trading24
Have money to
Make more money

Bogleheads.org

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.

Beth*
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:57 am

Postby Beth* »Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:01 am

I keep seeing references in threads about TIAA-CREF on this forum and the Morningstar TIAA-CREF forum to TIAA-CREF wealth management advisors. I have searched for information about these advisors on the TIAA-CREF website and through Google, but I can't find much about how they operate. Are the people who have TIAA-CREF wealth management advisors paying them a fee? Were they just assigned to your or did you contact TIAA-CREF and ask for an advisor? My husband and I each have over $850,000 in TIAA-CREF retirement accounts (combined total of over $1.7 million) and we have never been contacted by a wealth management advisor or received any information from TIAA-CREF about the possibility of being assigned one. I'm not sure why I would need a wealth management advisor but I'm curious about how the system works and why some people have one. Thanks.

Levett
Posts: 4031
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: upper Midwest

Postby Levett »Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:29 am

Beth,With the assets you have stated you should have been assigned one.You might work through your employer's benefits office.As for their usefulness, opinions vary as you can see in comments at the Morningstar TIAA site.Although salaried, wealth managers do earn a commission on assets transferred to TIAA.Over the years, my wife and I (both retired profs) have mainly used wealth mangers for administrative matters.Our estate planning firm and our accountant are far more important to us.

Lev

The Wizard
Posts: 9420
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Postby The Wizard »Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:41 am

I've had the same WMA for the last decade or so.He covered the 1500 or so workers at my former employer, the majority of which are younger and not ready for a WMA yet.He would come in a few times per month and we could schedule half hour appointments to discuss issues related to retirement funding.

Nowadays, 2.7 years into retirement, I only contact him when I need help facilitating something, like setting up my monthly rollover to Roth IRA...

Attempted new signature...

User avatarTimoneer
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:41 pm

Postby Timoneer »Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:53 pm

The Wizard wrote:I've had the same WMA for the last decade or so.He covered the 1500 or so workers at my former employer, the majority of which are younger and not ready for a WMA yet.He would come in a few times per month and we could schedule half hour appointments to discuss issues related to retirement funding.

Nowadays, 2.7 years into retirement, I only contact him when I need help facilitating something, like setting up my monthly rollover to Roth IRA...

I have a very similar TIAA-CREF WMA situation. While working, it was convenient to have him come to the office to discuss my personal investing situation. But once I retired, I found that it was difficult to reach him because he was always on the road. Many questions and responsibilities were handed off to his office staff, leading to several instances of issues falling through the cracks and being forgotten.

The first time that I asked my WMA to assist in a routine, though important transaction, he badly messed it up. I 'fired' him, and went to another office for a new WMA.

livesoft
Posts: 52109
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Postby livesoft »Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:56 pm

How old are you? We started getting mailings to contact them when we reached our late 50's. TIAA-CREF is a marketing machine, so maybe you toss anything from them such as all those attempts to sell you life insurance?

This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
anonenigma
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:58 pm

Postby anonenigma »Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:04 pm

I was assigned one about a year ago and met with him once. Advice is free, but if a more active role was required, there was definitely an AUM fee - can't recall what it was. The only bad vibe (with mild to moderate pressure) I got was insistence on providing not just a summary of my assets outside of TIAA, but copies of the statements with account numbers. They clearly have an incentive to bring money in from outside institutions. That did not interest me, so I canceled the followup appointment.

If you want one assigned, I'd call TIAA rather than your employer.

Beth*
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:57 am

Postby Beth* »Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:44 pm

Thanks, everyone. We do have a TIAA-CREF representative who comes into my office periodically. I have met with him twice. The first time was 5 or 10 years ago before I discovered this forum. He suggested a very complex allocation across a dozen or so funds. I didn't understand the reasoning behind his suggestions and I generally avoid things I don't understand so I didn't take his advice. I met with him again recently to ask some questions about my options for withdrawing funds after retirement (the plan documents were less than clear) and he answered my questions. He also took a look at my funds and said, "Your distribution looks well diversified." That has been the extent of our interaction. I have never been contacted by anyone. I set up the appointment each time I met with him.

User avatarGarco
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:04 am

Postby Garco »Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:01 pm

I've had a series of WMA's at TIAA-CREF, beginning 10 or 12 years ago. I've found them useful mainly for facilitating certain processes such as setting up RMD's. But their advice on investment strategies and the like is minimal and formulaic. In addition to the WMA's, who are supposedly set up to provide "free" advice to participants who have at least $500K accumulated with TIAA-CREF, the company has established something called "Individual Advisory Services" that will advisse on accounts (including taxable accounts) for a fee (see this: https://www.tiaa-cref.org/public/advice ... y-services). TIAA also lists on their website something called TIAA-CREF Wealth Management (PDF link: http://www1.tiaa-cref.org/ucm/groups/co ... 025869.pdf). "WMA's" apparently play a role in this expanded service. Last edited by Garco on Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
22twain
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Postby 22twain »Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:35 pm

Levett wrote:Beth,

With the assets you have stated you should have been assigned [a Wealth Mangement Advisor].

Mine is listed at the end of my most recent quarterly statement (September 30, the first one in a new format), with a phone number and e-mail address. He wasn't on the preceding statement (June 30, old format).

MisterBill
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Postby MisterBill »Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:54 pm

I am thrilled to find this thread. I've been with TIAA-CREF WMA for 3 years

now. I worked for a university many years ago and still have a reasonable size 403(b) with them so they got my name. I wasn't happy where I was and the guy I spoke to seemed reasonable, so I switched. I am not happy and am wondering if my experience is the same as others. Apologies in advance for the length, this is something I've wanted to get advice on for a while.I am paying a bit under 1% for their services (on non-retirement and IRA accounts, not the 403(b)) and don't feel like they're doing anything for it. I understand that the WMA I work with does not do the actual allocations or come up with funds, it's done by some guys in the back room. But the only activity I am seeing in my account is buying stuff after distributions from funds occur (they do not have it set to automatically reinvest them). There is no rebalancing done to keep things at the correct allocation (unless they're doing it when reinvesting distributions, which I tend to doubt), no tax-loss harvesting. The only significant change they've done is to move from one class of fund to the I class of the same fund, with the same amounts. And then to make matters worse, at the end of the year I get hit with large capital gains distributions from the funds I'm in, which I guess is a consequence of being in the funds as opposed to ETFs.I filled out a survey that they were foolish enough to send me a year ago and blasted them. Several months later my WMA's manager called me to discuss it and I told him that I was thinking of cancelling my service. He said that it was going to be a volatile year and I would need the managed service. I decided to give them anothter year, and while it has been volatile, I haven't seen any activity on their part other than the investing of distributions from the funds. Am I expecting too much? If they're just going to put the money in funds that meet their suggested allocations and leave it, then I may as well go with a robo-advisor for a much lower fee, or just put it in a non-managed account, or move it to a full service brokerage (who I started using after my MIL passed away and left us some money that he had been managing for her, and we decided to leave it with him), where I pay 1% but at least I'm in stocks and ETFs so there is no extra fund fees and the guy does actively manage the account.My TIAA rep is a nice enough guy but I'm not really getting any benefit from him, now that the money is invested given that he's not calling me to suggest changes in my investments as a normal broker would.I should also say that things started out on the wrong foot when they refused to pay the closing fee to move my money over from my previous brokerage, which in my experience is almost unheard of (at least I'd never encountered it). And I ended up having to pay an extra annual fee on my old account because TIAA screwed up and did not notice that I had worthless stock that could not be transferred over (they had my portfolio list way ahead of the transfer and should have noticed it), so that had to be resolved and by the time that happened I got hit with the new annual fee. I escalated that and got no satisfaction, just got told that they don't do it.

I had been planning to get out as of the end of the year since I figured I'd been billed the quarterly advisory fee for 4q already, but it turns out that they bill in arrears, so I'm still on the hook for 4q and will have to pay some portion of 1q when I decide to move. I just haven't decided what to do with the money.

afan
Posts: 2358
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Postby afan »Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:30 pm

Get your assets out. This is a waste of money. Do not switch to a full service broker. Do not switch to a robo.Someone has convinced you that you need a third party to manage your money. You don't.Read up on this site about the three fund portfolio. That is all you need. Or two funds. You should be paying an expense ratio of less than 0.2%, a lot less if you meet Vanguard Admiral fund thresholds or you go with comparable funds from Schwab or Fidelity or use low cost etfs. You don't need anyone making changes in your portfolio based on what the company thinks will do well. Their predictions are worthless.I don't know whether you can avoid paying a fee for 1st quarter of 2016, but the longer you are in, the more they will take.

Bail out now, keep the 1% you are paying. You are right that they are doing nothing to earn it. You need to realize that there is nothing they could do that would be worth paying for.

We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

MisterBill
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Postby MisterBill »Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:13 pm

afan wrote:Get your assets out. This is a waste of money. Do not switch to a full service broker. Do not switch to a robo.
Someone has convinced you that you need a third party to manage your money. You don't.

Thanks. You're right, I need to get out. I will look into moving everything to Fidelity since I already have my 401k there and can take advantage of their bonus when I add new money. I will read up on your suggestions.I will have to pay the advisory fee up to the date I close it, so I guess if I do it in the next week I will owe all of 4q. If I do it in 1q, I'll just owe for a few days.Update: I called Fidelity and opened the accounts and registered for the promotions (my wife and I can each get one so we'll have to miss out on one of the accounts). Naturally, some of the mutual funds I have at TIAA cannot be transferred to Fidelity, and it turns out that the funds that CAN be transferred are of the $49.95 per transaction variety on Fidelity, so it pays to just liquidate the accounts in full before transferring. Only a couple of IShares ETFs would free and some stuff would be $7.95. On the taxable account, overall I will end up with only $3k in capital gains (when factoring in losses as well) so it probably pays to get it done before the end of the year. I'll call TIAA on Monday to do the liquidation, then submit the transfers late next week after everything has cleared.

Fidelity will reimburse me the account closing fees, something which TIAA would not do when I opened the accounts there (and as already stated, bothered me from day one).

Return to “Investing - Theory, News & General”

Jump to

Users browsing this forum: 4ransom, Admiral, alphabeta01, bigred77, chatbotte, Dendritic Tree, jay22, NinjaTurtle, Ollie11, tadamsmar, turtle18, zakath47 and 73 guests


Category: Advisor

Similar articles: