What to do about a Financial Planner Problem

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WilliamRice
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What to do about a Financial Planner Problem

Post by WilliamRice »

My wife and I are expecting a baby by the end of February so we setup an appointment to meet with a Wells Fargo Financial planner to get everything in order in terms of how to handle out investments, getting life insurance, basically making sure everything is on the right track for us financially and to help us better understand what to do with our money.

We meet with a planner at the end of December and felt very comfortable after the meeting. The planner was very nice and knowledgeable and we were all on the same page on what we wanted for the future. She told us that she would send us information about what we had discussed and a mailer so that we can send in all of our statements and information to her so that everything could be setup. Wonderful. That was on December 29th. On January 24th we still have not received anything from her - nothing in the mail, no email, nothing. So I email her to check and basically say "Haven't received anything from you from what we discussed on the 29th of December, I just wanted to make sure there wasn't any mix up with address (I included my address) Please let me know. Thanks." That was four days ago and still no response, not an email response, nothing in the mail. I at least expected a next day packet (Thinking she realized she over looked it and quickly trying to rectify the situation) but nothing.

Now I am angry, I feel like this is very unprofessional behavior. Regardless of overlooking sending something out, the fact that in this day in age not even responding to an email at least, given the fact that everyone has a blackberry or sits at a computer all day. - I don't care to do business with her any longer so my question is 1. Do I call her and call her out and explain that I am no longer interested in using her. 2. I have a list of her colleges, other financial planners in her department, do I reach out to them explaining that their college doesn't seem to be able to do her job and would one of them care to have new business. 3. Email or contact her boss (I feel this is no way to be treated, especially by a company like Wells Fargo. Or 4. Do I just reach out to another company for help?

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
dbr
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Post by dbr »

Make a phone call to her. A possibility is that she has left employment, is ill, or has had a family emergency. Next stop is to ask her supervisor. If you think you would like to work with a WF advisor, I am sure the group head will be eager to find someone for you.
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

You sever all relationships with this person and start over.
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White Coat Investor
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Post by White Coat Investor »

#1 Are you sure you want/need to use a planner at all? Most on this site do not because they have found the expense is not worth it.

#2 Are you sure you want to use one associated with a brokerage/bank such as Wells Fargo? In general, these advisors tend to be poorly trained at advising, and well-trained at selling-so you get products designed to be sold not bought.

#3 I also fired a financial services provider (a disability insurance salesman) who wouldn't return emails. He wouldn't talk to me so I just stopped talking to him. I didn't have to send a letter or email or anything since he wasn't communicating with me anyway. It was quite easy to find someone to take his place.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
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bob90245
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Post by bob90245 »

dbr wrote:Make a phone call to her. A possibility is that she has left employment, is ill, or has had a family emergency. Next stop is to ask her supervisor. If you think you would like to work with a WF advisor, I am sure the group head will be eager to find someone for you.
Agreed. I established a good rapport with the Wells Fargo account rep when I first established my account. Sent emails back and forth and things were going swell. Later on, I tried to communicate again. Nothing. Found out account rep left. So I established contact with the replacement, who was equally friendly and responsive. Since my branch is nearby, it wasn't a problem to walk in and get the scoop face-to-face.
Ignore the market noise. Keep to your rebalancing schedule whether that is semi-annual, annual or trigger bands.
Fallible
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Post by Fallible »

dbr wrote:Make a phone call to her. A possibility is that she has left employment, is ill, or has had a family emergency. Next stop is to ask her supervisor. If you think you would like to work with a WF advisor, I am sure the group head will be eager to find someone for you.
I fully agree with this. You really must make a call first before you decide on anything or even you have already decided to go with another planner. Something has gone wrong and you should find out what. My concern would be not just the planner, but how the company handles the problem and why, if she left her job or was ill, etc., the company didn't immediately step in to contact her clients.
fishndoc
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Post by fishndoc »

My money is on "she's no longer with the company".

At my local branch of WF, seems like new (& untrained) people behind the counter every visit.
" Successful investing involves doing just a few things right, and avoiding serious mistakes." - J. Bogle
Grt2bOutdoors
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Call the branch manager and voice your concern.
Follow that up with an e-mail or snail mail letter to the CEO of Wells Fargo. Believe me, someone will get back to you. This is a relatiionship oriented company.
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Langkawi
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Post by Langkawi »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:Believe me, someone will get back to you. This is a relatiionship oriented company.
Exactly. If Wells Fargo knows there's a sucker lined up willing to buy high commission, high fee products, they will get back to you!
Topic Author
WilliamRice
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UPDATE

Post by WilliamRice »

So I called and received her assistant. When I asked to speak with the planner I was told she was busy at the moment and I could be put through to voicemail. I asked if "The planner" had been out for a period in the last month. She said no so I said that she could put me though to voicemail. I left a message basically saying that I haven't heard from her in a month since our last meeting and also since I emailed her four days ago. I then said that I feel as though I no longer want to try and do business with her and will be seeking advice and planning elsewhere, thank you, goodbye.

After I hung up I felt more angry and that I should have really told her that she is unprofessional and such, then wanting to email or contact her superior and explain it all to him/her as well. But the other half of me thinks. I told I was no longer interested in doing business with her, it's done, don't waste any more time on this and move on.

Thoughts/Advice?
KyleAAA
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Post by KyleAAA »

Move on. If she wanted to do business with you, she would have replied to your email.
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flossy21
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Re: UPDATE

Post by flossy21 »

WilliamRice wrote: After I hung up I felt more angry and that I should have really told her that she is unprofessional and such...

Thoughts/Advice?
Move on. Why waste more time on this person? Don't take it personally. Apparently this person feels they have bigger fish to fleece. This may be a blessing in disguise.

If they call back, don't respond to v/m or email. Give them a taste of their own medicine.
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BruceM
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Post by BruceM »

An educated guess is this 'adviser' sees little financial benefit in continuing any relationship with you. With securities sales, as with any product sales, this is the salesperson's prerogative, however unprofessional it might be.

OTOH, if this person holds the CFP designation, she may well be in violation of practice rules. If so, you should promptly contact the CFP board.

BruceM
pkcrafter
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Post by pkcrafter »

OTOH, if this person holds the CFP designation, she may well be in violation of practice rules. If so, you should promptly contact the CFP board.
IF. I'm betting she does not hold a CFP designation. Working with someone from a bank for financial planning is going to lead you to very expensive products, and most likely what's suggested will be in the best interest of the bank, not you. Note: if you really want a comprehensive plan it may cost upwards of $3000. Also note that financial planners and investment advisors are two different jobs, and you may not get the best of both from one person.

You can get a lot of information right here on what you should and should not buy. For instance, use term insurance and not something tied to investing, which you will probably be offered.

Check these resources:

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehea ... art-Up_Kit

Two recommended books--

Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People - Jane Bryant Quinn

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need - Andrew Tobias



Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.
txjoe79
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Post by txjoe79 »

#2 Are you sure you want to use one associated with a brokerage/bank such as Wells Fargo? In general, these advisors tend to be poorly trained at advising, and well-trained at selling-so you get products designed to be sold not bought.

I agree with the above.

Truly think about what's offered on this Board.

I recently moved from Well Fargo to a pure Vanguard portfolio based on assistance from BH members. I was directed to books by Rick Ferri, Larry Swedroe; and the BH guide- read 6 over the holidays.

It's a self manageable and common sense option.

Wells likes a portfolio size >500,000 and charges 1.2% + ER's for their Wealth management products. Their portfolios are certainly well diversified -25 total funds/ETFs that included all equity SECTORS; REITs/Hi yield bonds in a TAXABLE account. This is not common sense.

Once an account is initiated by WF getting feedback or future guidance is difficult to say the least. My 'adviser' was changed twice within a year period with only snail mail notification on a fairly sizable account.

I'd say run away from WF.
JW-Retired
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Post by JW-Retired »

WilliamRice wrote: We meet with a planner at the end of December and felt very comfortable after the meeting. The planner was very nice and knowledgeable and we were all on the same page on what we wanted for the future. She told us that she would send us information about what we had discussed and a mailer so that we can send in all of our statements and information to her so that everything could be setup. Wonderful. That was on December 29th. On January 24th we still have not received anything from her - nothing in the mail, no email, nothing.
Don't complain, not hearing from her is a godsend. A bank is the worst place to get investing advice. The banker planner will put you in high expense funds and between the bank and the fund expenses they will cream off about 1/3 of your investment return. Invest directly with a no-load mutual fund company like Vanguard or Fidelity.

This was the luckest event of your investing life. Don't blow it.
JW
grogs4dogs
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Post by grogs4dogs »

I once had a Wells Fargo adviser that made some investments for me based on their great research department. In just 18 short months, my investments lost 90% of their value. Count your lucky stars she blew you off.

Go out and buy "The Bogleheads Guide to Investing". Read it from cover to cover. You will have a whole new perspective and likely will only need the advice of the enlightened community that uses this site. That's what I did 12 years ago (right after Wells Fargo) and have never looked back.
scubadiver
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Post by scubadiver »

You have outstanding access to a plethora of financial planning wisdom for free on this forum. Why muck it up with a Wells Fargo financial planner who only views you as a source of revenue (or not, possibly explaining why she doesn't return your calls).

I ditched my financial planner six years ago. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
Fallible
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Post by Fallible »

You've now got plenty of great advice to 1) be thankful Wells Fargo did blow you off; and 2) move on.

Look at it another way: you may not have had enough money for Wells Fargo, so now you've got a chance to make more money with someone else (like Vanguard?).
txjoe79
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Post by txjoe79 »

By the way...

Congrats on the baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope all goes well for everyone in the family!
txjoe79
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Post by txjoe79 »

One more issue:

The advice on this Board is GENERALLY regarding investments. (It's GREAT advice.)

For Insurance and other Estate Planning issues other avenues may include local / personal recommendations and online searches.

Personally we use USAA for Insurance products and have found them to be straight forward and cost effective. (I'm ex military- that may no longer be a requirement.)

USAA investments are NOT cost effective.

We have a local Lawyer for Wills etc.

Using Wells Fargo as a one stop solution may not be prudent.

My 0.02.
lawman3966
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Advisor IS the problem

Post by lawman3966 »

Your problem isn't which advisor you have; it's that you're looking for an advisor at all.

I must agree with those saying that not being called back is a lucky break for you. I've seen different types of complaints about advisors on this and other boards.

1) a client signs a contract for advice, and only later finds out just how high the fees are, and that the advisor is unavailable to them.

2) a client, prior to signing a contract, has an advisor who is unresponsive.

Situation #2 above is far preferable Situation #1. You are indeed lucky to have not gotten involved with an advisor yet, as you are now still free to decide whether to get an advisor at all.

This is the time to educate yourself about insurance and the basics of investing. Joining this board is an excellent start. With a little reading, you will be far ahead of where you would have been while relying on a bank or any other entity for financial advice.
gotfina
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Post by gotfina »

you thought she was "nice"? Sit down with her and ask what MF`s she is going to buy you. Then after dancing round and round without getting an answer ask her what revenue sharing is and how you can be guaranteed your best interests will come before hers? Done deal you`ll walk out and never look back, look for somebody independant.
GammaPoint
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Post by GammaPoint »

JW Nearly Retired wrote: This was the luckest event of your investing life. Don't blow it.
I agree. Years from now maybe you can track her down and send her some flowers for not getting back to you, because if you listen to the above advice you'll be soo, soo glad she didn't.
dbr
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Post by dbr »

"That's the woman who drove me to drink, and I never had the courtesy to thank her for it."

Paraphrase W. C. Fields
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beyou
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Post by beyou »

I am sure you will be very busy with the baby, congrats.

Don't waste time looking for another advisor.

Put your money into a VG Target Retirement fund
appropriate for your expected retirement date,
buy some term life insurance for about 10x your salary,
with a guaranteed rate through at least the date you expect your
last child to graduate college. Few financial planners will tell you
this advice because it doesn't make money for them, only for you.

You can read those Bogle books when you have some free time,
and possibly fine tune investments if interested.

A simple do it yourself investment plan :

Max out any opportunity to put money first into

401k (if matching at your employer, and find out if they have something
like the Target Retirement fund, most 401ks do today)

IRA (roth or traditional depending on your income & qualification)
This is where you should buy Target Retirement fund for your expected year of retirement.

529 If any state tax benefit take advantage of that and open an acct
with your new baby as beneficiary. I wouldn't put in more than what is state tax advantaged, if any. Use the age based portfolio here, where similar to Target Retirement, they invest based on the year your child will go to college.

Taxable accts can consider more of same Target Retirement funds.

One other option is to buy VG Total Bond/VG Inflation in the IRA
and VG Total Stock/ VG Total International in the taxable acct.

I think the decision should be somewhat based on how much money you will have left to invest in a taxable acct after investing in the 401k, IRA, 529. If you have lots more to invest, the 4 fund solution is better tax wide. If not much left for taxable, may not be worth the complexity and go with just the Target Retirement funds in both the IRA and taxable accts.
Recovered day trader.
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