I don't speak ill of other advisors. I think it makes you look small, I think it makes you look desperate, I think it is bad ethics. Yesterday, I couldn't button my lip. As the client relayed her Ed Jones Rep's concerns about the recommendation I made I realized that taking the high road has become a tacet admission of guilt when certain other advisors say misleading or outright lies about me or the strategies I recommend. So I looked at this client and I said "whoever told that is either grossly incompetent, unethical or both" Before I go further,this is not an "annuities are garbage" VS "annuities are wonderful" posting.
It breaks down like this. An Ed Jones advisor was telling a retired woman, recent widow, to take a VA death benefit in a lump sum and move it to her. Her reasons were.
If she takes a successor option on the VA she will pay a surrender charge if she wants to get at her money--Not true. taking the successor option does not restart a new surrender schedule.
Annuities are horrible because of the fees--The only fees in this account at all are sub-account fees. The current allocation of sub-accounts have lower fees than the clients fees in her Ed Jones IRA.
The client had just spoke to her Ed Jones rep just before I came over. The S&P 500 was down 75 points by then. The Ed Jones rep saw no reason why this 68 year old woman would ever need (today or in the future) a zero fee 3% guaranteed interest sub-account.
BUT here is where I lost it....According to said Ed Jones Rep speaking about me:
"he just wants you to do a successor option because he gets a big commission for keeping you there"--my HUGE commission might...MIGHT reach three digits.
"those AXA guys are really just life insurance salesmen. They sell annuities because they don't have a license to sell the kind of accounts I sell"--I hold the S7, S66 and S24 (and yea I have a Life & Health)
And oh by the way...in all of these criticisms of me, my firm, my strategies, and why this money should be taken in a lump sum the word taxes was never mentioned to the client.
I keep hearing this stuff from Ed Jones reps. For every ready made pre-wrapped criticism of a guy in an insurance based firm, I can give you one of Ed Jones or wire houses or independents....but I never do. And for the Record YES I know some AXA guys who would apply a VUL rather than a tourniquet to a bleeding femoral artery. I also have seen a lot of Ed Jones Reps who would throw the Growth Fund of America to a drowning man rather than a life ring.
I don't believe one firm or type of firm has cornered the market on $hitty reps. I also don't think any one of them has a lasso around every good rep. I write advisory, straight brokerage, VA, Level IV, Life, LTC. I try to do what's right. And for the most part I assume most Ed Jones reps are doing the same. Except when it comes to shooting their mouth off about other reps.
So my question is WHY. I've seen this in three markets. So why does it seem that the Ed Jones guys find it so easy to rip on other reps and don't feel any need to at least check to see if there is any validity to it. I would LOVE to have a reasoned, rational conversation via PM about this with an Ed Jones Rep.