Ask Terry Questions Retiree – what to do?

Retiree – what to do?

By Terry Savage on January 03, 2019 | Investments

I wrote to you a couple weeks ago (I know a LOT of people do) about advantages/disadvantages of investing with a company like Ameriprise (as we are) & other companies but have not heard back. Is proprietary better or more of a generalist kind of firm? Also, we are 70 & have about 200,000 in mutual funds, bonds etc & have lost between 10,000 & 12,000 this past month – should we move more to cash? Our advisor left Ameriprise to go another firm so we now have someone new. We’re not sure if we’ll stay with Ameriprise or go with our previous advisor & are feeling a bit panicked!! We both have pensions & are comfortable so our savings is not something we need to live on but don’t want to lose it either!! Thanks so much for any help!

Terry Says

Sorry, I have been overwhelmed with questions — and have missed answering some.  I wish I had gotten to yours earlier!  Here are a few facts that will help you in your decision — and please search my columns for the word “fiduciary” to help you in this process.

Ameriprise is a BROKERAGE FIRM!  No matter what they call their “advisors” they are paid by commissions and fees, and do not promise to put your interests ahead of their own.  In other words, you are not dealing with a FIDUCIARY — a “fee-only” advisor who promises to fully reveal all fees, commissions, and costs — AND to put your interests ahead of their own.

So don’t follow this broker elsewhere — and don’t get stuck with another person who is likely in it for the money he/she can make off of you!  Could I be any clearer???

Now, you’re going to ask how to find a FIDUCIARY.  First go to and read all about the Fiduciary standard.  You will also get links to check the disciplinary record of brokers and advisors.  THEN, go to, where you can get matched up with a fee-only fiduciary, certified financial planner.  Talk with at least two of them to see where you feel a connection.  That may take some time.

So IMMEDIATELY look over your portfolio and if you have no “cash” or money market funds  sell at least 20 percent and put it in money market fund and don’t look back!  You may have some losses but likely still some gains to offset them — so consider that when you choose which fund shares to sell.  And/or if this is an IRA, contact Fidelity or Vanguard and have them ROLLOVER the account directly — and listen to their advice about how much should move to cash.  If the investments are in an IRA, there will be no tax consequence.


Recent Investments Questions



a personal
finance question