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jarhead

I Think We've Been Taken For A Ride By Axa

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I decided to call Fidelity and Vanguard directly and ask them if they are vendors at my spouse's school district; both said that they are. I am still waiting for my wife to provide me with a complete list.

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Guest Sierra

 

If you knew about the availability of Term Life why did you purchase this crap?
Joel,

Out of stupidity... trusted the guy and paid dearly for it. I never had any interest in learning finances on my own (how dumb of me) and always thought that these "advisors" will offer sound advise. How wrong was I!

 

I advise you to write a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the insurance company with a copy going to the NY State Department of Insurance. Demand that you be made whole inasmuch as this product is UNSUITABLE BASED UPON YOUR FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL PROFILE. Demand a refund of all premiums less the value of the pure insurance (TERM) protection the salesperson should have advised you to purchase in the first instance.
I think I will do that. Prior to mailing it out, I want to show the letter and my intent to the AXA salesman when he is at my house this Thursday to see if he will waive the surrender charges. Worth a try?

 

Joel says: This is a waste of time---you are swimming with the sharks! This is not his call to make---it is the Compliance Department of the Insurance Company that you need to impress by showing your "gorilla" face. You are demanding a full return of all premiums less the cost of pure insurance or term protection during the 3 years. It goes without saying that the surrender charges WILL NOT be assessed against your account.

 

BTW, I searched the NYS Insurance Dept. web site for their mailing address - there are a few of them. Would it be the one in Albany, One Commerce Plaza?

 

Joel says: Make a call to find out which applies to your case.

 

 

FYI: The State of New York's 457 Plan is available to all local public employers, including school districts, in the State. The Plan is one of the finest in the nation. Does your wife know about its availability? Spread the word.
No, she is not aware of this. I will definitelly look into it.

Is there a way to transfer 403(b) into 457 w/o incuring penalties?

 

 

Joel says: Not until she reaches age 59-1/2 if still working. Just freeze her high priced 403(b) and start up with the NY State 457 Plan. Then find out if your wife's employer plans to offer a low cost invesmtnent menu along the lines of the State's 457 Plan. ITS TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR WIFE TO BECOME GADFLYS AND ORGANIZE ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED!!

 

Peace and Hope,

 

Joel L. Frank

Pension Columnist

The Chief-Civil Service Leader

277 Broadway

New York, NY 10007

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I decided to call Fidelity and Vanguard directly and ask them if they are vendors at my spouse's school district; both said that they are. I am still waiting for my wife to provide me with a complete list.

 

 

Hi Jarhead,

Your wife is very fortunate to have both Vanguard and Fidelity as vendors. This is probably the best benefit she could have, with the potential to save hundreds and thousands of dollars in the years to come. She can contribute directly to the lowest cost stock and bond mutual funds in the investment world!

 

 

 

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Guest Sierra

 

I decided to call Fidelity and Vanguard directly and ask them if they are vendors at my spouse's school district; both said that they are. I am still waiting for my wife to provide me with a complete list.

 

 

Hi Jarhead,

Your wife is very fortunate to have both Vanguard and Fidelity as vendors. This is probably the best benefit she could have, with the potential to save hundreds and thousands of dollars in the years to come. She can contribute directly to the lowest cost stock and bond mutual funds in the investment world!

 

 

Jar,

 

Having a no-load investment alternative for 403b is great news. Having said that I would still use the State's 457 Plan as my plan of choice because it too is no-load and ALL withdrawals, regardless of age, are not subject to the 10 percent federal penalty tax.

 

Joel L. Frank

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Your wife is very fortunate to have both Vanguard and Fidelity as vendors. This is probably the best benefit she could have, with the potential to save hundreds and thousands of dollars in the years to come. She can contribute directly to the lowest cost stock and bond mutual funds in the investment world!

 

 

Jar,

 

Having a no-load investment alternative for 403b is great news. Having said that I would still use the State's 457 Plan as my plan of choice because it too is no-load and ALL withdrawals, regardless of age, are not subject to the 10 percent federal penalty tax.

 

Joel L. Frank

 

 

Joel,

Sounds like 457 plan is the way to go. I just downloaded enrollment forms from their web site. Below is a list of funds they offers - how do I research which funds to invest in? Should I just go to a fee-only advisor for answers until I am more knowledgable on picking funds? I did order a bunch of books to read from www.bobbrinker.com list of recommended readings on top of Teach and Retire Rich.

 

Stable Income Fund

(2756) Stable Income Fund

 

Money Market Fund

(2758) Vanguard Money Market Reserves

 

Bond Funds

(8240) Vanguard GNMA Fund

(8261) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

 

Balanced Funds

(7298) PAX World Balanced

(8957) Vanguard Wellington

(2757) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2010

(2759) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2020

(2761) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2030

(2763) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2040

 

Large Cap Funds

(6451) Davis NY Venture Fund A

(3672) Fidelity OTC Portfolio

(2769) Mainstay ICAP Equity

(5267) Janus Fund

(7739) T. Rowe Price Equity Income

(8466) Vanguard Institutional Index

(2765) Vanguard Primecap

 

Mid Cap Funds

(2773) Alger Mid-Cap Growth

(3224) Vanguard Capital Opportunity

 

Small Cap Funds

(2777) MTB Small Cap Growth Portfolio

(2696) Columbia Acorn USA

(2779) Wells Fargo Advantage Small Cap Fund Z

 

International Funds

(5025) International Equity Fund – Active Portfolio

(5030) International Equity Fund – Index Portfolio

 

Emerging Markets

(2766) MSIF Emerging Markets Portfolio

 

*************************************************

 

BTW, I sent an email to AXA advis... ummm... salesman with a bunch of questions to have answers to when we meet tomorrow. I asked questions about different fees and surrender penalties and why he didn't disclose them when we met the first time. Little does he know that I will be closing all the accounts with AXA.

 

Here's his reply:

"I am glad to see that you have been doing research and are interested in knowing more about what you have. I would be happy to entertain any questions and concerns that you may have. Please understand that my intent is never to deceive and I would not jeopardize my career or livelyhood for anything. I would be happy to over any fees of any kind with you. Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you tommorow. Just a side note that you may want to know. Equity annuities and two tiered annuities are against axa policy and I have never written one in my entire career."

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Guest Sierra

 

 

Your wife is very fortunate to have both Vanguard and Fidelity as vendors. This is probably the best benefit she could have, with the potential to save hundreds and thousands of dollars in the years to come. She can contribute directly to the lowest cost stock and bond mutual funds in the investment world!

 

 

Jar,

 

Having a no-load investment alternative for 403b is great news. Having said that I would still use the State's 457 Plan as my plan of choice because it too is no-load and ALL withdrawals, regardless of age, are not subject to the 10 percent federal penalty tax.

 

Joel L. Frank

 

 

Joel,

Sounds like 457 plan is the way to go. I just downloaded enrollment forms from their web site. Below is a list of funds they offers - how do I research which funds to invest in? Should I just go to a fee-only advisor for answers until I am more knowledgable on picking funds? I did order a bunch of books to read from www.bobbrinker.com list of recommended readings on top of Teach and Retire Rich.

 

Stable Income Fund

(2756) Stable Income Fund

 

Money Market Fund

(2758) Vanguard Money Market Reserves

 

Bond Funds

(8240) Vanguard GNMA Fund

(8261) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

 

Balanced Funds

(7298) PAX World Balanced

(8957) Vanguard Wellington

(2757) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2010

(2759) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2020

(2761) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2030

(2763) Fidelity Freedom Funds–2040

 

 

Large Cap Funds

(6451) Davis NY Venture Fund A

(3672) Fidelity OTC Portfolio

(2769) Mainstay ICAP Equity

(5267) Janus Fund

(7739) T. Rowe Price Equity Income

(8466) Vanguard Institutional Index

(2765) Vanguard Primecap

 

Mid Cap Funds

(2773) Alger Mid-Cap Growth

(3224) Vanguard Capital Opportunity

 

Small Cap Funds

(2777) MTB Small Cap Growth Portfolio

(2696) Columbia Acorn USA

(2779) Wells Fargo Advantage Small Cap Fund Z

 

International Funds

(5025) International Equity Fund – Active Portfolio

(5030) International Equity Fund – Index Portfolio

 

Emerging Markets

(2766) MSIF Emerging Markets Portfolio

 

*************************************************

 

BTW, I sent an email to AXA advis... ummm... salesman with a bunch of questions to have answers to when we meet tomorrow. I asked questions about different fees and surrender penalties and why he didn't disclose them when we met the first time. Little does he know that I will be closing all the accounts with AXA.

 

Here's his reply:

"I am glad to see that you have been doing research and are interested in knowing more about what you have. I would be happy to entertain any questions and concerns that you may have. Please understand that my intent is never to deceive and I would not jeopardize my career or livelyhood for anything. I would be happy to over any fees of any kind with you. Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you tommorow. Just a side note that you may want to know. Equity annuities and two tiered annuities are against axa policy and I have never written one in my entire career."

 

 

Alex:

 

Tell your AXA rep that you and him are and always will be on different pages.

 

I like the Freedom Funds. Let's see what others recommend.

 

Joel

 

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Vanguard Primecap-Large cap

International Index Fund-International

Vanguard Capital Opportunity-mid cap

Vanguard Total Bond Index-Bond

Columbia Acorn USA-small cap

MFIS Emerging Markets

 

I own all of these funds except the emerging markets fund mentioned. There might be a slight overlap between Prime Cap and Capital Opportunity but these are well managed funds.

 

Columbia Acorn USA is a great choice. I own it and it makes money. I own the Z shares. If you have to pay a load to get in then forget it.

 

 

Over all this is a pretty low cost portfolio-IF you are not paying more than the stated expense ratio.

 

Although I would recommend the index funds I don't think you will be able to put an total index portfolio together here. Fidelity Freedom funds use managed funds don't they?

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Met with the AXA salesman tonight to go over our accounts and tell him that we are planning to stop contributing to 403(b) annuity account and stop our variable life insurance. Here are some of the points that were made and debated:

 

His main statement: "I would never give you advise that would not be in your best interest - my livelihood depends on it."

 

"All the articles bad-mouthing annuities are sponsored by companies like Vanguard and Fidelity; they want you to buy their no load funds which equates to low returns."

 

"The high fees that we are paying are for highly educated fund managers. If you invest with Vanguard (low fees), the funds will not give you the same rate of return as those managed by the Harvard-educated fund managers."

 

He asked me why i think 457 plan is better than 403(b)... I read him the comparison that I printed online: "457 plans are the only plans that do not have a 10% penalty for withdrawals prior to age 59½"

His reply was that you can do the same with 403(b)... I guess he failed to add that I will have to pay 10% penalty.

 

He told me to Google Ellie Lowder and read what she says about annuities. At the very top was none other but 403bwise link with rebuttals:

http://www.403bwise.com/wisemoves/annuities_el.html

 

He told me to look up what Ben Stein had to say about variable annuities.

 

 

At times I got very annoyed with him since he was trying to sugar coat annuities and was only concentrating on the positives. My wife also got on my case accusing me of being rude. I straight out told him that he is working on commission and pushes annuities for that reason. At this point my wife said that we should end the conversation and reserve the judgment until we see a CFP. BTW, she is not convinced that a fee-only CFP will not steer us in the direction that is beneficial to him/her.

This evening sure wore me out.

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Hi jarhead,

 

You are educated now. You see through all of the sales talk and your wife will come along too. She is right about one thing, because you don't really know what the next step is, the fee only adviser may steer you wrong too.

 

Slow down, there is no rush. This does take a little time to figure out what you want to do. Keep coming back here and ask questions, but also do some reading.

BTW, never listen to anything that Ellie Lowder has to say. She has never been a friend of teachers.

Steve

 

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Jarhead...

 

It's your money and you have the right to be concerned and know what you are getting into.

Don't let your guard down when you go meet someone who is a CFP.

CFP..CLU..ChFC..all it say is that one has completed reading some books and passed a test..They did not pass the human test and everyone is different. It's a two way street.

 

Annuities do not belong in a retirement account since it's tax deffered. It defeats the purpose of attaining maximum returns.

 

I do not post much due to the fact that some handful of teachers bashing and bad mouthing all salespeople. As I have stated before...not all salesmen are bad as not all CFPs are good. So go ahead APTeacher and the few that are there.

 

When I meet with a client...First thing is I tell them to put their checkbook away. I ask them questions..many questions...

very personal financial questions and if I find it that we both can work together...I have another meeting...

 

Jarhead..don't feel bad about asking questions. The good advisors will tell the truth and be honest with fees and how they work....If one doesnt fit your style...find another..there's plenty..

Best of luck to you Jar...

 

 

 

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His main statement: "I would never give you advise that would not be in your best interest - my livelihood depends on it."

 

"All the articles bad-mouthing annuities are sponsored by companies like Vanguard and Fidelity; they want you to buy their no load funds which equates to low returns."

 

"The high fees that we are paying are for highly educated fund managers. If you invest with Vanguard (low fees), the funds will not give you the same rate of return as those managed by the Harvard-educated fund managers."

 

 

 

This is so laughable that it does not rise to the level of being bashed.

 

 

 

 

I do not post much due to the fact that some handful of teachers bashing and bad mouthing all salespeople.

 

I am proud to be in the category that you describe.

 

 

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I am not one the folks who hates all salesman/advisors but unfortunetly a good portion of the industry can't be trusted to do the right thing for the customer when it comes to the financial industry. Yes there are good ones out there but how do you find them? I am not an index only , Vanguard only advocate. I'm open to other suggestions, advice , and funds. The problem is the more you learn, the more you see through all the bull. That invariably leads you to the truth.

 

Thats my beef. Who can you trust and how do you find them? I've been just as hard on teachers and the general public who don't want to look after their own self interest and educate themselves. If more of the public would stand up like Jar head did to these advisors the whole system would have to change. Jar head showed this guy he just wasn't going to just sign on the dotted line. He wanted real value and real service and a real product. Reform is needed. WE need thousands more jarheads positioned if every corner of the country keeping the industry honest.

 

I speak from experience. I was manhandled and abuse by a few of these guys. These guys could care less about me and my financial future. I hate the insurance companies becuase they send thousands of unqualified and starving salespeople out there to sell shoddy products to the public with no concience whatsoever.

 

AP has the right to use his sarcastic tone becuase too much of the industry is simply corrupt.

 

 

Tony

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I've been just as hard on teachers and the general public who don't want to look after their own self interest and educate themselves.

 

That is an excellent point. I'm not sure who is worse: salesmen or the teachers who are gullible enough to believe the sort of things that Jar was told.

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If more of the public would stand up like Jarhead did to these advisors the whole system would have to change. Jarhead showed this guy he just wasn't going to just sign on the dotted line. He wanted real value and real service and a real product.
Wow! I am already a folk hero on this forum in just under a week? ;-)

 

On a serious note, my wife just sat there and practically defended the guy. She echoed what the salesman was saying: "How do we know that all the information that I compiled about annuities is not biased". She said that she had no interest or desire to educated herself about the topic. I told her that it's people like yourself who get taken advantage of (and up until this point including myself). These people roam the hallways looking for prey. Perfect example... I tried to talk to my sister-in-law, who is also a teacher, but she also was not inetrested in the topic. Not giving up yet.

 

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