Ameriprise Financial — Avoid Ameriprise, Personally Manage Your Portfolio
Ameriprise Financial in Warren, NJ was recommended to me by my former colleague at work. The advisor I dealt with seemed honest and trustworthy and that convinced me to open an account at Ameriprise and transferred my 401K and pension funds which were at that time earning about 30% and 5% respectively at GSK. I opened the Ameriprise account in December 2013 (believing that this Ameriprise advisor can do better) and entrusted him the management of the account indicating to him that my goal was to grow the 401K for my kids. He created 3 subaccounts, annuity/insurance (funded by the pension fund plus about 1/3 of the 401K [why?], with pension deferred for 2 years [why?]) and 2 separate stock portfolios (funded by the balance of the 401K). Then my nightmares started. He was investing in mutual funds with the highest front loads and highest expense ratio; he was buying and selling mutual funds which are intended for long term investment; only 6 out of twelve mutual funds were hardly earning; he invested in depressed Europe stocks all of which were consistently giving negative results. By October 2014, after 10 months with Ameriprise, my account was diving downward loosing significantly in a bullish market that is over 10% high. I did not feel or see that my funds were being managed with my interest in his mind. By November 2014, I decided to close all accounts before the damage become unmanageable. It was a costly account closure with over $30, 000 penalty in one sub account alone plus fees and other charges. One more thing, he never highlighted to me the fees being charged on the account, over $500 each month plus the annual fee of $750. It was a very costly experience for me. The lesson here is to avoid Ameriprise financial advisor/broker and perhaps other brokers too as they work for fees and commissions in buying and selling stocks!! Personally manage your portfolio so you can sleep at night!!
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