August 30, 2010
(I am re-sending as I noted I keyed in my email addr. incorrectly.)
I'm completing this form after reading an article in the Milwaukee Journal called "The SEC wants your opinion". I'm not at all informed on the difference between brokers, dealers and investment advisors. My agent for my investments uses the title ChFC, CLU. He calls himself a financial advisor. Recently I've become quite unhappy with some of his recommended changes, namely selling stocks that were doing well and incurring negative capital gains, and investing heavily in equity indexed annuities. In October 2009 he advised me to sell three Sun life EIA's that were three years old and invest in two more Allianz annuities for a term of 10 years. The Sun Life policies were sold at a considerable loss and my agent's explanation was that "we sell when investments are low." Unfortunately I took his advice and later learned from other professionals that this was not to my benefit. I am now locked in to the Allianz policies for 10 years and the promised bonus will likely never occur, either because of required minimum distributions or my need for this money before the 10 year term is up. This was not explained to me by my agent. He also made other investments where I incurred substantial fees and this was not made known to me up front. In the opinion of other professionals, the stock and annuity sales benefited my agent but were not particularly good for me in my situation. I am interested in knowing the difference between the categories of persons/agencies who assist in making investments so I am better prepared to make decisions in the future. I am a 72 year old retired female.