Ameriprise Takes Your Money But Doesn’t Give You Your Financial Plan

October 17, 2007

I have never been a big fan of Ameriprise, which used to be part of American Express until it was spun off a few years ago. I always thought that Ameriprise’s financial plans were used as a way to sell clients Ameriprise’s own products. It’s a huge conflict of interest.

This article ($) in today’s WSJ claims that several states are investigating Ameriprise. Apparantly some Ameriprise advisors collected plan fees ($300 per plan) from clients but then never delivered the plan!

What kind of plan can a person expect for $300?

As bad as it sounds, it’s probably a good thing for these clients that they didn’t get their plan, which most assuredly would have placed them in high commissioned products. So, it could have been a blessing in disguise. Still, you hate to be out $300.

This isn’t the only time Ameriprise has been in trouble. The article also mentions that in 2005 Ameriprise agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle “allegations from New Hampshire that it steered clients into the company’s own lackluster mutual funds instead of better-performing products from others.” Ah, now we know why the plan was so “cheap.”

Of course, not all planners at Ameriprise are bad. However, I sure as heck would think twice before I used this company.

54 responses to Ameriprise Takes Your Money But Doesn’t Give You Your Financial Plan

  1. After reading all of these I am seriously considering taking my money out of Ameriprise!
    Does anyone have anything to say about Rick Edelman?

  2. I landed with my universal life insurance policy through Ameriprise, by no choice of mine. We foolishly bought, from a relative, through IDS many, many years ago. The company sold out to American Express/Ameriprise. I just learned, in plain English (from a lawyer) some parts of the plan that most of our servicing agents obscured by jargon designed to impress me with the product….not inform me about how it really works.
    Now, having “borrowed” against the cash value, paid it back (quite long ago) and then, used more of the cash value to make payments, we have nothing but very, very expensive (increasingly expensive life insurance).

    I understand more (about how this was always designed to work)after a 20 min. visit with a lawyer than I ever have before. That is because he simply said, “Here’s the bottom line” and told me it…..rather than trying to keep me engaged in something very profitable to the company and the individual sales person.

  3. I just read through these posts and most of them are just plain stupid. If you are seriously considering moving your money because you read a slam article and a bunch of negative comments from anonymous people, you are an idiot. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. If you really don’t trust your advisor then schedule an appt. and ask questions. But honestly, the majority of people will just ask questions about something they don’t understand, get an answer they don’t understand, and then give their money to the first person who says what they want to hear. Too many times people get lured away from a seriously good advisor because of their fears of the market, or because of what some scumbag tells them. My point is, if I were the advisor to most of you people I would have already asked you to take your money somewhere else. It’s not fair to the clients who actually want advice when i have to spend all my time explaining how a VUL works every time amateur eddie comes in with some article he read or something he saw on the news that scared him.

  4. Everyone should understand that no one cares as much about your financial future as you do. You must take accountability for your financial decisions. That being said I have been working with the same IDS/Amex/Ameriprise Financial advisor for 30 years now. Together, we have made bad and good investment decisions. He has reccomended funds from his companies and others. I took it upon myself to understand the differences associated with each. I pay a percent of my portfolio, a service fee and probably commissions on certain products. Over 30 years I have paid my advisor and his company a considerable portion of my money. Oh yes, I am retiring this year at the age of 53, 7 years earlier than the plan we put in place 20 years ago. I will be putting my 401k and other assets into the hands of Ameriprise and my advisor when I do retire.