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EdLaFave

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  1. This is the docile attitude that allows the 403b/457b mess to persist. One of the greatest Americans to ever live taught us very plainly that, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." OCPS (FL) didn't "want" to add Vanguard and Fidelity when I initially ask and they certainly didn't feel like they "needed" to. However, they relented when I refused to drop the issue. This is just how power dynamics work. If you're quiet and accepting, you'll be taken advantage of.
  2. In my experience it takes the same amount of effort to add any vendor. So choosing to add a vendor that is inferior to Vanguard and Fidelity is not a wise decision. Adding Vanguard and Fidelity to OCPS (FL) was in no way more difficult than it would have been to add Aspire. There is nothing unrealistic about accomplishing this, at all. ...if in some districts adding vendors takes varying amounts of difficulty, then it wouldn't be wise to begin with the inferior choice. Start with the best and work your way down from there.
  3. I just wanted to endorse what Krow said. Also, even if "all" you were being charged was 1%, that is absolutely egregious.
  4. If you're going to go through the process of getting a vendor added to the list, and I highly encourage you to do that, then do not put effort into adding Aspire. Put all of your effort into adding Vanguard and Fidelity. Aspire is needlessly more expensive than both Vanguard and Fidelity. I got OCPS (FL) to add both Vanguard and Fidelity to their list of vendors. I wrote about that in a few blog posts. I'd be more than happy to help you navigate the process.
  5. Security Benefit's NEA DirectInvest is an elite 403b plan. I enrolled my ex-wife in that very plan. I documented the details of the plan here. I documented the exact steps to enroll in the plan through OCPS (FL) here. You may benefit from reading the Investing 101 page I wrote here. Sadly this plan isn't offered as a 457b, so if you're able to max out the 403b then your next best option for the 457b is Aspire, which I documented here.
  6. Security Benefit's NEA DirectInvest is an elite 403b plan. I enrolled my ex-wife in that very plan. I documented the details of the plan here. I documented the exact steps to enroll in the plan through OCPS (FL) here. You may benefit from reading the Investing 101 page I wrote here. Sadly this plan isn't offered as a 457b, so if you're able to max out the 403b then your next best option for the 457b is Aspire, which I documented here.
  7. If you need help choosing a vendor, it would be wise to post the entire list. Security Benefit's NEA DirectInvest is an elite 403b plan. I enrolled my ex-wife in that very plan. I documented the details of the plan here. I documented the exact steps to enroll in the plan through OCPS (FL) here. You may benefit from reading the Investing 101 page I wrote here. Sadly this plan isn't offered as a 457b, so if you're able to max out the 403b then your next best option for the 457b is Aspire, which I documented here.
  8. He is lying. An advisor only has a fiduciary responsibility to a client if they explicitly sign paperwork with the client and that paperwork explicitly defines exactly what it means to be a fiduciary. Still, even with a fiduciary, a client is still paying the salary of another person. That’s expensive, profit margins are already narrow, and anybody can handle an all-in-one fund on their own and most can handle a 3 fund portfolio.
  9. Vanguard is the way to go. I documented their plan here. You may or may not find the Investing 101 page I wrote helpful. One thing worth noting about the Vanguard 403b is that they charge a flat $60/year fee. So if you and your spouse are investing less than or equal to $12,000/year then you’ll be slightly better off using Vanguard IRAs instead of the 403b. On the other hand if you’re already maxing your IRAs then the 403b is an excellent option.
  10. ...you’re playing illogical mental account games by thinking you can treat one pot of money differently from another pot in terms of risk appetite. It is a dangerous game that lots of people play and it doesn’t make mathematical or logical sense. Yes, in my view it is “worth it” to buy the individual funds instead of an all-in-one fund. However, if you’re the type of person who won’t keep buying the under performing asset class or won’t/can’t take take the minimal time to understand what you’re supposed to do and then actually do it, then I’d strongly recommend and all-in-one fund to protect you from yourself.
  11. I think it is useful to address some deeper more fundamental questions than just the ones you asked. If the vendor is charging 0.5% on top of whatever they’re charging for the funds, this isn’t a very good plan. So it would be in your best interest to identify every 403b and 457b vendor your district has approved. Some states have state sponsored 457b plans that are relatively good and sometimes great. Come back and post your options and I can give some further guidance. I think you’d benefit from reading the Investing 101 page because it hits on several of the topics you’re asking about. With respect to which funds you should buy, you definitely want total market index funds because they’re really low cost and fully diversified (that’s how you pick a fund). The following three will give you a fully diversified portfolio: VTSAX, VTIAX, and VBTLX. However, you want your portfolio as a whole to meet your asset allocation, so which funds you should buy and in what percentage depends on what funds you own in your other accounts. It isn’t “correct” to say that having other retirement accounts means you can take on more risk in this account. Everybody has a specific amount of risk they’re comfortable with and their overall portfolio should always reflect that. If you decide to be “more risky” in this account it means one of two things: your other accounts were too safe to begin with or you’d be taking on too much risk. In my view you should recognize that stocks can lose approximately half of their value very quickly and take years (maybe even 10+ in a terrible scenario) to recover. However, stocks have a higher expected return in the long term. You want to own as much stock as you can such that when a crash does happen you keep buying stocks and you don’t do something foolish like sell. Having said that, only you know what that percentage is.
  12. 1. Definitely find and post every 403b and 457b vendor your district has approved. You may want to take a look at my page documenting the best vendors available throughout Florida (a good proxy for the nation). 2. You do not need to pay anybody for advice. The industry makes it complicated, we can cut through the nonsense and make it simple for you. You may want to read the Investing 101 page I’ve written. 3. Don’t feel shame, you may want to read a blog post I wrote that explains how you fell into something tailor made to trap you. 4. I already know everything I need to know about your current plan...I would get out as soon as I identified my best alternative.
  13. EdLaFave

    NYAdmin

    You can basically use any institution you want. I have an all Vanguard portfolio so I opened mine with Vanguard. I believe some institutions charge fees if you buy another institution’s funds through them (again, not something I’ve had to deal with). The bogleheads have documented how to build a three fund portfolio with funds from various institutions. So the reason it takes a few hours per year to manage is because you need to keep those funds in the right proportion to each other. When your portfolio is small this means putting new money into the funds that are “low” and when your portfolio is large it means occasionally selling what you have too much or to buy what you have too little of. If you wanted to literally do nothing then a target date fund or a fixed allocation fund like Vanguard’s life strategy fund will handle that for you. Please read my blog post on investing in a marriage that hopefully will last, but may not. I wrote that before I got divorced and I’m happy it is something we considered. To answer your question directly, owning a fund in multiple accounts is fine, owning a fund in a single account is fine. That isn’t what matters. Let’s assume you won’t get divorced. You and your husband should decide on an asset allocation that works best for you two. You should view your entire portfolio as the summation of each account and buy funds in each account based on how cheap it is. Suppose everything in your husband’s 401k is expensive except bonds, you’d want to keep your bonds there (as much as possible), which would mean your other accounts would have to be more stock heavy in order to reach your overall desired asset allocation. ...if your husband has a bunch of funds that either means he is betting on specific sectors/asset classes, which I wouldn’t do, or his account is needlessly complicated, which I also wouldn’t do. It isn’t a huge sin, but it is something to consider.
  14. I’ll add more later, but yes, Fidelity and Vanguard are clearly the best vendors.
  15. Any word on when and how I can watch it from home? Maybe Netflix?
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