Ameriprise for Sales Experience?

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Sep 5, 2006 9:41 pm

I have been offered a position with Ameriprise, the location is one of the top 10 producing offices in the country. I was allowed to look around and speak to different employees asking them questions. They all seem to be doing ok.

I have read a ton of negatives about the company, in my opinion alot of these might be from poor producing or poor offices?

Most people here seem to be concerned with the financial industry, I am not.  I worked in sales through college, and did well. Comparing this to some other sales positions that I have interviewed for, the growth(money) potential seems pretty good in a 3-5 year position.

My question is I am just want to do sales there really is no reason not  to work for Ameriprise? Correct? Thanks

Sep 5, 2006 9:53 pm

I do not claim to be an expert, but I believe that for young people with a sales bent, Ameriprise can offer a good learning experience and career start.


There will be others here who recommend you to consider life insurance sales as well.

Sep 5, 2006 10:53 pm

If all you want to do is be a salesman, then you may have a short career in this industry. At AMP you will be pushed to sell inferior investments and insurance products. Unless you have a huge pool of people to tap into, then you will eventually run out of people to tick off. Do yourself a favor, if you take the job, insist on NOT selling their inferior garbage.

Sep 5, 2006 11:10 pm

How much experience with Ameriprise and its products do you have Peanutbroker?


If one of their top producers had a chance to go over what you've sold how much "garbage" would be found?

Sep 5, 2006 11:25 pm
ampfsales:


My question is I am just want to do sales there really is no reason not  to work for Ameriprise? Correct? Thanks


There have been a lot of people come and go through Ameriprise in its previous lifeforms--mostly because they are very much like a boot camp, run by hard drill instructors with a soft heart at the right times.


It's not for the faint of heart because they really do lay out some strong rules--come in early, stay late, make lots of phone calls (and they can tell because they have systems that record every number you dial.)


I interviewed a kid once who was fired by them because he had called his old fraternity house dozens of times a day just to get his call count up--he did not realize that not only did they know how many calls he was making, they knew the numbers he was dialing.


It is a great training ground, and is a good choice if you're young and/or don't have the things that the wirehouses are going to want to see.


Do be careful what you sell--not because it's garbage but because you may not be able to take it with you without your clients having to sell it at AMP, which may result in unfavorable tax issues, not to mention the ethical question of having to pay a second sales charge to buy something else.


It's better than any penny stock boiler room and the other three firms that are commonly thought to share the space with AMP--namely Waddel & Reed, First Investors and Primerica.


But do not accept an offer from any firm if you have not at least tried to get into a wirehouse--go find a Wachovia Securities office in your area, walk in and ask to speak to the manager's assistant.  Blow her away with your cool and ask her if she'd be able to get you a more formal interview with her boss.

Sep 6, 2006 12:38 pm

If I do take the job with them, what should I avoid selling? and what should I try to sell if I wish to take something with me? Something more specifically than 'their proprietary garabage,' or whatever people call their plans.

Sep 6, 2006 12:55 pm

Don't sell any proprietary products if it will be a launching pad for you.  Typically, a new P1 will average $1-4M in new assets per year.  Most other firms require at least $5M/year in new asset growth before they would consider looking at you.  The hurdles are far lower as far as production and assets go, but you also have to keep in mind that you are typically not working with the same clients you would see at a Smith Barney or Merrill and they will have less to invest than the typical wirehouse client.

Sep 6, 2006 6:29 pm

What would an example of a proprietary product be?

Sep 6, 2006 6:51 pm
ampfsales:

What would an example of a proprietary product be?


Riversource Mutual Funds, IDS Annuities or IDS Life Insurance.

Sep 6, 2006 7:21 pm

I take it with that low of goals that they don't offer a salary or benifits? 


Or at very least limited.

Sep 7, 2006 8:54 am

They will offer benefits and you will have a draw, somewhere around $25k.

Dec 30, 2006 9:32 pm
Registered Rep:
ampfsales:

What would an example of a proprietary product be?


Riversource Mutual Funds, IDS Annuities or IDS Life Insurance.



Disclosure, I'm an AMP franchisee.


The Riversource VAs are really good products, IMO.  They're not just sold through AMP anymore either.  Really low M&E for broker-sold, 70 SAs from 20 fund families, Morningstar has a team that will do the asset allocation based on risk tolerance.  I've been impressed with them so far.


Dec 31, 2006 12:02 am
Big Taco:
Registered Rep:

[quote=ampfsales]What would an example of a proprietary product be? [/quote]


Riversource Mutual Funds, IDS Annuities or IDS Life Insurance.


Disclosure, I'm an AMP franchisee.


The Riversource VAs are really good products, IMO.  They're not just sold through AMP anymore either.  Really low M&E for broker-sold, 70 SAs from 20 fund families, Morningstar has a team that will do the asset allocation based on risk tolerance.  I've been impressed with them so far.




Maybe you're just easily impressed?

Dec 31, 2006 12:31 am
peanutbroker:

If all you want to do is be a salesman, then you
may have a short career in this industry. At AMP you will be pushed to
sell inferior investments and insurance products. Unless you have a
huge pool of people to tap into, then you will eventually run out of
people to tick off. Do yourself a favor, if you take the job, insist
on NOT selling their inferior garbage.





Seriously, you will hate getting up in the morning trying to convince
people to buy stuff, that you know is crap and that you would never buy
for yourself. I think deep down this is why alot of people go indy.



The AMPF "riversource" funds suck, performance is bad and the fee's are
high. For example IIRC, the riversource S&P 500 index fund charge
89bp for example.



The insurance products are expensive, and the emphasis on VA's and VUL
is not the right choice for most people. You will be cold calling, but
its not to sell products but to sell financial plans. Arguably the
support for rookies is better, but the products you are pushing are
worse than average.






Dec 31, 2006 5:36 pm

I know this thread was started asking about the P1 corporate trainee program, but most of the FAs at amp are part of the P2 franchisee platform, and own their practice.  It's the company with the most CFPs in the world.  I'll agree that a lot of RVS funds suck, but if you're selling mutual funds, why would you use only one family anyway?  They have some of the best broker-sold VAs I've seen.  Insurance is part of comprehensive financial planning, which is something I had to come to grips with also (it's easier to just help people invest).  It's doing a disservice to your clients not to do protection planning.  And if you don't like IDS insurance, you can broker outside insurance companies like Prudential or Lincoln, etc.


I'm not trying to recruit anyone.  I don't like the P1 platform.  It seems to cost us franchisees way too much money, but it would probably get spent on something else anyway. 

I feel like this is the best firm for me, and since the spin off a year ago, I feel like it's going in the best possible directions. 

Jan 2, 2007 3:42 pm

Big Taco, I'm with Ameriprise for 13 years. I sell virtually no proprietary - use a lot of Fidelity, Columbia, Calvert, Oppenheimer.


Much of the fuss about who you affiliate with is much ado about nothing. My payout is great, considering I affiliate with a branded broker dealer. They leave me alone, I attend one meeting per year, and they come visit me once a year or so.


Back to the thread starter: when you are getting started, you are learning the business. So much is mental. If you are asked to sell mainly Ameriprise stuff, will you be hurting clients? Only the analytical ones who care about not having Ameriprise stuff. Are Ameriprise funds better or worse than others? Depends... Diversified Equity Fund was the #1 or so large cap value fund in the country a year or so ago, whatever, things change, and then someone else is number one, and it matters not.


So many people here were trained at Ameriprise. If a rep goes independent for there, more power to them. Many different needs being met. Including the need sometimes to diss what is now a great franchise ownership system for those who make it to Platform two.


There are folks who often see the doughnut, others the hole. Think for yourself. Maybe Ameriprise is right for you, maybe not. Don't let your ego get into it. If you want to sell, and Ameriprise will pay you to do it, from a moral standpoint, you are on firm ground. When you are a trainee, most of the money you collect would have been spent at the mall or car dealership. Later, you will begin to attract accumulated family wealth by referral, and you can start using those exchange traded funds in wrap accounts, and pay an assistant to compare ten different company insurance policies for your engineer clients.  



Jan 2, 2007 4:48 pm
ampfsales:

If I do take the job with them, what should I avoid selling? and what should I try to sell if I wish to take something with me? Something more specifically than 'their proprietary garabage,' or whatever people call their plans.


Listen, don't take the job.  Save yourself and your family and friends the hassle.  The VERY first thing they will do is to PUSH you very hard to give them a list of your family and friends and then bring in their money.


That is not so bad, what is bad is that they have HORRIBLE mutual funds and they push VUL insurance on everyone.


Worse yet, it is EXTREMELY difficult to leave.  They will set their legal staff on you and hunt you like a dog.  They are not a part of the Broker agreement that RJ, UBS and others have put together that allow brokers to move among firms if they choose.  That is because brokers at RJ and UBS seldom want to leave.  NOONE goes to Ameriprise after another firm.


Oh, I hate to tell you but they give offers to anyone who can fog a mirror.


So, start out right.  The bank is a fine place to learn and they will treat you and your family like humans.  Also, RJ, AGE and others have much better training.

Jan 2, 2007 5:19 pm

With all respect, a lot of folks have successfully moved. As a franchise owner, I can move my book at any time, and have colleagues who have exercised their right to do so, without contractual obligations. You just have to be business like and follow the contractual obligations.


I think your comments show a lack of understanding about the very strong, favorable and competitive conditions of Ameriprise franchise ownership, which is a growth option the "P1" employee track. I have seriously researched the costs and benefits of going RIA with National Financial, and can assure you that moving would be (too) easy.


Sounds like maybe you had a bad experience. I am sorry if you were treated in an inhumane manner by the employer division of my affliate. The "P1" track is just one way to get paid to learn. As a "P2" owner, there is nothing I would like better than for a licensed, ambitious individual to check into a career at my small shop.  I hear a lot of whining about how hard it is to get into this business, but I don't think there is a lot of creative thinking and prospecting on the part of CFP practitioner wannabees.

Jan 2, 2007 5:39 pm

do so, without contractual obligations.


"unreasonable contractual obligations".

Jan 2, 2007 7:58 pm

Ameriprise= a rental car name= a big joke!