American Funds Rating

Customers Rating:    brokerage firms reviews

Capital Group American Funds customer reviews, complaints, mutual funds performance, ratings, pros and cons. Is American Funds a good and safe firm to invest?

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AmericanFunds Customer Reviews

by Be, 6/17/2022

Pros: None

Cons: HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE - They're trying to hold my money for as long as possible

I've requested an 401k rollover from my previous employer to my IRA over a month ago, I called before it expired, they gave me the run around, said they'd call back, only to let my request expired. I called back and was berated by Nick stating that there was nothing they could do and it would be "pointless" to ask the team what happened, and advised to resubmit my request. Well that's why I called BEFORE it expired! The audacity of these reps to speak to their clients like this is truly unacceptable. These people just don't want me to take my money out - it's ridiculous!

by brad S., 5/20/2022

Pros: none

Cons: Long wait times, dishonest, bad service, liars

They continually lie to me, about sending fedex checks that never arrive. I call back and have hour hold times. They always say the same thing. The previous rep never sent my stuff fedex. They keep me on hold for an hour to tell me that. They are the worst company I have worked with. I do not recommend them. Don't open an account with them, if you do, close it immediatley. I am beyond disgusted with their poor service and bad attitudes. They are liars and scum

by Luke Stitzinger, 4/29/2022

Pros: None

Cons: Tech problems

There website is constantly giving you error messages, takes a long time to load screens, and you'll be on hold for at least 30 minutes before you can talk to someone, where they will tell you, sorry, I'll take this to our tech team.
This has been happening for weeks and it's just a non-stop nightmare.
I'm stuck with them because they're who my employer uses for our 401K :(

by kumaran, 2/28/2022

Pros: None

Cons: Big Mistake

A big mistake I made investing in this firm. I invested my money through a broker. He invested in a fund that had the highest upfront fee to benefit him. This company is hard to deal with. They keep tons of rules as hidden agendas to steal your money.

by MBD, 2/16/2022

Pros: None

Cons: Rip off

My wife has a simple IRA. We have been trying to roll it over into her new jobs account but they keep telling us various reasons why we can’t. Feels like made up fairy tale reasons. You’ll never get your money out. Sorry.

by Bill, 1/18/2022

Pros:

Cons: Systematic use of customer funds through fabricated delays and lies

529 accounts are only available through specific institutions like A Funds. US Citizens are forced to use this company. I have made withdrawals / sales of assets and it has taken 20 days to receive the funds. Multiply this by the thousands of users who wait and wait to receive the funds and they are making huge money on the delay. My son can't register for classes while I wait because the payments are late to me. If you call they say they will overnight a check for $50 and cancel the check they claim was sent 19-20 days ago. They say it was sent 20 days ago and the mail from Miami to anchorage NEVER takes half that long for a simple letter. So they have their associates lie to customers every day. It is such a sham. They are a terrible company. Propped up by our laws that force people to save through 529 plans.

by DS, 12/28/2021

Pros:

Cons:

Tried to close a 401k that had a trailing balance of $17.18. Was told the "Administrative Fee" was $17.18, leaving a check of $0.00 to send to me. Sounds like skimming all the accounts with less than whatever the "Administrative Fee" is. Total bush league.

by M, 12/14/2021

Pros:

Cons: My son’s 529 college savings accounts went to zero.

There is no explanation on the website as to where it all went. And nobody even answers the phone.

by K, 12/14/2021

Pros: Fancy Looking website

Cons: Horrible customer service

Expect excessive wait times on HOLD. My former employer used American Funds to handle their 401k plan. They must have been the low-bidder. When I rolled it over they charged $100 and never notified me. Rep was pretty much a dick on the phone too. Go with a real company like Fidelity.

by susan, 12/3/2021

Pros:

Cons:

I actually work for a broker who uses American Funds for the majority of his clients' investments at his firm. Long story short, Am Funds blows. Hold times are forever (and I call the special broker hotline), because, even well before Covid, they were chronically understaffed, because it's a family-owned business, and generation 4 (the great-grandkids') is too busy sucking out all profits to fund their lifestyle, for the firm to be properly run and reinvest in the actual business -- like, staffing its call centers adequately. Their up-front load, at 5% to start with, is unconscionably expensive and not justified by their funds' mediocre performance via, say, index and active no-loads or low-loads like Vanguard or Schwab. When I move on to the next job, my 401 (K) will be moved out of their fund family in a nanosecond, with no backward looks. And invested at Vanguard. Look at their funds' performance vs. the competition on Morningstar and you'll see what I mean.
One tip for the hapless call-center client: When you finally get a human (after, like, 45 minutes on hold), if they don't answer your question to your satisfaction within the first interchange, (a) write down their name and extension (which they're required to provide) and (b) note the date and time of the call, and (c) start asking for their "supervisor." Just insist on talking to the Supervisor; they're required to transfer you. The conversation is on a recorded line; if they hang up on you or don't transfer you to a supervisor, you now have grounds for a complaint against them. Call back and ask right away for a supervisor, and state the issue.

by CJ Corlis, 11/14/2021

Pros: Great Broker

Cons: Up front loaded fees aren't cheap

The funds my broker put me in many years ago have paid off handsomely. My broker has talked me off a cliff when I wanted to sell due to fears of the market crashing. I would have regretted that decision. These funds perform well enough to offset the higher fees. The majority of my money will stay in these funds until I retire.

by Pain, 11/7/2021

Pros: None

Cons: None

I've been trying for over 5 months to get what my father left me that I reinvested, thinking I was making smart decision for my families future. It's been mailed numerous times and sent to bank. They don't do same day according to them. Now with covid and having no job I'm being evicted in 2 days after fighting on phone everyday for last 5 months. Keep your money and grow it yourself. Hello Clark Howard. I've got a disabled son bound to a hospital bed, but whatever.

by Kara, 10/8/2021

Pros: Friendly, fast

Cons:

Kenya, Thomas, and James were all very helpful when we had difficulties cashing the check we received. Thank you all so much for your advice and help.

by Michael Lovelady, 10/5/2021

Pros:

Cons: American Funds will try to keep your money as long as possible....

Absolutely the worst customer service. My 401K plan changed and I had to roll it over to the new employer plan. American Funds sent the check made out to the new account by regular mail. The funds never showed up and of course my account balance was zeroed out. I had to wait 15 days to report the missing check. Meanwhile I turned in a change of address to my other residence. I called American Funds NON-customer service and was told that they would wait for 15 more days before stopping payment on the missing check and that it would take and additional 10 days after that at the earliest to possibly receive the check via regular mail again. I offered to pay to have the check Fed-Ex'd to circumvent the rediculous 10 additional days but the knowlegeable Customer Nonservice agent said that they had no way to do that. In addition, no one knows where my funds actually are (they just 'disappear' once a check is written) and in addition, I was informed that if the check were stolen and somehow cashed....well that would be rare and just my tough luck. Your employer starting a 401K plan with AF? RUN AWAY...

by Tom, 9/14/2021

Pros: Great Service and good funds

Cons:

I've been working with American Funds for 40 years (1981-2021) as a broker and never had a client unhappy with service or performance. Very broker centric but that is because they ask us to deliver great service to our clients. Never had a problem with their back office and never witnessed any thievery (so not sure what is being written on this site). I do managed accounts where appropriate but for retail business these guys really have track record and performance on their side.

by Eric Hard, 6/6/2021

Pros: 401k

Cons: Everything else

I have a 401k plan through my old company, that I just recently quit from to start my own business. American Funds is trying every single thing they can to not let me close out the account. Saying I had a lien in 2015 that they CAN see has been assessed but they need documentation of it?! As far as I am concerned these people are holding money that is mine that I saved for ****** 18 years. But they can refuse to give me the money I worked for? This has got to be illegal

by James, 12/21/2020

Pros:

Cons:

I have nothing good to say about American Funds and its role in our company's 401k plan. Getting an answer to some rather simple questions was not possible, although I did get to listen to some soothing classical music while on "hold" hell.

Bottom line I am pulling the "management" of our company's 401k plan from American Funds.

by Angus McKilger, 10/11/2020

Pros: There are no pros for this company

Cons: High expenses, poor fund performance, high load fees, unethical transfer of funds

My mother invested with this fund about 20 years ago as a 401k. We didn't receive a 1099 for the 2019 tax year. Investigation revealed that they terminated the fund and turned it over to the state as vacated. This was based on a letter to my mother, not a certified letter but a letter. This has caused major tax implications since they didn't send the MRW for 2019. This caused major tax issues as well as a lot of work to get the money from the state. Finally, as the caretaker of this account, i found that they are charging 0.59% fees for subpar performance on any time scale one chooses to select against other similar funds or a index that the fund should be compared against. Since this fund is nearly $100B, what are they doing to earn their $590 million? This is flat our fiduciary failure based on customer ignorance. Martin Romo should be ashamed and his mother should refuse to allow him home for Thankgiving.

by Tim, 10/9/2020

Pros: None

Cons: None

With drew money from my account.allways had it direct deposited in to my account .this last time no mention of mailing it out just asked if bank information is correct like usual. Now a few bills will be late. Not happy piss poor service

by G Robinson, 8/6/2020

Pros: None

Cons: Wanted proof of hardship during a global pandemic

I requested a withdrawal from my account because I had to pay bills. There's a global pandemic going on. AmericanFunds waited more than 2 weeks and then sent me an email claiming I had to send them proof of my hardship. All you need to do is turn on the news to get that info. DO NOT INVEST YOUR MONEY WITH THIS COMPANY.

by Larry, 3/18/2020

Pros:

Cons:

They have an impossible numbers of forms and keep people from getting the money out of their account. They are good with taking money, but we will probably need to sue to get the money out of the account.

by Stacey, 1/25/2020

Pros: None

Cons: None

I have been with American Funds since 2002. I started out with a broker and do not have one anymore. I keep reading all the negative comments on here and I have never once had an issue. When I needed to communicate, they communicated well. The webpage was always easy to use and I have handled all my transactions myself. If I have ever needed move cash around or request a check, it was always processed in less than 24 hrs and I had my check. So, I am not sure why there are so many issues with everyone else and I find that extremely debatable. I have always got an excellent return on my investment. Very pleased with American Funds.

by J B., 1/19/2020

Pros:

Cons:

I read lots of negative comments, but they all appear to directed towards the BROKERS, not the FUNDS!
There is a huge difference between broker performance and funds performance. Don’t mix apples with oranges!
I am happy to say that my 2019 Cumulative Rate of Return of all my American Funds was 25.74%. And in my 15 years of investing in them the lowest Rate of Return was 9%.
Incidentally, I am extremely happy with my broker. Anytime I ask for distribution, the funds are in my bank within 24 hours.

by Jason, 11/13/2019

Pros:

Cons: Lack of communication and missing contributions

The company hasn't deposited any contributions from my company for a whole year now. Still has not been resolved and completely frustrated with these people.

by Mark, 10/5/2019

Pros: None

Cons: They suck

These people suck azz....no communication, won't return calls, never receive statements, can't log into my account ..they suck!! Pullin my $$ out n going to be done with these fools

by Ashley, 6/28/2019

Pros: None

Cons: Poor communication. Representatives not well informed.

I left my employer over a year ago. I decided to withdrawal all of my 401k. After finding out they had some random address i never stayed at on file i had to fill out a form get it notorized and i could load it to the website or mail it to bypass the 15 day hold. Did all of this and was told i could process my withdrawal the next day which is today. Now there's a 15 day hold on my account anyway. I call back and they tell me i have another form i have to fill out, get notorized and send back to release that hold. None of this was my fault but yet I'm the one being punished. Absolutely awful customer service and they clearly don't know their own policies or correct paperwork that needs to be done. It's crazy i have to go thru all this just to get my money.

by D Smith, 4/18/2019

Pros: Decent representatives

Cons: No communication

I called to empty my 401k from a previous employer. I was told that my request was approved and that I would receive the check in the mail within five business days following processing. I called after the five business days to see if there was an update on the date I would receive the check. I was then informed that the funds were moved to an IRA account 4 days after I requested it and was not notified. I then called to remove the funds from the IRA account and requested overnight shipping. I was not notified that the overnight shipping doesn’t process until the next business day until I called again to check. Although the employees seem to be relatively pleasant there is a major lack of communication.

by L edwards, 4/16/2019

Pros: None

Cons: Thieves

They send statements and steal money!!!

by Travis, 1/7/2019

Pros: none

Cons: none

Very hard to request a Cash Distribution. John Thrower is a horrible representative. Answered my call, I told him I hadnt received the paperwork I had request and he hung up on me. Absolutely terrible.



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American Funds Overview

Today’s investing world is a confusing place - the market’s volatility, the government’s effect on interest rates, and more lead to investors scratching their heads! In addition to all these factors, you also have to evaluate the thousands of investment choices out there. What is best for your money and your personal needs? Clearly, everyone has different needs, so it is important to find an investment company that works for you.

One such place for investing that I have chosen to work with is American Funds. They have a variety of accounts and account types - from basic investment accounts to 401ks to 529 accounts. However, I am going to focus only on their IRA accounts.


American Funds IRA Pricing

When selecting investments and investment companies, you always want to consider fees and expenses. These can eat away at your portfolio whether or not the market is going up or down! Annual fees can range from a low of $10 to $150 depending on what company you use.

American Funds annual IRA fee is $15. Most brokerage firms now don't charge any annual IRA fees.

For management expenses within a fund, fees can range from 0.57% to 1.32% depending on which fund you choose. These management expenses are high compared to funds with other providers. Vanguard, for example, has lower fees on many of their funds. They are not abnormally high though. Some fund companies have much higher fees. Transamerica Mutual Fund fees, as an example, go as high as 4.05%.


American Funds IRA Investment Choices

American Funds account offers many funds in different asset classes. An investor can select within their IRA any mix of investment options they have available as long as there is a minimum of $50 in each fund. With 58 different funds to choose from, it is easy to diversify your portfolio to include growth funds, income funds, international equity funds, and more.

But what if the investor doesn’t feel capable of selecting funds for their portfolio? If picking funds is not the investor’s specialty, American Funds IRAs have the Target Funds available. An investor selects the year they plan on retiring and American Funds managers will tailor their investment model to suit that investor. The managers will make changes as needed - monitoring the investments within the fund and changing the asset class allocations as time goes on. For example, if an investor is planning on retiring in 20 years, their current allocation will be more heavily weighted than an investor who is planning on retiring in 2023. However, as they get closer to their retirement date, the fund manager will switch the portfolio to a more conservative allocation.

If an investor wants to put more input into their portfolio than a target date fund but still doesn’t want to pick individual funds, the American Funds also has their Portfolio Series available within their IRA. The Portfolio Series funds are what is known as a fund of funds. These funds are comprised of a number of American Funds mutual funds.


American Funds Returns

American Funds also have comparatively good returns compared with many mutual fund families. For this year, every fund (with the exception of the American Funds Money Market Fund which has no return) in their line-up has a positive return.


The Good

Another positive to the American Funds experience is the customer service. The wait times on the phone are typically minimal.

The website is very easy to use and has a lot of information available. An investor can access their accounts, link their bank accounts to their American Funds accounts to transfer funds, change investments online, and also research different investment options. Their website has really kept up as technology has changed and advanced, even allowing accounts to be opened without paper forms.

An investor can also choose to receive statements electronically so there is not so much paper being mailed. The statements, whether electronic or paper statements, have a wealth of information on them. An investor sees a summary of the entire time they have owned the fund as well as for the time period the statement addresses. The statements contain a graph of the asset mix within the portfolio. These are great pieces of information that arrive 4 times per year at the end of every quarter.


The Bad

American Funds charges annual IRA fee in the world where there are many discount brokers, such as TD Ameritrade and Robinhood, that don't charge any IRA fees. Also, the company's mutual funds expense ratios are higher than in most funds offered by online brokers.


American Funds Review Conclusion

Overall, the American Funds has a decent IRA product. It is user-friendly and easy to understand. There are, however, better option available at a more reasonable price.


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