Certified Financial Planners for companies like Ameriprise
Can anyone sign up to do this? I met with one today and he was a SERIOUSLY dim bulb.
Ameriprise will steal you blind - do not walk, run!!!!!
If you are serious about building a financial future then spend a little time educating yourself. In terms of math you really only need to know percentages.
Good luck to you, OP.
Here's a good starting point:
I started with my financial adviser when he was with Ameriprise. He subsequently left but I have to tell you he's done incredibly well by me. I'm preparing to retire at 50
I had a bad experience with Ameriprise too OP. Flee!
The whole Financial Planners thing seems like a con to me. I've actually met with three of them and when you looked closely at what they were "planning" for me it was boilerplate and geared toward getting the most fees for the least work.
[quote]I started with my financial adviser when he was with Ameriprise. He subsequently left but I have to tell you he's done incredibly well by me. I'm preparing to retire at 50
What are you comparing his performance to, r2?
The problem with Financial Advisers is they usually have very high costs associated with their services. And, by the time you know if they are good (or lucky), it's too late to catch up.
The best strategy is to do a bit of reading, then invest in low cost index funds (if possible - not all 401k plans have them).
I keep repeating this, but people spend a huge percentage of their life working for a paycheck, then put very little effort in understanding how to manage and invest the money they earn. It really doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming to do a good job of managing and investing.
Retired at 56
Ameriprise is known for hiring "financial advisors" who know next to nothing about finance, but who can sell things. That's what they essentially are ... salespeople, to push their (mostly inferior) family of mutual funds and annuities. Anyone who thinks they are actually looking out for your best interests has to be delusional.
There are some losers in other companies too, but Ameriprise seems to have the most. You are much less likely to find them in big companies like MerrillLynch, SmithBarneyCitigroup, Charles Schwab or EdwardJones, which value ethics highest in the industry.
[quote]That's what they essentially are ... salespeople, to push their (mostly inferior) family of mutual funds and annuities.
Inferior and incredibly expensive.
[quote]There are some losers in other companies too, but Ameriprise seems to have the most. You are much less likely to find them in big companies like MerrillLynch, SmithBarneyCitigroup, Charles Schwab or EdwardJones, which value ethics highest in the industry.
I agree that Ameriprise is amongst the worst of "finacial advisors", but the others are going to rip you off too. If you examine the way they are paid, there is no way they are ethical. There is a huge conflict of interest.
[quote]Anyone who thinks they are actually looking out for your best interests has to be delusional.
I think this statement is true for pretty much all financial advisors.
The best $ advice I ever received was to use a FEE-ONLY financial planner - they have no vested interest/kickbacks in selling certain products.
r8, My partner and I went to one. We paid $2,700 for a financial plan. The there were so many errors in it that we actually got a full refund. If I hadn't studied this stuff I would not have known it was wrong.
By the time you can tell if your financial planner is any good or not you know enough to do it yourself.
We researched and interviewed the FP before hiring her. She had passed the CFP on her first attempt and belonged to the Garrett financial planners.
No one answered OP's question. Yes, OP, anyone can do it. They work on commissions, so they will "hire" you almost on the spot. If you;re a good salesmen, you can make decent money.
OP, what do you think happened to all of those mortgage brokers?
They all went into financial planning. Because they had the suits and leatherette portfolios.
You get what you pay for in financial planning.
You either visit a firm that has minimum requirements to make it worth their time
you spend hours studying financial planning and make use of a discount broker
you wander in to some twit who wears cheap shoes and pray their paid-placement funds are 'best of breed'.
I've been with Ameriprise for almost a decade and have had good experiences. I probably could pay lower fees with another company, but my advisor has done well by me and my portfolio (about half a million), even weathering the downturns in 2007-08 and rebounding.
I'm smart enough to realize I'm too dumb to handle my own investment decisions without professional input. So I pay for it.
[quote]I probably could pay lower fees with another company, but my advisor has done well by me and my portfolio
I'm sure you could pay lower fees with another company.
What are you using as a bench mark to determine that you have done well by your advisor?
[quote]You get what you pay for in financial planning
I have to disagreee and say the opposite is often true. Have you ever done the math on what impact the compounding effect of the fees and commission you pay are costing you?
You could probably do much better to put your money in a lifecycle or target fund and be done with it.
[quote]you spend hours studying financial planning and make use of a discount broker
How many hours do you spend earning the money? Buy or borrow a book like, "The Boglehead Guide to Investing" and read it. It really doesn't have to be that complicated.
Determine your asset allocation, put your money into inexpensive/low cost mutual funds, invest half of every raise, rebalance every couple of years or when your asset allocation is more than 15% out of whack.
Use a fee only advisor as a sounding board and pay them by the hour.
[quote] ... use a FEE-ONLY financial planner - they have no vested interest/kickbacks in selling certain products.
True, and a fee-based planner would be my first recommendation for someone with a GREAT deal of money and little to no investment smarts. But there is still a bit of a risk, as someone else pointed out. (And, today, those impressive-looking financial plans are generated almost entirely by software, which is worthless if the user doesn't know what is important to input.)
In the interests of full-disclosure, I was R5 above, so you know I'm no fan of Ameriprise. They are the WalMart of financial planning, but you can occasionally find someone there who is good ... though they usually don't stay long, if they are smart.
My advice would be to find someone in a similar financial situation as you, and ask them who they use and are happy with.
People are always assuming I can advise them on finances, and I am quick to point out I use a financial planner myself, so obviously they should rely on any investment advice I come up with. Too often, people concentrate on the tax implications of an investment, rather than looking at its proven (after tax) yield and appreciation, which is really what is important.
The independent planner I use ... who does both traditional and fee-based planning ... is a women in the community I've known over 20 years. I refer clients to her, and am gratified that everyone seems quite happy with her.
I do get (and give) feedback on other planners my clients see. I've seen people put into high risk or low return investments that clearly only benefit the seller with high commissions. I've seen 80 year old clients put into long term annuities that would take a good 10-15 years before they recover the upfront sales load and actually show a return. And don't get me started on banks that detour CD-investors to their mutual fund salespeople, claiming a much higher "interest" payment, without explaining the risks and uncertainties.
As far as the big brokerages go, I have been most impressed by Edward Jones. I have never encountered a situation where I would second-guess anything they told a mutual client, and they explain things simply and accurately.
Thanks, Tax Troll. Consider this a post of appreciation - you do something nice and useful for us gays.
I have used an Ameriprise financial planner for twenty years. She's very good, and she has made me a multi-millionaire.
[quote]I have used an Ameriprise financial planner for twenty years. She's very good, and she has made me a multi-millionaire.
Yes, but I bet you started as a billionaire.
Yuck, yuck, Ameriprise sucks
I've used Ameriprise ever since it was IDS. I've had good experiences with them. I had one planner over 20 years and then he retired. I'm very happy with the new planner I use. I'm hoping to retire in a few years and am planning on having around a million dollars in my portfolio.
I'm surprised to read these negative posts about Ameriprise.
r19, have you ever looked at how yoru Ameriprise salesperson is comphensated?
TaxTroll, I am shocked to hear you endorse Edward Jones advisors. Any commission based sales creates a conflict of interest, but Edward Jones seems to have some of the worst incentives for their sales reps. I just retired and now have free time, I'm tempted to go to an EJ salesperson and lay out a Vanguard/Fidelity index fund based portfolio and see what they suggest. I'm sure they'd be happy to sell me load funds with high expenses and 12b fees. Why are you not directing clients to fee (hourly or flat rate) only planners????
There are bad planners in any company. I've had no experience with Ameriprise, but I had a guy with ING who sucked! Also I met with two separate fee only planners to get their advice. They both tried to sell my 70ish mother annuities!!!! wtf? I sat poker-faced while they pitched how AMAZING annuities are and then I politely said my goodbyes.
You have to get referred to someone. That's the best way to find someone legit who you can trust.
Now, I do it myself. I read "How to invest in Stocks" by William Oneill. and subscribed to Investors Business Daily Newspaper. The newspaper is a teaching tool and really helped me learn about investing.
Groan! I know- reading a book on investing sounds so boring. But pick up a copy of the paper or go to their site. They have lessons and videos and stuff.
[quote] Also I met with two separate fee only planners to get their advice. They both tried to sell my 70ish mother annuities!!!! wtf?
r21, they weren't fee only Financial Advisors. I am so glad you were smart enough not to fall for the annuity sales pitch!!!
Actually, an EJ broker warned my uncle he was getting freaky with his investments. She suggested he bring in his most trusted child for a chat.
It turns out he was trying to change his will and his portfolio weekly. He was leaving millions he didn't have to strangers and instructing her to invest in odd shit he saw on TV.
He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a month later.
His family still can't figure out what he did with all of his $500 cash withdrawals from the bank.
r23, that doesn't make the EJ advisor a good advisor. I think any FA would have noticed the oddities going on.
My point is that anyone earning a commission has a conflict of interest. They will sell you what earns them the most money, not what the best investment is for you.
If you can find someone qualified and pay them a flat rate, the conflict of interest will be removed.
I still believe the best thing is to read a few good investment books then use a fee only planner to look over what you are doing.
Also, there are some really good forums to post questions and ask advice or bounce ideas off. I trust some of the message boards (bogleheads and retire early forums) more than any one financial advisor. There are some sharp posters and interesting discussions.
R20, I'm not sure how the financial planner I use is compensated. I'm assuming he gets a salary along with commissions.
I am aware the fees that are charged my account, though. They average around 1 percent of the value of my accounts.
This fee amount is higher than what is charged by the 401k accounts that I have with my employer.
Yet I have more flexibility with my Ameriprise accounts than I do with the accounts I have with the 401k.
I understand that it's not good to be ripped off when using a financial planner especially when you use a planner for retirement purposes.
But, I don't mind paying fees when I feel like the financial adviser is doing what I need him to do - to help me save money for my retirement. I meet with him on a regular basis and he covers things about what can be done to help secure my future. He does not do anything without my approval and I don't give him an approval until I understand what he is doing and why he is doing it.
Could this guy be ripping me off? I guess I can't definitely say 'no' but I don't think he is. I monitor my accounts on a regular basis and they are growing. Not like Bernie Madoff growth (which never seem to have dips) but over the years the value has increased.
I did not cash out when the market turned down. It was depressing to see the value of my accounts decrease, but I had to remind myself that the monthly allotment of money I set aside was buying things at a sale price. I got more for my money at that time. The surge in the market lately has been pleasant to see because the value of my accounts has increased, but I am not able to purchase as many shares/stocks now that I used to buy when the market was down. When the market was down, I did not cash out so I did not 'lose' anything.
I'm just surprised to read that some people have not had good experiences with Ameriprise but I now realize that that was a dumb thought on my part. Why would I believe every Ameriprise financial adviser is good at what he/she does? I don't work in any financial business, but there are people I work with that are not good at what they do professionally, so the same should be true for Ameriprise employees.
Two years ago when I met with my CPA to go over my taxes he mentioned to me that he was surprised of the amount that was in the category of unearned income I made that year. It seemed that most returns he did that year had small amounts in this category due to the banking crisis. My unearned income was higher than most. Most of my investments are through Ameriprise.
I apparently have had good luck with Ameriprise and I plan on staying with them.
But, I can understand that some people have not had good luck using Ameriprise. I hope these people can find somewhere else to help with their investments or can educate themselves as to what to do on their own.
One of the rookie mistakes I made early on was I thought my FA was watching my individual stocks.
People should be aware that financial advisors dont watch your stocks. YOU have to do that. Then if you need them to sell something they can do it. But if your stocks crash, it's your own fault for not checking them daily. (Or in my case, it was MY fault.)
[r23] my grandmother died and we started going through her stuff and we found money socked away everywhere!!! two bed condo and anywhere you could hide cash we found it. In books, drawers, behind pictures, in recipe box. in the pockets of suitcases, you name it. thousands!