Ameriprise: secrets from a recruiter

June 10, 2007

Know what you are getting into before you go to interview. Ameriprise is nothing but a glorified pyramid scheme. They were once knows as American Express Financial Advisors, but American Express had to drop them because their practices were hurting their brand name. You can read the full post at FlipSide Invest.

“As a recruiter I literally scoured online job boards for resumes. It did not matter what the resume said all I needed was a name and a Phone Number of someone who was looking for work. Experience, background, education, none of that mattered. I also did my research and when I heard of layoffs I would jump at the opportunity knowing that these desperate souls would come in to office.

Here is the breakdown of the recruiting. I would call about 100 to 200 people a night and of those who picked up about 20% would say they would come in. Of those half actually showed up for phase one, a simple test you take on the computer to measure your core competency. Half would then go to phase two, where you were set up on a mock phone call to see how well you can sell over the phone. And half would create a marketing plan, basically you fill out a form with all your family and friends contact information (which gets used by the Ameriprise).

The career breakdown is as follows. You get promised six figures within two years based on some ridiculous statistics. Here is the secret, if you do not bring enough new clients you get fired, and those people are not counted towards the figures they use. Another ridiculous thing about Ameriprise, you have to pay out of pocket to pass the Series 6 and 7, and in some states Life and Health exams. Amerirpise only pays you back if you pass all the tests in less than six months. So there are a lot of people who waste a lot of time and money and cannot move on because they feel like they already invested so much and get trapped by Amerirpise.

The advisors get paid based on fees and most importantly commissions. The commissions are only made once the quota is met for the month. One advisor told me that some months he was making under minimum wage for the hours spent working. Imagine not making quote for the month and it’s the 3rd week already. Believe it or not sometimes the advisors get so desperate that they charge themselves for consulting fees in order to make quota for the month. ”

Here are the attributes of a successful financial advisor for Ameriprise:

  • Committing 70+ hours a week for the next 4 years
  • Being able to look an elderly person in the eyes knowing they are throwing hteir money away
  • Being able to win peoples trust through deception and fakery
  • Only priority in life is to make a lot of money for yourself

I also found this great website with a lot more about Ameriprise and great resources for alternatives AmerirpiseSuck.

If you really want to waste your time just go play an online stocks game, but don’t go to a so called expert because he took you to a free lunch.



  1. […] me for some time. Financial Advisors rip you off every chance they get.  In a previous article Ameriprise: Recruiter Secrets  I discussed how my past experience turned me on to the world of Financial Advising, or as I like […]

  2. I’m glad i did research on the company before going into an interview. I cant believe company’s are allowed to just scam people like this, i mean im sure you can make some good money, but having to screw people in the mean time? i wouldnt be able to live with myself. I thought it was fishy when i got an e-mail from them.

  3. This is complete bull. First off, your link to Ameriprisesux actually goes to Amex, and Ameriprise made the decision to leave Amex and Ameriprise has only beena company for 2 years now, so if you were recruiting for them years ago, you did so under American Express, a completely different company with a completely different philosophy. If we are such a shitty company, why is our rating better than 97% of all Diversified financial companies in the country right now? Why are we number 3 on the Baron’s list of Mutual Funds? Why do employees get a full benefit package, employee stock options, all training and education paid for and large bonuses along with a very high salary? Guess we must be doing something right. Sounds to me like you are bitter than you never go the job you truly wanted. Frankly, why else would you blog about it online if you didnt’ have resentment to the corporation? Have you ever even met the CEO Jim? I have…great guy. Love this company, we are in a better cash position than most if not all other financial companies in the country and according to Wall street Journal, we are a force to be reckoned with. Nice burn on Ameriprise, but it’s completely unfounded and untrue. If anyone really wants to know the AMPf story, go to our website at http://www.ameriprise.com or check out http://www.yahoofinance.com and search for AMP, you’ll see we are top dog right now, for a reason.

  4. Also to note, the tests and phone tests are all for customer service reps at home office, NOT for financial advisors. We are all recruited from within or are people that worked their way up to that status and most have an MBA or equivilent. The quota you speak of is garbage, there is no quota. We make trail money, commissions and a base salary. There is no qota to reach before we get paid, we get paid weekly regardless. And then you stated…
    Committing 70+ hours a week for the next 4 years
    Being able to look an elderly person in the eyes knowing they are throwing hteir money away
    Being able to win peoples trust through deception and fakery
    Only priority in life is to make a lot of money for yourself

    Let me tear that apart. First of all, we all work about a 30 hour work week. We have that priviledge because we are succesful. There is no deception and fakery, compliance, the SEC and FINRA watches us like a hawk, there is no way that would be legal or acceptable or even possible. Yes, we make a lot of money for ourselves, but we make even more for our clients. I think you have us mixed up with Primerica. You obviously know nothing because the decision we made to drop Amex was our decision as a company because we got out of the credit business all together and to further prove my piont, we dropped their credit card offerings just in 2008. We no longer sell their credit cards either, a decision made by Ameriprise, not AMEX, we now partner with Mastercard for that branch.

  5. You do NOT pay out of pocket for your Series 7 or your 66 or your Insurance license. All licensing and education is paid for by the company. I know because I work here and have for years now. I think you are full of shit, and probably have a beef against the company because you were fired.

  6. First of all lady… no need to post 3 comments. Second of all maybe things were run different back in the day, I simply discussed my experience at one office. I also have had four friends who were aggressively recruited by ameriprise and have had the same experience as I described.

    You say you are top dog, but thats cause you are the most aggressive company out there preying on the wage slaves who don’t know better.

  7. Kristin, you have truly drunk the KoolAid.

    Every word that the recruiter has written is true, without exception. It was true 18 years ago and it is true today.

    The phone tests and marketing plan- all of it. AXP is one of the only places on earth its possible to get a paycheck that says “please remit”.

    Disfunction, dishonesty, divorce… its all there. NO ONE should EVER consider Ameriprise.

    (And think how you’d feel today if you were one of those poor H&R Block bastards. They have no idea what has just been done to them.

  8. Kristin, you are wrong – I am going through the interviews right now and can testify that :
    1) computer-based tests and phone tests are for FINANCIAL planners (I had to take them)
    2) there is a quota (per field VP)
    3) you HAVE to work 60+ hrs a week for at least during the 1st year (per field VP)
    4) you have to pay for Series 7 and 66 out of your own pocket and if you pass, the company will reimburse you up to $1,500(per field VP)

  9. Wow…I am supposed to go on my first little interview today, but thought I would do some research first. (I’ve had a bad feeling about it for days now) I’m very glad I did…I have heard that would lead me to believe that this would actually be a good career move or in any way lucrative. I have a very strong sales background and an MBA in the telecommunications industry and have been out of work for going on two months now. No matter how desperate I feel, I’m definately not going to be sucked into this one…thank you for enlightening me! BTW, this is the first time I’ve ever blogged…very fun. 🙂

  10. I about to start my licensing for Ameriprise right now. Yes, you have to pay for it out of pocket and then are reimbursed when you pass for $1500. Is that so bad? I really don’t think so, you have to pay for college, law school, med school, etc., before getting certain jobs, same thing to me. Look at it from their point of view, why would they pay for your licenses because once you pass you could simply take a job elsewhere or quit right away and they’d have wasted a lot of time and money.
    I have a friends at other firms who also say you have to work a lot of hours in order to be successful there as well, 60 hours per week seems about the norm. I just spoke with a fairly new hire at Merrill Lynch who needs to bring in about $8m in assets for year one, I doubt you’ll accomplish that without a lot of hours.
    I’ve seen other blogs where Ameriprise was blasted for working through family and friends, where else are you supposed to start? It’s no different at any other firm unless you want to cold call the world. No firms give you leads or business, you have to go and get it. I think in the end to be successful as a financial advisor it’s more about the individual and less about the company. Anyone agree? Disagree?

  11. online jobs are many but most of them does not pay well enough so choose an online job well ‘`’

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