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EdLaFave

I was contacted by "Vice President, Southeast Region of AXA Advisors, District Manager"

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Adam Bernard has the fancy title of "Vice President, Southeast Region of AXA Advisors, District Manager" and he decided to reach out to me on LinkedIn with the following message:

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Hi Ed, I’m reaching out because I see that we have some shared connections...I wanted to schedule a brief call in the near future to allow my to formally introduce myself and the work I do. I'm hopeful I  might be a resource to you now or maybe in the future or for someone you know.

Perhaps a better person than I am would have had more restraint or would have had a better way with words, but I couldn't help myself from replying:

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You make a living by exploíting people. In particular you make a living by exploíting underpaid teachers in a system where they often believe you’re endorsed by the state, district, and/or school.

You convince them that an AXA portfolio charging 1.75% annually with surrender fees is a good deal. You intentionally would never contextualize that fee by pointing out that a balanced portfolio might return 6% per year and half of that gets eaten up by inflation so what was described as a 1.75% fee is actually a fee that costs them 58% of real returns every year. You certainly wouldn’t further contextualize that by pointing out that over time they lose even more because not having the money that went to fees means it isn’t invested and earning them more profit.

You exploít people’s ignorance and their trust. I sincerely encourage you to find literally any other way to earn a living.

To which our good friend Adam could only reply:

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Have a great night, Ed.

What folks like Adam do and certainly what companies like AXA do should be illegal. A thief who is direct about their actions gets a lengthy prison sentence for stealing far less, but because these people have a complicated and indirect con, they get to steal without consequence.

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2 hours ago, EdLaFave said:

Thanks Tony, I almost couldn’t believe it when his request to connect showed up. 

These guys are shrewd operators. The investment side of their business is a scam. It's all about selling people a false bill of goods. But as they say a sucker is born every minute and they know that. I was one of those suckers. But always remember fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. Actually I was fooled twice . I'm just glad I figured it all out at a time when these bad investments were an accepted norm and we had no internet to check the facts. 403bwise was the first site that I ran into that confirm my suspicions that I was being ripped off. I am grateful for this site. Younger folks here should appreciate the wealth of info Dan has put together here. The folks on this discussion board are amazing too. Each of us adds and brings our unique personalities and knowledge to this discussion board in different ways which is a good thing.

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What could AXA Adam have possibly been thinking? Did he think he’d try to scare you or make you feel threatened? He must have read your work. What nerve.

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It wasn’t clear if he knew who I was or if he just stumbled into me because we do have mutual connections on LinkedIn.

I was hoping he’d have more to say.

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Purely a guess on my part, but my application of Ockham's Razor would lead to the hypothesis that he just composed a bunch of emails to people he found on LinkedIn as a way of prospecting.  It would have been interesting if he wanted to argue with you, but somebody who wants to think about those issues isn't long for that business.

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There are many educators who are financially literate as we are around here. Unfortunately, they keep quiet and would never come here and support the cause. The vast majority of people are not advocates like we are here.

That AXA guy probably talks to many "Eds" during his cold calling. All of us here will be recognized in a nanosecond and the salesperson will move on and not waste his or her time. As Tony said these people are some of the shrewdest people on the planet. For several years, the agents used to post here and argue with us. They know its a waste of time. And the more time spent here the less time trying to connect with our colleagues. And time is getting to them. I heard over the grapevine from the industry that it is a lot harder to fool educators these days. This word, fiduciary, is FINALLY getting some traction and educators know now that anybody who comes on campus and into one's classroom unannounced and uninvited to pitch a retirement plan IN THEIR CLASSROOM during recess is NEVER looking out for the educator's best interest. Cited in this article, "According to a Personal Capital survey, about 32 percent of Americans believe a financial advisor is likely to take advantage of them. And of the 54 percent of Americans who choose not to work with a financial advisor, just under half (45 percent) cite lack of trust as the reason they don't.

Ed's guy was shrewd enough just to end the conversation as he did.

Steve

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