Finanical brokers out for themselves? Bad PNC experience

A friend of mine had always been a pro-banker type guy, but recently, he had some problems with his financial brokers:

Some things have really, really left a bad taste in my mouth with these brokers (Merill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, etc..) First, a supposed friend from high school puts my money in a stock. He then begins moving the money to different stocks without my consent, I assuming to make himself fees. He also told me the account had no penalty for withdrawing the money, but that wasn’t true.

Then these other two guys from PNC told us that these annuities would make 4.5% or something like that, and they ended up getting 2.5%. They switched to another company because they say Allstate told them it would be 4.5% and then felt lied to. Then they give us these proposals to move from PNC to their new company, none of which makes sense for us at all. Finally, they almost admit that they don’t have a better deal but want us to move the money to keep the relationship with them? You just told us 4.5% and got us 2.5% on a lot of money, and now we should move our money to you to keep our great relationship?

Then my Dad’s boss dies, the widow doesn’t know what is going on, and some financial guy churns her account for tons of money.

Some of these financial guys will buy you dinner, give you tickets to see your sports team play, and be the nicest guys in the world to you..until you have to move money out of their account. As soon as you question something they did or tell them you need money out, they spaz and put intense pressure on you to stay with them. Then their real personality comes out, and boy was it nasty today. Personally for my accounts, just give me ING Direct and give me 4.5% and leave me the heck alone.

A Smith barney employee responed:

Sorry to hear about your situation. There are accounts that brokers offer, in Smith Barney they are called PM accounts, where the broker gets your permission to buy and sell stocks up front. He can then make trades but they are done commisson free as you are paying a quarterly fee depending on size of the the account and the amount of discount the broker offers. Some give none but most these days realize you have to discount in order to compete. I am not sure why they are trying to sell you a fixed annuity in this market. It again depends on the size of your portfolio and what you are looking to do with the money.

I believe you need to sit with the manager in the current office you are in and explain your level of frustration. Not all of us are bad guys – just seems you have ran into a few who have not helped the reputation for the rest of us in the industry. Good Luck in the future. I always tell my clients never buy anything from me unless you understand it completely. Good Luck in the future. Don’t let a few guys get you sorry you were ever in the market. Still the best place to be for you over the long haul.

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