What would you do?

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Mar 19, 2009 10:38 am

Ok, so I’m sitting with my field trainer yesterday and he has a a
couple come in for a first meeting.  Here are the basics … the couple
is scared to death, they have lost 40% in the 401k and want to go ULTRA
low risk - they are rolling over a 401k.  They are probably in their
late 50s, no kids at home, husband just retired and does have a PT
job.  The advisor listens to them and then proceeds to pull out the
"triangle" and talk about mutual funds. He didn’t ask any probing
questions and I think did a poor job of listening to their primary
concerns about risk … absolutely realize he wants them to stay ahead
of inflation and was just following his training but I was NOT
impressed.  What would you have done / recommended?

My mind went to a VA with income protection, corporate bonds, and a small GI position - but what do I know?

Mar 19, 2009 10:41 am

Index Annuity. 

Mar 19, 2009 10:44 am

VA with guaranteed income protection for a portion, and the rest would have been rolled over into cash, then dollar cost average back into a moderate/moderate conservative portfolio over a 10-12 mth period.

  Why did he pull the tax triangle out when their main asset was an old 401(k)?  Is this an Ameriprise manager?
Mar 19, 2009 11:05 am

You should realize that:

A) Just because they are a field trainer, it doesn't mean they know what they're doing. B) If you are training, you may not be as smart as you think you are either.   Unfortunately, it seems like maybe the biggest deal is that an advisor that had some real risk-averse, terrified clients started talking about ideas instead of empathizing a bit first. I am relatively new too, but sometimes in this environment you have to understand that you shouldn't force an idea down an investors throat. If they are only going to be able to sleep at night in some conservative investments, he shouldn't get too pushy.