financial planning, retirement

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  #1  
Old 10-17-2007, 10:12 AM
jerseygirl13
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Default financial planning, retirement

Question for others who are experienced with financial planning: Is it reasonable to pay one time fee of $500 to Ameriprise rep. to help me set up strategies for retirement investing? She will do that plus roll over a few things into a Roth IRA. Says I'll never have to pay the fee again, unless . . . I change course drastically. Is it standard procedure to pay this kind of fee?

Have been enjoying Lake Sumter Web Cam, all the threads and valuable info. Still working full-time and plan to be able to come to TV in a year or two (still work f/t). Wondering if buying a house now, and renting it out would be smart. Just don't know where the market will be in two years.

Please keep all this good info coming. I check TOTV daily, sometimes twice/day.
  #2  
Old 10-17-2007, 11:00 AM
iaudit iaudit is offline
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

Tough question to answer without knowing the size of the assets to be managed ( I'm not asking to know as it is none of my business). I looked at Ameriprise's website and they don't have any investment products of their own, rather they have you invest in other financial institution's products. As they indicate on their website, they may be reimbursed by these financial institution's for having someone like you purchase their products, primarily mutual funds.

I did notice that they have no relationship with the Vanguard Group, which I use and have been known in the business to have some of the lowest management fees on their mutual funds.

I would advise you to read some articles on investing by searching the internet or looking at financial type magazines in the library (Money, Kiplinger's, SmartMoney, etc.). They usually offer some pretty sound advice on what to do with your money based on your age, lifestyle, assets, liabilities, risk tolerance, etc. They also usually have some advice on certain mutual funds. A lot of them used to have yearly comparisons of different funds, showing their returns, fees, etc. over certain periods of time.

Unless you have significant assets to be managed, I would not pay $500 to have someone pick a mutual fund for me. It is very easy to set up your own accounts, research past performance (which is not necessarily indicative of future performance) and pick your own mutual fund. Every type of investment has some degree of risk, it is just a matter of how much risk you are willing to take. Good Luck.



  #3  
Old 10-17-2007, 11:42 AM
rdkent rdkent is offline
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

jerseygirl - you might want to take a look at today's Wall Street Journal. There is a large article in the Personal Journal section about Ameriprise. The are being charged by some states" AGs with fraud for failing to provide what they are promising.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2007, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

If you want to bring yourself up to speed on investing a good source is morningstar.com. You can register for free and they have free investing classroom that will give you the basics on investing. They also have for fee workshops for those who are more serious. All in all it is a good source of information.l
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2007, 12:46 PM
mike1946 mike1946 is offline
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

I use John Romano from Securities America ...has a place next to the drivers licence office south of the villages ..used my money to invest in mutuals cd's energy bonds etc. etc. ..pretty good return averaging around 6% with a low risk factor ...and never cost me a penny !!

p.s. Also bought Church bonds - recommended by a friend !! ..getting between 7.5 - 9 % simple ..pretty good returns ..my friend has had nothing go bad in 10 years ...mine are proving to be pretty good.
  #6  
Old 10-17-2007, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

I've used Ameriprise for around 13 years now.
They are probably not the best bargain in the financial planning circles, and if I wanted to manage the assets myself I could pay less money by paying more attention.
My logic has always been that having these folks watch my money was probably better than watching it myself. My assets have grown, and I will be retiring soon (if my house ever sells) per the plan developed by my Ameriprise rep 13 years ago (at the time they were called IDS, then American Express Financial Advisors and now Ameriprise).
One benefit of using them is the American Express Platinum card, which, if your assets are large enough, you will get for free. One benefit I use alot: when you fly Continental (and others) you can use the President's Club at different airports instead of waiting in the regular terminal.
Another thing they involved me in is a S.E.P.P. (I think it means Substantially Equal Payment Paln) which is a way to draw on my 401K assets before I am 59 1/2 (I am 54 now) without paying a penalty. This enabled me to afford buying my home in TV in 2005, and will allow me to retire next year.
I would definitely recommend them, they have really helped me.
And I have paid them to do this exhaustive analysis in '94 and again recently to validate my plans. It's been money well spent.
  #7  
Old 10-17-2007, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

I use Ameriprise but I chose the rep, not the company. Early in the relationship, I paid $500 for a comprehensive financial plan, not for the management fees. So far, I'm very pleased with the performance.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2007, 09:31 PM
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Default Fees, Planning, Financial Management, Etc.

It seems to me that if you are a brand new customer, that Ameriprise's $500 fee is reasonable. I'd be a lot more sensitive to the ongoing fees a financial advisor would charge to manage your money.

Making a long story short, I went from totally managing my own portfolio to having my Merrill Lynch advisor do it for me. He does it for about 70 basis points a year on the assets that he manages for me. That's more than index funds, but a lot less than most mutual funds.

Another suggestion is to establish some performance benchmarks with the financial advisor up front. That way he will know that you intend to compare his performance to the benchmarks you set ahead of time. That also permits you to know whether to "fire" the advisor if he performs badly to your performance benchmarks. After all, he's working for you--would you permit any employee in a business you own continue to work without a periodic performance review? I would also tell whoever you choose that you expect to have a performance review of his work with your money at least once a year, maybe every six months.

In my case, I initially set an average (weighted to the allocation of my own portfolio) of a couple of common indexes (the Russell 1000, the Lipper total bond market index, etc.) as a benchmark. Now I've proceeded to using the average of about a half-dozen top performing, balanced mutual funds as our benchmark. My logic is that, in effect my advisor is doing the same thing with my money as a mutual fund manager does with the investments of a whole bunch of people. My Merrill Lynch guy, I call him my guru, has beaten my benchmarks every year since we began doing it that way--in some years (like this year) by a lot.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2007, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

Thanks everybody. I so knew I would get some great feedback. I am learning as I go. I do have a 401A (work for medical org.) and 403b. I know I need to get more aggressive with those two. I don't have a large amt. of money here but it's all I've got and I figure I need to get educated, and then, "on the stick", as they say. Also have a small sum I'd like to roll over into a Roth IRA; just trying to determine who to give it to at this point.

Again, thanks for all the good advise. SteveFromNY, thanks for sharing your experience with Ameriprise. I also have a few contacts to make, one is Vanguard, the other T.Rowe Price. Dicky: Just learning about Morningstar. Thanks for reinforcing that piece.

VillageKahuna: Thanks, your posts are always so informative. I was hoping you would pass some wisdom my way.

Regards, A TV Wannabe, Willabe someday.
  #10  
Old 10-18-2007, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

You should never have to pay a fee to a financial advisor for a roll-over, they get a commission and it is paid by the company the roll-0ver goes to.
On the same subject, I have been searching among the clubs in TV and I have not seen a Financial Club or Money Club where these items could be discussed. Did I missed it or shall we start one??? I think this issue is important for little old poor people like us.
  #11  
Old 10-19-2007, 12:47 AM
jerseygirl13
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

efrahin: A Club for financial learning would be great. Can;t believe there isn't one in TV yet. Isn't it something, as a friend told me, that we spend months researching the new car we want, what kind of dog we want, we even research and get educated before we buy a vacuum cleaner, but we (some of us) procrastinate and fence sit about who takes care of OUR SAVINGS and don't like to take the time to do our homework. I'm talking mostly about me here, but can anybody relate? Better late than never, I figure. Thanks for the great idea for a new club, if there isn't already one. I will certainly join once I get to TV. Of note, I'm 54 and can't wait to get there and kick up my heals (saw the thread about age groups at TV).
  #12  
Old 10-19-2007, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

Jerseygirl - we went to a seminar 14 years ago geared toward saving for our child's education. The previous nights we spent planning our summer vacation. The financial advisor made the point at the meeting that "people spend more time planning their annual vacation than planning for their financial future". It really struck home with us, and we signed up shortly thereafter. Again, it was with Ameriprise, and they eventually charged us for this in-depth analysis of our financial status, means and goals, and developed a plan that we have been following for all these years. Their fee was not the typical management fee, but one for their analysis program. They do have varying "loads" on the funds they carry which are the typical management fees.
Frankly, I feel pretty strongly that whoever showed up at that seminar that night would have helped me - it is not a skill unique to Ameriprise. As long as they are reputable and experienced. I never regretted pulling the trigger on this, and I doubt you will either, who ever you use.
  #13  
Old 11-17-2007, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

Ameriprise Financial will charge any way you want them to: Fee only plans, managment fee, product commission, etc. They were very up-front with me. I have never seen so many disclosure forms. My Ameriprise advisor (3 months now) invites me to challenge him and dialogue. That's the way he and I like it. He and I e-mail often. He is very responsive to questions.

$500 I think is their minimum plan fee and seems like a good value to me. I welcome the advice of someone who I know knows a lot more about this stuff than I do. I have been doing things in the past "intuitively" but discovered I 've been doing things entirely backward from what the professionals advise...and I am gradually learning the reasons for what they do, and it is beginning to make more sense to me.
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2007, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

We have not had good results from Ameriprise or IDS as it was known then. We were with them for a number of years. Evenually, we moved everything to Fidelity. Got tired of Ameriprise A funds and B funds etc. Fidelity and many other good financial services are no load. Now we will not purchase anything with a load. We are very satisfied with Fidelity and Vanguard--which we use.
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  #15  
Old 11-17-2007, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: financial planning, retirement

You can purchase load or no load funds with most of these firms, Ameriprise included.
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