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Principal Financial Group / Do not invest in them

1 United States Review updated:

In the 3rd Quarter 2008, Principal arbitrarily decided to block any transfers out of its Real Estate fund, which was losing money, and has consistently lost money ever since. And there's no light at the end of the tunnel when they will allow investors to transfer their savings. Principal advised investors of the block at approximately 9:00pm on the night they implemented it at midnight -- 3 hours notice under cover of darkness, obviously to not allow investors enough time to protect themselves.

Principal continues its advertisements that it works in the best interest of investors -- that certainly couldn't be further from the truth with my experience.

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Comments

  • Mo
      28th of Jun, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I agree with you completely Victoria. It amazes me that there hasn't been a class action suit filed against them as of yet. The fund has lost over 2.5 billion dollars since they froze the account with no end in site. All they do is make excuses for bad management, at the very least there should be firings going on, and now Principal is asking the government for 2 billion dollars in tarp money. I would advise everyone to stay away from this company and never do business with them. Ron from Mo.

  • Jo
      8th of Sep, 2009
    +4 Votes

    I'm glad my employer isn't using those losers to mange our 401K plan .

    What an example of incompetence and excuses.

    Check your 401K plans, report this group's acts to your employer .

    Don't let your 401K plan administrator use this group of losers hiding behind a professional name

  • Re
      13th of Sep, 2009
    +3 Votes

    the fund manager is john berg---515-284-8261 his cell # is 515-778-0244
    Lengthy conversations with Mr. Berg indicated that the entire Principal organization is behind the sequestering of our money for their own benefit--the inability to move out of the fund is to prevent the total collapse of the funds based on a completely inept manager who has no abilities but is also in no danger of losing his position--almost makes you wonder if the losses are real or contrived based on the management siphining the funds out for other purposes. Anyway, be gentle on the phones---I have been contacted twice by a hump from principal security in an effort to get me to discontinue the calls---the last time this person even threatened me personally--I continue to call. Frankly the more exposure to this theft of funds (do not for a moment belive that pricipal is above reporach based on their reputation) by involuntary sequestership the more likely we all are to recover at least some of our money before they steal it all. Speak up---call, leave messages, call the cell phone---do something---otherwise the 26% lost this year will go to 100% before you know it. Interesting with the current rally and REIT funds being touted again as on the uptick, we continue to suffer more and more precipitious losses. These people are theives---do not be timid.

  • Te
      24th of Nov, 2009
    +2 Votes

    . This place is nothing more than a call center full of losers who pass clients around like a box of donuts.

    Nobody knows anything and the supervisors don't talk to clients. They only lock down their money.

    Our company cancelled its principal insurance and pulled the 401 K plan from their incompetent hands.

    What a joke. Administrators pick investments based on call center employees suggestions that pay big commissions

  • Na
      12th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Principal froze my money in a property investment account that was down 20% for a year and a half. Then when I finally left my employer and could withdraw my money from other accounts, they took two weeks to send me the withdrawl forms--during this time I lost over $2, 000. Magically, the same day I called about the rollover forms, I received an email from them that they were now allowing distributions on the property account. They are crooks. Furthermore, they employ incompetent staff that is unable to answer the most simple of questions. However, they do know how to try and sell you an IRA at their firm. What a joke indeed. I am more than happy to join a class action lawsuit and I really hope that this happens.

  • Pa
      4th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    This is the worst run plan that I have ever been connected with!!!

  • Pa
      4th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    They act like court orders and QDRO's are just a way of life!!!

  • Pa
      4th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I will never ever do business with them again!

  • Mo
      5th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I agree, Principal has been dishonest about this account and investors in IRA's and 401K's need to know how they run their company and what the will do to investors when they can. Managers at Principal should be fired and the investors should be paid their withdrawal amounts immediately. Principal has cheated many people out of their money and the Government should make them pay just as they did Bernie Maddof. What Principal has done is egregious and they should be held accountable for their actions.

  • Fe
      23rd of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I can't get them to tell me what their fees are. They aren't in the reports... The best they'll tell me is there is a mathematical formula in the prospectus I can use to figure out their fees myself. But then who knows if that's accurate?

  • In
      26th of Feb, 2012
    +1 Votes

    It's funny no one talks about how correct Principal was in this situation. They had to do what was best for their shareholders and this wasn't invested in equities it was of actual Real estate. We all know or at least act like we know you don't sell low and buy high even though that's what most of you do and expect to profit.

  • De
      3rd of Feb, 2017
    +3 Votes

    @Investor1 I agree... they "did" what was best for their shareholders, which was to steal 401k money invested in separate accounts that had nothing to do with Principal or their shareholders. The stolen money was then used, while their shares were selling in the gutter, for purchasing troubled assets and defaulted loans Principal owned to improve their appearance of liquidity and to gain share value. They turned the Principal U.S. Property Separate Account into a massive Ponzi Scheme which bilked billions of dollars from investors between 2006 and 2010.

    Dennis Myhre, AIC
    www.fiduciaryfactor.com

  • Ze
      16th of May, 2012
    -4 Votes

    I have been with principal for almost 4 years. I have been more than satisfied with them. They have been very helpful with my questions and concerns. Maybe I have just been lucky? Regardless I would recommend them.

  • Ag
      24th of May, 2012
    -3 Votes
    Principal Financial Group - harrasment, poor management
    Principal Financial Group
    7979 East Tufst Ave
    Denver
    Colorado
    United States
    principal.com

    Harassment started in August 2011 and continued until May 2012 from the Managing Director. Complaints are being filed with the EEOC and department of insurance. I would not recommend the Principal Financial Group in Denver. Poor management, lack of training, hostile working enviroment, and disrespect woman agents.

  • Te
      31st of May, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Ok, how about they just plain suck. My 401K got rolled over wish I had read all this before setting them up as my IRA outfit. Where do we start. 1.) you can't write covered calls in your IRA, ok so they aren't the only ones that do this 2.) their charges to trade stocks is double Wells Fargo and almost triple Fidelity! Ok that is just stupid. 3.) They only have support like 9 to 5 you central time or some stupid hours like that. 3.1) So why is this important, their stupid site has locked me out twice now and there is no way to reset it 3.2) try to contact them you would think, 'well I will just leave a message 3.3) Simple 800 call, message "our hrs are blah blah blah please call back during business hrs" 3.4) so my rep who just oozes with 'oh we will take care of you' and 'our people are so good' gave me her personal ext. so simply dial that and low and behold "our hrs are blah blah blah please call back during business hrs" grrrrrrrrrrrrr! 4.) how about the stack of paperwork you have to fill out including notarized doc for the spouse Normal for all except they kindly lose the Notarized copy! 5.) Repeat and another week of my money doing NOTHING in their stupid helpless hands 6.) Get paperwork in place and they have specific instructions not to sell my previous companies stock holdings about a 20% of my account 7.) Finally get on their site and can actually see my account and no previous employer stock 8.) Another call (on a Friday) to a stupid agent who starts telling me it may be days before we hear back as they made a mistake and he will need to have my rep who is on vacation call me back when she gets in. After a serious lining out that I do know the rules they have to abide by and that he will call me back that afternoon before he leaves for the weekend and let me know he has checked everything and when they will be working on putting my stock back into my account he starts yelling at me. I remind him who the customer is and my rights are covered by Federal law he settles down and says he will call me back. 9.) I finally log in and make my first investments YAHOO and I find out how painful and antiquated 10.) No trailing stop options, again others don't have this either but it is really nice feature especially when you are paying triple Fidelity trade costs 11.) They update their site every evening about 8 Mountain time about the time I am getting on after a day at work and dinner to check to see if my stocks are repurchased and it won't let me log in. 12.) My PW won't let me in now and no one their for customer service so you wait till the next day 13.) My rep oozing with honey and spices tells me how nice my wife is (and she is but...) and that wow I must have logged in when they are updating the site how rare for a customer to get caught in that BS! 14.) Armed with my new and working login & PW go to check to make sure my stocks are properly back in place and my login and PW are jacked up again 15.) Call customer service on a Saturday morning and get 'our hrs are blah, blah, blah.' Can't leave a message and can't send anyone an email at this stupid outfit. 16.) So if you want to see unrealized gains and losses when you pull up your account you have to access a separate tab/worksheet. Really isn't that kind of what you want to see when you first pull up your shares. But like I said the site feels antiquated like it is 1990's version software, or maybe clunky is another description. 17.) Calling Fidelity and WF to see what it takes to move my account to them! Guess what they have people who work on Sat!!! What a novel idea people to help customers when customers actually have time to deal with their finances! So IF you want to put up with this crap keep your money there, otherwise I would have to say although I am not a big Wells Fargo fan they do try to take care of their customers. Fidelity so far has been at the 85 to 95% bracket in my opinion. The only advantage WF has is whether or not they can give me their free trades package for the IRA. If they can do that they will probably get my money. They provide a 100 free trades a year for large account customers (mortgage, car loan, savings and 2 cards there with a small investment account gets the trades I do not have anywhere close to a million with them so pretty good service). So let's see 16 points they have missed the boat on and I have only had money with them about a month. Would hate to think how any of the rest of their services are, good luck if they handle insurance like this.

  • Y2
      8th of Jun, 2014
    Best Best Advice +4 Votes

    They're lying cheating crooks on their disability insurance too.

  • Ka
      18th of Feb, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Y2ksearay Couldn't agree more!!!

  • Pe
      30th of May, 2015
    +2 Votes

    They froze my 401K. Would not let me switch accounts. By the time I turned 66 and they had to send my money I had lost $8, 000 dollars. Maybe it doesn't sound like much to some people, but to me it was enormous. I don't know how this is legal.

  • Ro
      14th of Feb, 2016
    +3 Votes

    They would not release my money till after my 5 years were up, A few month, s before my release date, I checked my account And my account was 8, 000+ dollars was taken, and now they tell me that i have to be taxed before released. feel like i have been ripped off Big.

  • Db
      13th of Apr, 2016
    +3 Votes

    Principal Financial Group Are THIEVES not only dealing with 401K plans but Long Term Disability. I paid into a plan for over 20 years not planning on getting hurt but when I did become partially disabled they made me jump through hoops for 6 months with NO income and then denied the claim!! I appealed and after another 3 months they denied that also. NOW you can't get a lawyer to take it on a percentage you must pay out of pocket in order to sue. They know I haven't got the money! Horrible People!

  • Ka
      18th of Feb, 2017
    +1 Votes

    @DBec They are pure evil!

  • De
      3rd of Feb, 2017
    0 Votes

    Principal stole billions of dollars of investor's retirement funds during 2008 and 2009 from the Principal U.S. Property Separate Account (PUSPSA). They used the money to purchase their own troubled assets and pay off defaulted loans from developers. Principal even used the PUSPSA to purchase loans made to their investment partners by banks during 2006 and 2007. Because they had operated the PUSPSA as a Ponzi Scheme for several years prior to the 2008 meltdown, they froze the account to prevent discovery of their crimes. I and my wife lost well over $200, 000 during that time frame in the account. I have a website, www.fiduciaryfactor.com, in which I have posted some of the results of my investigation for the public to review.
    I have asked the Department of Labor to reopen their investigation file on Principal and to have the U.S. Justice Department prosecute Larry Zimpleman and Terrance Lillis for bank fraud. Hopefully those of you who have lost your retirement savings will recover at least a portion of your losses.

    Dennis Myhre, AIC
    www.fiduciaryfactor.com

  • Ph
      27th of Sep, 2017
    0 Votes

    I let them know early enough when I was due to retire and sent the paperwork that the required and have yet to see my first check. This company should be investigated as to why it takes so long to receive what is due to you. Also when notified about these things they tell you they will check and get back to you and never call back.

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