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Everything posted by EdLaFave

  1. ...and if I didn’t already provide the link, this is a quick read that’ll give you the foundational knowledge you need: https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/investing-101/
  2. I believe I’ve already linked you to everything you need to know (including fund choice): https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/security-benefits-nea-directinvest/
  3. Enroll in Security Benefit’s NEA DirectInvest, transfer your AXA stuff into it, and be done with it. Ask questions as needed. Once you get that sorted out then ask yourself if you’ll ever max out the 403b (19k) and if you will then you can work on getting Fidelity added because they offer the best 457b.
  4. If one were to invest in a target date fund then picking the date based on your expected retirement is fine. However, it is better to pick the fund based on its current bond/stock split and its future glidepath (i.e. how quickly and to what degree it adds more bonds in the future). Your portfolio needs to match your risk tolerance.
  5. I've been in and out on your thread(s) TonyZ so I may have missed something, but I still think you should take the time to enumerate every 403b and 457b vendor (include state sponsored plans) that your district has approved. To answer your question about Aspire, I've already done the leg work for you here.
  6. The US stock market dropped 37% in 2008 so I don’t think you’ve provided enough information (a 26% loss in 2008) to support the notion that they really screwed up. I have no idea how they run things, but that figure isn’t enough to make me think they’re doing it poorly.
  7. Your district determines which 403b and 457b plans you’re allowed to use (which is the source of a lot of pain for people). If Security Benefit is on your approved vendor list then you could use the NEA DirectInvest 403b plan all on your own.
  8. Apparently proponents (whoever they are, maybe people on her staff, maybe people working with her) distributed an overview of the Green New Deal that contained the language in question, which you can read here. It still isn’t clear to me, in the context of that document, what it means to provide economic security to those unwilling to work. Major outlets have discussed this: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/07/ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-offers-economic-security-for-those-unwilling-to-work.html https://www.businessinsider.com/ocasio-cortez-aoc-green-new-deal-controversy-unwilling-to-work-line-faq-2019-2
  9. There may or may not be some level of truth in the “unwilling to work” thing (perhaps in an early draft), I don’t know. What I do know is that the right has an obsession with AOC and love to criticize her without engaging in the substance of her policies. It’s actually interesting to listen to them refer to her as fringe because many of her policies have majority support among the population.
  10. It wasn’t clear if he knew who I was or if he just stumbled into me because we do have mutual connections on LinkedIn. I was hoping he’d have more to say.
  11. Whyme is correct, the resolution submitted to Congress does not have language about people unwilling to work. It isn’t clear to me if it was in an initial draft or not. It is also worth noting this is a non-binding resolution, not a law. It is more of a statement of ideals and goals. However, if you’re willing to explore ideas you may not initially feel comfortable with then we can have an interesting discussion. A universal basic income would have the government cut everybody a check, giving economic security to EVERYBODY. Very serious people from diverse backgrounds like Thomas Paine, Milton Friedman (libertarian Nobel laureate), Dr. King, etc have all supported UBI. Experiments with the UBI have been conducted around the world (Finland just got some new data on it that I’m planning to read soon). Conservatives like it because it can replace hundreds of social safety net programs. That reduces government bureaucracy and the paternalistic nature of telling people exactly what to spend the money on. It gives individuals more control to decide what is best for them. Technologists like it because we believe there is a very real possibility that AI and automation will continue to put more and more people out of work and if we don’t build some kind of bridge to a new economic system then we will all be in trouble. We also believe that the long term goal for humanity should be to be happy and pursue whatever interests us even if it isn’t profitable. Liberals like it for obvious reasons, it could eradicate poverty. One of the biggest fears is that people will simply stop working, but in the experiments that have been done, the only reduction in work is due to people going to school. When we think about many of the greatest scientific contributions we depend on as a species...they came from very wealthy people who had no economic reason to do the work, but they had the leisure and the interest to pursue it. One of the biggest things that bothers me is thinking about how many geniuses were smothered by poverty, never able to think about more than survival and we all missed out on whatever breakthrough they would have contributed to humanity. ...I could keep going and going, but we will see what your level of interest is.
  12. 16k in 1988 is equivalent to 34k in 2018 according to the first inflation calculator google sent me to. Teachers here in Orange County (Fl) start at 40k now, which is absolutely enough for a dignified existence. You should be able to save for retirement on that salary. I’d be interested to look over data on how teacher salaries have changed over time (adjusting for inflation). Since the financial collapse I feel like I’ve heard a lot about frozen salaries...but I don’t really know since I’ve never studied it.
  13. I know I spend 4.5k per year on food for every meal and I suspect I’d have trouble saving more than 2k if I were to cook every meal myself. You know I am a huge proponent of minimalism so everything you’re saying has value. Any discussion I have with an individual would include this message of personal responsibility because it is all they can control. However, I’ve see the data for income distribution. What we have here is fundamentally a structural problem that cannot be solved by individuals cutting spending. In fact, I wonder how much worse things would get if they all collectively cut spending. So I can’t spend much energy going after individuals’ decisions when it is the structure causing most of the issues.
  14. I don’t have the number, but somebody on this board does (just can’t remember who).
  15. Adjusted for inflation? I support minimalism but... I never cook and I spend roughly 4.5k on food per year. I don’t think saving an extra 2k per year is going to make or break anything. I do not think Gen or older generations were any better with finances than millennials. However older generations certainly had access to cheaper education and depending on how old we’re talking about, they worked when wages hadn’t yet stagnated.
  16. Maybe everybody would suck equally given enough time and power, but I struggle to think of female dominated groups that have lost their minds the way men have. Male dominated groups are easy to name: war prone governments, the Catholic Church, male sports (Penn State for instance), financial industry, frats, and so on. I’m way off topic though. Sorry. I guess my point is to try to judge Vanguard (or anybody) based on their actions rather than our sentimental notions. I’m still a big fan of Vanguard, but I don’t trust them the way I used to. I certainly don’t trust them the way I would trust Bogle.
  17. 403b Your best option is Security Benefit’s NEA DirectInvest, documented here. Lincoln Investment also offers a self directed plan in some areas that is pretty good. Aspire is probably your third best choice, documented here. Plan Member Serivces has a direct plan that is probably your fourth best option, documented here. TIAA likely comes in fifth, but your district may have negotiated a better deal than mine, which is documented here. 457b You should definitely find out if your state has sponsored a 457b, they’re often very good. Unfortunately, NEA DirectInvest isn’t offered as a 457b and you should see if Lincoln’s direct plan is offered as a 457b. Aside from that your best options are Aspire followed by PlanMember’s direct plan. TIAA I think they’re an unethical company that is living off a past reputation of a company that is fundamentally different than they are today. I would still invest with them if they offered you the lowest expenses...but they don’t. People on this form will still speak highly of them. I think that is sentimental. Apparently they sometimes offer a guaranteed 3% return with minimal/no fees that is a good alternative to holding bonds, but that isn’t available in my district.
  18. You can use portfoliovisualizer.com to back test portfolios to get an idea. If you invested $70,000 in 2009 and you put it all in Vanguard’s Total Bond Market (a very “safe” investment) then by 2019 you’d have $99,008. So by any standards, and not to make you feel bad (it’s in the past), you’ve seen terrible results. Yes, those three Vanguard funds in the screen capture are the best/cheapest way to build a fully diversified portfolio. Make sure you read the Investing 101 page, it’ll help you get an idea of how risky your portfolio should be.
  19. Ignore the TPA they have a conflict of interest. When I was pushing for reform they indirectly threatened me with legal action for explaining the exploítive plans to teachers. It is in your best interest to get your money into one of the top notch plans. No amount of spin can change math. As far as 70k becoming 90k over a decade long bull market...that is abysmal. Just how abysmal depends on what assets you were invested in and whether it is appropriate for your personal risk tolerance.
  20. I’m an atheist now, but I was raised Catholic for many years. The first story that broke was quite a surprise to me too, but now I expect it. Maybe it is an oversimplification and I know both genders are capable of awful behavior, but I expect really bad news from any powerful organization run entirely or predominantly by men. Diversity and distribution of power are really great things to have. With respect to Vanguard, literally 100% of my investments are with them. However, I plan to evalute Fidelity’s ZERO funds in a year or so and I will switch if they are as great as they look.
  21. Thanks Tony, I almost couldn’t believe it when his request to connect showed up.
  22. Remember when Vanguard fought against the fiduciary rule? I do. I think it is important to put ideals on a pedestal rather than the people or organizations that we think/hope represent those ideals. Otherwise we're prone to blind loyalty that ultimately hurts people (just look at how the Catholic church continues to make headlines).
  23. To add to what Moe said, this is my horror story. You’ll have a much easier time of it because you can use us as a resource. You’ll get it done.
  24. Adam Bernard has the fancy title of "Vice President, Southeast Region of AXA Advisors, District Manager" and he decided to reach out to me on LinkedIn with the following message: Perhaps a better person than I am would have had more restraint or would have had a better way with words, but I couldn't help myself from replying: To which our good friend Adam could only reply: What folks like Adam do and certainly what companies like AXA do should be illegal. A thief who is direct about their actions gets a lengthy prison sentence for stealing far less, but because these people have a complicated and indirect con, they get to steal without consequence.
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