Ameriprise :(

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justwondering
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Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:02 am

Hello all! I've been reading this blog on & off for a while and am trying to take the leap. Long story, but we've been with Ameriprise for over 30 yrs (IDS, AmEx, to Ameriprise.) We had good experiences with IDS, made $ and trusted them. As the years went by we were busy working, raising a family and continuing to throw $ at Ameriprise, all the while believing our life savings was being professionally managed. We did not know about the excessive internal fees, high expense ratios, hidden fees, massive surrender fees, front-loaded products, transfer fees, lawsuits, SEC violations, fines... nothing.

We bought the entire farm; VULs, annuities, underperforming mutuals, and recently discovered the un-sellable REITs that have been losing $ since the day they cashed our check. They dropped over 60% in about 5 years and are still reinvesting dividends back into themselves. Our advisor told us they weren't really losing $ and that they do that for tax purposes which is what makes them such great tax-deferred investments. I kid you not.

The advisor who sold us this nightmare milked us for approx 20 yrs, then pawned us off on someone else in 2016. This new advisor hasn't contacted us since so when our situation changed, we started studying our accounts ourselves. I called him with a few questions, having no idea I was about to trigger a landmine. After he implied I was greedy, he actually said, "no one discussed this with me!" when I told him my husband was moving one of his accounts to another firm. Maybe if he ever called us he would have known :| He also gave me some information that was incorrect. It was obvious he knew nothing about our accounts. As soon as I hung up I initiated the paperwork to transfer my IRAs.

Once we began to understand our accounts a little better, I emailed more questions. He initially gave us vague 'usually charge approximately,' type answers. When I requested specifics, I received at least four promises to get back to me & a few 'out of the office' messages, but he usually doesn't respond at all.

My first question is, "How do I get him to respond?!" I even asked him if he has a legal obligation to do so but he didn't respond to that either.

Almost two months after I contacted him, one of our accounts has gone down 3.44% in a booming market. I also have no idea how to get out of the Riversource life insurance that debits our acct every month.

Thank you in advance for your responses, you've been so helpful to others in my humiliating shoes.

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:58 am

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I am not sure how you can get out of the complex products.

Are these in 401ks/traditional IRAs? Roths? Taxable?

DA

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M_to_the_G
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by M_to_the_G » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:33 am

Call Vanguard, get some advice, and then just have them just transfer everything to Vanguard funds? You don't have to even talk to this advisor ever again, if memory serves me correctly from what others have reported here.
"It’s basically the plot of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' If you stick around, doing nothing, while everyone around you ****s up, you’re going to win big." - John Oliver

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:54 am

You don't need him to respond. Asking him to respond to questions is just stalling on your part.

You have statements, right, so you know the names of the investments you have?

You know what types of accounts you have, right? IRA, Roth IRA, after-tax?

Your job is to
1) Decide what investments you want to have
2) Decide what custodian you want for your investments (Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.)
3) Call your preferred custodian and have them execute the move.

If there are any investments you think can't move this way, look at your statements, copy the name of the investment, and ask here.

smitcat
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by smitcat » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:04 am

Please choose where you want to place your investments (vanguard, Schwab, etc ) and carefully work with them to move your accounts.
In some cases it will be very important how this is completed - like moving some of them over in 'like kind' before you change your investment choices.
If you do not move them over in like kind they will be sold at Ameriprise which will likely generate both high fees as well as potential taxable events.

After 30 years just take a few more weeks to make sure you (Ameriprise) does not trigger even more costs then you need to sustain.
You will need a very complete list of what you have in detail to have these conversations.

justwondering
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:05 am

"Are these in 401ks/traditional IRAs? Roths? Taxable?"

They're all over the map, traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, VULs, annuities, etc. Part of the way they kept us was to claim their services included structuring our accounts to be taxable only when we take $ out for retirement. I'm learning here (and on other forums) that they do nothing special to set this up bc it's the norm for those type of investments.

We started rolling over our IRAs already -you wouldn't BELIEVE the layers of obfuscation and deflection we're encountering (apparently they never receive any paperwork the first time you send it and the second set always contains errors)- but right now we're wondering what to do about the life insurance.

Does anyone know if management fees are charged on life insurance? Can they fee it internally in ways we can't see? We looked into purchasing it elsewhere but it's quite costly to start a new policy in your late 50's. Trying not to make any sudden moves that will cost us in the long run.

Thanks so much! You ppl are great :)
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pkcrafter
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by pkcrafter » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:44 am

justwondering wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:05 am
"Are these in 401ks/traditional IRAs? Roths? Taxable?"

They're all over the map, traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, VULs, annuities, etc. Part of the way they kept us was to claim their services included structuring our accounts to be taxable only when we take $ out for retirement. I'm learning here (and on other forums) that they do nothing special to set this up bc it's the norm for those type of investments.

We started rolling over our IRAs already -you wouldn't BELIEVE the layers of obfuscation and deflection we're encountering (apparently they never receive any paperwork the first time you send it and the second set always contains errors)- but right now we're wondering what to do about the life insurance. Do you know if management fees are charged on life insurance? Can they fee it internally that we don't know about? We looked into purchasing it elsewhere but it's quite costly to start a new policy in your late 50's. Trying not to make any sudden moves that will cost us in the long run.

Thanks so much! You ppl are great :)
Justwondering, you are going about this the wrong way. Ameriprise wants to make transfers complicated so you will quit trying. Decide on your new custodian--Schwab, Fidelity or Vanguard, and work them them. There is no need to talk with Ameriprise at all. I'm going to suggest either Fidelity or Schwab because their customer service is likely to be a little better than Vanguard right now, and you will need that.

Be sure you use a custodian to custodian transfer, which is a direct move. The other option is a rollover which technically is a different process. It involves sending you a check which you then have to send to the new custodian, but taxes have to be withheld, so that can complicate the move because the entire amount that was in the tax-deferred accounts must end up in the new account(s). Also, it's probably best to do one transfer at a time to avoid confusion, this is especially true with Vanguard.

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.

b42
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by b42 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:50 am

^^ Agree with the above, I'd do one transfer at a time, just in case there are any difficulties.

I'd try to sit down and list (not here necessarily) every single account you have, and gather as much information on each one. I'd also start working on an Investment Policy Statement:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investm ... _statement

That will give you some direction on how you want to go from here, since it's likely you can simplify some investments.

Also, you want to make sure that certain transfers or even cashing out something like the VUL won't be triggering a huge tax bill, as there may be some ways to avoid this.

You mentioned life insurance. Is this something that you currently need? Since there may come a point where it is not necessary if you have enough retirement assets.

I'd recommend a term life policy if you still want life insurance, and you can start with some quotes here to get an idea of the cost:

https://www.term4sale.com/

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 am

The life insurance is a contract between you and Ameriprise, you can't move it. If you post the details about it - the name and type of policy, how much you have paid in so far, what the cash value and death benefit are, etc. then someone here can help you decide what to do with it.

At your age, I don't know why you would need life insurance, so it is possible that you will want to cash it in without replacing it. But your tax situation may be such that that isn't a good move. Again, more detail is needed on the specifics. Can you move everything else and deal with this last?

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:20 am

My ex-secretary had an account with Ameriprise. She had the same problem you have, with my help, she moved her money to Vanguard. But be very careful with the transferring process. They both screw up royally.
Edit to add, it finally took about 6 months for the final transfer. I would try to stay on top of it. Her asset was less than $200k, maybe it was a smallish amount that Vanguard didn’t put too much effort in getting the right people to help her.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

justwondering
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am

That's the thing... I already initiated four IRA transfers and one annuity through their new custodians and are working on the rest. Those are the ones that are 'hung up,' with Ameriprise creating new obstacles as we go. I was just telling my story since I found the stories of others so helpful in this process. It took me quite a bit of reading to understand how paying nose-bleed level surrender fees & penalties could work to my advantage :shock:

At this time I'm only inquiring about their life insurance. We've been told before that we don't need the life insurance but it seems odd not to have it after all these years, what with us being closer to death than ever before, lol.

It is:
RiverSource Variable Universal Life IV ES Insurance
opening date 2007
death benefit $447,000
average guaranteed rate 3%
cash value $119,000
cost $122 per mo
type: non-qualified
premiums paid: $145,000

We borrowed $50,000 against it, thus the larger-than-normal discrepancy between its current value and amount invested. That was another story, we needed $50,000 so our advisor set us up with a loan. Once my husband learned we could have done a partial surrender, he surrendered the loan portion but not until after we paid $2,400 in interest *sigh*

I'll check out the recommendations provided -thanks!
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

lolbatross
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by lolbatross » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am

My wife inherited a small taxable Ameriprise account. It took some convincing of her to close it out. I finally convinced her that if we did it then the last 5k of student loans would be gone. Small victory.

To OP - i echo the sentiment to transfer all the accounts to a fidelity or vanguard. Set up a simple low cost portfolio. Evaluate and get term life insurance and close out the VULs assuming you get term coverage. If you are unwilling to be your own financial steward (cheapest option and very popular on these boards) then look into getting a fee only advisor.

dbr
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by dbr » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:31 am

justwondering wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am

At this time I'm only inquiring about their life insurance. We've been told before that we don't need the life insurance but it seems odd not to have it after all these years, what with us being closer to death than ever before, lol.
You do or don't need life insurance depending on what situation the survivor is left in after the death of the insured. SS and pension benefits may be less while the needs of the survivor may be less or more.

I am not expert enough in insurance, especially this kind, to advise you except to point out that it could be the right thing is to retain the policy at this point.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:42 am

I'll chime back in to disagree with the previous post about term life insurance, because it is not clear to me that you need any at all.

Is anyone depending on your or your spouse's future income? If not, you don't need life insurance. Term will be expensive at your age, and you may not need it.

Knowing what to do with your existing policy will take some work. There are posters on this board that can help you, but they are more likely to respond to a post with a title like "What to do with existing whole life policy?"

As a matter of fact, you might want to look up that question in the search bar and read through a few responses. Since it looks like the amount you have paid in exceeds the cash value, you might not want to just cash it out. Other posters have been able to roll a policy into a Vanguard annuity, and let it ride until the cash value catches up with the premiums paid, and then cash it out with no tax consequence. Or something like that. I've seen it discussed but not worked through the details.

Again, this will take some research, thought and analysis, it's not just a phone call and a hand off. When you are ready to tackle the chore, start a new post.

mxs
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by mxs » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:50 am

I will echo what has been said about life insurance. You need to look at your entire financial picture and decide whether you need life insurance money to make it should someone die. If you need the money, then get (or keep the existing) life insurance. If you don't need the money, then cash out the existing life insurance.

You shouldn't look at life insurance like a lottery ticket that is more likely to win the older you are, because the likelihood of that outcome has already been factored in by actuaries, and you may or may not need the life insurance money. You should look at your need of life insurance money in order to determine if you need a life insurance policy, and how much you need. I would suggest term life insurance. Following financial advice here will lead you to eventually no longer need life insurance.

KSActuary
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by KSActuary » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:55 am

How does your advisor meet the "Know your client" obligation if he hasn't talked with you.

Want to get his attention? Call the office manager and ask to speak with him regarding the advisor's lack of professionalism and mention you would like to keep this from escalating to a written letter which the manager would have to report up the line.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:06 am

lolbatross wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am
My wife inherited a small taxable Ameriprise account. It took some convincing of her to close it out. I finally convinced her that if we did it then the last 5k of student loans would be gone. Small victory.

To OP - i echo the sentiment to transfer all the accounts to a fidelity or vanguard. Set up a simple low cost portfolio. Evaluate and get term life insurance and close out the VULs assuming you get term coverage. If you are unwilling to be your own financial steward (cheapest option and very popular on these boards) then look into getting a fee only advisor.
I agree.

Have Vanguard or Fidelity, whichever you choose, help you with the transfers of your accounts. Let them do most of the work and reduce your frustrations with Ameriprise.

The life insurance is a different matter. Look at term life insurance.
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Khanmots
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Khanmots » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:12 am

pkcrafter wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:44 am
Be sure you use a custodian to custodian transfer, which is a direct move. The other option is a rollover which technically is a different process. It involves sending you a check which you then have to send to the new custodian, but taxes have to be withheld, so that can complicate the move because the entire amount that was in the tax-deferred accounts must end up in the new account(s). Also, it's probably best to do one transfer at a time to avoid confusion, this is especially true with Vanguard.

Paul
When I bailed on Ameriprise (luckily I wasn't anywhere nearly as deep in their mess as the OP) they required a Medallion Signature Guarantee unless I did a rollover where they sent me a check. I was however able to get them to not withhold any taxes by stating that my intention was to roll it over. Your mileage may vary... they did make it quite difficult to leave.

pkcrafter
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by pkcrafter » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:24 pm

Khanmots wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:12 am
pkcrafter wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:44 am
Be sure you use a custodian to custodian transfer, which is a direct move. The other option is a rollover which technically is a different process. It involves sending you a check which you then have to send to the new custodian, but taxes have to be withheld, so that can complicate the move because the entire amount that was in the tax-deferred accounts must end up in the new account(s). Also, it's probably best to do one transfer at a time to avoid confusion, this is especially true with Vanguard.

Paul
When I bailed on Ameriprise (luckily I wasn't anywhere nearly as deep in their mess as the OP) they required a Medallion Signature Guarantee unless I did a rollover where they sent me a check. I was however able to get them to not withhold any taxes by stating that my intention was to roll it over. Your mileage may vary... they did make it quite difficult to leave.
Thanks, I've never heard of not withholding when doing a rollover.
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.

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nisiprius
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by nisiprius » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:36 pm

justwondering wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:02 am
...recently discovered the un-sellable REITs that have been losing $ since the day they cashed our check...
An acquaintance dealing with an estate ran into this. He found that there are firms that specialize in, you guessed it, buying non-traded REITs. In his case, the advisor was no help to him in locating them, it was "the look-into-it-and-get-back-to-you and not get back" routine, but the REITs themselves provided him with lists of firms that were able and willing to buy their REITS. I am quite sure that these firms have their own problems; they were offering him numbers like 2/3rds of the "market value" numbers on the statement, and obviously are exploiting people who just want to get out from under these things without waiting around--but he was happy enough to do it.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

larryslocum1982
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by larryslocum1982 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:46 pm

You can authorize a new firm to handle transferring of your account. This way you will not need to deal with him. Please be aware that non publicly traded securities such as annuities will not transfer.

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nedsaid
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by nedsaid » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:35 pm

M_to_the_G wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:33 am
Call Vanguard, get some advice, and then just have them just transfer everything to Vanguard funds? You don't have to even talk to this advisor ever again, if memory serves me correctly from what others have reported here.
The original poster can transfer most things to Vanguard but he is stuck with the illiquid non-traded REITs. Those things are sort of like a Roach Motel, easy to get into and almost impossible to get out of. He will have a relationship with the advisor until the REIT sponsors offer to buy him out or those REITs go public. A big reason I do not like illiquid investments.
A fool and his money are good for business.

nick evets
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by nick evets » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:00 am

nedsaid wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:35 pm

The original poster can transfer most things to Vanguard but he is stuck with the illiquid non-traded REITs. Those things are sort of like a Roach Motel, easy to get into and almost impossible to get out of. He will have a relationship with the advisor until the REIT sponsors offer to buy him out or those REITs go public. A big reason I do not like illiquid investments.
Just as a data point, we went through this with Ameriprise when we were clients: my wife had 3 non-traded REITs in her account that we couldn't roll over. However with some...conversation...one of the advisors was able to initiate a redemption program (issuer buyback) on two of the three, so we essentially got back what we paid, or very slight gains. Not great, on a $100k after 3 years, but given the horror stories, happy to have the money working elsewhere. The 3rd REIT also has a redemption program, but it's at a reduced percentage (97%) of the purchase price, with only a certain number of outstanding shares available for buyback, etc., etc., so we've let that ride. I'm curious to see what will ultimately happen.

Anyway, my point is, it may be possible to redeem the non-traded REITs early -- the websites should list the share redemption programs.

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nedsaid
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by nedsaid » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:34 am

nick evets wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:00 am
nedsaid wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:35 pm

The original poster can transfer most things to Vanguard but he is stuck with the illiquid non-traded REITs. Those things are sort of like a Roach Motel, easy to get into and almost impossible to get out of. He will have a relationship with the advisor until the REIT sponsors offer to buy him out or those REITs go public. A big reason I do not like illiquid investments.
Just as a data point, we went through this with Ameriprise when we were clients: my wife had 3 non-traded REITs in her account that we couldn't roll over. However with some...conversation...one of the advisors was able to initiate a redemption program (issuer buyback) on two of the three, so we essentially got back what we paid, or very slight gains. Not great, on a $100k after 3 years, but given the horror stories, happy to have the money working elsewhere. The 3rd REIT also has a redemption program, but it's at a reduced percentage (97%) of the purchase price, with only a certain number of outstanding shares available for buyback, etc., etc., so we've let that ride. I'm curious to see what will ultimately happen.

Anyway, my point is, it may be possible to redeem the non-traded REITs early -- the websites should list the share redemption programs.
I have read where non-traded REITs have made money for clients but it seems more often than not that these are money losers. It is hard to know if you are getting a good deal or not and there is a big commission built into the price. I suppose the people who formed the REIT get their cut too. It would be interesting to know how much comes off the top and how much is actually invested. 15% to 20% for everyone else to get their cut and maybe 80% to 85% invested? Can somebody cite actual numbers?
A fool and his money are good for business.

BackOfTheNet
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by BackOfTheNet » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:08 am

justwondering wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am
RiverSource Variable Universal Life IV ES Insurance
opening date 2007
death benefit $447,000
average guaranteed rate 3%
cash value $119,000
cost $122 per mo
type: non-qualified
premiums paid: $145,000
As an exercise for myself, I pulled some historical VTI data to see how $145,000 invested between 2007 and 2017 would fare. Not to pile on, but if anyone is interested in seeing the results. Just buying VTI would have a cash value of ~$300,000.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

And this is assuming an equal monthly payment. The OP says their current payment is $122, so I assume it was much larger closer to the opening date.

nick evets
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by nick evets » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:27 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:34 am
I have read where non-traded REITs have made money for clients but it seems more often than not that these are money losers. It is hard to know if you are getting a good deal or not and there is a big commission built into the price. I suppose the people who formed the REIT get their cut too. It would be interesting to know how much comes off the top and how much is actually invested. 15% to 20% for everyone else to get their cut and maybe 80% to 85% invested? Can somebody cite actual numbers?
From our experience, as closely as we could figure, we paid about ~12.5% in commission on the non-traded REITs, with maybe half that going directly to the FA. They seemed to 'earn' somewhere around 4% annually. We had the REIT dividends reinvested back into more shares of the respective REIT (not by choice -- we didn't know any better -- long story), so at least when they were repurchased (at original share price), we broke even or came out slightly ahead, despite starting out "down" well over 10%.

In hindsight, they were ironically a good thing for us, as they never sat right with me -- non-traded REITs were just beginning to get really negative press in IRA's just after we were sold these around 2013 -- and ultimately precipitated us rolling our IRA *out* of Ameriprise, thanks to good advice here. And, in hindsight part II, I'm not sure they were as categorically evil as many claim: the upfront load, which we naively didn't insist on knowing, is the core problem, we had.

Anyway, don't want to derail the OP -- just pointing out it might not be as difficult to get out of the non-traded REITs as one might think.

Dottie57
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:00 pm

M_to_the_G wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:33 am
Call Vanguard, get some advice, and then just have them just transfer everything to Vanguard funds? You don't have to even talk to this advisor ever again, if memory serves me correctly from what others have reported here.

Agree forget about him.

I moved to fidelity. All I needed were current statements. A guy frm Fidelity helped me through it. It went well.

chambers136
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by chambers136 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:20 pm

One more thing- for IRAs, make sure you work with the new custodian to do a direct transfer as opposed to a 60 day rollover (where the check is sent to you and you have 60 days to put it into a new IRA). If you do more than one 60 day rollover in a 365 day period, all of them beyond the first one is taxable. I point this out because I'm guessing not many people know about it, and with your situation being difficult, you may be tempted to just tell them to send a check for a few IRAs and you'll deposit yourself. However, if you follow the advice to work closely with Fidelity/Schwab/Vanguard, they should be knowledgeable enough to insure this does not happen.

indecisive
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by indecisive » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:56 pm

This is VERY standard with Ameriprise - I experienced almost the same exact thing with them.

In fact, they "helped" me cash out a Whole Life Insurance policy that was with a different broker and had me invest in a VUL that is actually a much worse policy than what I originally had. Unfortunately, I wasn't knowledgeable enough at the time to know any better, so I took their "advice" and have regretted it for years.

I agree with everyone else - your best bet is to find a brokerage you can trust (Schwab, TD Ameritrade, etc are reputable ones) and have them help you untangle how to move your accounts over to them.

One word of caution...Most of Ameriprise's products are proprietary, so you may not be able to move them to the new brokerage "in kind" before you liquidate the investments. So, unfortunately, there's a good chance that you'll be stuck with Ameriprise's high fees for getting out of the investments before you move your accounts elsewhere. And given this complexity, you'll be best served working with someone at a new brokerage in-person rather than over the phone. You'll want to be 100% sure that they understand the situation and that you understand what they are helping you do. You might also want to consult with a tax advisor (either a CPA or Enrolled Agent) to help ensure that you don't do anything that can hurt you from a tax perspective.

bronco14
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by bronco14 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:32 pm

I was in your situation with Ameriprise, long term with considerable investments. I agree they are a pathetic organization who will milk you with fees and charges and questionable recommendations for the rest of your life. I moved everything in-kind to Vanguard and am still trying to untangle the mess. (By mess I mean liquidating 22 funds and investing in Vanguard funds. Vanguard makes it simple however there are tax consequences in the brokerage accounts you need to be aware of). However I have learned a lot in the process and am very glad I took action to stop the bleeding. While I no longer have an "advisor" I am focusing on minimizing taxes and tax planning and I have no problem paying for professional tax guidance. The investment strategy is the simple part and you can get all the free advice you need on this forum.

justwondering
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:57 pm

Thank you all for your great advice and sympathies ;) Since I posted I've been trying to move a few accounts to Vanguard but so far, nothing has actually transferred. I’m considering going with another firm (if I can find something better), its been 6 weeks and whenever they run into a snag they drop the ball, no follow up, no contact -my paperwork just sits there until I call. Ameriprise won’t let go of my $ and Vanguard won’t go after it. Ugh.
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

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KSOC
Posts: 308
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by KSOC » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:10 am

Nothing close to your pain, wife & I had two IRA Annuity's with them for over 25 years. I initiated moving them to Vanguard. It was a process alright but bottom line for us was to start with Ameriprise with their forms. They had to be original, not copies. That meant using the mail service. No fax's or emails. They will drag their feet. Once they let go Vanguard did their job in a timely manner. My money was all contributions from just my employer. My wife rolled a workplace 401k. I had her talk to IDS because that's all I knew. Part of being ignorant was giving them our workplace money. The other side of ignorant was not having any extra money to invest, so at least we didn't give anymore. That's how you learn. I wish you the best, good luck!
Too soon old, too late smart.

ICMoney
Posts: 170
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by ICMoney » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:02 pm

justwondering wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:57 pm
Thank you all for your great advice and sympathies ;) Since I posted I've been trying to move a few accounts to Vanguard but so far, nothing has actually transferred. I’m considering going with another firm (if I can find something better), its been 6 weeks and whenever they run into a snag they drop the ball, no follow up, no contact -my paperwork just sits there until I call. Ameriprise won’t let go of my $ and Vanguard won’t go after it. Ugh.
I had similar issues transferring to Vanguard a few years ago (though not from Ameriprise). As the poster above mentioned, the transfer paperwork may need to be on Ameriprise's forms (with medallion sigatures possibly) for Ameriprise to release the funds. That's what it took in my case at least - it wasn't as simple as "just call Vanguard and they will take care of it". I had to make sure both sides had the paperwork they needed to authorize the transfer.

Best,
ICM

mptfan
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by mptfan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 pm

justwondering wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:02 am
My first question is, "How do I get him to respond?!"
You don't. You move your accounts to Vanguard and move on with your life.

Gnirk
Posts: 847
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Location: Western Washington

Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Gnirk » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:24 pm

I, my husband, and my mom had accounts at Ameriprise. Then I started reading this forum, and contacted Vanguard, set up accounts, both brokerage and taxable Vanguard, and Vanguard took care of everything. We never had to even talk to Ameriprise. We also had Vanguard move our IRAs from Schwab to Vanguard.

Dottie57
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:39 pm

justwondering wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:57 pm
Thank you all for your great advice and sympathies ;) Since I posted I've been trying to move a few accounts to Vanguard but so far, nothing has actually transferred. I’m considering going with another firm (if I can find something better), its been 6 weeks and whenever they run into a snag they drop the ball, no follow up, no contact -my paperwork just sits there until I call. Ameriprise won’t let go of my $ and Vanguard won’t go after it. Ugh.
I think I would do the following.

1. List out every holding you have at Ameriprise. Determine the type of product and note that down. Note whether it is specific to Ameriprise or can be held at another brokerage. Maybe a spreadsheet.
2. Make sure you have the LATEST statements from Ameriprise.
3. Pick a new brokerage. - Schwab or Fidelity. Go to a local office and ask to see an advisor as you want to transfer assets.
4. Bring the items from 1 And 2 with you to the new brokerage.
5. Explain everything to the person you work with - no emotions just the facts. Tell the person you want to concentrate on transfering first and then will decide on what to sell and what to keep.
6. Keep this as simple as possible.
7. For products which are proprietary to Ameriprise, leave at Ameriprise for the time being and concentrate on what can be moved.
8. See this as a step by step process.

Good luck.

TwstdSista
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by TwstdSista » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:08 am

Before transferring, check the trade fees at both Ameriprise and at Vanguard. A might charge $20 to trade some funds, while V might charge $50, and vice versa (more likely vice versa, but it's best to check).

Also keep in mind that there will be tax consequences to selling anything in a taxable account (at either institution).

TIAX
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by TIAX » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:11 am

Will OP be able to transfer all the junk he or she owns to Vanguard (like VUL and non-listed REITs)?

justwondering
Posts: 27
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:22 pm

I wish I knew how to respond to the comments individually, but I only see how to add to the thread so I’ll put all my comments here:

We were not able to transfer anything in kind. Rather than buy mutual funds directly, Ameriprise bundled them to create a proprietary product just as other posters said. They added restrictions with penalties in addition to their exorbitant fees so selling their fund would cost us approx 7%. Each fund within the bundle has fees and expense ratios of their own, so the same investment dollars are feed multiple times. I think Ameriprise charged a 1% management fee on top of it all but can't be certain. The only fees listed on their statements were custodial fees for the IRAs, the rest were completely hidden.

The REITs are not only unable to be sold, they’re also unable to be moved. Ameriprise claimed the law requires that all transfers go through the ACAT system. They mailed us a form and charged us $125 without mentioning that REITs can’t go through ACAT. $125 later we noticed only the dividends appeared. Long story short, to continue to receive the dividends, we would have to renew the ACAT every six months at $125 every time even though the fee is larger than the dividends. We looked into selling them to third-party buyers but the offers were pennies on the dollar. We received a letter about restructuring so we’re hoping they’ll go up. I read there have been class action lawsuits in which some investors got their money back so I’m looking into that as well.

It's been a long road but we ended up with most of our $ in Fidelity. The service at Vanguard was almost non-existent. At first I thought they weren’t helpful bc we didn’t have much $ but there was no difference when our account crested $600,000. One day I called to ask a question & they offered me an appt with an advisor the following week. I reiterated that the query wasn't related to my acct in particular but generic so they said they’d request an email response. Four days later we gathered our paperwork and drove the hour to the nearest Fidelity office.

Fidelity promised that once our accounts settled they’d help us sell our positions in a tax-efficient way and set up an index portfolio but our next meeting was a soft-sell for their managed portfolios. The rep attempted to strike fear into our hearts about ‘going it alone’, promised ‘guidance in uncertain times’, claimed ‘managed funds could boost your earnings,’ and showed us optimistic Fidelity-managed earnings charts vs terrifying downward spiraling charts illustrating what could happen if we try to manage our own account. If it weren't for Bogleheads we would have jumped on it, lol.

That’s our story thus far. Just putting it out there to add to the record to help others and thank you all for the advice and encouragement :)
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

dbr
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by dbr » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:30 pm

And people wonder when one warns that seeking a financial advisor may be a really, really bad idea.

bsteiner
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by bsteiner » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:34 pm

justwondering wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:02 am
...
We bought the entire farm; VULs, annuities, ....
Isn't buying both life insurance and an annuity like betting on both teams in the same game.

justwondering
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:05 am

Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:19 am

Not necessarily -they were balanced by the high-fee mutual funds & plummeting illiquid REITS :twisted:
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

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ruralavalon
Posts: 13968
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Location: Illinois

Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:28 am

justwondering wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:22 pm
I wish I knew how to respond to the comments individually, but I only see how to add to the thread so I’ll put all my comments here:

We were not able to transfer anything in kind. Rather than buy mutual funds directly, Ameriprise bundled them to create a proprietary product just as other posters said. They added restrictions with penalties in addition to their exorbitant fees so selling their fund would cost us approx 7%. Each fund within the bundle has fees and expense ratios of their own, so the same investment dollars are feed multiple times. I think Ameriprise charged a 1% management fee on top of it all but can't be certain. The only fees listed on their statements were custodial fees for the IRAs, the rest were completely hidden.

The REITs are not only unable to be sold, they’re also unable to be moved. Ameriprise claimed the law requires that all transfers go through the ACAT system. They mailed us a form and charged us $125 without mentioning that REITs can’t go through ACAT. $125 later we noticed only the dividends appeared. Long story short, to continue to receive the dividends, we would have to renew the ACAT every six months at $125 every time even though the fee is larger than the dividends. We looked into selling them to third-party buyers but the offers were pennies on the dollar. We received a letter about restructuring so we’re hoping they’ll go up. I read there have been class action lawsuits in which some investors got their money back so I’m looking into that as well.

It's been a long road but we ended up with most of our $ in Fidelity. The service at Vanguard was almost non-existent. At first I thought they weren’t helpful bc we didn’t have much $ but there was no difference when our account crested $600,000. One day I called to ask a question & they offered me an appt with an advisor the following week. I reiterated that the query wasn't related to my acct in particular but generic so they said they’d request an email response. Four days later we gathered our paperwork and drove the hour to the nearest Fidelity office.

Fidelity promised that once our accounts settled they’d help us sell our positions in a tax-efficient way and set up an index portfolio but our next meeting was a soft-sell for their managed portfolios. The rep attempted to strike fear into our hearts about ‘going it alone’, promised ‘guidance in uncertain times’, claimed ‘managed funds could boost your earnings,’ and showed us optimistic Fidelity-managed earnings charts vs terrifying downward spiraling charts illustrating what could happen if we try to manage our own account. If it weren't for Bogleheads we would have jumped on it, lol.

That’s our story thus far. Just putting it out there to add to the record to help others and thank you all for the advice and encouragement :)
That is a sad story :( . But it is good to see most of your assets are now at Fidelity. Stick with index funds at Fidelity.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

justwondering
Posts: 27
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:03 am

I've been reading Bogleheads every chance I get and although the plan is amazingly simple, getting there is going to be tricky :? I'm working on a post to request help with what to do with the positions currently under our control. We have things scattered all over and I'm still trying to work out the percentages for the big picture. I think I'm going to ignore the worthless REIT and what's left in Ameriprise for now since we can't touch them for a few years. Planning to rebalance as they become available unless the Bogleheads say otherwise. Should I keep my questions in this thread since my history is here or start a new thread since they'll be about moving forward?
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

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ruralavalon
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:24 am

justwondering wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:03 am
I've been reading Bogleheads every chance I get and although the plan is amazingly simple, getting there is going to be tricky :? I'm working on a post to request help with what to do with the positions currently under our control. We have things scattered all over and I'm still trying to work out the percentages for the big picture. I think I'm going to ignore the worthless REIT and what's left in Ameriprise for we can't touch them for a few years. Planning to rebalance as they become available unless the behindBogleheads say otherwise. Should I keep my questions in this thread since my history is here or start a new thread since they'll be about moving forward?
I think a new thread asking for ideas on how to reinvest using your new Fidelity accounts, including a link to this thread for background, will likely be better.

Please see the post "asking portfolio questions" for format. Your new post will need to include the REITs and other assets left behind, as they will probably influence the suggestions on how to invest in your Fidelity accounts.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Longruninvestor
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Longruninvestor » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:27 pm

deleted
Last edited by Longruninvestor on Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

justwondering
Posts: 27
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:33 pm

Probably the guy who sold us all this garbage :oops:
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

justwondering
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:05 am

Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by justwondering » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:02 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:24 am
justwondering wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:03 am
I've been reading Bogleheads every chance I get and although the plan is amazingly simple, getting there is going to be tricky :? I'm working on a post to request help with what to do with the positions currently under our control. We have things scattered all over and I'm still trying to work out the percentages for the big picture. I think I'm going to ignore the worthless REIT and what's left in Ameriprise for we can't touch them for a few years. Planning to rebalance as they become available unless the behindBogleheads say otherwise. Should I keep my questions in this thread since my history is here or start a new thread since they'll be about moving forward?
I think a new thread asking for ideas on how to reinvest using your new Fidelity accounts, including a link to this thread for background, will likely be better.

Please see the post "asking portfolio questions" for format. Your new post will need to include the REITs and other assets left behind, as they will probably influence the suggestions on how to invest in your Fidelity accounts.
I tried to take your advice and calculate the percentages with the Ameriprise account included but since the actual products are so mysterious and the fees hidden it was impossible. Ameriprise does not provide ticker symbols and when I searched the fund names, none of them were perfect matches. I’m going to contact Ameriprise to find out exactly what we have. Great idea to add a link to this thread to future questions :D
It could be that the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others

Jjball
Posts: 1
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Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by Jjball » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:09 pm

Help me understand one thing - many of you suggest to go to Vanguard for example. I have it now, but those low funds are not gaining as much. In some cases 1 year best options at Vanguard has say 12% return for 0.07% fee vs 17% in sps option with .5% fund fee and 1% ameriprise fee.
So whats the logic saying go to Vanguard low fee funds when they are over performed 5% or even more? What am i missing here? P.s. most mutual funds im talking about that are with ameriprise arent on vanguard.
Thanks

TIAX
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:19 pm

Re: Ameriprise :(

Post by TIAX » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:26 pm

Jjball wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:09 pm
Help me understand one thing - many of you suggest to go to Vanguard for example. I have it now, but those low funds are not gaining as much. In some cases 1 year best options at Vanguard has say 12% return for 0.07% fee vs 17% in sps option with .5% fund fee and 1% ameriprise fee.
So whats the logic saying go to Vanguard low fee funds when they are over performed 5% or even more? What am i missing here? P.s. most mutual funds im talking about that are with ameriprise arent on vanguard.
Thanks
Read the SPIVA reports and let us know how active funds are doing against index funds. For example, according to the SPIVA® U.S. Year-End 2017 Scorecard, in the last 15 year period, 83.74% of domestic funds underperformed the relevant index. And you don't know which funds will outperform the indexes.

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