Anything about Ameriprise?

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Jan 5, 2009 11:04 am

I am hoping someone out there knows something about Ameriprise; however, not the independant channel of AMP.  I have been approached by the firm to move there and I have been looking for info on them on these forums but could not find much.  Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
Jan 5, 2009 4:04 pm

ameriprise financial or ameriprise advisor services? Same company, different stories.

Jan 5, 2009 4:14 pm

I'm on the independent side of Ameriprise, but only since recently.  If you want a sincere opinion about someone who has experienced the good and bad side of the employee advisor side of Ameriprise for about 2.5 years, I would not wish P1 (the employee side) on my worst enemy right now.  I consider that an understatement of gargantuan proportions.

Jan 5, 2009 4:49 pm

I agree 200%. You want to fight terrorism? Shove an Ameriprise 401k 'plan' in the face of an extremist and step back as you watch the shock blow their minds.

 
I'm trying to get out of here, be it in or outside the industry.
Jan 5, 2009 5:00 pm
anabuhabkuss:

I agree 200%. You want to fight terrorism? Shove an Ameriprise 401k 'plan' in the face of an extremist and step back as you watch the shock blow their minds.

 
I'm trying to get out of here, be it in or outside the industry.
 
Why not simply walk away & join a strong regional firm or go indy?
Jan 5, 2009 5:12 pm
Charlie Brown:
 
Why not simply walk away & join a strong regional firm or go indy?



The contract is very, very restrictive, making it difficult for "average" producers to retain relationships.

Top producers can make the switch (even a top bank or wirehouse) under optimal conditions.  But these deals are rare even in the best of times.

Jan 5, 2009 5:33 pm

What is so bad about them?  The only negative I see right now is the whole ONE Annuity and Insurance provider thing...but I can outsource that stuff if need be.  Besides, I don't do much, if any Annuity business.  What about basic full-service platform...you know, the whole holistic wealth management stuff??  They are open architecture, right?

Jan 5, 2009 9:14 pm

I was with IDS/American Express then ultimately P2 with Ameriprise 1993-2006.  Your whole mantra to the client is the financial plan.  The firm however, changes the metrics from which your practice is evaluated on both platform 1 and 2 on a regular basis.  Now I cannot speak for anything after June 2006, but I can tell you that you are making a 10-14 year mistake if you go to Ameriprise.  You will figure it out about year 4, and by that time it will take you 7-10 years to ethically unwind what you have just done over the first years of your career.  I will talk abought something benign, like technology.  I will not be exaggerating when I say that at least weekly, some critical function that you are paying for will not work.  It will cause you to to have to call (no big deal) into the que (at least I was platinum status and got rerouted most of the time.  My staff however called in, got sent to the Phillpines, spoke to some broken english person named (Shelly or Brittany..yea right).  The wait times frequently exceeded 30 minutes only to go unresolved or not done properly. Now back then the technology suite was one of the highest in the industry, and the most unreliable.

 
I paid franchise fees, OSJ fees, a haircut on GDC, and an additional haircut on SPS Advantage assets. Did I mention exit/purchase requirements?  Did I mention 3.5% payout on annuities and if you need to make a change, even if the 7 year surrender period is up, to another annuity (fixed type or just a newer generation with lower costs to client, more features etc) you will not get paid for that transaction....less than 10 years other than a 1% conservation fee.
 
Watch the movie The Firm.  Like Cruise's charactor, you will be naturally excited.  As soon as you get that feeling, like when he realized he was working for a mob law firm, you will know you made a mistake.  Now they are not anything like the mob so relax.  They are in business to make money as a firm, to reward shareholders.  You my friend are PC. Profit Center" and no matter what they tell you about running your business your way, when they change the metrics of your scorecard, you are hosed.  Something else will come along, and you will keep drinking the kool - aid, hoping it will get better.  You will make more dials, see more people and you will get behind and behind and busier and more behind.
 
I sold 2/3 of my clients before leaving there.  I left my annuities and vul/UL there, and exchanged only those out of surrender (about 600k over 9 contracts).  My net income (I use wrap accounts as 92% of my income) exceeded my best Ameriprise year by 76% my first full year.  The next year I had no 1035 exchanges, but my net was 100% more than my best year at Ameriprise.  You cannot believe how they are doing you until you leave there and go Indy.
 
Think of this, the local bank can sell the same RAVA Advantage for 7.5%, and you get 3.5% subject to exit purchase rules and aging.  Assumed that you are ethical and not a churner.
 
Look elsewhere.  You can thank me in 10 years.
Jan 6, 2009 11:28 am

Where is there to go? Merrill? UBS? Wachovia? A.G. Edwards? The only place I would want to jump, at this point, is possibly to a Keegan or M.Stanley but people from Merrill, UBS, A.G.E and Wachovia have filled up their seats already in my area. I have a few things on the back burner that I'm working on.


You know, after our merger occured, I got the 401k package, looked at it and was just dumbfounded by the hyprocrisy. I elected zero to go into it. I didn't even want the free matching from the firm. True story, I received 3 calls, in one day, from the back office asking me why I was not electing to put money into the thing. The following week, I got a call from the regional. At first I asked if they took it as a sign that I was leaving but then there was no way they could think that.
 
Now, onto Coop's question about what's so bad. In addition to what AMP, above, mentioned, my weird brain looks at it another way. If I'm going to stare at a client in the face, talk about asset allocation, alternative strategies...the whole nine yards, why on god's green earth would I want to split my hard earned commissions with a firm that is pushing me to put my retirement at risk solely with riversource funds? Why would I want to push my clients' assets to a firm like that? I must hate my wife, my unborn child, my clients and myself to want to do that. 
 
Believe me, I don't.
Jan 6, 2009 3:21 pm

BS-  there's not one major or even minor, regional, whatever BD on the planet with their "seats full".  If your numbers stink, of course they have no room. I've never met a firm or manager who does not have a seat for a $750k producer. Give me a break. 

Jan 6, 2009 3:31 pm

Ameriprise blows.

 
I have taken several clients from them in the past year and they all had no idea how truly lousy it was until they left. They just knew their advisor was a clown and all they had was Riversource annuities.
Jan 7, 2009 9:54 am
burtonfinancial1:

BS-  there's not one major or even minor, regional, whatever BD on the planet with their "seats full".  If your numbers stink, of course they have no room. I've never met a firm or manager who does not have a seat for a $750k producer. Give me a break. 

 
Boy you're dumb; give yourself a break. That's not what I said at all. I also never said I was a $750k producer so your point there, in addition to your assumptions (I clearly pointed out the surroundings in my area...you're talking about 'the planet') and your inability to read, is irrelevant to topic at hand. You're telling me you know, for a fact, what the branch situation is for Keegan and stanley...in my area. Please, indulge me. You're the genius.
 
Jan 7, 2009 9:58 am
iceco1d:

Ana,

 
Did I really just read that you are considering leaving the biz?!  Because the seats are all taken at the wires near you? 
 
I can almost definitely get you a seat @ my BD.  Let me know. 
 
That was more of a comment and observation than a reason, Ice. There are other factors involved. I'm thinking about doing some off shore work for some tax free money in addition to running a business that has been in my family for 29 years.
Jan 10, 2009 12:24 pm

Someone mentioned that you could only sell Riversource stuff.  That is not true in either platform.  When I left, it was under consideration to gain distribution network for other VA/VUL/UL.  You can also be b/d of record on several non-AMP/RVS insurance product.


 
The point I wanted to make is this:  When I started back in '93, a newsletter titled "West of Wall Street" was published.  The operation was truly run with that same mantra, a good ole boy network of Minnesota grads.  Things have finally changed with talent from multiple thinkologies (LOL) but it is what it is.  Great training, keep the meat and spit out the bones.
Jan 11, 2009 12:58 pm
burtonfinancial1:

BS-  there's not one major or even minor, regional, whatever BD on the planet with their "seats full".  If your numbers stink, of course they have no room. I've never met a firm or manager who does not have a seat for a $750k producer. Give me a break. 



Full of shit. I run into individual branches all the time that are full; it depends upon what market you are in. Makes you wondered why the BM's don't "cut the fat" so to say, to allow room for the larger producers. Could be loyalty, but if you ask me... loyalty has nothing on a pair-of-brass-balls wielding go-getter.

I would assume you are not in a major market.

Jan 11, 2009 3:08 pm

weak products, still a Mutual Fund, Annuity, Insurance firm--no brokerage platform

Jan 11, 2009 5:27 pm
g1l1fvp:

weak products, still a Mutual Fund, Annuity, Insurance firm--no brokerage platform

 
when you say no brokerage platform, do you mean they do not underwrite offerings and incentivise the reps to peddle them like Avon?
 
The brokerage platform is Schwab.  Now that Fidelity has taken over for the cash sweep, I am sure Streetscape isnt far behind from NFS.
 
I am glad I left there, but I am not going to tell lies about them.
Jan 12, 2009 5:44 pm

I would consider Waddell & Reed, for experienced brokers not living and dying by the "switch check" they have a fully open archetecture platform, and for the broker of team between 200-750k it will sing.. Despite what many think on these boards, even the classic platform the deals really near the "old" American Express model, it works quite nice.


message me if you'd like more details.. I've been at the firm 6 years, and do around 250k in production


Good Luck