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  1. https://www.nearetirementprogram.com/nea-directinvest
  2. Bypass the school district . They don't know their butt from a hole in the ground in these matters Just go to the security benefit webpage and look for the Direct Invest form , fill it out accurately and completely with signatures as requested and send it in. Also freeze contributions to any investments you currently have. At a later date you can transfer it over to your preferred company and fund. As we are all aware Security Benefit or even your TPA doesn't want that option to become popular for obvious reasons. Your TPA knows the plan number.. Send the form in even if you can't get a plan number and refer to the TPA. If you don't hear back in a few weeks start calling the security benefit toll free lines and demand their follow through. The squeaky wheel gets the grease but I hope you won't have to do all that. I may be cynical but I think the NEA direct invest option is loathed and delay tactics might be used so you will eventually give up from frustration and succumb to a commissioned advisor who can then cleverly move you to a different but still inappropriately expensive plan. I've seen this all happen to me and others. If you negotiate from a point of power and knowledge you will win. These outfits prey on the uninformed.
  3. Chris Let me offer you my perspective. (Again) 1. Since you have NEA direct invest and you or your friend are o.k with a basic portfolio than it's in your best choice in regard to fees. But options are limited. One size does not always fit all. 2. Even though Aspire has a few low extra costs you can self direct into any fund you want. So if Fidelity zero expense ratio index fund or its other low cost index fund are of interest, you would still be getting a tremendous deal even with Aspire's minimal costs. Plus you can access pretty much any Vanguard fund you want. Either way your costs going this route gives you a very good deal compared to what your colleagues are getting. Not even close. So Aspire by self directing gives you more choices. The 40$ yearly fee is not unusual among most options . In Virginia our 457b plan offers tremendous low fee options but also charges a .19% charge administrative cost per year. It did not keep me from using it. Your friend might prefer a hands off self managed approach. If she does, a Vanguard index target fund or Fidelity Index target fund would be available by self-directing and requesting a target fund. Certainly you would not use Aspire to tap into a high expense ratio fund. Aspire offers a good deal by tapping into a very low expense ratio fund offered through Fidelity or Vanguard, their index funds. Incidentally both Fidelity and Vanguard's Target funds are composed of index funds. I realize you are a math person and the numbers add up in NEA's direction as your best choice. I agree up to a point but you have to look at the bigger picture as to what option serves the investor's needs best. Fee is an important but not the only factor to consider. Just offering further perspective, and in realty a few basis point more or less won't always make a huge impact on your portfolio when all factors are considered. Whats killing folks is the money drain from these high cost hidden fee annuity products and similar set ups like you mentioned above that your friend was involved with.
  4. I think you are right. Thanks for the clarification. I do know we have a few " Lincoln" names floating around as well in financial services. Easy to get confused and not know what is what. So I guess they operate like Horace Mann. Beyond 403b products they try to load you up with other products you might not need beyond high fee annuities. Years ago a teacher signed up for a 403b with Horace Mann and left the meeting also signing up for life insurance and car insurance too. She was single and had no dependents. But she did leave with a Free pizza coupon too at least so she was happy even though she had no clue at the time that she was taken to the cleaners.
  5. All i can say is I must have no life because we underspent him across the board except for groceries and medical. https://mymoneywizard.com/2019-spending/
  6. Can anyone tell me if Fidelity Insurance Company is a Fidelity Investments company or an unrelated entity? If it is a Fidelity offshoot this would again confirm my basic mistrust of Fidelity's motives of offering zero expense ratios on index funds to draw investors over to their company with the hope they can then get them to buy higher cost funds at a later date or use their advisory services. I would imagine they are connected or Fidelity would challenge them using their well known brand or trade name but I may be wrong. Although this outfit is charging loads, plus advisory fees, plus expense ratio IS very disgusting. It may be disgusting but it's totally legal. Buyer Beware.
  7. They love feeding on the unknowing and/or novice investor. They got me too years ago. I learned the hard way but it's never too late to right the ship. Good for you that you want to help your friend. I wouldn't be too hard on your district. Most of the time its because they are just as unknowing and are getting biased advice. Good luck trying to get Vanguard. That's a dirty word among those involved in commissioned sales. I had my past advisors spit venom when i brought up the word. I thinking getting her into direct invest is a smart way to work around her mostly horrible choices.
  8. Chris He is paying loads or upfront fees plus the expense ratio. Are the advisory fees included or extra? Anyway you look at it its a ripoff scenario. He needs to do Security NEA Direct Invest through Security Benefit . His retirement plan is benefiting everyone else first and him /her last OR Aspire self-direct into Fidelity or Vanguard index funds is a second option . I'm not sure if Fidelity Insurance company is associated with Fidelity Investments or not but the word insurance in their brand name makes me think it should be avoided. Ed is correct in his advice. Your friend doesn't need an advisor. He needs to get away from them and invest in a basic 3 fund index fund portfolio or a target retirement index fund through Fidelity or Vanguard. If Aspire is his only recourse I would suggest he look at the Vanguard Life strategy funds appropriate for his risk tolerance and age. I'm partly invested in them myself and have been very pleased. While the cost is a few pennies higher than a basic 3 fund index portfolio, its money well spend because the allocation is internally supervised which is well worth the cost especially if your friend is not interested in self managing his accounts.
  9. Steve I was a victim too. I went to American funds to escape annuities initially and I too was charged that load in a 403b. As soon as Vanguard was added I dumped American. Then the new regs came and messed things up again and took Vanguard away. Finally discovered Aspire and then 457b plan. No 403b investor should have to go through this but as we often read here they do.
  10. Error code: 2C171/1 nope still won't open . why not copy and paste
  11. Learned my lesson with these years ago. Advisor put some money in them for me promising huge returns and they tanked after climbing rapidly for a while. I stick to mostly large cap internationals now but I'm sure a Total International Index Funds has some emerging markets in it and that's enough for me. No more pure emerging market funds for me. Too volatile. Never made a penney in them or at least not for long.
  12. Scott O your attachment doesn't open. So If my comment is off base please excuse. Fees are important but fees alone can't predict market performance of an asset class. Can someone paying more fees outperform someone paying lower fees? Absolutely depending on their allocation. Fees are only one thing in your arsenal that can help you get market returns. Diversification is just as important as is risk management. Leaving your investments alone and not trying to beat the market is another skill needed. You must be a math guy. I'm awful at math but can pretty much figure the same without calculations. I'm not knocking math and spreadsheets and models but often the numbers presented don't always pan out in the real world exactly as presented especially when it comes to investments. I can still remember when working with Math teachers how they had the world figured out by numbers and models. Problem is for anything that is random and fluctuating like the financial markets its hard to predict outcomes. For figuring out something like grade distributions, numbers nail it. I hope this makes sense as I wrote this on the fly. Keep posting Scott O Regards Tony
  13. Always a reminder that diversification matters.Low fees alone are not the solution. You must diversify. This year's chart below indicates large caps led the charge this past year. Click below: https://www.callan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Classic-Periodic-Table.pdf A little humor too.
  14. You may not believe it, but science has proven that you and I are biased and often make irrational decisions. Here is the evidence. https://www.aaii.com/journal/article/10826-the-major-behavioral-biases-influencing-your-investment-decisions?a=journalupdate&acc=o
  15. tony

    2019 Returns

    My morningstar page went bonkers and lost my data I was surprised to find So I will have to figure it out but I can tell you it's been a good year for everyone who got in the market and stayed pat. Even bonds did well. I will post Calhaans periodic table of returns once its available. It will show which asset classes did best this year. I'm glad for you Steve, congratulations on your engagement. Tony
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