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EdLaFave

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Everything posted by EdLaFave

  1. It looks like 23 counties in the state of Florida use some combination of Fidelity, Vanguard, or Aspire in their 403(b) and/or 457(b). So as I have time I'll probably give some of those counties a call...but if anybody has suggestions for how to bring these companies on board, I'm all ears.
  2. A quantifiable answer, an extra 0.15% fee (over 30 years, 6% market return, and 3% inflation) will consume 6.5% of real profits. Huge improvement relative to a 2% fee that consumes 73% of real profits, which is why I'm considering ASPire as a real option. I'll definitely be leading with Vanguard and Fidelity because I think their fees are lower and their fund selection is less overwhelming. ...still if the compromise is to use ASPire, that is a big win! ...although this isn't personal for me, we're at NEA DirectInvest with absolute rock bottom costs. Couldn't be happier for our personal circumstances.
  3. Yes, I am looking at ASPire, Vanguard, and Fidelity because those are the low cost options I've seen in other districts in the state. Although Aspire looks to be the worst of the three because they add on the 0.15% fee. Still much better than all of the sky high costs from most vendors out there.
  4. I couldn't agree more. I think it would better serve investors to tune out all headlines (not just Buffett's this week). Buy your low cost total market index funds every pay check, take what the market gives you, stick with your plan that you put in writing when you started investing, and give up on the notion that you can develop a special sauce to be smarter than everyone else in the market...don't do something, just stand there.
  5. That's a great idea! I've been frustrated trying to get Vanguard or Fidelity to respond to the RFP but knowing that Fidelity and Aspire and maybe others are in other districts proves it's possible. Thanks!
  6. Thanks for the feedback everybody! Keep it coming please, I'm hoping to fix any warts I'm too close to see. Tony, I actually don't know much about NEA. I understand there is a fair amount of resentment towards them for associating with Security Benefit and perhaps for other less than stellar actions in the past. However, in my personal experience I view NEA as a godsend because they're the only reason my wife and I are able to invest a 403(b) with a total cost of roughly 0.08%...hard to be mad about that. As far as our personal experience with being "allowed" to use DirectInvest it was pretty much a nightmare on both sides. OCPS retirement services flat out refused to enroll us (until we found somebody else to tell them they had to)...but on top of that the 2-3 people I spoke to at Security Benefit (for many many hours) refused to acknowledge the existence of NEA Direct Invest and repeatedly tried to transfer me to an annuity sales rep. Krow, that first link isn't loading for me but I'm somewhat familiar with the IBC and they have a direct relationship with OCPS's third party administrator TSA Consulting Group. Honestly when I read about IBC I feel like I'm reading 1984's doublespeak. It is a "model" of what not to do. It cares about fees in the sense that 2-4% fees are great! They negotiate the best possible pricing, for financial institutions and reps! I don't know what existed before this but this whole program is objectively awful. I spoke with an AXA rep just days ago who used the IBC as a sales pitch. He tells me that I can rest assured I'm getting incredibly low prices because the state and IBC put together an extensive thing to vet an incredibly number of vendors and low fees were a primary concern. He then goes on to tell me how low the 0.9% 'management' fee is, plus the expense ratios which he refused to divulge, and surrender fees as high as 6%...or course getting this information out of him was like pulling teeth. He then closes his pitch by reflecting on how great it is that these expenses are so low and he is really looking out for the investor because fees are important. The whole thing is crazy...the extra credibility he can gain by referencing the state and the IBC is a huge negative in my opinion.
  7. After speaking with Orange County representatives they've told me they follow this process: Every 5 years they put out an RFP. Any interested financial institution can reply to the RFP. A committee (OCPS administrators and union representatives) select which financial institutions can participate. OCPS tells their third party plan administrator (TSA Consulting Group) to go through the mechanics of setting up the vendors. I've called Vanguard and they seem insistent on the notion that they simply do not reply to RFPs. They say that the third party plan administrator can simply reach out to Vanguard and add them as a vendor. Of course the third party plan administrator has told me they simply don't do that and only set things up with the financial institutions that OCPS has selected through the RFP process. Any suggestions? After listening to the podcast with Fidelity's Scott Senseney from November of 2015, I was hopeful Fidelity would reply to the RPF from OCPS. However, when I call Fidelity I can't seem to get a hold of anybody who knows anything. Any suggestions? Any suggestions for reaching out to other low-cost, total market, index fund providers?
  8. My wife and I just setup her 403(b)/457(b) plan at OCPS (FL) and we found that nearly every plan charges fees that eat away most of the real investment returns. We setup a web site, educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com, to accomplish two goals: Help OCPS employees navigate the 403(b)/457(b) plans and to offer our time (for free) to work with employees in person, phone, email, text, etc to assist them in any way possible. Try to organize OCPS employees to help us in our effort to reform the system so that all employees are automatically helped out. I'd appreciate any feedback on our site and please spread the word to any OCPS (FL) employees you may know. Thanks!
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