Unauthorized financial advisor solicitations on the rise

August 30, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Faculty and staff have reported an increased number of unauthorized financial advisor solicitations recently.

These “cold” calls and emails sometimes offer help to manage your TIAA and Fidelity Investments retirement savings plans. Some suggest or imply by using the iconic block “M” graphic that U-M endorses their services, or that they have an affiliation with U-M and its retirement plans.

Hot tips about cold calls

These unauthorized solicitations can be confused with legitimate communication from TIAA and Fidelity, which provide financial education and investment guidance through dedicated teams well-versed about U-M plans. Word to the wise: If a financial advisor you don’t have an established relationship with offers to assist you, proceed with caution. 

While most outside solicitations are most likely from reputable companies, please note that only financial consultants employed by TIAA and Fidelity provide no-cost advice about your U-M retirement plan investments. This service is provided as part of U-M retirement plan benefits.

Five reasons why

You can choose to work with an outside advisor for your retirement plan and other investments. However, before you act on a solicitation, it’s important to keep a few points in mind:

  • Advisors who are not employed by TIAA or Fidelity have access to your U-M contact information because U-M is a public entity. This status makes your email address available to anyone.
  • The university allows you to pay for outside advisor services using funds from your Fidelity or TIAA retirement plan accounts as a convenience. It’s possible that some advisors will represent this as “having a relationship” with TIAA or Fidelity.
  • Any person can book a room in U-M facilities using the publicly-available online scheduling system. However, this doesn’t mean the person or group is affiliated with U-M.
  • U-M is proud to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in financial services. However, using the U-M logo in an email or as part of a signature does not mean the person represents the university’s retirement plan services.
  • When you work with an advisor other than TIAA and Fidelity, you’ll pay an additional fee and/or a commission for these services.

Schedule your free consultation

To schedule a free virtual or in-person consultation with a TIAA or Fidelity specialist, visit:

View more information about financial advisor solicitations.

This story first appeared in UHR News. Click here to subscribe!

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