Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

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Topic Author
mathnerd86
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 am

Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

Hello, I am new here and in need of advice on some investment matters that feel way too important to leave them up to my own devices. First, I would like to say that I find what you all are doing here for everyday investors to be absolutely wonderful. I don't think I would feel comfortable asking these questions anywhere else, and I am very grateful that I've come across this forum.

Getting to the subject at hand, I am 35 and I've had a portfolio with Ameriprise for about 5 years now. It was created for me by my dad and my step-mother when he remarried. She is a very successful businesswoman, and she was kind enough to want to help me get a good start on building wealth. I have been trying to contribute to it regularly ever since and honor the spirit of her gift. At this point it has grown quite well (I think), and I am very fond of it, but I admit that I haven't been very smart about things so far... The account was opened as a regular brokerage account, but she introduced me to her advisor who helped me to create an initial investment plan, and I was told to just leave it alone.

When I sold my little condo a couple of years ago, I used some of the money to pay off my car, and the rest I wanted to create an account for with the goal of having a nice house down payment in around 3-5 years. My advisor said he could take care of that and sent me the paperwork, and I basically just trusted his plan and signed it (I know, not very smart). It turned out that a good opportunity presented itself, and I did not end up needing any of that money to make the down payment, so I left it where it was. I recently checked on it and was a little disappointed in its performance so I started poking around and educating myself. I had learned that this was an actively managed account and that these could be incurring egregious fees if you aren't careful, and this seems to be the case. It had a wrap fee of 1% on top of the fees of the underlying funds, which there were quite a lot of, and they were not cheap, nor were they doing well enough to justify the costs. Now, shortly after this account was created, my advisor had been fired from the wealth management company we were using, and my parents introduced me to their new advisor.

I called the new advisor last week and told him I wanted to terminate the actively managed account and do everything differently in the brokerage account, because I am currently a stay-at-home mom with no income, but I just finished my MS in Computer Science and will be getting back to my career quite soon, so the opportunity to avoid capital gains tax is now. The brokerage account had only one ETF (VV), and it was doing quite well compared to the actively managed account, but I didn't want to be overexposed in that one asset class for the long-term, so I asked for his advice on a well-diversified but aggressive portfolio for the brokerage account. He agreed that the actively managed account should be terminated and said he would do some research to help me choose a new portfolio.

What he came back with was around 9 individual stocks, mostly in the US Large Cap class in the tech sector, and some low cost ETFs to choose from. I had read that using all ETFs was a good way to go, but he said he really like individual stocks right now, so I said okay. Before making the changes, he called me back and said that I was going to be hit with a lot of commissions ($1200) if I did all this in the brokerage account, and that I should create an SPS account that had the same pay structure, and there would be no commissions. He sent me the paperwork needed to create the account with him as my advisor, and I didn't sign it because I saw that this would be yet another type of managed account with a new wrap fee of 1.15%. I don't think this is what I want, but it would still be significantly less expensive than the actively managed account, because it would have only individual stocks and one broad, well-diversified ETF of my choosing, and the one I was thinking about choosing was another low-cost Vanguard ETF (MGK).

So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here. So, specifically, my questions are...

1) Is it very bad to have a full advisor working for me, even at 1.15% (I'm guessing this fee went up because of how much more money he will be handling than was in the actively managed account)? Is it worth the extra cost to have one advisor, dedicated to helping your unique financial situation as it changes across the years? My portfolio is worth $108k, so we aren't talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars here, but hopefully one day it will be, as I intend to contribute heavily. Will this service ever be worth it?

2) Obviously, if I DIY, it makes more sense to transfer the account out to a broker with lower fees than Ameriprise. I don't want to be paying commissions when brokers like Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab offer commission free trading. So, which broker would be best for me? Should I go to the one with the funds that I like? I quite like the ETFs offered by Vanguard, but would Fidelity's or Schwab's funds be just as good or better? I ask because they seem to have lower fees and better tools than Vanguard, from the research I've done so far, but maybe I'm mistaken on this.

3) Also, if I DIY, I won't be able to open any retirement accounts, so I will have to use a taxable account, and I've read that you don't want to put bonds into a taxable account, but I don't want to go 100% stocks right now either, so what should I do with the portion of the funds that I want to put in bonds? Even if I stay with Ameriprise, I will plan on withdrawing 25% for future bonds as cash, and I'm not sure when I will find a job and be able to open a retirement account. What should I do with that cash in the interim? I don't think I should keep it as cash.

4) When I am able to open a retirement account, will I even be able to contribute these set-aside funds to it? Or are you only able to contribute earnings from your employer? My last job did not come with a retirement plan, so I don't know anything about these.

5) Are individual stocks a bad idea, if I have strong confidence in them? I know the majority of advice is to use a core of several well-diversified ETFs covering the whole market, but is there a case for supplementing with a few strong individual stocks, as my advisor is suggesting?
tashnewbie
Posts: 2262
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:44 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by tashnewbie »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm 5) Are individual stocks a bad idea, if I have strong confidence in them? I know the majority of advice is to use a core of several well-diversified ETFs covering the whole market, but is there a case for supplementing with a few strong individual stocks, as my advisor is suggesting?
Welcome to the forum!!

I think what you said above (highlighted) is critical. That's really all you need. You don't need to use individual stocks. As a novice investor, I think you should stay away from them. When you have more investing acumen, maybe you'll decide you think using individual stocks is worth it, maybe not. But bottom line: you don't need them.

All you really need in a taxable account are broad market index funds like VTI (Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund) [and VXUS (Vanguard's Total International Stock Market Index Fund) if you want an international equity allocation], which you can easily use at any low-cost brokerage like Fidelity or Schwab, in addition to Vanguard.

I wouldn't want to use an expensive advisor that's charging 1.15% wrap fee.

I would read the books you ordered, take your time, digest the information, and then you'll be better informed about what to do with this account. I don't think it'd be horrible to maintain status quo until you have time to educate yourself.

Does your spouse have a workplace plan like a 401k/etc.? If so, that would be a good place to hold desired bonds (view all of your accounts as one big portfolio).

This wiki may be a good place to get started (no pun intended): Getting Started
Dottie57
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Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Dottie57 »

Ameriprise is expensive. 1.15% year after year ( even when account loses money) is very expensive. Move to a model that is less expensive. I like fidelity a lot. Easy to use. Check to see if you have an office nearby.

I have done with a few stocks. But I eventually sold them It is much cleaner and simpler to just hold funds/etfs. Hold broad based stock funds lowers rather risk of just hold a few stocks.

Good luck.

ETA

Read this Boglehead thread on fees.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=362868
dbr
Posts: 37951
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by dbr »

I can't understand this creating of accounts every time you turn around. Your additional money could have been invested in the original account. But then that account is also a managed account with an AUM. Of course, Ameriprise is good at bamboozling you about what they are really doing.

You should be grateful to your step mother for a gift, but she has done you no favors setting you up to be victimized by Ameriprise. I am sure it has been done with the best intentions.

As to individual stocks, those stocks carry diversifiable risk which means there is extra risk in holding individual stocks that is not compensated by expected return. That can mean excessively high unexpected returns or excessively unexpected losses. In addition there is management risk that they will make very bad choices, but you still have to pay them. It is better to diversify away the excess risk.
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iceport
Posts: 5377
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by iceport »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here.
It's a great idea to do some reading before taking the next steps. As a former Ameriprise customer who left back in January 2005, I can assure you that you are way, way better off doing this all yourself. If your username is even only remotely descriptive, you're more than qualified to manage your own finances.

I'd just like to encourage you to read 14 pages now, even before your ordered books arrive. I doubt there are 14 pages available anywhere in the world that pack in as much wisdom and insight for small individual investors.

If You Can

(You might want to focus extra attention on "Hurdle Number Five." :wink:
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
exodusNH
Posts: 1426
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:21 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here. So, specifically, my questions are...
Before you do anything with your account, you would be well-served posting your information in this format:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212

Depending on what's in your portfolio right now, you might be able to transfer them as-is to a new brokerage, such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. This would avoid any tax implications. However, some funds might not be able to transfer. Others might incur a fee when you sell them. (Though, it'd be a one-time fee if you liquidated and probably much cheaper than continued 1%+ fees to Ameritrade.)

You'll get lots of good advice from this forum.

I'd also suggest that you stop talking to your advisor for the moment. They are very, very well-trained salespeople and can easily counter any objection that you have. Once you've got a plan in place, you can execute it at your new brokerage, who will handle all of the details of getting it out of Ameritrade without giving them the opportunity to confuse / sell you.
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iceport
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by iceport »

From If You Can:
To summarize, you are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the financial services industry. Every dollar in fees and expenses you pay them comes directly out of your pocket. (Be aware that you're often getting charged far more in mutual fund fees than that "expense ratio" listed on the prospectus or annual report, which is often exceeded by the "transactional costs," that is, adverse price changes that result from moving around millions of shares, much of which accrues indirectly to the fund company.) Act as if every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesperson, and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal, and stick to low-cost index funds, and you'll do just fine.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Ameriprise is fairly well known for being the absolute WORST broker in the US. It sounds like they're charging you every fee known to man. A wrap fee, so when your account loses its shirt, he still gets paid very well, maybe commissions on purchases and maybe he gets kick backs from some of the investments, so you're paying ridiculous high expense ratios.

I would recommend you find a new broker who doesn't act like they're still in 1972 and glow from ripping you off as many ways as possible. Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab are the usual places to go. Contact one of them. You'll send your most recent statement and move all the accounts. They can tell you if you should move in kind or sell at Ameriprise, then move money. Your mention that some trades would cost you $1200 is a red flag that you're being ripped off. For a $3.6 million portfolio, I pay a total of $592 per year. And I can even reduce that percentage and probably will in the future.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
Topic Author
mathnerd86
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

exodusNH wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:11 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here. So, specifically, my questions are...
Before you do anything with your account, you would be well-served posting your information in this format:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212

Depending on what's in your portfolio right now, you might be able to transfer them as-is to a new brokerage, such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. This would avoid any tax implications. However, some funds might not be able to transfer. Others might incur a fee when you sell them. (Though, it'd be a one-time fee if you liquidated and probably much cheaper than continued 1%+ fees to Ameritrade.)

You'll get lots of good advice from this forum.

I'd also suggest that you stop talking to your advisor for the moment. They are very, very well-trained salespeople and can easily counter any objection that you have. Once you've got a plan in place, you can execute it at your new brokerage, who will handle all of the details of getting it out of Ameritrade without giving them the opportunity to confuse / sell you.
Thank you for directing me to this. Here is the information, as completely as I can detail it...

Emergency funds: Haven't done this yet, but I plan on taking some of the cash from the liquidated managed account for this.

Debt: I have a direct consolidated federal student loan with a balance of $107k, which is being re-payed under the REPAYE (revised pay as you earn) plan, with a 6% interest rate, but under this plan 3% is government subsidized and any un-payed amount after 20 years will be forgiven. Since this isn't like a typical loan, I'm not sure if I should focus paying this down before investing like I would with other types of debt. Under my current plan, my monthly payments are capped at 10% of my discretionary income, so I can't actually pay more even when I return to my career and would likely be able to pay more. I have no other debt. I keep credit cards but they are paid for in full every month by my loving fiancée. For now... :D

Tax Filing Status: Single

Tax Rate: Currently, I have no income and thus pay no taxes. The jobs I am looking at are paying $75k-$110k, so that will put me in the 24% federal income tax bracket. There is no state income tax where I live.

State of Residence: Texas

Age: 35

Desired Asset allocation: 75% stocks / 25% bonds
Desired International allocation: xx% of stocks (I'm not sure about this one)

Approx. portfolio size is $108k

My advisor has already processed the termination of my managed account, which will be liquidated and the cash will be placed into my brokerage account, making my portfolio a single account with...

Taxable
44% cash
50% VV 0.04%
6% NVDA

Right now, I am not making contributions because I am not earning income. However, when I am employed again (counting the days!), I will be contributing as much as possible, likely well over 15% as my only expenses will be my student loan payments, car insurance, phone bill, household purchases (food, shampoo, and whatnot), and half the mortgage on our house (mortgage is not in my name since we aren't married yet and is around $800 per month).
Topic Author
mathnerd86
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

tashnewbie wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:15 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm 5) Are individual stocks a bad idea, if I have strong confidence in them? I know the majority of advice is to use a core of several well-diversified ETFs covering the whole market, but is there a case for supplementing with a few strong individual stocks, as my advisor is suggesting?
Welcome to the forum!!

I think what you said above (highlighted) is critical. That's really all you need. You don't need to use individual stocks. As a novice investor, I think you should stay away from them. When you have more investing acumen, maybe you'll decide you think using individual stocks is worth it, maybe not. But bottom line: you don't need them.

All you really need in a taxable account are broad market index funds like VTI (Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund) [and VXUS (Vanguard's Total International Stock Market Index Fund) if you want an international equity allocation], which you can easily use at any low-cost brokerage like Fidelity or Schwab, in addition to Vanguard.

I wouldn't want to use an expensive advisor that's charging 1.15% wrap fee.

I would read the books you ordered, take your time, digest the information, and then you'll be better informed about what to do with this account. I don't think it'd be horrible to maintain status quo until you have time to educate yourself.

Does your spouse have a workplace plan like a 401k/etc.? If so, that would be a good place to hold desired bonds (view all of your accounts as one big portfolio).

This wiki may be a good place to get started (no pun intended): Getting Started
I think I am in agreement at this point that I don't want an advisor that's charging a 1.15% wrap fee either...

My partner and I are not married yet so we are keeping our finances mostly separate, at least our investments.

Thank you for the wiki link!
Topic Author
mathnerd86
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

Dottie57 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:29 pm Ameriprise is expensive. 1.15% year after year ( even when account loses money) is very expensive. Move to a model that is less expensive. I like fidelity a lot. Easy to use. Check to see if you have an office nearby.

I have done with a few stocks. But I eventually sold them It is much cleaner and simpler to just hold funds/etfs. Hold broad based stock funds lowers rather risk of just hold a few stocks.

Good luck.

ETA

Read this Boglehead thread on fees.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=362868
Thank you for the suggestion, I am definitely considering Fidelity.
Topic Author
mathnerd86
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

iceport wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:56 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here.
It's a great idea to do some reading before taking the next steps. As a former Ameriprise customer who left back in January 2005, I can assure you that you are way, way better off doing this all yourself. If your username is even only remotely descriptive, you're more than qualified to manage your own finances.

I'd just like to encourage you to read 14 pages now, even before your ordered books arrive. I doubt there are 14 pages available anywhere in the world that pack in as much wisdom and insight for small individual investors.

If You Can

(You might want to focus extra attention on "Hurdle Number Five." :wink:
I read the booklet already ( I loved it! ) and I will be looking into those suggested readings. This is such a useful resource, thank you very much!

I am not afraid of numbers (as my username implies) and so I do not know what was holding me back from taking a more authoritative role over my investments. I suppose that I assumed that my lack of expertise in the finance industry was a larger hindrance than it actually is. I was also very unaware of the perilous situation I was in with Ameriprise. I trusted my step-mom to leave me in good hands... I guess, in a way, this is an example of a challenge from "Hurdle Number Four" as well. Now that I know how simple it can actually be, I feel empowered to take control :happy
niagara_guy
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:32 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by niagara_guy »

Did they pass a law that says a young person who doesn't have a lot of investing experience can't open their own retirement accounts? Did I miss that? Of course you can open your own retirement accounts at Fidelity, Schwab. Vanguard or others. You could call one of these companies and they will help you open an account (and move your Ameriprise money over if you want to). You should be contributing to a Roth account each year as well as a 401k (if available). If you post your details you will get better help.

I wonder if Ameriprise will charge you a fee to close accounts when you move (some brokers do). Nothing like a kick in the rear on the way out the door.

Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard (I have accounts at all 3, all are good) will only charge you a small fund fee (for some funds as low as 0.04%) and no other fees. Check with them to make sure. I use low fee index funds (like VFIAX, S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard, 0.04% fee) and would recommend the same. S&P 500 index funds, total stock market index funds all provide excellent diversification and are available from many good investment houses. One of these is all you need for your equity portion.

Keep coming back and asking questions (or reading posts). I wish you well on your investing career and I hope we can help you.
exodusNH
Posts: 1426
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:21 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:14 pm
exodusNH wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:11 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here. So, specifically, my questions are...
Before you do anything with your account, you would be well-served posting your information in this format:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212

Depending on what's in your portfolio right now, you might be able to transfer them as-is to a new brokerage, such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. This would avoid any tax implications. However, some funds might not be able to transfer. Others might incur a fee when you sell them. (Though, it'd be a one-time fee if you liquidated and probably much cheaper than continued 1%+ fees to Ameritrade.)

You'll get lots of good advice from this forum.

I'd also suggest that you stop talking to your advisor for the moment. They are very, very well-trained salespeople and can easily counter any objection that you have. Once you've got a plan in place, you can execute it at your new brokerage, who will handle all of the details of getting it out of Ameritrade without giving them the opportunity to confuse / sell you.
Thank you for directing me to this. Here is the information, as completely as I can detail it...

Emergency funds: Haven't done this yet, but I plan on taking some of the cash from the liquidated managed account for this.

Debt: I have a direct consolidated federal student loan with a balance of $107k, which is being re-payed under the REPAYE (revised pay as you earn) plan, with a 6% interest rate, but under this plan 3% is government subsidized and any un-payed amount after 20 years will be forgiven. Since this isn't like a typical loan, I'm not sure if I should focus paying this down before investing like I would with other types of debt. Under my current plan, my monthly payments are capped at 10% of my discretionary income, so I can't actually pay more even when I return to my career and would likely be able to pay more. I have no other debt. I keep credit cards but they are paid for in full every month by my loving fiancée. For now... :D

Tax Filing Status: Single

Tax Rate: Currently, I have no income and thus pay no taxes. The jobs I am looking at are paying $75k-$110k, so that will put me in the 24% federal income tax bracket. There is no state income tax where I live.

State of Residence: Texas

Age: 35

Desired Asset allocation: 75% stocks / 25% bonds
Desired International allocation: xx% of stocks (I'm not sure about this one)

Approx. portfolio size is $108k

My advisor has already processed the termination of my managed account, which will be liquidated and the cash will be placed into my brokerage account, making my portfolio a single account with...

Taxable
44% cash
50% VV 0.04%
6% NVDA

Right now, I am not making contributions because I am not earning income. However, when I am employed again (counting the days!), I will be contributing as much as possible, likely well over 15% as my only expenses will be my student loan payments, car insurance, phone bill, household purchases (food, shampoo, and whatnot), and half the mortgage on our house (mortgage is not in my name since we aren't married yet and is around $800 per month).
Ah, well, cash can he held anywhere! Both VV and NVDA will transfer as-is to whatever brokerage you select.

VV should pretty closely track the US total stock market. You're missing small caps, but the large caps historically drive most of the market. (It's math! Market cap-weighted funds will have mostly the big ones.)

Decide what broker you want to use. Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard are all good choices. If you might have a HSA, that's something Fidelity does well. (I don't have an account there, only at Vanguard.)

Once you decide, have them do an in-kind transfer. This won't trigger any tax issues.

One thing you may need to do is look at what your liquidation to cash incurred for taxes. You might need to make an estimated tax payment the the IRS by mid-January. Yes, January, since the IRS requires you to pay taxes as your earn income. When you're a regular employee, that happens automatically in every paycheck. But when you have a "windfall" event like liquidating a bunch of holdings, you need to pay in the begining of the next quarter for the income earned in the prior.
exodusNH
Posts: 1426
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:21 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:30 pm
iceport wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:56 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm So, as I said I didn't sign the papers, and I started reading this forum, and I ordered a couple of the suggested books. I want to educate myself more before I decide what to do, but I also feel I need some advice here.
It's a great idea to do some reading before taking the next steps. As a former Ameriprise customer who left back in January 2005, I can assure you that you are way, way better off doing this all yourself. If your username is even only remotely descriptive, you're more than qualified to manage your own finances.

I'd just like to encourage you to read 14 pages now, even before your ordered books arrive. I doubt there are 14 pages available anywhere in the world that pack in as much wisdom and insight for small individual investors.

If You Can

(You might want to focus extra attention on "Hurdle Number Five." :wink:
I read the booklet already ( I loved it! ) and I will be looking into those suggested readings. This is such a useful resource, thank you very much!

I am not afraid of numbers (as my username implies) and so I do not know what was holding me back from taking a more authoritative role over my investments. I suppose that I assumed that my lack of expertise in the finance industry was a larger hindrance than it actually is. I was also very unaware of the perilous situation I was in with Ameriprise. I trusted my step-mom to leave me in good hands... I guess, in a way, this is an example of a challenge from "Hurdle Number Four" as well. Now that I know how simple it can actually be, I feel empowered to take control :happy
Did you earn any income this year? If so, you can contribute the lesser of your earned income and $6,000. I would do it as a Roth IRA.
Topic Author
mathnerd86
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:37 am

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

niagara_guy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:44 pm Did they pass a law that says a young person who doesn't have a lot of investing experience can't open their own retirement accounts? Did I miss that? Of course you can open your own retirement accounts at Fidelity, Schwab. Vanguard or others. You could call one of these companies and they will help you open an account (and move your Ameriprise money over if you want to). You should be contributing to a Roth account each year as well as a 401k (if available). If you post your details you will get better help.

I wonder if Ameriprise will charge you a fee to close accounts when you move (some brokers do). Nothing like a kick in the rear on the way out the door.

Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard (I have accounts at all 3, all are good) will only charge you a small fund fee (for some funds as low as 0.04%) and no other fees. Check with them to make sure. I use low fee index funds (like VFIAX, S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard, 0.04% fee) and would recommend the same. S&P 500 index funds, total stock market index funds all provide excellent diversification and are available from many good investment houses. One of these is all you need for your equity portion.

Keep coming back and asking questions (or reading posts). I wish you well on your investing career and I hope we can help you.
As I understand it, you cannot open a retirement account while unemployed. Is this not correct? And yes, they'll charge me $125. From what I'm finding out from this lovely forum, this will be a small price to pay compared to staying there. At this point, I'm beginning to be rather shocked that my advisor actually said, pay my 1.15% wrap fee or pay $1200 in commissions. He must think I'm quite naïve indeed to stay after this suggestion. Thank you for the index fund suggestions and the well wishes!
exodusNH
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:21 pm

Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:01 pm
niagara_guy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:44 pm Did they pass a law that says a young person who doesn't have a lot of investing experience can't open their own retirement accounts? Did I miss that? Of course you can open your own retirement accounts at Fidelity, Schwab. Vanguard or others. You could call one of these companies and they will help you open an account (and move your Ameriprise money over if you want to). You should be contributing to a Roth account each year as well as a 401k (if available). If you post your details you will get better help.

I wonder if Ameriprise will charge you a fee to close accounts when you move (some brokers do). Nothing like a kick in the rear on the way out the door.

Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard (I have accounts at all 3, all are good) will only charge you a small fund fee (for some funds as low as 0.04%) and no other fees. Check with them to make sure. I use low fee index funds (like VFIAX, S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard, 0.04% fee) and would recommend the same. S&P 500 index funds, total stock market index funds all provide excellent diversification and are available from many good investment houses. One of these is all you need for your equity portion.

Keep coming back and asking questions (or reading posts). I wish you well on your investing career and I hope we can help you.
As I understand it, you cannot open a retirement account while unemployed. Is this not correct? And yes, they'll charge me $125. From what I'm finding out from this lovely forum, this will be a small price to pay compared to staying there. At this point, I'm beginning to be rather shocked that my advisor actually said, pay my 1.15% wrap fee or pay $1200 in commissions. He must think I'm quite naïve indeed to stay after this suggestion. Thank you for the index fund suggestions and the well wishes!
Did you have any earned income?
Topic Author
mathnerd86
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

I am a little confused on a couple of things. Firstly, I wasn't able to halt the liquidation of the managed account, but I was led to believe since I didn't earn income this year that I would be in the 0% capital gains bracket. Is this incorrect? Also, I was under the impression that since I haven't earned income this year that I cannot open a retirement account. Is this also incorrect?
Topic Author
mathnerd86
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mathnerd86 »

exodusNH wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:05 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:01 pm
niagara_guy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:44 pm Did they pass a law that says a young person who doesn't have a lot of investing experience can't open their own retirement accounts? Did I miss that? Of course you can open your own retirement accounts at Fidelity, Schwab. Vanguard or others. You could call one of these companies and they will help you open an account (and move your Ameriprise money over if you want to). You should be contributing to a Roth account each year as well as a 401k (if available). If you post your details you will get better help.

I wonder if Ameriprise will charge you a fee to close accounts when you move (some brokers do). Nothing like a kick in the rear on the way out the door.

Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard (I have accounts at all 3, all are good) will only charge you a small fund fee (for some funds as low as 0.04%) and no other fees. Check with them to make sure. I use low fee index funds (like VFIAX, S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard, 0.04% fee) and would recommend the same. S&P 500 index funds, total stock market index funds all provide excellent diversification and are available from many good investment houses. One of these is all you need for your equity portion.

Keep coming back and asking questions (or reading posts). I wish you well on your investing career and I hope we can help you.
As I understand it, you cannot open a retirement account while unemployed. Is this not correct? And yes, they'll charge me $125. From what I'm finding out from this lovely forum, this will be a small price to pay compared to staying there. At this point, I'm beginning to be rather shocked that my advisor actually said, pay my 1.15% wrap fee or pay $1200 in commissions. He must think I'm quite naïve indeed to stay after this suggestion. Thank you for the index fund suggestions and the well wishes!
Did you have any earned income?
None, whatsoever. My job has been to raise a toddler and cook mediocre meals for my family (heh), which unfortunately does not come with a salary. I do get to live in a secure and lovely home with my wonderful family, so I can't complain :happy
exodusNH
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:09 pm I am a little confused on a couple of things. Firstly, I wasn't able to halt the liquidation of the managed account, but I was led to believe since I didn't earn income this year that I would be in the 0% capital gains bracket. Is this incorrect? Also, I was under the impression that since I haven't earned income this year that I cannot open a retirement account. Is this also incorrect?
Yes, there is a 0% bracket. I didn't realize you had 0 income. As long as your capital gains are below 40,400, you will have no capital gains taxes.

In any given tax year if you have earned income (wages), you can contribute up to what you earned or $6,000.

If you will have earned income next year, you can use some of that cash to contribute in January for the year.
exodusNH
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:12 pm
exodusNH wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:05 pm
mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:01 pm
niagara_guy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:44 pm Did they pass a law that says a young person who doesn't have a lot of investing experience can't open their own retirement accounts? Did I miss that? Of course you can open your own retirement accounts at Fidelity, Schwab. Vanguard or others. You could call one of these companies and they will help you open an account (and move your Ameriprise money over if you want to). You should be contributing to a Roth account each year as well as a 401k (if available). If you post your details you will get better help.

I wonder if Ameriprise will charge you a fee to close accounts when you move (some brokers do). Nothing like a kick in the rear on the way out the door.

Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard (I have accounts at all 3, all are good) will only charge you a small fund fee (for some funds as low as 0.04%) and no other fees. Check with them to make sure. I use low fee index funds (like VFIAX, S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard, 0.04% fee) and would recommend the same. S&P 500 index funds, total stock market index funds all provide excellent diversification and are available from many good investment houses. One of these is all you need for your equity portion.

Keep coming back and asking questions (or reading posts). I wish you well on your investing career and I hope we can help you.
As I understand it, you cannot open a retirement account while unemployed. Is this not correct? And yes, they'll charge me $125. From what I'm finding out from this lovely forum, this will be a small price to pay compared to staying there. At this point, I'm beginning to be rather shocked that my advisor actually said, pay my 1.15% wrap fee or pay $1200 in commissions. He must think I'm quite naïve indeed to stay after this suggestion. Thank you for the index fund suggestions and the well wishes!
Did you have any earned income?
None, whatsoever. My job has been to raise a toddler and cook mediocre meals for my family (heh), which unfortunately does not come with a salary. I do get to live in a secure and lovely home with my wonderful family, so I can't complain :happy
Note, if you're married, you can contribute as long as your spouse earned at least $12000.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/spousal-ira.asp

*Edit: I missed the single filing status.
tashnewbie
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by tashnewbie »

The good news is that your taxable brokerage holdings will easily transfer to any low cost brokerage like Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard.

I would just figure out which brokerage you want to use and then figure out the transfer process. Probably easiest to contact the brokerage and ask them what you need to do to facilitate the transfer.

Right now I would download your cost basis information and the last few statements from Ameriprise so that you have the records in case the new brokerage doesn't have accurate cost basis information.

Once you're at the new brokerage, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to invest any cash you don't need for short term spending in VV, which is a good long term holding. Then once you get a job and earned income (or you get married and your spouse has at least $12k/year in income) you can start making IRA contributions, along with contributions to a workplace plain if one's available. Come back to the forum to ask questions as needed.
HeadSpinning
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by HeadSpinning »

mathnerd86 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:16 pm but I don't want to go 100% stocks right now either, so what should I do with the portion of the funds that I want to put in bonds?
Since you are aiming for 25% bonds (that would be about $27k) and you only have taxable accounts, no traditional or Roth IRAs or 401k, I recommend you go with I Bonds for your bond portion.
You can purchase $10k right now and another $10k in January, that gets you to 18.5% bonds in the next two months, or even higher depending how much of your present portfolio you will be setting aside for your emergency fund.

Read up on Series I Bonds and see if this is the way you want to go.
Bud
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Bud »

Hi mathnerd,

First, congratulations on having the courage to examine your financial situation and the desire to take charge of your finances. This is a great first step in your journey.

Second, you may want to make a really simple move of liquidating all of your Ameriprise assets and moving them to Vanguard Prime Money Market account as soon as possible. It sounds like you want to do this before the end of the year to avoid paying capital gains taxes. If someone from Ameriprise makes suggestions or wants to sell you something, tell them no thank you and be politely insistent. If you contact Vanguard, they will help you move the assets to the money market account.

Third, keep $30,000 in the money market account as an emergency fund and invest the remainder into LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX). This is a temporary move which will immediately provide you with an 80% stock/20% bond allocation. This is a stepping stone while you learn about investing for yourself, not perfect, but better than most other solutions.

Fourth, spend a year learning, reading, researching about investing to the extent you want and at the pace which works for you.

Investing does not need to be complicated and with your asset level, you should keep it simple. Also with your asset level, you definitely should keep it simple and not be concerned with buying individual stocks at this point.

All the best.
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David Jay
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by David Jay »

Bud wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:08 amIf you contact Vanguard, they will help you move the assets to the money market account.
To reinforce what Bud said, we always recommend working with the brokerage that is receiving the funds. They have the incentive to make sure things go smoothly.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
mancich
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by mancich »

Ameriprise is a dog with fleas. I used them briefly many years ago. The "advisor" kept trying to sell me insurance products: Equity-Indexed Universal Life, Variable Life, Variable Annuities, and on and on. I never took the bait, and the relationship didn't last too long. Good riddance. You can do this yourself with a small handful of low-cost ETF's or Index funds. It isn't rocket science. Read the wiki, take your time, and learn. You'll be fine.
Stubbie
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Stubbie »

American Express started a brokerage with FREE trades (as long as you invested $100,000) back in the 90s and I jumped on it. A couple of years later, they sold it to Ameriprise and the free trades were gone. All my assigned Ameriprise rep tried to do was have me sell my index mutual funds and let him invest my money (for a fee). After repeated phone calls and letters to him telling him I was not interested, he got nasty. I immediately called Fidelity and had everything transferred to them. Transfer only took about a week, even way back then. Ameriprise advisor kept calling to find out how he could keep my business. I took great pleasure in telling him that ship had sailed. I've never heard anyone say good things about Ameriprise. I HAVE had friends say good things about Edward Jones. So Ameriprise seems to be held in even lower regard than the dreaded Edward Jones!
exodusNH
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by exodusNH »

Stubbie wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:58 am American Express started a brokerage with FREE trades (as long as you invested $100,000) back in the 90s and I jumped on it. A couple of years later, they sold it to Ameriprise and the free trades were gone. All my assigned Ameriprise rep tried to do was have me sell my index mutual funds and let him invest my money (for a fee). After repeated phone calls and letters to him telling him I was not interested, he got nasty. I immediately called Fidelity and had everything transferred to them. Transfer only took about a week, even way back then. Ameriprise advisor kept calling to find out how he could keep my business. I took great pleasure in telling him that ship had sailed. I've never heard anyone say good things about Ameriprise. I HAVE had friends say good things about Edward Jones. So Ameriprise seems to be held in even lower regard than the dreaded Edward Jones!
Perhaps it should be Dredward Jones?
Stubbie
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Stubbie »

exodusNH wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:32 pm
Stubbie wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:58 am American Express started a brokerage with FREE trades (as long as you invested $100,000) back in the 90s and I jumped on it. A couple of years later, they sold it to Ameriprise and the free trades were gone. All my assigned Ameriprise rep tried to do was have me sell my index mutual funds and let him invest my money (for a fee). After repeated phone calls and letters to him telling him I was not interested, he got nasty. I immediately called Fidelity and had everything transferred to them. Transfer only took about a week, even way back then. Ameriprise advisor kept calling to find out how he could keep my business. I took great pleasure in telling him that ship had sailed. I've never heard anyone say good things about Ameriprise. I HAVE had friends say good things about Edward Jones. So Ameriprise seems to be held in even lower regard than the dreaded Edward Jones!
Perhaps it should be Dredward Jones?
:)
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nedsaid
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by nedsaid »

iceport wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:17 pm From If You Can:
To summarize, you are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the financial services industry. Every dollar in fees and expenses you pay them comes directly out of your pocket. (Be aware that you're often getting charged far more in mutual fund fees than that "expense ratio" listed on the prospectus or annual report, which is often exceeded by the "transactional costs," that is, adverse price changes that result from moving around millions of shares, much of which accrues indirectly to the fund company.) Act as if every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesperson, and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal, and stick to low-cost index funds, and you'll do just fine.
Dr. Bill Bernstein, who said this, is himself a Financial Advisor who advises high net worth individuals.
A fool and his money are good for business.
pedalman701
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by pedalman701 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:28 pm Ameriprise is fairly well known for being the absolute WORST broker in the US.
Even worse than Edward Jones?
A Recovering Jonesoholic | 55% US/10% Intl/35% Bonds
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iceport
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by iceport »

nedsaid wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:36 am
iceport wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:17 pm From If You Can:
To summarize, you are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the financial services industry. Every dollar in fees and expenses you pay them comes directly out of your pocket. (Be aware that you're often getting charged far more in mutual fund fees than that "expense ratio" listed on the prospectus or annual report, which is often exceeded by the "transactional costs," that is, adverse price changes that result from moving around millions of shares, much of which accrues indirectly to the fund company.) Act as if every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesperson, and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal, and stick to low-cost index funds, and you'll do just fine.
Dr. Bill Bernstein, who said this, is himself a Financial Advisor who advises high net worth individuals.
Precisely so!

And doesn't that lend even a tiny bit more credibility to the statement? It's not exactly like he's angling for more business, right?

Nor did he ever attempt to hide that fact. Nine pages earlier, on the third page of text, Dr. Bernstein also wrote this:
Now, for full disclosure. First, I've written a few investment books that continue to earn me royalties. I don't want you to buy them, since it's tacky for an author to recommend the purchase of his or her works. I'll shortly tell you what other books you should read, and in what order. Second, I'm also a co- principal in a money management firm. My partner and I specialize in individuals who already have millions; you very well might get there, but I'm old enough that by the time you do, I'll be pushing up the daisies. I am writing this book for my children, my grandchildren, and for the millions of young people who don't have a prayer of retiring successfully unless they take control of their saving and investing.

From where I sit, the advice is extremely valuable, even if it's not taken literally.

(Happy Thanksgiving, nedsaid! :sharebeer )
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
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iceport
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by iceport »

To the OP,

After doing some reading, and maybe availing yourself of the collective wisdom of this forum with any further questions or concerns, I suspect your biggest hurdle to charting a more profitable course for yourself will be emotional rather than technical.

First, because your family also uses Ameriprise, it could be assumed that they had only your best interest at heart in steering you to them. They are apparently under the (grievously erroneous) impression that Ameriprise is serving them well. And your agreement to go along probably reinforces that perception for them.

Then there is the Ameriprise advisor. If they're anything like mine was, their strongest skill set is in the art of persuasion and sales, not investing. They probably send Christmas cards, right? Like they're your buddies, not financial blood-suckers.

Well, all of the people involved — including the blood-suckers — might very well be good and decent people who are difficult to dislike. The thing is, that misses the main point: Ameriprise's business model virtually guarantees that you will be losing more of your returns to fees and commissions than anybody deserves to lose. You need to treat this unemotionally as a business decision and do what's best for you. Over the course of a few more decades of investing, the amount of wealth you stand to lose to your advisors is enormous.

You owe it to yourself to take control of your own investing. To do that, you will need to find a tactful and possibly creative way to break it to both your family and your advisor that you think their help might not be the best fit for you. I can't help you with that chore, but once you figure out how to do it as graciously as possible, everything else should get a whole lot easier.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
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nedsaid
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by nedsaid »

iceport wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:12 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:36 am
iceport wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:17 pm From If You Can:
To summarize, you are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the financial services industry. Every dollar in fees and expenses you pay them comes directly out of your pocket. (Be aware that you're often getting charged far more in mutual fund fees than that "expense ratio" listed on the prospectus or annual report, which is often exceeded by the "transactional costs," that is, adverse price changes that result from moving around millions of shares, much of which accrues indirectly to the fund company.) Act as if every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesperson, and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal, and stick to low-cost index funds, and you'll do just fine.
Dr. Bill Bernstein, who said this, is himself a Financial Advisor who advises high net worth individuals.
Precisely so!

And doesn't that lend even a tiny bit more credibility to the statement? It's not exactly like he's angling for more business, right?

Nor did he ever attempt to hide that fact. Nine pages earlier, on the third page of text, Dr. Bernstein also wrote this:
Now, for full disclosure. First, I've written a few investment books that continue to earn me royalties. I don't want you to buy them, since it's tacky for an author to recommend the purchase of his or her works. I'll shortly tell you what other books you should read, and in what order. Second, I'm also a co- principal in a money management firm. My partner and I specialize in individuals who already have millions; you very well might get there, but I'm old enough that by the time you do, I'll be pushing up the daisies. I am writing this book for my children, my grandchildren, and for the millions of young people who don't have a prayer of retiring successfully unless they take control of their saving and investing.

From where I sit, the advice is extremely valuable, even if it's not taken literally.

(Happy Thanksgiving, nedsaid! :sharebeer )
Want to make it clear that I have a high regard for Dr. Bill Bernstein. Even Mr. Bogle was in awe of him. Happy Thanksgiving.
A fool and his money are good for business.
niagara_guy
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by niagara_guy »

I agree that if you have most/all of your investments in any company that charges high fees (and even 1% total fees is too high) then you will give an enormous part of your investments to the company. Over 40+ years this will be hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and probably the investment results they get will be no better than what you can do in index funds for very low or no fees.
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Misenplace »

pedalman701 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:54 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:28 pm Ameriprise is fairly well known for being the absolute WORST broker in the US.
Even worse than Edward Jones?
Yes. LPL is pretty bad too.
I volunteer doing taxes for old people, and man, what these two do with people's hard earned money is awful.
But really, it's rare that I see a managed account that is not awful.
ohpleaseno
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by ohpleaseno »

pedalman701 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:54 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:28 pm Ameriprise is fairly well known for being the absolute WORST broker in the US.
Even worse than Edward Jones?
AxA would like a word.

I was in a similar boat when I realized that my brokerage account was being turned over in its entirety every three months for a year. I was getting royally screwed on my taxes at AxA and I decided that my exit plan was to pull the bandaid and move everything to Fidelity. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it was to transfer my brokerage and both my wife and my IRA. All I did was follow their online transfer instructions and everything was there in a little over a week.
NYCaviator
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by NYCaviator »

I knew someone who worked for Ameriprise. It's a sales job first and foremost, very much like Northwest Mutual. I would get away from them as quickly as possible. Be careful with capital gains though, depending on your current tax situation.

It also sounds like you may benefit from some portfolio management since you have your hands full restarting your career. Maybe try Vanguard's advisory service or one of the robo advisors. They would be much cheaper than what you are currently doing; you could just funnel money in there and let them/it worry about investing it so you can focus on work.

On a side note, it was very generous of your dad and step-mom to help you get this set up, and it's awesome that you're investing! But, I always find it interesting how many successful people still rely so heavily on expensive advisors. I know some incredibly shrewd businesspeople who have accounts with Edward Jones, UBS, AXA, etc. where the fees are astronomical and eating into their returns. It just leaves me scratching my head.
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Randtor
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by Randtor »

This advice below is spot on. I was with Ameriprise for a decade before I found this forum. I intensively read and studied and asked questions here and learned for several months while preparing to move my account. When I did, I worked through Vanguard and they handled the move. I had several holdings (amongst 60 or so that made up my very complicated account) that were difficult to sell and cost me money to get out. It was well worth it. I believe my Ameriprise account was purposely made to be very complicated to keep me in bondage. Over the past 2 years I have pared my VG account down to one individual stock along with Total Stock Fund (VTSAX) and Total Bond Fund (VBTLX). Moving from Ameriprise to any of the 3 suggested brokerages (I have had a separate taxable account with Fidelity for a long time) is a great first step.
Bud wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:08 am Hi mathnerd,

First, congratulations on having the courage to examine your financial situation and the desire to take charge of your finances. This is a great first step in your journey.

...liquidating all of your Ameriprise assets and moving them to Vanguard Prime Money Market account as soon as possible. ....If you contact Vanguard, they will help you move the assets to the money market account.....

Fourth, spend a year learning, reading, researching about investing to the extent you want and at the pace which works for you.

Investing does not need to be complicated and with your asset level, you should keep it simple.

All the best.
"Whats done is done, and can't be undone"
PaunchyPirate
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Re: Considering leaving Ameriprise and going DIY, need advice

Post by PaunchyPirate »

The OP has heard all the right things above. I will simply add that I was an Ameriprise customer for about 10 years. I don't fully regret that I used them. It taught me how to better understand investing and asset allocation. It also taught me about fees and where I was paying them. I could have learned these things elsewhere (on this forum, for example). But I didn't stumble on to this forum until many years later. Once I developed the confidence in myself to take over my investments, I pulled the plug on Ameriprise.

I left Ameriprise over 10 years ago and do not regret my decision one bit.
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