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Thrivent?

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:02 am
by PoppyA
Does anyone have any experience with this Lutheran financial service? I am interested in any impressions or comments. A family member is considering moving from Edward Jones to Thrivent for personal investments and a holding spot for business accounts for an inactive business.

TIA

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:15 am
by livesoft
If one types "thrivent" up in the search box, then lots of discussions about Thrivent are available to read. It doesn't look positive.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:22 am
by CedarWaxWing
In what way is it Lutheran?

M

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:29 am
by dbr
From what I know it is a typical "affiliation" operation which takes advantage of religious or social affiliation to take advantage of investors through excessive costs and possibly less than optimal investments. In that respect they are not out of line with any other big office investment operation but they are out of line with the Vanguard model of low cost, tax efficient, diversified investing. At least that is my impression.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:35 am
by Socal77
Where I moved I see people wearing Thrivent T-Shirts where the "T" in Thrivent is a christian cross and states "Live Generously."

I wouldn't touch their services with a ten foot pole. They make Edward Jones look like saints.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:45 am
by bottlecap
Don’t know that it’s worse than EJ, but there are far better options out there than Thrivent.

If your relative is going to go through the trouble of moving accounts, why not move it to an account that makes a big difference - and in the investor’s favor?

JT

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:50 am
by jbmitt
I believe that Thrivent was the result of Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood merging.

They’ve become less Lutheran affiliated and more spiritual or church affiliated.

They offer some decent products, but as a whole, Vanguard or Fidelity should be better. They do have a charitable arm that supports congregation work and Habitat for Humanity.

I have an insurance policy with them from when I was kid and I get badgered by the call center on a regular basis that the local representative would like to meet with me. If he wanted to meet with me, perhaps he’d be better off setting his own appointments.

I won’t invest with them because I’m happy with my current portfolio and because I interned with them and discovered how their reps work. I think they overplay that they are a member of the congregation and should be more trusted.

My dad is Lutheran clergy and has quite a bit of stuff with them, but I’d never talk him away as he’s benefited from their work supporting his congregation’s charitable work.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:01 pm
by mouses
Thrivent was Aid Association for Lutherans. I've never found their savings products competitive. They do donate a lot to at least Lutheran causes.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:28 pm
by david
PoppyA wrote:
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:02 am
Does anyone have any experience with this Lutheran financial service? I am interested in any impressions or comments. A family member is considering moving from Edward Jones to Thrivent for personal investments and a holding spot for business accounts for an inactive business.

TIA
My mother in law uses them. They are very nice to her and they make her feel safe and supported. But they appear to put her in a bunch of annuity products which seem absolutely terrible. They may also churn those products periodically, I'm not sure but she always seems to be talking about new things she's in. Though, this may just be for new money coming in.

They seem like sales people who are just trying to help you. But, the products they sell are the same as other insurance companies. The answer to every question seems to be more insurance products (life insurance, long term care insurance, variable annuities, etc.) I'm not sure what would be better them or Edward Jones. If you've already paid the loads, you may actually be better of with EJ.

I'd personally run from them. I've had a light tough talk with my mother in law and she thought they were good and I haven't brought up going a different path since. I can't win that argument especially when Thrivent's the experts and I'm just married to her daughter.

My wife had a (not term) life insurance policy with them that was not needed and expensive and she eventually turned in. She still gets (she got one this week actually) junk mail from them about going to seminars.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:12 pm
by amazonchic
I worked for Thrivent for 3 years at the home office. I only sold the Medicare Supplements and was never a fan of any of their other products. I know their rates for term life are pretty competitive, but they push the whole life products and variable annuities. For that reason, I could never fully get on board with their product line.

They sold out and instead of keeping their Medicare Supplements in-house, now they farm about half the states' supplements out to AmeriLife. The customer service and underwriting are TERRIBLE. I was hugely disappointed because they had such a strong product serviced by people who you could understand when you call in. They did this simply to make money, admitted to me by upper management (who was in charge of making said decisions). They want more enrollments instead of keeping products on American soil.

I do think Thrivent has a good thing going with all the community involvement and volunteer opportunities, but if you're looking to go with them for anything financial I'd think twice if it's an investment product. Term Life could be a decent product. We never purchased any product from them as their rates were the same as what we currently pay on our term life.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:58 pm
by lostdog
It's admirable of them to do community service and chartible stuff but if you look a it a different way, it's no different from branding and a sales pitch to go with them and make you feel like you're giving also, but in fact you're paying their high fees and loads which goes into their pockets. I am going to guess their charitable stuff is a small fraction of what they make in fees.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:00 pm
by dbr
lostdog wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:58 pm
It's admirable of them to do community service and chartible stuff but if you look a it a different way, it's no different from branding and a sales pitch to go with them and make you feel like you're giving also, but in fact you're paying their high fees and loads.
One of the local charity events I sometimes support has a large presence from a local Ameriprise office. Kudos to them to support the charity, but I can't get near those guys without starting to feel upset.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:39 am
by alex_686
Another former Thrivent Employee. I worked in the back office. It is a very conservative and risk adverse organization. It is a half-step behind many other organizations but then again that might not be a bad thing for a insurance company.

I have said this about EJ and Amerprise, it is not the firm but the financial adviser. I have worked with good, bad, and average adviser across many firms and they seem to be pretty evenly distributed across firms. So focus on the adviser. As a mild defense for all of these advisers I have done profitable models for these people. Offering personalized face-to-face advice in the middle market is hard and involves high fees. Not everybody is a DIY person.

Lastly, Thrivent is a fraternal organization. It is member owned. Whatever it would have paid in taxes on its profit is instead donated to the community, not to the church. So not exactly the same as the charitable / marketing that other firms have done. I have had long conversations about why Thrivent gave money to Habitat for Humanity and then HfH turned around a built homes for a unmarried couple and a Muslim refuge family. There was a minor dust-up when some members directed their charity dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:04 pm
by KSActuary
Edward Jones to Thrivent? Wow, quite the combo there.

Run

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:20 pm
by nisiprius
CedarWaxWing wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:22 am
In what way is it Lutheran?

M
I don't think it is any more. It used to be "Lutheran Brotherhood," then it was "Thrivent Financial for Lutherans," but now it is just "Thrivent." (Checking) It stopped being Lutheran in 2013. It is now "a financial membership organization for Christians."

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:30 pm
by alex_686
nisiprius wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:20 pm
CedarWaxWing wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:22 am
In what way is it Lutheran?

M
I don't think it is any more. It used to be "Lutheran Brotherhood," then it was "Thrivent Financial for Lutherans," but now it is just "Thrivent." (Checking) It stopped being Lutheran in 2013. It is now "a financial membership organization for Christians."
Like a credit union, a fraternal has to have a common bond. It was Lutheran, now it is Christian. The by-laws still read "Thrivent Financial for Lutherans" and you have to be Lutheran to serve on the board but that is about it. So, not very Lutheran. They discounted the lutefisk Christmas dinners years ago. Membership skews Lutheran but the organization is professional. Heck, I know some Lutheran churches that give the Unitarians a run for their money in terms of being liberal.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:13 am
by mouses
alex_686 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:30 pm

Like a credit union, a fraternal has to have a common bond. It was Lutheran, now it is Christian. The by-laws still read "Thrivent Financial for Lutherans" and you have to be Lutheran to serve on the board but that is about it. So, not very Lutheran. They discounted the lutefisk Christmas dinners years ago. Membership skews Lutheran but the organization is professional. Heck, I know some Lutheran churches that give the Unitarians a run for their money in terms of being liberal.
I didn't even know they did a lutefisk thing. Yuk :-)

Lutheran groups vary a lot. Some members will get their knickers in a twist about the Habitat for Humanity and Planned Parenthood items mentioned above, some ordain women and welcome gays.

Re: Thrivent?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:30 am
by jbmitt
mouses wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:13 am
alex_686 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:30 pm

Like a credit union, a fraternal has to have a common bond. It was Lutheran, now it is Christian. The by-laws still read "Thrivent Financial for Lutherans" and you have to be Lutheran to serve on the board but that is about it. So, not very Lutheran. They discounted the lutefisk Christmas dinners years ago. Membership skews Lutheran but the organization is professional. Heck, I know some Lutheran churches that give the Unitarians a run for their money in terms of being liberal.
I didn't even know they did a lutefisk thing. Yuk :-)

Lutheran groups vary a lot. Some members will get their knickers in a twist about the Habitat for Humanity and Planned Parenthood items mentioned above, some ordain women and welcome gays.
Yes the ELCA Lutherans are typical more left than The Missouri Synod or Wisconsin Synod folks.