• Report: #466104
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Mon, June 29, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, February 17, 2011

  • Reported By:Las Vegas Nevada
Post Office Box 29217 Kansas, Missouri U.S.A.


*General Comment: An Article about Waddell and Reed and 6700 Complaints

*UPDATE Employee: Really?

*General Comment: Don't get mad about industry standards

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They lure you in with one of the most phenomenally ridiculous payment schedules any company in the industry has. They want you to pay for all of the testing yourself.

They say they are a legitimate company, in reality all they seek to do is recruit others. This is simply ridiculous. Even their compensation plan is unfair when compared to the real companies in the industry. I have never met more unprofessional people. They claim you can make uncapped wealth and they offer a 400$ weekly salary!

Do not do business with this firm, although their numbers may appear to look good, inside they could care less about their workers and staff let alone their customers. One really great way to test a company is to see how they treat their workers, and they fail miserably. They take people out of their lives for months on end with no training stipend to pass ridicualously hard tests and expect you to pass first time or you have a "check mark."

Please Please Please do not engage in their services. They treat their staff horribly and it rubs off on the customer. Do you know how this company has amassed wealth? They steal it from their customers. Do business with them and they will surely take yours!

Las Vegas, Nevada

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/29/2009 03:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/waddell-and-reed/kansas-missouri/waddell-and-reed-scam-financial-advising-company-kansas-kansas-missouri-466104. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

An Article about Waddell and Reed and 6700 Complaints

AUTHOR: Joe Blow - (United States of America)

The NASD Wednesday slapped Waddell & Reed with more than 6,700
complaints, charging that the firm systematically encouraged brokers to
recommend unsuitable variable annuity exchanges to its customers. Two
company executives were cited. The firm’s president, Robert
Hechler, has been charged with encouraging the transactions in
question, and national sales manager Robert Williams with supervisory
According to the complaint, between January 2001 and August 2002,
Waddell aggressively pushed brokers to switch variable annuity
contracts with United Investors Life Insurance to similar annuities
provided by Nationwide Insurance. The move was prompted by
UILIC’s unwillingness to share certain fees it received on sales
of annuities at Waddell. The NASD alleges Waddell & Reed failed to
determine whether these switches would be beneficial to customers.
These exchanges generated $37 million in commissions and cost
Waddell customers $10 million in surrender fees, according to the NASD.
According to the NASD’s analysis, at least 1,400 of the
firm’s customers were likely to lose money by making these
“Engaging in a campaign to make such recommendations without
the assessment of the suitability of the exchange, simply because it
will advance the firms’ own commercial interests, is completely
unacceptable,” says Mary Schapiro, NASD vice chairman and head of
regulatory policy and oversight.
Waddell & Reed has denied the allegations and plans to defend
its sales practices and compliance procedures, according to a company
release. Company officials did not return calls seeking comment. The
firm’s release says that the complaint is “factually and
legally inaccurate” in many places, and went on the attack
against UILIC. Waddell says the NASD’s inquiry was initiated
“without a single customer complaint and was promoted by UILIC to
further its litigation interests.” Waddell, however, does not
address specific charges in the NASD’s release, simply saying the
complaint is based on a “hypothetical model” that no firm
would ever use.
According to the NASD, the switching campaign began when UILIC, the
original issuer of annuities sold by Waddell, did not agree to share a
portion of the fees it collected from annuity sales at Waddell. At this
time Nationwide Insurance stepped in and agreed to the fee sharing
arrangement, spurring a push by Waddell management to have advisors
switch clients to Nationwide’s variable annuities.
The push, apparently, worked. Switches from one to the other jumped
more than 500 percent in March 2001, and another 490 percent in April
2001, the NASD alleges. Clients paid surrender charges to switch, as
well as incurring a new surrender-charge period limiting their ability
to surrender their new annuity contracts. In addition, switchers paid
higher ongoing fees.
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#2 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Mountan Biker 11 - (United States of America)


I have been working with Waddell and Reed for about 6  months and it has been quite the wild ride.  This is business that is not for the faint of heart!  I did pay for my own testing, but I am looking forward to being compensated for my testing fees which should happen in the next few months as long as things go according to plan.  The culture in this company is amazing!  Everyone is so helpful, and wanting to help you succeed.  I have been soooo impressed with all of the advisors that I have been able to rub shoulders with.  They are so smart, and so focused on helping others.  I also believe that Waddell and Reed is one of the best investment management companies out there. I could not be more happy with the company.  Remember that Waddell and Reed Advisors are 1099rs...not W2rs.  This is YOUR business.  If you are an advisor it is your resposibility to take control of your practice... blaming management, the training program, or having to pay for your own testing seem to be what advisors say when they do not have what it takes to perform the essential activities each day in order to be successful.  YOU control your destiny, NOT others.  In my opinion, it is a great day when someone gets to know a Waddell and Reed financial advisor.  Amazing Organization!

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#3 General Comment

Don't get mad about industry standards

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

While I cannot attest to this from experience from this company, I will say that as a financial advisor, there are few firms that pay for your training and licensing.  When I was hired at Merrill Lynch, they did pay for all of that, but the three other firms that I had offers from did not cover these expenses.  Also, if you failed the series 7 ONCE at Merrill, you lost your job on the spot, no check mark or second chance.  It is not fair to write badly about a company for doing things are basically an industry standard.  Using only the facts that you have given, nothing sounds out of the ordinary so my guess would be that you failed the Series 7 and were angry so you decided this is how you would take that anger out.
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