Author Topic: Royal London 360 - I dun goofed  (Read 73321 times)

dungoofed

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Royal London 360 - I dun goofed
« on: March 27, 2014, 08:27:46 AM »
[---Moderator note from MMM:

As of February 2016, this company (RL360) has filed a lawsuit in Arizona against this website. Since I've never written about the company and this thread is right at the top of the Google search results for that company's name, it might be an attempt to get this content taken down.

In keeping with this blog's policy on legal threats, I'll be documenting the ongoing action at this page on the main blog:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/rl360-insurance/
 
End Edit---]

Hi guys - I think I may have f*cked up badly, and I want to know what your suggestion is to minimize the damage.

Basically about 12 months ago I signed up with one of these insurance-wrapper-offshore-investment-schemes. I had been previously sent overseas to Asia was and earning decent (not great mind you) money for the first time in my life. I didn't like having it sitting around in cash. I don't think it's a "scam" necessarily but I do think the fees may be excessive.

The details are:
  • Royal London 360 "Quantum" (RL360) insurance wrapper product
  • 25 year term, of which first two years of monthly payments are considered the "initial allocation period" and cannot be touched for the term of the policy
  • After the first two years I can reduce payments to $300/month for the remaining 23 years (though I lose a "bonus" at the end)
  • I can also increase them, inject money etc. (but I'm not considering doing that right now)
  • I can take a "holiday" for a period of time
  • I can make withdrawals. I think the rules are that the initial allocation period money can't be touched, and something about maintining a 10% balance
  • I specify allocation percentages into name-brand mutual funds (Blackrock, GS, Fidelity, etc etc)
  • I've been told that fees come to an average of about 1.5% annually for the fund fees ("AMC") plus 0.5% annually for the insurance wrapper. Nothing for the adviser.
  • I got a six month "bonus" at the beginning.

Now, one year in I'm considering what my options are.

1) Cancel the entire thing. I'll lose a year's worth of deposits (imagine losing a year's worth of mustachian-level saving in one hit). Very expensive lesson.
2) Pay the second year's worth of payments, then turn it down to 300 bucks a month for the next 23 years.
3) ??

Also, I have been hearing mixed stories about fees that are hidden inside the funds. I've been assured that I'm only paying the AMC and nothing else but obviously I'd have no way of knowing what was going on behind the scenes.

And regarding fees to the adviser, my understanding is that they receive a few thousand dollars upfront for signing me up to the product, but then nothing ongoing. They have to try and upsell other products if they want me to remain profitable. But like the fees possibly hidden inside the fund I'm not so naive to discount the possibility of further kickbacks etc.

Would appreciate input from anyone who has had any real experience or inside information on these outfits. If after 25 years I can expect to be in not-too-bad shape then I'm happy to stick the (300 dollar) course but otherwise I'll probably have to take a very very expensive lesson.

« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 03:59:54 PM by MMM »

bacchi

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 08:53:23 AM »
Good god, man. That 2%+ for 23 years is going to kill your expected returns. 4% SWR on that investment? Try 2%, minimum.

It sucks but you gotta drop it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 09:17:59 AM »
What have you paid in so far? Has it shown any real growth other than the money you're putting in?

If I'm reading all of the info correctly, you pay in a certain amount (?) for the first two years, then can drop to a $300/mo payment for a total of 25 years, and it's basically just an investment account with high fees, but you have no flexibility for the most part. I'm not sure what the advantages were supposed to be to locking you into a payment and for 25 years (there had to be some sort of incentive, right?) but it sounds ridiculous since you could open an investment account at any other place and put in or take out whatever or whenever you liked.

I just went to their website, and it's touting the product as better than a pension and as a flexible savings vehicle, but still say that forced contributions and locking someone into payment plans is anything but flexible and of course, there is the brutal expenses/charges. And just LOVE how they won't let you enroll through them directly but has to go through a financial adviser. That's not weird at all. ;) And it looks like surrender charges can be up to 71% of what you pay in... if I'm reading their literature correctly, but they keep saying "see your adviser" since they want a live person to talk you out of it of course.
 
No matter what the initial "investment" is, I'd most likely consider it sunk cost and cancel it and figure it is another expensive life lesson tho. Being locked into a very odd arrangement of forced payments and paying really high fees to boot sounds awful.

I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

FIREd as of: March 6th, 2015!

MDM

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 09:20:04 AM »
Your post contains "I think..." and "I've been told..." phrases.  First suggestion would be to get everything in writing, then make sure you understand it.

With most (all?) insurance products, the best set of conditions occur at the start.  After that, the company may (depending on the contract language) be able to change those conditions in ways unfavorable to you.  E.g. higher annual fees, lower returns, etc.

If there is nothing legally preventing you (e.g., some do-not-disclose clause), you could redact identifying information and post a copy of your contract.  You might get no better than "OMG that's too complicated to understand" but it could be worth a try.

Kudos for being willing to cut your losses and not throw good money after bad.  But understanding the true situation before acting seems best.

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 04:01:55 PM »
Hi - thanks for the replies so far. Whether you mean it or not it actually feels like you guys are willing to help me out here.

Ok so a couple of extra point to put things in perspective:

  • Working in the industry in which I work the number of investment options are limited. I can't just go out there and buy shares/ETFs/etc - I need to fill out forms each time and in some cases place the trade through a specified company. When I asked a few people around me what they were doing with their savings many of them said they were using these offshore insurance-wrapper retirement products.
  • The other options facing me at the time were to keep the money in cash, go with a local investment vehicle/product (just as many charlatans and snake oil salesmen here), or wire money back home.
  • 15 months ago when I started looking at the options Asia's biggest player Japan had also just started firing up the bank printing presses. Even these days I try to keep as little as possible as cash.
  • Actually it isn't so different to a 401k/RSP/superannuation in that the money can't be touched for 20-odd years, and the rules are at the whim of Royal London. In some ways I think the competition between providers is better for my money than the greed/desperation of governments who set the rules on mandatory pensions.
  • One of the biggest selling points however was the fact that they charge the premiums to your credit card every month, no fee. So not only do I get an effective 1% cashback for non-mustachian purchases, more importantly I get the benefits of dollar-cost averaging. Like I said, the political environment 12-15 months ago was one that you didn't want to be transferring a large portion of your savings to another currency in one hit if you could avoid it, not keeping it in local currency.
  • There are a bunch of other benefits etc like having a centralised place to which one can invest no matter where in the world one is working, etc but now it's starting to sound like I'm regurgitating the sales pitch.

Geez, I feel dirty after putting together that list.

Bacchi - true it has to beat the market by a little more. The SWR used in the literature was 5%; returns over the course of the plan were assumed to be 8% after fees. Hard to just walk away as that's basically an entire year of savings for me. Also, the way the fees were sold to me was that the six month bonus at the beginning, best not to think of that as a bonus per se but rather money that will be used to pay the fees over the course of the plan.

Frankie's Girl - assume I put in half my post-tax salary. So if I was earning 100K after tax, there is 50K already in there, with 50K to come over the next 12 months. Then 300x23x12=about 80K of payments over the next 23 years.

Ok, so the fact that they outsource the sales side of thing to local experts is easy to understand. Royal London or any of these guys (Zurich, Royal Skandia, etc) don't want to deal with the day-to-day hassles of people like me having freak-outs about their investments : )

Also, I think you need to compare this plan with something like a 401K or RRSP or Superannuation regarding the term of the product. Yes, it sucks that I have to pay in regularly, but the term of the plan is actually just as inflexible as anything the government has come up with, potentially less-so.

Tax-free growth is the other benefit. Thing is, I was never in it for this - I declare (but don't incur tax obligation on) the entire amount each year.

Without sounding like I'm actually selling the product again, I don't mind the fact that the investment is not onshore in my home country nor the country in which I earn income. I think of it as diversification of an investment account across countries. Sovereign diversification.

MDM - apologies, I'm usually quite careful with my wording. From here:

http://www.rl360adviser.com/generic/downloads/qu005.pdf

  • Minimum payment ("premium") is USD320/month
  • Premiums can be decreased only once a year, on the anniversary date of the plan
  • One-off withdrawals cannot exceed 10% of the fund value. Regular withdrawals cannot take the balance below USD8000.

For what it's worth, it returned a little under 8% last year, after all fees. It's only about 50% in developed markets though, early days yet.

MDM

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 04:46:30 PM »
Ok, this might not be so bad - depending much on the details behind:
"Investment options
There is a wide choice of funds available covering a broad
range of asset classes, investment styles and geographical
sectors. The maximum number of funds that can be held is 10.
Please refer to the Investment Guide for further information."

Some thoughts that occurred as I read through the document.  No requirement for you to answer here, but you probably should know the answers yourself:
 -  Did you choose a life assurance policy or a capital redemption policy?  What does that mean for you after 25 years?
 -  Did you get a single policy or 100 sub-policies, and why?
 -  What funds are available to you?  Are these listed on a public exchange?  What are the fees for each fund?  Are you subject to participation rates, spreads, etc. (i.e., are these indexed annuities) or are these direct index funds? 
 -  How much, in absolute terms, are you paying for all these:
     Charges
     Initial unit charge: 0.50% per month (6% per year)
     Contract charge: 0.125% per month (1.50% per year)
     Policy fee: USD8.00 per month (or currency equivalent)
     Annual management charges

A result for 2013 of 8% is fine if you had bond funds, not so great if you had US stock funds. 

You could put together a spreadsheet calculating everything the way you think it should be calculated.  When you get statements (or check online), if those numbers match yours then you do understand it.

dragoncar

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 04:56:28 PM »
Jesus...  so what happens if you miss one of those monthly payments?

Where is your citizenship and why can't you invest in normal vehicles?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 04:59:18 PM by dragoncar »

ZiziPB

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 11:33:35 AM »
It sounds to me like something similar to a variable annuity?  Is there any guaranteed rate of return? 

I would have a hard time walking away from a significant initial investment (I know the argument about sunk costs, etc., etc. but in this case the money is invested and you are getting something out of it in the end).  $300 per month doesn't sound like a lot of money going forward so maybe consider keeping the beast and making the best of it?



dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 12:04:43 PM »
Ok I finally realized why the "300 dollars per month" option is not feasible.

By the end of the two year initial allocation period I will have say $100,000 worth in the account. Everything I invest *after* that will be subject to approximately total 3% fees per year (plus 3% inflation of course). Not great but not bad.

But the clincher is that the initial $100,000 will be subject to about 7% over the term of the plan (ie 25 years). Combined with 3% inflation I'm going backwards, and after several decades my $100,000 will be all but whittled away entirely.

And that's not even the best part. The best part is that the initial two years is the "tough" part, so once that is over there is an incentive to keep putting in the max you can as the fee rate is preferential. And worst case you can pay the minimum of $300 a month for the privilege of watching the initial 100K whittled away

FML. If anyone has a story about walking away from something like this then please let me know. Seriously torn here. Don't know how to explain to my wife either.


danclarkie

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 12:44:17 PM »
I was sold the EXACT same product.
I am in Dubai.

The salesman sold the same product to 4-5 of my friends and uses high pressure techniques to solicit referrals from you in order to sell the same products to all of your friends.

I wised up to this product about 7 months in and ended up walking away from $7,800 invested.
These are terribly shitty products, sky high fees and a a massive upfront commission for the "financial adviser"

I would advise you to take a look at this blog which highlights the issues of these ILAS schemes: http://therapeofhongkong.com/

Take a look at this caluclations sheet that I made for the Royal London 360 product: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlZ4DevKDH_AdDdLQlozM1JKa3V4Wl9Yei11VkxLTUE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

Which country are you in now?
The sale of these products is heavily regulated in the developed markets such as UK/AUS.

I am in the UAE and I am now investing in ETFs via an online broker.
It is not as easy as someone living in the UK/US but it is totally possible.

I would say you need to consider the current investments into this ILAS piece of shit as a loss and don't fall prey to the illusion of the sunk cost fallacy. :(

When I told the financial salesman that I was planning to quite the product he quickly arranged a meeting with me and his boss.
I secretly recorded the meeting on my phone and have audio recording of him mis-representing the product.
Firstly he understated the annual charges, and secondly he understated the surrender charge that applies for early policy surrender.

Get out of this product today.
Tell all of your friends that are in the same product.

The Financial Advisor will then be forced to repay several thousands of dollars in commissions that he/she has earned from your acc.

All commissions are paid in full on day 1, so as soon as you sign the adviser gets several thousand dollars in commissions.

I would also encourage you to NAME AND SHAME your financial adviser and the firm he/she works for.
These people are notoriously litigious and online-reputation savy, If you google the name of your adviser you probably won't find anything at all.
I would not be surprised if he/she is using a false name.

Everything about these products is absolutely awful.
The seller gets a massive commission for selling them, and such arrangements are ILLEGAL in the UK.

Cancel your standing order asap.

MDM

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 01:11:04 PM »
By the end of the two year initial allocation period I will have say $100,000 worth in the account. Everything I invest *after* that will be subject to approximately total 3% fees per year (plus 3% inflation of course). Not great but not bad.

But the clincher is that the initial $100,000 will be subject to about 7% over the term of the plan (ie 25 years). Combined with 3% inflation I'm going backwards, and after several decades my $100,000 will be all but whittled away entirely.

Worst case interpretation of what is written:
  - The initial $100K is not invested at all.  It earns nothing, but Royal London (RL) withdraws 7%/year as a fee.  After 25 years, 0.93^25 * $100K = $24,444 is left (and worth $11,674 after 3%/yr inflation).
  - For everything after the first $100K, you get charged 3%/yr * "Assets Under Management" (vs. "The industry average is roughly 1 percent, but fees can range from 0.81 percent to 2.08 percent, according to Toronto-based PriceMetrix, which tracks investment industry fees in the U.S. and Canada."

Best case interpretation of what is written:
  - The initial $100K invested in some decent index funds, and earns whatever those funds earn.  Royal London (RL) withdraws 7%/25= 0.3%/year as a fee. 
  - For everything after the first $100K, you get charged 3%/yr * your invested amount, not counting earnings

Worst case borders on or crosses over to usury.  Best case isn't bad at all.  Not sure which, or where in between, it is...?

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 03:35:11 PM »
Hi MDM - it's not quite worst case above but thanks for outlining it for me. It's basically the worst case scenario offset by the gains I expect to see from the funds. It's 7% a year on my original 100K for 25 years.

So I need to think whether it is better for the next 12 months' payments to be given the same treatment. I'm not an actuary and this is a little hard to think about but I think this is what it comes down to.

Dan - thanks for those links. Reading was very painful. I've really fucked up here.

I modified the spreadsheet to see what would happen if I reduced my payments to $300 a month after the 24th month, and it was as expected: the average fees were 5.15% over the course of the plan.

Best to just walk away from the 50K already invested?

danclarkie

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 04:29:20 PM »
You know once you stop making payments and mark the policy as "paid up" the fees increase, right?

The $50k you have in there is already gone, it has been paid almost directly to the adviser that set you up with this package, so you might wish to bear that in mind when you next meet him.

The only way to get back that $50k now is to continue to pay into the account for the next 24 years and hope that the funds grow substantially above inflation every single year for the next 24 years.

From the spreadsheet, assuming you are paying in $4,166.67 a month the fund needs to grow at 5.33% a year every year.

After 24 months, your "adviser" has locked in his commission and has no incentive to continue to manage your funds for the next 23 years, so he will either spend the next 23 years trying to sell you more shite loaded up with fees, or will simply fuck off and leave you high and dry to manage your own funds for the remaining term (remember you need to grow a minimum of 5.33%/year).

If you look at the spreadsheet, check the "Surrender penalty" column, you can see the loss you will incur if you quit the policy.

Right now it is -$50,820.04.

If you continue to pay into the policy, and it grows at 5.33% every year, the potential loss you will incur by closing the account goes up and doesn't drop back below -$50,820.04 until month 229, more than 19 years into the policy.

and IF you are somehow able to pick funds that grow at 5.33% every year for the next 25 years, then doing so with ETF's via an online brokerage would come out $567,651.24 better off.

That is, assuming that your adviser is in the very small minority of advisers that can beat the market consistently over 25 years.
Even if he is, and he has some god given ability to pick funds and beat the market for the next 25 years, you will lose several hundred thousand dollars over the 25 years because of the rip-off fee structure of the Royal London Quantum 360 ILAS product.

These are terrible, terrible, products.
There are growing calls to ban the sale of such plans here in the UAE
And plans have come under regulatory spot light in Hong Kong

Another thing is, this really fucks up any early retirement plan.

If you remain in this plan, you basically can't retire for the next 24 years because you need to contribute $5k a month into the plan for the next 24 years or else take a massive loss on the premiums currently paid.

Whilst still inside your Initial Allocation Period, the best date to cancel the policy is yesterday, closely followed by today.

The dumb thing is, even after I explained this to all of my friends that are in these plans, 2 of them said "Well I have invested too much into it to simply walk away from the plan"
Absolute sunk cost fallacy.

I'll leave you with the following thought.
Even if the policy grows at the promised 8% a year for the next 25 years.
If inflation continues at 3% your policy will break even in 11 years.

That is, you could cancel the policy and get back as much as you have deposited, adjusted for 3%/year inflation.
Your money would have been locked up for 11 years and invested in funds that carry significant risk, in order to produce 8% return.
And for all of that, you would get back what you have deposited, adjusted for inflation, and absolutely ZERO capital growth.
Meanwhile, Royal London have charged an average of 5% a year in fees, taken $90,162.71 in surrender charge, and your adviser has taken $51,450.04 in commission.

My advice would be to get out now and start sticking the $5k a month into something more suitable such as an index fund portfolio or into a rental property.

marty998

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 05:14:20 PM »
This product is ridiculous. Con men, fraudsters, grifters and other various charlatans wouldn't be as brazen as this

I don't want to be childish, but is was a lot of fun taking that other company to task over their bullshit product.

So can I be the first to say Royal London 360 sucks donkeys balls?

Roland of Gilead

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 05:22:31 PM »
I never realized how good we had it here in the USA where we can buy a Vanguard total stock market index fund, have our funds direct deposited there monthly, and pay a total fee of 0.05%.

dragoncar

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2014, 05:33:34 PM »
I never realized how good we had it here in the USA where we can buy a Vanguard total stock market index fund, have our funds direct deposited there monthly, and pay a total fee of 0.05%.

I still don't really understand why the money was locked up.  All this to avoid a wire transfer fee?

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2014, 05:42:58 PM »
For the "switch it to 300 bucks a month" model in the spreadsheet, and lowering the Adviser Commission to what it should be it comes out at $131,000 deposits, for a nominal total after 25 years of $273,000 (money should be doubling every eight years as a rule of thumb, not every 25). And $160,000 in fees over the period.

Very expensive lesson for me in sunk costs but I'll surrender the plan today.

Dragoncar - please don't make me feel worse than I already do :-/

(just kidding - if others can learn from my mistakes then I'll feel like I've paid my karmic dues).

But yeah, the wire fee and other things as well. I listed all the good points earlier up.


Argyle

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2014, 05:52:47 PM »
As they say, "That's what we call 'tuition.'"

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2014, 05:59:32 PM »
Touche. Not to mention that the money would have gone a long way towards a formal education too.

Of course, the risk now is that I feel like I'm "behind" and so I need to do more risky investments in order to beat the market and catch up again. I need to take a couple of deep breaths and start looking at ways to get money into a Vanguard of sorts.


beltim

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2014, 06:12:37 PM »
For the "switch it to 300 bucks a month" model in the spreadsheet, and lowering the Adviser Commission to what it should be it comes out at $131,000 deposits, for a nominal total after 25 years of $273,000 (money should be doubling every eight years as a rule of thumb, not every 25). And $160,000 in fees over the period.

Very expensive lesson for me in sunk costs but I'll surrender the plan today.

Dragoncar - please don't make me feel worse than I already do :-/

(just kidding - if others can learn from my mistakes then I'll feel like I've paid my karmic dues).

But yeah, the wire fee and other things as well. I listed all the good points earlier up.

Is this counting the $50,000 in deposits you've already made?  If so, you should take that out of the calculation -- that money is already gone, after all -- you need to decide what to do with the next $50,000.  With $50,000 invested, even after fees you might be better off with the second year.  You also may be much worse off - I wasn't able to figure out that answer with the spreadsheet above.

ToughMother

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2014, 06:31:38 PM »
Touche. Not to mention that the money would have gone a long way towards a formal education too.

Of course, the risk now is that I feel like I'm "behind" and so I need to do more risky investments in order to beat the market and catch up again. I need to take a couple of deep breaths and start looking at ways to get money into a Vanguard of sorts.

I don't know if this helps, as you have the added feeling of betrayal.  But, there are all sorts of "behind."  I got meningitis, had epic medical treatments (& costs) and was out of FT work for about 10 years and living off of my savings.

The good news that neither one of us was in debt as a consequence of our "experiences" but relative to the folks on this forum, we are "behind." 

Just move on. 

Lower expenses, save money in your NEW accounts, and hang in there.  Our "early retirement" may not be as epic as many folks here, but we'll get there.

Hang in and try not to focus on the behind part.
In English & Latin,
ToughMother.

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2014, 09:40:31 PM »
Beltim - I modified the formulas in the spreadsheet so that it was "full payments for 24 months then 300 bucks a month after that."

Unfortunately the thing is structured so that the best option is to pay the full amount every month for 25 years. That gives you mediocre returns (not terrible unless you're being gouged with 4.5% Adviser Fee like Dan above but not great). But the reality is, I can't bear to put good money after bad when I know that there are superior products out there.

I just did the numbers and assuming the same return I confirm there is NO amount for which I continue paying into this thing is a better deal than throwing away the 50K and starting again at the same pace with a Vanguard.

ToughMother - thanks, yeah, it's odd because even when you have the figures in front of you in a spreadsheet confirming what you feared, it's quite hard to pull the trigger and take the loss. I've had setbacks before and I know that at the time they just seem insurmountable but with the right attitude you pull through. Thanks again for giving it a little perspective.

danclarkie

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2014, 11:24:43 PM »
Unfortunately the thing is structured so that the best option is to pay the full amount every month for 25 years. That gives you mediocre returns (not terrible unless you're being gouged with 4.5% Adviser Fee like Dan above but not great). But the reality is, I can't bear to put good money after bad when I know that there are superior products out there.

I should just say that my policy had no specific Adviser fees.
4.2% commission is the standard ballpark figure for commission paid on the sale of these products.
Royal London has the highest fees of all the ILAS products.

I would be fairly sure that your "financial adviser" received a similar percentage.
The commissions are so high, and front loaded, to give the seller a massive incentive to sell them.
Without that huge commission, nobody in their right mind would ever suggest these products.
edit:typo.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 01:46:19 AM by danclarkie »

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2014, 11:45:44 PM »
Lower expenses, save money in your NEW accounts, and hang in there.  Our "early retirement" may not be as epic as many folks here, but we'll get there.

Hang in and try not to focus on the behind part.

Exactly right. We're all behind compared to someone else, but we're also far ahead of so many people just by virtue of the advantages we do have.

Argyle

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2014, 12:21:40 AM »
Also, what guarantees that the company won't fold sometime in the next thirty years?  In which case $50,000 is a small price to pay not to lose thirty years' worth of investments.

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2014, 02:25:17 AM »
So can I be the first to say Royal London 360 sucks donkeys balls?

This is why they seek to distance themselves by making you go via a local adviser.

The company I was sucked in by are called "Prestige Wealth Solutions"
I should have known form the get go, with such a bullshit name.

They set up a shitty website: pws-intl.com, are seemingly unlicensed anywhere, and then just go out and sell as many products as possible, as quickly as possible.


The "Private Client Adviser" I dealt with was a guy named:
Something.

If you Google his name, it returns nothing which leads me to believe this may possibly be a false name.
If you Google the company name, a lot of the negative reviews are pushed down the search results by some blogspot blogs that I assume the company has set up for this express purpose.

With extended research you can find a list of people complaining about being scammed by this company.

I am so glad that I cut my losses at $7,800.
The $7,800 was a hard lesson but it made me wake up and take my financial planning into my own hands with plans I understand and have full control over.

Depending on the legal system in your country of residence, there may be the option to pursue legal action against your adviser for a refund of your deposit, but I highly doubt you would get anything from it.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 02:12:39 AM by danclarkie »

dragoncar

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2014, 01:10:15 PM »
Sorry, not trying to make you feel bad.  I was just curious what kind of predicament you will still be in even after ditching this particular mistake.

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2014, 09:09:16 AM »
Some guy does come up as living in Kingston-upon-Thames in the UK, and another one (or the same one) in the Emirates, connected to the DeVere financial consultancy group.  For what it's worth.  Not saying that the whole thing isn't just as disadavantageous as you suggest, of course.

The only single page linking this guy to the Emirates is that DeVere Group page.
DeVere are a similar company that sell ILAS products to expats.
I would not be surprised if OP was dealing with DeVere Group as they tout themselves as the worlds largest financial advice company.

I still contend that it may be a false name, albeit one that he has maintained through both companies as they run on the same Modus Operandi.

It's 2014, if you don't show up in Google when your (rather obscure) name is searched then I am inclined to believe that is something that has taken planning and forethought in attempts to avoid being found.
A single profile on a single social network under your real name would show up.
A single comment you made on a blog or a forum under your name would show up.
Even if you chose not to do so, a friend mentioning your name somewhere would show up.
We are talking about a guy, in his mid twenties, that is a total ghost across all of those possible data points...
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 02:13:38 AM by danclarkie »

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2014, 04:00:14 AM »
Hi guys - thanks to everyone who posted.

After a sleepless night on Saturday and painful analysis of the figures I decided to make the excruciatingly painful decision to 1) stop payments (done), 2) cancel the credit card from which payments were made (requested), and 3) close the plan (arranged for next week).

Total loss: about $50K (a third of my net worth), plus the year of my life.

So now I'm trying to get back on track. Setting up a brokerage account in Singapore, wire transfer account, and Vanguard back in Australia.

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2014, 04:25:35 AM »
Sorry about your loss.  I hope that, on balance, you feel good about your decision to get out of that bad scheme and move on.  Sounds to me like you did the right thing.
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dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2014, 08:13:58 AM »
For what it's worth, I don't believe the plan is a scam per se (Stockholm Syndrome anyone? lol) but there are plenty of scammy things about it. See the comprehensive list of benefits earlier in the thread. I mean, fire-and-forget automated monthly payments from your credit card is almost worth the price of admission alone.

The things I don't like about it are:

1) the fact that if you do anything that deviates from the course you are worse off. So while there are supposedly all these options over the years (plan holidays, reducing payments, etc), the reality is that there is this looming pressure to stick the course, to keep up the payments. So it is very similar to a loan in that regard (incidentally this is sold as a feature to "save the investor from himself").

2) The fees. No-one is expected to work for free but the fees on the plan mean that instead of your money doubling three times in 25 years it only doubles 1.5 times. Also I understand that this is not a brokerage account but still, that's a big difference for the SAME AMOUNT OF RISK as someone in Vanguard (incidentally this is the calculation that made me realise that I would be better off walking).

3) The mutual funds. The plan invests in "creme de la creme" mutual funds that are supposedly able to beat the market over time. Now, we won't know until 25 years later whether this turns out to be the case, but at least with index funds we are already up 1-2% before we even start, and there is much more transparency with an index-tracking fund.

4) The product needs salespeople to sell it. Compare that with Vanguard, which has enough fans that they never have to spend any money on sales. Even if not even 100% of these savings are passed on to the investor, you're still worse off with the product before you've even begun.

Anyway, thanks for listening. If anyone has a suggestion where someone mid-30s with no major assets to his name should start putting his money please guide me.

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2014, 09:20:08 AM »
For what it's worth, I don't believe the plan is a scam per se (Stockholm Syndrome anyone? lol) but there are plenty of scammy things about it. See the comprehensive list of benefits earlier in the thread. I mean, fire-and-forget automated monthly payments from your credit card is almost worth the price of admission alone.

The things I don't like about it are:

1) the fact that if you do anything that deviates from the course you are worse off. So while there are supposedly all these options over the years (plan holidays, reducing payments, etc), the reality is that there is this looming pressure to stick the course, to keep up the payments. So it is very similar to a loan in that regard (incidentally this is sold as a feature to "save the investor from himself").

2) The fees. No-one is expected to work for free but the fees on the plan mean that instead of your money doubling three times in 25 years it only doubles 1.5 times. Also I understand that this is not a brokerage account but still, that's a big difference for the SAME AMOUNT OF RISK as someone in Vanguard (incidentally this is the calculation that made me realise that I would be better off walking).

3) The mutual funds. The plan invests in "creme de la creme" mutual funds that are supposedly able to beat the market over time. Now, we won't know until 25 years later whether this turns out to be the case, but at least with index funds we are already up 1-2% before we even start, and there is much more transparency with an index-tracking fund.

4) The product needs salespeople to sell it. Compare that with Vanguard, which has enough fans that they never have to spend any money on sales. Even if not even 100% of these savings are passed on to the investor, you're still worse off with the product before you've even begun.

Anyway, thanks for listening. If anyone has a suggestion where someone mid-30s with no major assets to his name should start putting his money please guide me.

I think the products are wholly unsuitable for 99.9%of people, for a few reasons.

  • The fees make your investment under-perform compared to almost any other platform from which to invest in the same funds
  • I cant find the exact number right now, but fewer than 5% of people carry the ILAS products the full term until maturity. This comes with very large penalties.
  • After 2 years your "adviser" has locked in his commission and has NO FURTHER FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE to continue to serve you as a client. You might have been in good funds for the first 2 years but you could very wll be left on your own to pick funds for the next 23 years

I mean, fire-and-forget automated monthly payments from your credit card is almost worth the price of admission alone.

To be blunt, this is bollocks, mate.
Set up a Bank Standing Order to wherever you decide to invest next.
That is even easier as you don't have to remember to pay off your credit card.

Anyway, thanks for listening. If anyone has a suggestion where someone mid-30s with no major assets to his name should start putting his money please guide me.

I can't tell YOU what YOU should do as I am not a financial adviser by any stretch of the imagination.
I will tell you what I did and what I am doing :)

I opened an account with SaxoBank http://www.saxobank.com/
Transferred in the money I had and began buying ETFs from their web trader platform.
Read this article over on Bogelheads: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=134661

I outlined my situation in this thread: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/hello-from-dubai-)/

But here it is ;)

I have 3 offshore bank accounts in the Isle of Man and Jersey, in USD, EUR, and GBP.
Currently I have around $5k in the USD acc and a combined $500 in EUR/GBP.
The USD acc is a real Emergency Fund in case that my local bank account gets frozen for whatever reason (it happens)

In the coming month I will move $10k from my local acc into my investment acc and reduce the EF to $10k across Local and Off-Shore Banks.

My Investment acc has been opened to set up a portfolio of Index Fund ETFs as there are no viable alternatives to get access to low TER index funds.

Being in the UAE, dividends from US based Funds/Stocks are taxed at 30% withholding tax (sucks) so a better option is to go with Funds domiciled in Ireland, such as BlackRock iShares and Vanguard UK to avoid the dividend tax.
CGT is 0%.

My current portfolio is:

65.59% VWRD VANGUARD FUNDS PLC VANGUARD FTSE ALL-WORLD$48,883.50
20.21% LQDE ISHARES PLC ISHARES $ CORPORATE BOND$15,061.95
9.82% VBK Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF$7,315.80
4.39% GOOGL Google Class A Shares$3,271.50

The main portfolio is basically a 2 fund lazy portfolio with 80/20 split Stocks/Bonds.
I gave myself ~$3,500 for individual stocks to allow myself some creativity to buy and hold individual stocks and allow the remaining 95% to remain long term buy and hold.
This allows me to feel some sense of control, whilst leaving the vast majority of my portfolio in index funds.

So there you have it.
I don't know what YOU should do, and I don't want to run the risk of giving you bad advice, but you can probably take something from my set up and work out a plan that best fits you. :)

Dan

dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2014, 07:48:40 PM »
Thanks Dan - appreciate you sharing and I know that our situations will be different but appreciate it all the same.


Ohio Teacher

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2014, 06:25:46 AM »
Sorry about your loss.  Use this as a springboard to be super-extreme in your saving over the next few years and you will forget all about it.  I made some monetary mistakes early on that have actually turned into net positive decisions due to the changed behaviors they imparted on me for the future. 

Chuck

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2014, 03:45:24 PM »
Drop it. Yesterday.

lightlike

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2014, 08:28:03 PM »
I'm a UK expat currently in Japan, and was sold the exact same product.  I showed him Dan's sheet, and he came back with the following points.  I'm wondering about the validity of the below features he lists as arguments to keep the plan, specifically in relation to my return to the UK one day.

- 5% allowance - He pointed me to this provision on HMRC site: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/5/section/507.  But the following seems to present it as related to investment bonds?  http://www.which.co.uk/money/savings-and-investments/guides/investment-bonds/withdrawals-and-charges/
- Top slicing - Again, bond related, but also applicable to these insurance wrappers?
- Time apportionment relief - http://www.scottishwidows.co.uk/Extranet/Literature/Doc/FP0008
- Estate planning - Key point being the easy transfer of fund to my wife in the event of my untimely demise

If I dump this and go with a brokerage account, how do I get equivalent tax efficiencies?  Is it impossible, and I simply shouldn't worry about it because my net will still be larger than this product? 
What about the estate planning aspect?  Assume a joint account, or TOD would make this point void?

Thoughts appreciated.  Thanks.

MDM

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2014, 08:58:51 PM »
lightlike, when you say "I showed him Dan's sheet":
  - Is "him" the agent who sold you the product, and
  - Is "Dan's sheet" the spreadsheet danclarkie referenced here: "Take a look at this caluclations sheet that I made for the Royal London 360 product: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlZ4DevKDH_AdDdLQlozM1JKa3V4Wl9Yei11VkxLTUE&usp=drive_web#gid=0"?

If so, what numbers in the spreadsheet did the agent dispute?

lightlike

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2014, 09:14:49 PM »
MDM - correct, and correct.

He made no real dispute about the numbers in the sheet per se - just raised these 4 tax efficiency points as the USP of the product - and worth keeping it for these alone.  Hence I'm wondering about the validity of those points.

MDM

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2014, 09:59:48 PM »
Quote
If I dump this and go with a brokerage account, how do I get equivalent tax efficiencies?
No idea - you'd have to explain what the links say in practice, as they were not "intuitively obvious" (at least not to me).  Better yet would be to translate the verbiage into Excel calculations.  Reducing the words to numbers removes any ambiguity.  If you can do that yourself, great - otherwise ask the agent to go through and do it with you.

Quote
Is it impossible, and I simply shouldn't worry about it because my net will still be larger than this product?
That's the question, isn't it?  Only way I know to evaluate it is to use some reasonable expectations on returns and run the numbers, as above.

Quote
What about the estate planning aspect?  Assume a joint account, or TOD would make this point void?
A good question to ask.  Don't know that answer for these products.  Do know that annuities sold in the US have the advantage of avoiding taxes on interest paid (but not withdrawn) while the original holder is alive - but the disadvantage that the basis does not "step up" for inheritors.

dragoncar

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2014, 12:22:14 AM »
Quote
If I dump this and go with a brokerage account, how do I get equivalent tax efficiencies?
No idea - you'd have to explain what the links say in practice, as they were not "intuitively obvious" (at least not to me).  Better yet would be to translate the verbiage into Excel calculations.  Reducing the words to numbers removes any ambiguity.  If you can do that yourself, great - otherwise ask the agent to go through and do it with you.

Quote
Is it impossible, and I simply shouldn't worry about it because my net will still be larger than this product?
That's the question, isn't it?  Only way I know to evaluate it is to use some reasonable expectations on returns and run the numbers, as above.

Quote
What about the estate planning aspect?  Assume a joint account, or TOD would make this point void?
A good question to ask.  Don't know that answer for these products.  Do know that annuities sold in the US have the advantage of avoiding taxes on interest paid (but not withdrawn) while the original holder is alive - but the disadvantage that the basis does not "step up" for inheritors.

Yeah please explain that jargon to is as it means nothing to me.  If you cAnt explain it then you don't understand it and thus shouldn't be investing in it.

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2014, 08:33:11 AM »
I'm a UK expat currently in Japan, and was sold the exact same product.  I showed him Dan's sheet, and he came back with the following points.  I'm wondering about the validity of the below features he lists as arguments to keep the plan, specifically in relation to my return to the UK one day.

- 5% allowance - He pointed me to this provision on HMRC site: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/5/section/507.  But the following seems to present it as related to investment bonds?  http://www.which.co.uk/money/savings-and-investments/guides/investment-bonds/withdrawals-and-charges/

I have literally never heard about this, I have a feeling they are trying to bamboozle you with legalese to try and keep you onboard, in a sense of "Oh look how complicated this all is, thank God I have this nice man to take care of it all for me and that he is working in my best interest"

If he can't explain it in a way you understand it, then he doesn't understand it himself.

- Top slicing - Again, bond related, but also applicable to these insurance wrappers?

Was never explained to me, but I found this article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/2839800/How-top-slicing-works.html

Seems to be similar to Time apportionment relief in that it takes the total gained at encashement and spreads it over the policy lifetime then taxes you on a part of this.
I find this to be utter bollocks.
Will explain in the next part:

- Time apportionment relief - http://www.scottishwidows.co.uk/Extranet/Literature/Doc/FP0008

This part was explained to me.
But it's a load of bullshit tbh.

The idea is that if/when yo return to the UK, when you encash the policy you will not be taxed for the time you were out of the country.
For example on a 25 year plan, if you opened it abroad and then moved back to the UK with 15 years left of the policy, you will pay tax on 15/25th of the capital gains, and NOT on 10/25ths.

The reason this is shit is:
Nobody in their right mind would open this policy in the UK.
If I were to head back to the UK I would look to close up all of my investments offshore and cash out, then take that money and invest it in something tax efficient in the UK.

But you cant cash out of this policy if you want to head to the UK, because you are locked in.
So you will be locked into a policy (as an example 15 more years) which has high fees, is inflexible, and is tax inefficient.

These products are sold as being tax efficient because of your status as an expat.
When that changes, the tax efficient benefits of these polices are no longer in place and they are simply really shitty policies that you are locked into.

- Estate planning - Key point being the easy transfer of fund to my wife in the event of my untimely demise

At the risk of sounding dumb.
Does a Solicitor notorised Will and Testament not do exactly this?

The thing is that these ILAS schemes are actually Life Assurance plans with an investment arm bolted on.

What you actually buy, its a Life Assurance Policy which has a payout of 1% upon death.
That is not a typo.
Value of the fund + 1%

That is to say, if you have paid in for 20 years and you policy has a value of $500k and then you meet an untimely death, your spouse can expect a payout of $505k

You have put in $500k for $5k of life assurance.
The effective fee for these plans is around 3%/year.
This means the fee's are much, much, higher than any potential pay out your spouse would benefit from.

If your wife is a joint owner of the policy, ownership transfers to her and she gets no payout, rather she is shafted with the premium payments until the end of the policy.

source: http://www.rl360.com/generic/downloads/qu004.pdf

If I dump this and go with a brokerage account, how do I get equivalent tax efficiencies?  Is it impossible, and I simply shouldn't worry about it because my net will still be larger than this product? 
What about the estate planning aspect?  Assume a joint account, or TOD would make this point void?

Thoughts appreciated.  Thanks.

Step 1: Understand the tax benefits of this product FULLY.
Step 2: understand the tax obligations of a brokerage acc.

Japan seems to have a CGT of 20% http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_gains_tax#Japan
If you are investing in US stocks, then dividends will be taxed at 30% unless a treaty exists with Japan to reduce that.
For this reason I invest in EUdomiciled ETFs that pay the witholding tax on US dividends at 15% and 0% tax on non US dividends.

The CGT will only apply when you cash out a stock and make capital gains.

If you are in this for 20+ years, then the CGT you pay will depend on where you live when you cash out the portfolio (if ever).
Unless you intend to cash out your portfolio in full each year and re-balance.

I am totally NOT a tax expert.
I live in a country with 0% income tax and 0% CGT.

However, I know a place where you can get SOLID tax advice on ETFs/Portfolios.
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=134661

Open an acc there and run your questions past the smart people on that forum.
I recall there was a Norwegian guy who was giving advice about taxation issues as Norway has a very high rate of CGT.

You will also want to read this, thoroughly: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investing_in_Japan

Let me know how you get on, I would be keen to see what you find out and what options are available in Japan, purely for my own interests :)

lightlike

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2014, 11:35:02 PM »
MDM - I specifically asked the agent to translate the verbiage into Excel calculations.  He replied...

"Going deeper into the tax discussion and trying to "find the magic in the numbers" would require bringing up the whole topic of transitioning from Asset Accumulation stage (next few decades) to Asset Protection stage (what actually happens at and after retirement, and how that retirement income is actually generated from the "pension pot", typically by rolling it over into a portfolio bond  {as unless you plan to accumulate a pension pot of about twice what we discussed, the retirement income will come predominantly from income-generating investments rather than keeping the pension pot in a current account and making withdrawals from the principal}, which, as discussed is not ideal if you want to take out the whole amount all at once, but suitable if used for the purpose of retirement income). And as mentioned in my previous email and in person, any sort of tax consideration should not be at the end of the day the primary reason for setting up a private pension"

Since I was cited tax efficiencies as one of the major reasons to sign up for this P.O.S. in the first place... that seems a bit of a weird thing to say?

dragoncar - I can't explain them so - fair enough, point well made.

danclarkie - Thanks for all the info, especially the boglehead link to investing in Japan.  There is a forum post linked from that page, specifically about ILAS in Japan which was a decent read.

Time to pull the trigger methinks...

MDM

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2014, 11:46:50 PM »
I think I agree with what you think.

But doesn't the agent hand wave and tap dance well?

danclarkie

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2014, 01:59:59 AM »
"Going deeper into the tax discussion and trying to "find the magic in the numbers" would require bringing up the whole topic of transitioning from Asset Accumulation stage (next few decades) to Asset Protection stage (what actually happens at and after retirement, and how that retirement income is actually generated from the "pension pot", typically by rolling it over into a portfolio bond  {as unless you plan to accumulate a pension pot of about twice what we discussed, the retirement income will come predominantly from income-generating investments rather than keeping the pension pot in a current account and making withdrawals from the principal}, which, as discussed is not ideal if you want to take out the whole amount all at once, but suitable if used for the purpose of retirement income). And as mentioned in my previous email and in person, any sort of tax consideration should not be at the end of the day the primary reason for setting up a private pension"

Versus his previous tune of:

He made no real dispute about the numbers in the sheet per se - just raised these 4 tax efficiency points as the USP of the product - and worth keeping it for these alone.  Hence I'm wondering about the validity of those points.

Brilliant...

You don't have to be Ben Bernanke to see that these policies are a joke.

arebelspy

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2014, 01:29:53 PM »
So apparently MMM got a bogus legal threat from Shabbar Mughal regarding this thread.

Unfortunately danclarkie decided to scrub his posts with useful information about the guy, and this thread no loonger shows up under a Google search for his name.

Too bad, as someone looking for information on the guy (researching if they should take his financial advice) would surely benefit from this.

So hopefully it will, with the name Shabbar Mughal re-added, show back up with a search for him.

Just know, if you're looking to invest with Shabbar Mughal, he's the type of person to use bogus legal threats to hide information about himself, and ask yourself: is that the person you want to invest with?

I can't comment as to the specificity of the other comments about him, but that speaks volumes, to me.

EDIT: Please Note: No one in this thread (above) is making any claims about any specific person, just offering information about various investments.  There are no people named in the thread above this post.

However, I am stating that Shabbar Mughal sent legal threats to MMM about this thread.

That should tell you enough about him, but if not, please read more information about the types of products he may or may not sell, above, to educate yourself before investing with someone who may sell these type of products.

EDIT 2: Thread is already appearing back on Google.  Ugly WAP view, but at least it's out there.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 02:31:24 PM by arebelspy »
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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #45 on: September 03, 2014, 02:02:40 PM »
So apparently MMM got a bogus legal threat from Shabbar Mughal regarding this thread.

Unfortunately danclarkie decided to scrub his posts with useful information about the guy, and this thread no loonger shows up under a Google search for his name.

Too bad, as someone looking for information on the guy (researching if they should take his financial advice) would surely benefit from this.

So hopefully it will, with the name Shabbar Mughal re-added, show back up with a search for him.

Just know, if you're looking to invest with Shabbar Mughal, he's the type of person to use bogus legal threats to hide information about himself, and ask yourself: is that the person you want to invest with?

I can't comment as to the specificity of the other comments about him, but that speaks volumes, to me.

EDIT: Please Note: No one in this thread (above) is making any claims about any specific person, just offering information about various investments.  There are no people named in the thread above this post.

However, I am stating that Shabbar Mughal sent legal threats to MMM about this thread.

That should tell you enough about him, but if not, please read more information about the types of products he may or may not sell, above, to educate yourself before investing with someone who may sell these type of products.

This thread is unbelievable. I could have sworn it was from a movie. The fact that 2 people got bamboozled and danclarkie was able to come in and show his exact experience with this same crap is just awesome. I'm glad the guys got out when they did. And I appreciate arebelspy giving this thread the bump. I remember MMM talking about this post and I'm glad I can see the whole experience laid out. Good lesson for everyone, especially painful for the three investors throughout the thread.
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dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2014, 02:28:02 PM »
I remember MMM talking about this post

OP here. Do you have a link to where he was talking about it? Or are you talking about IRL?


arebelspy

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2014, 02:31:53 PM »
I remember MMM talking about this post

OP here. Do you have a link to where he was talking about it? Or are you talking about IRL?

eyePod is thinking about different legal threats MMM got, not this one.  This one happened much later than the other ones, and as such he already has a legal team in place if threats ever manifested (they won't).

Here is the forum policy on takedown requests and legal threats: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/this-forum's-policy-on-takedown-requests-and-legal-threats/

I suspect eyePod is thinking of when MMM spoke about the legal threats that prompted that thread, last Spring.
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dungoofed

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2014, 06:02:09 PM »
Cool, thanks.

In other news, Name and Shame coming soon - watch this space.

Also might do a "Where are they now?" special once this phoenix has risen from the ashes and is in slightly better financial shape.


JonathanD

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Re: I dun goofed
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2014, 01:13:41 AM »
Hi everyone,
I'm a UK expat looking to start a pension plan. My situation is that I'm a teacher and I usually transfer my savings to my HSBC account in the UK.
I went back to the UK this summer (for a holiday before returning to teach abroad) and thought 'Right, I need to start a pension'. HSBC informed me that they 'no longer offer pension products' and when I contacted the Pensions Advisory Service they couldn't help as I've been out of the UK for more than 4 years and said I needed to contact someone with experience dealing with non-resident UK expats.
I contacted a financial adviser and they suggested the RL 360 Quantum - I found this thread/forum through searching 'RL360 Quantum' in Google. Judging by the comments, it doesn't sound like a good product which leaves me really confused.
My HSBC 'super saver' account pays 0.0001% interest - is there like a normal savings account I can open in the Isle of Man or somewhere without the fees or what could people recommend. Thanks
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 01:16:57 AM by JonathanD »