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tony

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  1. I just sent a letter to my personnel director complaining about an ex teacher (last year) who is now a Horace Mann representative. I have complained that he should not have the right to frequent the school. He is in the school constantly selling plans to unsuspecting victims much much more than others. Below is an e-mail I sent him the personel director and then today out of the blue a new e-mail appears forward by the principal from this guy offering pizza and VRS (Virginia State Retirement) advice after school hours in the school building. This prompted me to fire off a follow-up letter to my personnel director. I am livid over what this sales rep is allowed to do. Any advice? Here is the e-mail I sent him minus names: Dear______ I am writing about a concern. If I am out of line please let me know. A few other teachers have shared this concern but do not want to step forward. A former mathematics teacher who worked at the high school last year and now is an annuity salesman for Horace Mann is often in the building attempting to sell annuities and car insurance during school time. He has much more access to the high school than any other "investment professional" has had in the 22 years I have taught at the high school. I see him often (I just saw him this Thursday again and I didn't notice a visitor badge on him) in the building. He has even managed to post an e-mail offering his insurance program last year to all employees of ------ which I thought was not allowed. Obviously he was given permission to do this. I know regardless of what he is telling others that he is actively pushing his products. I personally know three teachers who signed up with him and have regretted it and have come to me to ask out to get out of it. It was a complicated annuity product. I don't want to make waves here and get on anyone's bad side but I find this highly unethical and unprofessional to have insurance salesman in the building during work hours or at all. We have a benefits fair in the fall and that should be the time for these individuals to make their sales pitch and all further business should be conducted outside of the building My concern is he is preying on young teachers who don't have a good grasp on what they are buying. I think________knows how I feel about these insurance companies and how they offer products that are not always in the best interest of our teachers.By allowing them in the building the impression is created that the system is endorsing their products. I hope the school system can down the road offer some good financial in- services to teachers so that they can make sound retirement decisions with their hard earned money. I would prefer that my name no longer be mentioned as the initiator of this e-mail and I hope you can see that my sole purpose is to protect the teachers. Thank-You for taking the time to read this e-mail and weigh the point I am trying to make. This e-mail forwarded by the principal just arrived today from the person I am talking about above: He just started this year and is already capable of giving retirement advice? I am sure its another selling gimmick. FREE WORKSHOP The Retirement Puzzle: Make Sure You Have All the Pieces Whether your retirement date is 20 years or a few months away, this seminar provides the information you need to know about the Virginia Retirement System (VRS)! And get free pizza and refreshments, too. Ø Learn detailed information about the VRS. Ø Learn how your VRS retirement income is figured. Ø Ask questions about your VRS retirement plan. Ø Learn about Virginia's PLOP (Partial Lump Sum Option Payment) program HIGH SCHOOL - Library Reference Room Wednesday, April 28, 2007 3:30 ? 4:30 (refreshments to start and we will begin about 3:45) To register for this free workshop, please call or e-mail me. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the 28 th. Get to know what you can expect from retirement and the VRS. Have a great end to the week! __________ Horace Mann My question is am I out of line to haved complained about this going on in the High school? I know what is going on here. I am just afraid If I push to much I will get my self in trouble but I just can't stand this!! Tony
  2. tony

    Say It Aint So

    http://www.ricedelman.com/planning/taxes/taxlaws.asp Best wishes Tony
  3. Take a look at this article on target funds: http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArti...0315&view=1
  4. Backyard, Welcome to this site and Thank-You for the link to such an entertaining site. ###### am I getting excited about getting fifty bucks back. All those investments with American Express finally paid off. Tony
  5. Here is an excellent article on target funds from Investors News daily http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArti...0315&view=1
  6. I totally agree that 40% bond maybe to high a percentage for someone that age. I would probably put more in a general international index fund and about 20% in bonds. My concern as I have previously stated in another thread is that too many young people are placing huge bets in funds like The China Fund and ###### Funds. They may be in for a rude awakening someday as those markets can crash substantially. I would rather err on the side of giving advice that I feel is somewhat "conservative" and that would give an investor a smooth ride. Everybody wants to be an aggressive investor until they get their butt burned.
  7. Can You elaborate on why you don't recommend the total index bond fund? I understand that GNMA's are interest rate sensitive and are mortgage related but all bonds are interest rate sensitive. I 've read its a good choice for most investors because of its diversification. Tony
  8. AP teacher is correct. You will have to decide on active management vs. index target funds. You will have to decide which way to go. Here is the coffee house portfolio. You can substite fidelity index funds for the vanguard Funds. Its been a proven model but you may have to rebalance it time to time to stay within the percentages If I can further comment. try not to get hyped in to thinking managed funds are superior than index fund as only about 20-25% of managed funds ever do better than index funds over time and they cost more. Unless you have proven skill at locating those 20-25% I would suggest you just index. There is so much noise out there about investing and its not helpful, its confusing. keep it simple. Tony 40 percent Vanguard Total Bond Index (ticker: VBMFX) 10 percent Vanguard Index 500 (VFINX) 10 percent Vanguard Large Cap Value (VIVAX) 10 percent Vanguard Small Cap (NAESX) 10 percent Vanguard Small Cap Value (VISVX) 10 percent Vanguard International (VGTSX) 10 percent Vanguard REIT (VGSIX) If I could add. I am not sure Fidelity has enough index choices to replicate the coffehouse portfiolio as presented using Vanguard funds. Maybe someone else would be willing to help you with a similiar portfolio using fidelity index funds
  9. AP teacher is correct. You will have to decide on active management vs. index target funds. You will have to decide which way to go. Here is the coffee house portfolio. You can substite fidelity index funds for the vanguard Funds. Its been a proven model but you may have to rebalance it time to time to stay within the percentages If I can further comment. try not to get hyped in to thinking managed funds are superior than index fund as only about 20-25% of managed funds ever do better than index funds over time and they cost more. Unless you have proven skill at locating those 20-25% I would suggest you just index. There is so much noise out there about investing and its not helpful, its confusing. keep it simple. Tony 40 percent Vanguard Total Bond Index (ticker: VBMFX) 10 percent Vanguard Index 500 (VFINX) 10 percent Vanguard Large Cap Value (VIVAX) 10 percent Vanguard Small Cap (NAESX) 10 percent Vanguard Small Cap Value (VISVX) 10 percent Vanguard International (VGTSX) 10 percent Vanguard REIT (VGSIX)
  10. I don't think you would pick up any upside potential with Vanguard as they tend to be the most conservative Target Date Retirement funds. I do know that last year they actually upped their equity exposure somewhat to fall in line with competitors .. If you don't feel confortable with someone else allocating your money within a target fund then you should probably not be in one. Its a buy and hold long term option. Take a look at the coffee house portfolio if you are interested in an alternative. Tony
  11. ###### was I stupid years ago. I can't believe I fell for it. Tony Yup. And pennies on the dollar for any parties who were actually wronged.
  12. Sierra I think you are wrong. I went back and checked and it definetly asked me to send the form in by May 7 if I wanted to be part of the suit. That was a good heads up however because it caused me to go back and re-read it to make sure. For those of you interested further in this there is a web site given with some information but not anywhere as much as the booklet I received. Does anyone know what usually comes out of these class action suits? http://www.financialfeesettlement.com Sierra I think you are wrong. I went back and checked and it definetly asked me to send the form in by May 7 if I wanted to be part of the suit. That was a good heads up however because it caused me to go back and re-read it to make sure. For those of you interested further in this there is a web site given with some information but not anywhere as much as the booklet I received. Does anyone know what usually comes out of these class action suits? http://www.financialfeesettlement.com Actually Sierra I think we are both right. This is confusing. I don't have to send anything in by May 7 and I will become part of the suit but I must send the claim form they sent me by July.
  13. Hi all I received papers yesterday informing me that I was a part of a class action suit against the former American Express company and now called Ameriphrise. According to the papers, at the time I was a client the financial advisors are alledged to not making investments decisions for their clients based on individual client needs but instead had a "playbook" to navigate clients into high commission propriety products to reap high commissions. I can foolishly remember paying my advisor $300.00 for him to do a assett allocation analysis. When I got it back it was just a pie chart and a recommendation to sell all my funds and move into specific American Express funds. I foolishly went along, incurring a hugh tax bill as a consequence and was moved into funds that were of higher fee and lower quality than I had my original funds in. I finally caught on and moved all money to Vanguard thanks to knowledge gained through this web site. My "advisor" called me when that 90-24 form arrived on his desk and was livid that I would move my money somewhere else. He even told me "You are not getting what you think you are getting" by moving to Vanguard. The fact is, he was only worried about himself. He stalled the process for 6 months. If anyone knows anything about this I would appreciate your comments. I need to send in the form and that makes me automatically a part of this suit . I may get money back but I'm not holding my breath. Some of us here don't speak as experts (although you should be weary of "experts") but we have experienced incredible abuse at the hands of these insurance companies and we are sincerly trying to help you avoid those same pitfalls .
  14. TIM Getting a list of" approved "vendors means nothing. It just means the company followed procedures to get the school system to list them as an option for employers. WE have dozen of high fee annuities that are approved in my school system. Unions also endorse and approve certain vendors and recieve kickbacks for doing so. They are not any better for thr endorsement. I would suggest she stay away from annuities and go for a Roth Ira first. Go only with a mutual fund company not associated with any insurance company. Repeat go only with a mutual fund company NOT associated with an insurance company. If she does not have the non insurance option, you can usually obtain expenses charged in the company literature. Make sure you understand that a saleman will often not mention or disclose the total fees involved. Dig for that yourself in the company perspectus. Its in there and chances are you won't like what you discover. I would not pay more tham 1% for any insurance product. Ha! that alone will rule them all out.
  15. http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print...9315633360.html I hope I am not annoying anyone by posting these articles. I do believe reading them would help many learn. This article is definetly in the 403Bwise mold Tony
  16. tony

    Tdf's Vs.trf's

    I found this article very interesting. It has to do with Retirement Target Funds http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/givi...p;dist=printTop
  17. 403bagent I reviewed all the advice we gave Chris and I think it was all accurate and informative. I think you are trying to ruffle feathers again. Having said that , I think Chris could possibly use the help of an advisor-maybe a fee only advisor and not all these psuedo advisors selling their bag of tricks. Steve, I hope I pushed the right reply button this time. Tony
  18. Here is an link to an article about using a Roth IRA for retirement planning. Its easy to understand and may be useful to those of you trying to avoid investing in High Fee annuity products http://www.kiplinger.com/printstory.php?pid=11335 Best wishes Tony
  19. Marie Vince is correct that you should probably go with a Roth. But should you marry (if you are single) another non-profit individual and then have more money to play with once you and your husband both max out your roth you should definitely consider tax defferment through a tax shelter plan but not through any kind of annuity. Make sure Fidelity at your place of employment is not associated with an insurance company. Keep in mind investing $4,000.00 a year at your age is a good start but so many young teachers think that amount will get them to the promised land once they retire. It won't. Make sure you increase the amount you put into your investments every pay raise you get. I think once you can afford to you should try and put 20% of your total family income to work for you in both a Roth and a 403B plan. Go with an auto investment plan on the roth so you never see or miss the money. Also make sure you diversify. For starting out you could put your Roth money in the Vanguard Total Stock Index fund which is what I would do because you are getting instant diversification and get off to a great start. Later on you can further diversify once you become a more sophisticated investor. Please tell everyone you know about this website. We need to educate the masses.
  20. Sullivanke, Again, you listed Fidelity Investments under your "annuity" list. Find out if this is an annuity or not. You have no good choices if all are insurance products. Stay away from any annuity because you will just end up paying way more than you need to and this will eat up your returns over time. I will be glad to help you pinpoint good fidelity choices once you do some homework. Also find out how many funds you can invest in under fidelity and whay your choices are. ASk for a list of expenses as well. Tony
  21. "My district once tried to tell me that Fidelity was a vendor, but through Lincoln Financial- NOT THE SAME THING". That is an important statement. So many are struggling with understanding this. The confusion caused by this only helps the insurance company. Like I said in my post there are individuals paying way to much for index funds because they got them through an insurance broker and are paying ridiculous amounts for them. One other issue. Please be aware that I have noticed that many young people are starting to aggressively invest in overseas non-diversified funds. I once invested in emerging markets fund and lost 65% of my money in one. So be aware of the risk involved in your fund selections. Even though you are young a possible 65% meltdown would take years to recoup. Tony
  22. "My district once tried to tell me that Fidelity was a vendor, but through Lincoln Financial- NOT THE SAME THING". That is an important statement. So many are struggling with understanding this. The confusion caused by this only helps the insurance company. Like I said in my post there are individuals paying way to much for index funds because they got them through an insurance broker and are paying ridiculous amounts for them. One other issue. Please be aware that I have noticed that many young people are starting to aggressively invest in overseas non-diversified funds. I once invested in emerging markets fund and lost 65% of my money in one. So be aware of the risk involved in your fund selections. Even though you are young a possible 65% meltdown would take years to recoup. Tony
  23. First Of all, stay away from any annuity product regardless of what company is selling them.Go strictly with mutual funds. Fidelity has some decent options and some very low cost index funds. Try to allocate your choices in Large Cap, Mid -Cap,Small Cap, International, and Bonds-both value and growth. Being rather young I would invest fairly aggressively depending on your risk tolerance. Looking back If I could do it all over again I would put my money in Index Funds . Trust me on this. But don't buy them from a salesman. BUY THEM DIRECT. I have a colleaugue who brags about his indexing portfolio but he purchased them through an insurance agent who is charging him over 1% for them. I had to laugh. I would most definetly take the termination fee and move your money over to Fidelity. In the scheme of things $274.00+$17.00 is a small amount to lose for your blunder. My blunder years ago was much more expensive for me and I had to pay thousands to transfer over. You learned from your mistake early which is good. Use a 90-23 transfer form to get that money over to Fidelity THIS YEAR just in case we have a surprise IRS ruling that will eliminate this provision. I do not know how it is in your state but working at a community college or state college part time will not translate into credit toward retirement if that is what you are asking. In Virginia they are seperate entities in credit toward retirement unless you leave one institution and start working for another state institution. I guess if you work long enough at one public institution to qualify for retirement benefits and then move on I guess you could technically receive two pensions. In Virginia I thing you have to work at least 20 years in the school system before you receive a minimum amount pension. I don't think having two seperate 403B portfolios will make much difference unless one plan has much better choices than the other and if you chose to maintain two seperate plans. personally I would consolidate into the better plan. I hope I have answered your questions . I was not sure what you were asking in your phrasing of things. I am not an expert however so take what I say only in conjunction with what you read from other posters and from reading this site. Best Wishes Tony
  24. Dan Thanks for the information Could you kindly put in layman's terms what you expect these changes will mean to those of us who now have good retirement choices like Vanguard and to those who are in bad retirement plans. I do hope it makes school systems curtail the number of offerings but hopefully not at the expense of Vanguard or other decent offerings some of us have worked so hard to get. I realize you may not know anymore than some of us at this point but any comments would be appreciated Thanks for keeping us posted as you are doing. I know I appreciate it and my business officer has asked me to forward anthing to her as well. Tony
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