No. of Recommendations: 3
Hello,

About a year ago I seeked help from a Financial Advisor. A friend recommended Ameriprise to me and now part of my assets are under this guys control.

http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/abraham.x.martinez/

The reason I went with this approach is so that I can focus on other things in life but after a year of working with them the following things bug me:

- $1200 yearly fee
- $1,25% in fees for money under their control
- $1.15% fees for funds (apparently front load fees are not paid for by me)
- Constant pushing of Ameriprise products (Life Insurance, Disability Insurance)
- Request to sell pretty much all my stocks that I have with Scottrade and move over to Ameriprise
- Even if I would go with all the products they push... there is no package deal. It just all becomes more expensive.
- I get advice on how to allocate my 401(k) and 529 plan - but I never get a full financial picture on how my entire financial situation is doing. Only for the part of the money that is under their management.


I need an approach that will allow me to not spend to much time thinking about my investments. I don't want to pick any individual stocks anymore (I tried Hidden Gems). And I don't want to get ripped of - which seems almost impossible with Financial Products.

Is Scottrade and a good asset location of Vanguard Index/Dividend Funds/Bond and REITS my best option here?

Thanks for any help or advice,

C
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Dump Ameriprise tomorrow.

If your financial advisor and the mutual funds he recommends are taking 2.5% or more in annual fees, commissions and hidden trading costs, he'll be able to skim off more than 1/2 your wealth in less than 30 years.

This article lists a few low-cost Vanguard portfolios you could consider.

http://retireearlyhomepage.com/four_percent.html

intercst
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Jill Schlesinger has a radio show on CBS radio which is also available as a podcast. When people are looking for a financial advisor she usually refers them to her article on how to pick one.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-38044144/how-to-pick-...

I think it might be handy for you. Your current advisor seems to be putting his interests above yours.

PF
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Before you pull the trigger and jump into something new, again. Try having a conversation with your advisor.

1. Are the fees negotiable?
2. Are the fees really 1.15% or is that what they are listed in the generic prospectus? The reason I ask is that in many cases, such managed wrap accounts use I, S, or some other form of share class that is cheaper than the typical A share even with the fee waived. If they are using an A share, any 12B1 fees (.25 of the total) are required to be refunded to you.
3. Ameriprise offers a full financial plan that considers all your assets - but last I heard they charged a few hundred dollars for it.
4. You can certainly tell the advisor that if they don't stop trying to sell you stuff you don't think you need, that you will take your money elsewhere.
5. Lastly, you should be able to ACAT the funds in the managed account to a non-wrap, non-managed account if you like the funds you have but don't want to be stuck with the fees.

PS: It feels a bit icky to see a direct link to the actual guy. I know if I was in his shoes right now I would feel a bit insulted. Knowing his name and address really should not change our reply to you.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Get rid of your advisor. He's not advising you on anything other than how to transfer as much of your wealth to his back pocket as possible without committing criminal fraud. Financial advisors and others of their type exist to take your money and make it their money. Good luck.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Financial advisors and others of their type exist to take your money and make it their money.

And it is this sort of blanket-statement biased advise that leads to the vast majority of people to make poor retirement decisions. Some people need or simply want help - as the OP stated, they want to spend their time doing other things.

-----

Some people change their own oil. Some people pay others to do so.
Some people take care of their own lawn. Some people pay others to do so.
Some people do their own taxes. Some people pay others to do so.
Some people plan their own vacations. Some people pay others to do so.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I hate to toot the marketing horn for MF since they already do an annoying job without my help but supposedly the new Supernova service will include a retirement portfolio which if I understand correctly can be copied exactly. More information on that service will come out over the next 3 weeks. You might wait and see if that service is appropriate.

In general I agree with posters suggesting dumping your current advisor. At least with a fee per hour advisor you don't have to worry so much about a conflict of interest regarding recs.

Dr. D
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Any reason to keep your Ameriprise financial advisor? Other than a desire to pay their country club dues and their children's college fund, I'd say no.

If you need help managing investments, look for a fee-only financial planner who can probably set you up with an appropriate portfolio strategy in a few hours -- a one-time cost of a few hundred dollars, most likely -- not the ongoing, parasitic thousands in fees every year.

And I don't want to say anything bad about friends, but I'd hate to think people would recommend these guys to even their enemies.

#29
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No. of Recommendations: 4
As you've obviously picked up by ow from other posts, Ameriprise is looking for people are either completely ignorant about costs and are willing to just hand everything over and ignore their own finances. There are a few other options out there.

1) Garrett Planning network will list financial planners near you that work on a fee only basis. Pay a one-time fee for some good advice and fund recommendations and then just worry about annual rebalancing.

2) Since you are talking about using vangaurd funds why not just go to vanguard with your accounts? They offer a financial planning service for $250 dollars for people with over $50K in assets held at vanguard and the plan is free to those with $500K or more. Vanguard's plan just covers fund recommendations though. I don't think they take a look at other assets such as real estate and the like.

If I were you I'd either pay more to an hourly advisor for a complete financial plan or use vanguard to get a better grasp on asset allocation going through retirment.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
I need an approach that will allow me to not spend to much time thinking about my investments. I don't want to pick any individual stocks anymore (I tried Hidden Gems). And I don't want to get ripped of - which seems almost impossible with Financial Products.

You can Google Couch Potato Portfolio. There are plenty of options of using index funds and rebalancing once a quarter or once a year.

JLC
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No. of Recommendations: 15
If you do not wish to do your own investing or other financial planning, then...
1. You should not feel bad or somehow guilty about this. There are some bright, sharp folks out there who have absolutely NO interest in managing their assets or analyzing this mortgage refi option or that estate plan. Their interests lie elsewhere...and

2. There are very good and competent advisors out there who will put your interests first. Yes, they DO exist.

Your concern with Ameriprise is well founded. I would begin shopping for another advisor immediately.

Two places I would suggest you start...

www.napfa.org
These are fee-only Certified Financial Planners (CFP) who YOU will pay (not some 3rd party insurance company) in the form of assets under management or an hourly fee

http://garrettplanning.com/
As mentioned by the previous poster, these are mostly hourly only financial planners who also hold the CFP designation (I believe Garrett now requires all advisors registered with them to hold the CFP designation)

See if you can locate at least 2 advisors in your area. Call them and make a free appointment. Go to this meeting prepared....write down what it is you want them to do. Examples might be:
1. Do you have sufficient assets to retire and continue your life style
2. Is your property titled so that if you should die your assets will pass to heirs or if you become disabled, other family members you trust can step in and act in your best interest.
3. Your spouse will be financially provided for should you die early
4. Getting rid of the most expensive debt
5. Is refinancing your mortgage at today's rate in your best interest
etc
etc

As CFP certificants, they are REQUIRED to communicate to you clearly and all agreements must be in writing, to include all costs, potential conflicts of interest, timelines, who is responsible for implementing what, and so forth. A trip to the CFP Board and what they expect of their members (as well as how to file a future complaint should such a circumstance arise), might be worth your time

http://www.cfp.net/

BruceM
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No. of Recommendations: 3
You had me at - $1,200 yearly fee!

Over 30 yrs, hmmmm thats about $100,000 out of your pocket. Personally to me, that is a little high - but understand some folks change thier own oil - some pay to have it changed so - $100,000 is not too much over 30 years for some one who does not want to have to worry about this. And if you have enough of a portfolio ( say >$500,000) it is starting to get reasonable.

But then you added in 1.25% of AUM:::: SCREEEEEEECH, what the hell was the annual fee for???? I get paying by AUM for complex portfolios - a businesses, some rental property, tax estate planning, gifting, robbing peter to pay paul stuff, but for a simple guy like me - a retirement plan.. $1,200 a year and give me an allocation plan some other nuggets to chew on and - we can use E*Trade and Vanguard!!!

OMG - then 1.15% fees for funds.. Holy paying through the nose Batman!!


You got some suggestions above: fee only, couch potatoe portfolio, target date funds, even an advice service which for $1,200 you can get some reasonably sound one!!!

d(Dump'em)/dT
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Before you move any money you need to check to find out the impact of;

1) Capital gains taxes and when any short term gains will become long term gains.

2) If any of your mutual funds have back end loads that will be charged if you take the money out before a certain date.

One way to help protect yourself from being taken advantage of is to find an advisor that is OK limiting the investment selections to what Vanguard sells.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Thank you to everyone for all the advice and the overall encouragement to close my account with the advisor.

I have an appointment set-up for wednesday. I will discuss the situation and ask him to discontinue the service with him.

I'll make sure to get a clear understanding on what sort of fees are involved when I move - I bet they have pretty good mechanisms in place to discourage you from leaving.

I will let everyone know how it went.

Thanks again!

C
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No. of Recommendations: 2
CitizenH posts,

I have an appointment set-up for wednesday. I will discuss the situation and ask him to discontinue the service with him.

I'll make sure to get a clear understanding on what sort of fees are involved when I move - I bet they have pretty good mechanisms in place to discourage you from leaving.

</snip>


I forgot to provide this link before. There is a whole website devoted to customers sharing their experiences with Ameriprise.

http://www.ameriprisesuck.com/

intercst
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Thank you - that a great site... I can't believe I got myself into this.

I will try to get a full refund and see what happens.

Thanks again,

C
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I inherited an account with American Express Financial Advisors, the forerunner of Ameriprise. Several years ago the financial advisors broke off from American Express, but from everything I can read, nothing much changed. I met with the advisor. Nice fellow, but he was pushing a financial plan--computer generated, for a fat and selling mutual funds with mediocre performance and loads. I bailed. The loads can be either upfront or a higher annual charge--same difference.

Run! Vanguard would be an excellent choice and if the amount involved is substantial, they will provide advice. Dan Wiener also has model portfolios of Vanguard funds and for a yearly subscription fee you get a weekly e-mail and monthly newsletter. It would be a good choice, although for 2011 his portolios, like many mutual funds, lost money. He's made in back in the Jan-Feb 2012 timeframe.

Fidelity is also good. Actually I have accounts with both.

Best wishes, Chris
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