Thrivent Financial

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MamaBear
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:21 pm

Thrivent Financial

Post by MamaBear » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:56 pm

Hi! I need some help for my daughter and I'm hoping you guys can help me.

She is 20, very frugal, and financially responsible. She's currently working on her associates at a community college, lives on her own, and works part time. After she gets the degree her plan is to work for a year or two to figure out what she wants to do then enroll in a four year university.

For both 2015 and 2016 I convinced her to invest some of her savings in a ROTH IRA, so she's off to a good start! She also has about a years worth of living expenses in savings.

She's very active in her church and has a friend that recently became a salesman for Thrivent. She has agreed to sit down with him to see what he has to offer and wants me to go with her. I've tried googling to see what Thrivent sells so I can be prepared with questions. In general I get the feeling that everyone says to stay away from them. I've already forewarned my daughter that he is a salesman and everything is going to look good while we are there and no matter what we will take what he gives us and do our own research later.

Does anyone have any experience with them? I consider myself a very inexperience investor and don't know what questions to ask the salesman. I know about expense ratios, but is there anything else we need to ask about? Is he going to try and sell her anything besides mutual funds that I need to research? I just don't want her to get talked into something she'll regret later!

Thanks!

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prudent
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Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by prudent » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:05 pm

I have met a few Thrivent people through community activities and they are very nice people. I don't believe they will try any hard-sell. They do tend to have high-cost funds and of course they are going to pitch their own products. I wouldn't try to do any massive research in advance. Just listen to what is said and take the information they'll hand you.

The problem is likely to be that the Thrivent rep is your daughter's friend and she might feel a sense of loyalty to her friend to go with Thrivent rather than her friend finding out she's gone somewhere else. Although there's a perfect excuse to avoid this awkward situation - your daughter ought to say she does not do business with friends, period.

Gnirk
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Location: Western Washington

Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by Gnirk » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:09 pm

prudent wrote:I Although there's a perfect excuse to avoid this awkward situation - your daughter ought to say she does not do business with friends, period.
Excellent Advice. From someone who learned the hard way. :oops:

2retire
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by 2retire » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:10 pm

There have been a few Thrivent posts here on Bogleheads. You can use the search box in the upper right to find them. This was the longest thread.

viewtopic.php?t=21124

MamaBear
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:21 pm

Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by MamaBear » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:15 pm

prudent wrote:I have met a few Thrivent people through community activities and they are very nice people. I don't believe they will try any hard-sell. They do tend to have high-cost funds and of course they are going to pitch their own products. I wouldn't try to do any massive research in advance. Just listen to what is said and take the information they'll hand you.

The problem is likely to be that the Thrivent rep is your daughter's friend and she might feel a sense of loyalty to her friend to go with Thrivent rather than her friend finding out she's gone somewhere else. Although there's a perfect excuse to avoid this awkward situation - your daughter ought to say she does not do business with friends, period.

Thanks! I did try and explain to her how higher expenses affect your savings rate. I will definitely bring up not doing business with friends!

alex_686
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Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by alex_686 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:27 pm

I used to work for Thrivent. There are some things that I found very attractive about Thrivent. They are member owned, and have a sense of mission that extends beyond making a quick dollar. In short, a solid reliable firm. Maybe a little old fashion. The downside of Thrivent is that it is its 1. actively managemed funds 2. its is mid-sized and 3. it serves the middle market. None of these are conducive to low cost fees.

That being said the firm a rep works for is secondary. What really matters is the rep themselves. Some people need advice and good advice is going to cost good money. I am not a fan of the current set up of how most reps are paid but this is the state of the world that we live in today. A good rep will offer good advice at a reasonable cost. A bad one give poor advice and charge a arm and a leg. I think Thrivent attracts advisers that are more ethical than average but obviouslly I can't tell you a thing about the one your daughter is seeing.

bloom2708
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Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:32 pm

Listen to the sales pitch, then have your daughter open her Roth IRA at Vanguard.

Starting with low expense ratio, broad based index funds at a young age will be a tremendous head start. Most/many out here wish we had that advice at age ~20.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

DetroitRick
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Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by DetroitRick » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:42 pm

I've been a customer since the mid 1980's. The two reps I have known pretty well over the years both had decent knowledge and integrity. A third rep I had for a while was more a typical insurance guy. A close friend of mine has great things to say about his rep and products as well.

I held a Thrivent disability policy until a few years ago - it was competitively priced and provided reasonable security for me. I let it lapse after I retired. I still hold one of their old universal life policies. It fills a need I have, and was sold to me with very full and comprehensive disclosure. Not something many on here want, need or like - but it has been a fair asset for me to hold in the grand mix of things.

Investment-wise, I would not place any money with them myself. Other places (Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab to name a few) have much better tools, broader product offering, better websites and lower costs. In fact, my agent during a policy and asset review two years ago came right out and said that they would never encourage me to move investments there - because they could not match my resources (not that I would have moved those investments, but I found their honesty pretty refreshing).

No harm in a meeting, with all the usual precautions - don't buy anything you don't understand, don't let them sell insurance as investments, don't feel pressured (I don't see Thrivent as a hard sell company), and always study your insurance needs with an eye towards term policies instead (which I don't think they sell, but am not sure anymore).

Affinity marketing can be sort of dangerous for customers. Don't feel pressure due to any affiliations. Business is business.

Correction/addition: They DO sell term life as well. You might find it useful to look over the products listed on their website (Thrivent.com) prior to meeting. I also noticed that they have a few more mutual funds now than I first thought, 23 in two share classes (load and no-load). Short list though, actively-managed only.
Last edited by DetroitRick on Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

NotWhoYouThink
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:55 pm

The best plan is for her to cancel the meeting because she "doesn't do business with friends." Which is pretty good policy. The last thing I need is for a guy I don't know well but see every week at church to know the details of my income and investments.

If she goes to the meeting, one of 2 bad things will happen:
- she will invest with him, because either she buys the sales pitch or feels bad about saying no
- you will talk her out of investing with him, so that he will have wasted his time.

There is no good outcome for this meeting. I hope she will cancel it.

dbr
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Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by dbr » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:00 pm

Never, ever, tangle your financial affairs with friends, relatives (except parents, spouses, and children), or members of your church or club.

I doubt Thrivent would be a good choice for investments, generally.

alex_686
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Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by alex_686 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:57 pm

dbr wrote:Never, ever, tangle your financial affairs with friends, relatives (except parents, spouses, and children), or members of your church or club.
As a side note, I would not consider Thrivent itself to be a religious origination. As a fraternal organizations the need a common bond between members - just like credit unions. For historical reasons that bond is Christian. The organization itself is pretty a religious however.

I will second the notion to be care about doing business with friends.

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BL
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Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by BL » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:48 pm

Agree not to invest with friends or family. Ask her how it will feel to have to divorce (fire) her friend when she gets more aware. We have a small amount of a Thrivent fund which has a 1+ % ER.

Here is a nice free 16-page booklet by a recommended author just for new investors:
https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf
Be sure to read #5 about salesmen.

Suggest she simply invest in a Target Date fund or one of the many other balanced funds at Vanguard. She can choose any date that has her age in bonds, for instance.

krow36
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Location: WA

Re: Thrivent Financial

Post by krow36 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:20 pm

Thrivent is in the K-12 403b market, selling both a mutual fund based plan and an annuity based plans. The 19 Thrivent mutual funds in the MF based plan have an average ER of about 1.0% (0.8% to 1.2%) and a load of 4.5%. To be avoided. https://www.403bcompare.com/products/21 ... entoptions

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