Ameripise changing?

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Jun 11, 2008 11:26 pm

I see a lot of Ameriprise bashing on these forums. Are they really as bad as they were a few years back as all the fish bowl and drone stories suggest? How can a company so bad have more CFPs than any other company? Any input would be appreciated as I've been told they are turning over a new leaf. True?? Anyone have recent experience to share? Can they ever compete with the big boys?

Jun 11, 2008 11:30 pm
frogger:

I see a lot of Ameriprise bashing on these forums. Are they really as bad as they were a few years back as all the fish bowl and drone stories suggest? Yes.  How can a company so bad have more CFPs than any other company? Because they Can't F'ing Produce.  Any input would be appreciated as I've been told they are turning over a new leaf. True??  Not a chance.  Anyone have recent experience to share?  Recent experience is of taking accounts away from them.  Can they ever compete with the big boys? Never.

Jun 11, 2008 11:42 pm
Jun 12, 2008 12:39 am
joedabrkr:


For what it's worth, my perception is that Ameriprise is somewhat a tale of 2 companies....the "indy platform" advisors seem to be some pretty solid producers and good businessmen(er...women) from what I've observed.

The "employee channel" advisors, however, seem to largely fit the stereotypes put forth by many of the 'bashers'.



Agreed!  However, even the "indy" types aren't really independent at Ameriprise.  They don't own their book, they just get a higher payout and contract with Ameriprise for their services. 

If they wanted to change firms, the B/D still owns the client.

Jun 12, 2008 2:11 am

I had an interview about four months ago with them. While I was very skeptical, I see no reason not to examine the situation myself and see if things are as they seem. Everything I'd heard about them was basically confirmed in the interview. You're expected to dish out proprietary products such as VAs and VULs for EVERY client. This is what all of the plans will advise. Don't even bother bringing someone on without a plan. The real deal breaker is the rigidity of the schedule. You don't just have to do the business, but do it in exactly the way that AMP lays out for you, down to a 60 hr schedule and specific marketing plan. The "grail" for those who can tolerate this long enough to get around 35-50 planning clients and about 10MM AUM is the ability to go indie which while it may be much better than the employee channel, is no LPL, Ray Jay, etc.

Jun 12, 2008 10:04 am

Ameriprise = joke. Requiring everyone to get a CFP is a marketing ploy. Not to bash CFP holders, but it's not rocket science (I've got one).



Some of the "independent" guys are ok, but it still sucks to be there.



I interviewed with them a while back, and they told me my 10 mil, hartford annuity-wrapped 401K would have to switch to riversource. Talk about a deal breaker.

Jun 12, 2008 3:32 pm

They're a marketing machine.  I give them credit, I think their commercials work.  I think them and Fidelity do a very good job of marketing to middle-income America.  This says nothing of what they do for their clients - I just think they are both marketing machines.  At least with Fidelity you know what you are getting (call center support at best).

Jun 12, 2008 5:30 pm

Sounds like ice and snag got scooped a few too many times by their local Ameriprise practice.  Maybe your (former) clients were looking for an advisor, not a churner. 

 
And skippy, I do in fact "own" my client base, and Ameriprise has tried to make it as turnkey as possible to sell to another Ameriprise advisor one day.  Ameriprise practices typically go for a premium, and if it's worth a damn, buyers will be lining up.
 
And as far as being forced to sell all prop, or told that a Hartford 401k had to be changed to RiverSource?  Wrong.  The only area that I'm restricted to "Prop" is annuities.  Our annuities are highly rated by M* as having low expenses and relatively high number of "4 & 5 star subaccounts." Annuities aren't my concern, most of my aum is in wrap accounts.  There's no such thing as a "RiverSource 401(k)."  Our 401(k)s are all brokered.
Jun 12, 2008 7:02 pm

Taco,


Is that why every time I see an Ameriprise statement, it has the same crappy Riversource funds in it?  No proprietary restrictions my arse.  That is ok though, those Riversource funds are gems and make it very easy for the client sign the ACAT.
 
Jun 12, 2008 7:27 pm
Big Taco:
  And skippy, I do in fact "own" my client base, and Ameriprise has tried to make it as turnkey as possible to sell to another Ameriprise advisor one day.  Ameriprise practices typically go for a premium, and if it's worth a damn, buyers will be lining up.



Well, that's great.  You can sell to another Ameriprise rep!  You still CAN'T LEAVE AMERIPRISE.  You still can't take your clients with you to another B/D.

Basically, it's YOUR business as long as you stay with Ameriprise.  That doesn't sound like being independent to me.

If you're happy there, all power to ya.

Jun 12, 2008 7:28 pm

Taco,



I'm pretty sure I said, yep "my 10mil hartford ANNUITY wrapped-401k". That means, your "Prop" annuities would have been required to transition. Because the 401k (which ended with lower expenses because of the annuity wrap) was using a hartford annuity, Ameriprise will NOT hold it. Ask your branch manager if you can start a 401k with Hartford using an annuity wrap. I'll bet you dollars to protein shakes that he says no.

Jun 12, 2008 8:29 pm
Big Taco:

Sounds like ice and snag got scooped a few too many times by their local Ameriprise practice.  Maybe your (former) clients were looking for an advisor, not a churner. 

 
 
Au contraire, I have never lost a client to Ameriprise.  In fact, I have a statement I'm looking at on my desk right now with RVS funds I need my NEW client to sell.  They have also referred me to their parents, also with Ameriprise.
 
I think I will write up a nice little thank you note and drop it in one of the local fish bowls here in my building... 
Jun 12, 2008 11:26 pm
skippy:
Big Taco:
 
And skippy, I do in fact "own" my client base, and Ameriprise has tried to make it as turnkey as possible to sell to another Ameriprise advisor one day.  Ameriprise practices typically go for a premium, and if it's worth a damn, buyers will be lining up.



Well, that's great.  You can sell to another Ameriprise rep!  You still CAN'T LEAVE AMERIPRISE.  You still can't take your clients with you to another B/D.

Basically, it's YOUR business as long as you stay with Ameriprise.  That doesn't sound like being independent to me.

If you're happy there, all power to ya.

 
Thanks, glad we're on the same page.
 
 
 
 
 
Jun 12, 2008 11:43 pm
Magician:

Taco,

I'm pretty sure I said, yep "my 10mil hartford ANNUITY wrapped-401k". That means, your "Prop" annuities would have been required to transition. Because the 401k (which ended with lower expenses because of the annuity wrap) was using a hartford annuity, Ameriprise will NOT hold it. Ask your branch manager if you can start a 401k with Hartford using an annuity wrap. I'll bet you dollars to protein shakes that he says no.

 
 
Hmm.  You must be some magician.  You created the "illusion" that a Hartford annuity is a good 401(k) platform.
 
And you must have "conjured" up a one-of-a-kind "RiverSource 401(k) annuity,"  because I'm looking at a pdf of the Qualified VA app right now, and I don't see a single box to check for "401(k)"......... SEP IRA, yes.  SIMPLE IRA, yes......  but no 401(k).  Sorry, magic.  Take the smoke and mirrors elsewhere.
 
 
 
 
Jun 12, 2008 11:58 pm
snaggletooth:
Big Taco:

Sounds like ice and snag got scooped a few too many times by their local Ameriprise practice.  Maybe your (former) clients were looking for an advisor, not a churner. 

 
 
Au contraire, I have never lost a client to Ameriprise.  In fact, I have a statement I'm looking at on my desk right now with RVS funds I need my NEW client to sell.  They have also referred me to their parents, also with Ameriprise.
 
I think I will write up a nice little thank you note and drop it in one of the local fish bowls here in my building... 
 
Well, I'm looking at a pretty interesting statement too!  It proves, unequivocally, that BigFoot and George Bush are old Yalie buddies, and to this day, they make it a rule to never miss an episode of "Desperate Housewives". 
 
I'm sure both of our posts are 100% true, snag.  Afterall, this IS the internet.
 
 
 
 
Jun 13, 2008 12:18 am
Big Taco:
snaggletooth:
Big Taco:

Sounds like ice and snag got scooped a few too many times by their local Ameriprise practice.  Maybe your (former) clients were looking for an advisor, not a churner. 

 
 
Au contraire, I have never lost a client to Ameriprise.  In fact, I have a statement I'm looking at on my desk right now with RVS funds I need my NEW client to sell.  They have also referred me to their parents, also with Ameriprise.
 
I think I will write up a nice little thank you note and drop it in one of the local fish bowls here in my building... 
 
Well, I'm looking at a pretty interesting statement too!  It proves, unequivocally, that BigFoot and George Bush are old Yalie buddies, and to this day, they make it a rule to never miss an episode of "Desperate Housewives". 
 
I'm sure both of our posts are 100% true, snag.  Afterall, this IS the internet.
 
 
Look, we both know that the admissions department really missed the boat in 1964 at Yale.  But if BigFoot and Bush can get along, maybe there's hope that real advisors can get along with Ameriprise reps...
 
And it's true, I've never lost a client to Ameriprise.  It's pretty easy to tell since we can plainly see which firm is ACATing the accounts away. 
Jun 13, 2008 1:04 am
Primo:

Taco,


Is that why every time I see an Ameriprise statement, it has the same crappy Riversource funds in it?  No proprietary restrictions my arse.  That is ok though, those Riversource funds are gems and make it very easy for the client sign the ACAT.
 
 
Couldn't tell ya.
 
I've got some of them on the books.  I think RVS Div. Equity Income is a good value fund, and use it sometimes.
 
The other ones are from some of the clients that I bought years ago when prop was more common.  The ones that wouldn't come in for review, didn't see the point of making a change even though their portfolios were severely out of balance by then...  I sent most of those clients to home office.  Maybe they're who you're meeting?  The kind that don't feel the need to make a change until they get thier "Quarter ending March 31st, 2008" statement, crap their pants, then decide to call you, whereby they can now be your problem?  Good luck.
 
Or maybe it's like the clients that keep migrating to my office from other advisors.  Smith Barney statements come to mind (pretty convoluted statement, BTW).  The one where the advisor charged a 1.5% wrap with all (I mean 100% ALL) Citi CM funds in it was really over-the-top.  And it was just domestic equity funds-- large & small caps -- and this client has a very moderate risk tolerance.  I can't believe that's not a compliance violation (using all props in a wrapped account?).  Maybe these migratory clients will be like the ones I fired, or maybe they didn't like getting over-charged for garbage.  Time will tell.
 
And I really appreciate all the annuity salesmen who've decided that 1 large cap growth subaccount is appropriate for everyone.  When that brilliant asset allocation tanks the new clients come out of the woodwork.
 
There's a lot of other "investment strategies" and products that my competitors push out there that I'm grateful for.  I suppose we should all count our blessings.  I'll start with the TRAK account.
 
Either way, glad it's working out for you Primo.
 
 
 
Jun 13, 2008 11:26 am

You got me Taco, they never said it had to switch to Riversource. What he did say is that it would be impossible to hold. And that's a fact. The annuity wrap saved the plan 12k a year in fees. They get 32 different firms, at A-share costs. No smoke and mirrors, just simple math. "Mr. Plan Administrator, do you want to pay 12k more or less?"

Jun 13, 2008 2:32 pm
Magician:

You got me Taco, they never said it had to switch to Riversource. What he did say is that it would be impossible to hold. And that's a fact. The annuity wrap saved the plan 12k a year in fees. They get 32 different firms, at A-share costs. No smoke and mirrors, just simple math. "Mr. Plan Administrator, do you want to pay 12k more or less?"

 
Saved 12K a year in fees as compared to what?
Jun 15, 2008 8:44 pm

The American Funds plan I was competing against, as well as any of the other Hartford platforms. Fidelity and Vanguard wouldn't negotiate on fees, so that's what happened.



Basically, the way it worked was, there were no fees for testing, loans, withdrawals, etc. Waived all administrative costs. Hartford picked up the TPA costs. Load-waived A-shares, Fidelity, even managed to squeeze some Vanguard in there because the CEO wanted it.



Hartford wanted it bad (so did I), because they only have 70 employees and are putting in 3mil a year (between deferments and profit sharing).



If you want, PM me and I'll show you how it's structured (minus client name, of course), and why it was the best fit for this plan.