hard for a manager to cover those expenses and beat the index for the long term. Many will do it for a short period, and maybe your FA got lucky and most of your funds beat their indexes. But will they continue to outperform?

As mentioned, be sure you are looking at total return performance, including dividend and capital gains distributions reinvested. Make sure the Vanguard funds you are comparing to are the best match in terms of portfolio style. For example, many international funds will include or exclude emerging markets stocks. That simple fact will make their returns look different without necessarily saying anything about how good their stock picking is.

Now that you have seen your portfolio under Ameriprise, is that something you might feel comfortable setting up on your own? If so, you are paying Ameriprise a lot of money just to watch your portfolio. Mutual funds are not things that change character on a monthly basis.

If you like your interaction with Ameriprise, then continue asking them to compare your portfolio's funds with similar Vanguard index funds (the same ones each time), don't buy anything with a front-end or back-end load, and don't buy any annuities or insurance products. Your FA already slipped in one front-end load fund, that's pretty much a firing offense right there.

Texas Proud 02-26-2014 11:59 AM

Cucumber.....


Sorry to hear you drank the cool-aid....


Hope you wake up and get your money out of there ASAP.




As a thought to the advice you are getting... if they say to put money in a fund that charges a front end load for ANYTHING.... they cannot be trusted... As one of the TV judges have said 'if you lie to me about one thing, I can't trust anything you say'....

Coolius 02-26-2014 12:13 PM

You were shown a "red flag" when she got annoyed at the 529 investment - she had to do something as she did not prepare for an adequate defense on that portion.

If she had been defensive on that issue, you would likely be less inclined to believe her initial pitch, so she gave in on that point to satisfy you. A minor victory for you perhaps, but she won the war.

By conceding your request she is relieved that the crises ( for her ) is over, and you will continue to fund her car/boat/RV/vacation home expenses for the time being.

Very likely she was putting all her effort on the fund comparison and thought the 529 was a minor point that you would not think about.

Why don't you ask her to do a fund comparison with funds that you select - or those that have been mentioned in this thread? And set the time frame - of your choosing.

She might have a much more difficult time to come up with the same conclusions if she were compelled to use your selections and your time frame.

2B 02-26-2014 01:26 PM

cucumber --

You don't have to "convince" her or anything resembling it. She is a commissioned salesperson with one goal and that is to maximize her fee income. She will never, ever agree that you should move all of your money to Vanguard.

Please get over any feeling that you somehow have to have her "permission." She will always have a counter argument to have you keep your money with Ameriprise.

All you will do is put yourself through meaningless discussions until you actually get up the backbone to move your money.

karluk 02-26-2014 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2B (Post 1420470)
cucumber --

You don't have to "convince" her or anything resembling it. She is a commissioned salesperson with one goal and that is to maximize her fee income. She will never, ever agree that you should move all of your money to Vanguard.

Please get over any feeling that you somehow have to have her "permission." She will always have a counter argument to have you keep your money with Ameriprise.

All you will do is put yourself through meaningless discussions until you actually get up the backbone to move your money.

2B's comment sums up your situation perfectly. You are allowing yourself to get lured into a debate with a skilled salesperson who is certain to have a counter-argument to every point you bring up. Why are you allowing yourself to be put into a position of needing the permission of the hired help to take charge of your own money? Everything she says should be met with a polite, "Thank you for your input, but I've decided to go in another direction. When can I expect my account to be closed and receive a check?" Anything less is allowing yourself to be bullied.

travelover 02-26-2014 01:59 PM

This kinda reminds me of an anecdote on another forum. The poster had dropped by a car dealership to look at new cars. They took his car keys to "appraise" his trade in. When he decided he wanted to leave without buying, no one could find the keys to his car. The poor guy was stuck there for hours enduring a hard sell.

My point is that sales people will walk over you just as much as you let them. Sometimes you just have to assert yourself.


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