My father-in-law had been letting EJ manage his IRA since he retired in the 90's. He would always tout the great job his advisor did for him.
In 2010 my father-in-law asked me to start doing his taxes after he had a medical issue. Looking through his records I immediately became alarmed at the poor returns he was receiving on his IRA. I had managed my parents' savings for about 12 years at that point and had become relatively familiar with returns available using low cost managed and index funds that my mother had researched and selected over the years. Another alarming feature was the number of different investments EJ had spread my in-law's money through.
It became obvious that EJ was churning the IRA. Unfortunately my father-in-law had completely swallowed the koolaid and any attempt to get him to roll his IRA into a simple group of self directed index funds was met with fierce resistance. EJ's efforts generally were trailing the market by 30%-50% on returns. Last year when I contacted EJ to take the RMD on the IRA (I have POA) the 'trusted' advisor argued with me regarding the withholding.
I directed him to take the taxes out of the required RMD but he was insistent that they should be an additional amount - because everybody did it that way. He originally tried to make me think that the IRS required it that way but backed off when I mentioned my dozen years of managing my parent's accounts. I laughed out loud. A financial advisor recommending that a client take more out of a tax sheltered account than necessary verged on insanity or more likely a commission was at stake.
I now have a decent amount of evidence to show my in-laws that EJ has cost them thousands over the years. In the period of Oct2016-Feb2017 EJ's returns are only 50% of a couch potato portfolio of half total stock market and half total bond fund (and the bond fund hasn't made diddly)!
Product or Service Mentioned: Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.