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  1. I've considered something similar at my rural district. I already teach a 1/2 hour a day Financial Independence course to HS students. I'm seen as the crazy investing guy though to staff. I would include calculators/examples on how to calculate how much one needs for retirement, and a budget allocator, such as myannualbudget.com, where they can play with numbers and see how saving pretax opens up come wiggle room due to the reduced tax load.
  2. Gotcha. Called a bit ago; they said I need to go through the adviser and have him sign off on a fee reduction. FTJ said they cannot have an account without an adviser (perhaps he acts as plan admin? Not sure...).
  3. Quick aside: My employer uses FTJ. I know FTJ has a .3% fee to FTJ itself, but there's a 'mandatory' .5% 'advisor fee' even though I use self-directed brokerage. Is this normal? All I did was push the guy off the annuity pitch and say I wanted to select my own investments. I listened to the podcast episode about Aspire, which mentions a .15% fee to Aspire, and the ability to choose investments without an advisor. Do you know if something comparable is even available at FTJ?
  4. My understanding is that it depends on the plan. Are you looking at using an account through an employer (403/457/IRA)? If so, its possible that your employer has a contract with TIAA that has no surrender fees. My wife's employer does this. However, they limit her investment choices to both an annuity only option, and only specific fund choices in that annuity wrapper (high turnover, mostly actively managed).
  5. Yeah, I'm going to investigate other vendors. The most pressing issue at the moment is my wife's options at her community college; for example, her TIAA option is all only variable annuities with a minimum .67% expenses, and TIAA only offers a traditional 457 option, whereas they offer trad and Roth 403(b). We were hoping to max out a Roth 457, and a trad 403(b) for her, not the other way around! Wanting to figure out the proper channels to get that situated properly...
  6. My two options are: Self-directed brokerage with Admiral shares - only admiral shares Expenses & the .80% managment fee by FTJ A managed account with DFA Funds, for an extra .10% for a total of .90% before DFA fund expenses No matter which option, FTJ charges .8% AUM; .3% is to FTJ itself, .5% is to my 'regional advisor'. The advisor originally quoted me .95%, but that seems to not be the case. I have decided to go with the self-directed option, as I cannot tilt the DFA as I would like to.
  7. It turns out that the fees before funds is actually .8%... not a big drop, but still something! I am currently invested in Vanguard admiral shares, with an aggregate ER of .07. No trading fees. I am invested in the following: 25% - VTSAX 10% - VEMAX 7% - VTRIX 7% - VFSVX 5% - VTIAX 35% - VSIAX 5% - VMVAX 5% - VVIAX 1% - Custodial Cash
  8. Also: Here's an image of the document I tried to post. I believe it is mean for advisors, as its just a general program description that does not include my advisor's fee on top of that. Hope that works:
  9. My understanding is that FTJ FundChoice charges advisors a certain amount of assets under management: individual advisors then set their own AUM fee on top of that. FTJ's fee takes into account Orion's AUM fee, which is the TAMP software platform FTJ is built on top of. Orion (i believe) has a deal with TD Ameritrade, which is the brokerage that all trades go through, and has a deal with them to offer investor shares and waive load fees... I think with all of the above, that's where the 95 bp comes from. Part of the problem is parsing through all the info, and finding out that apparently each of these companies strikes deals with different markets/districts differently, and in the case of FTJ, even offers different funds (much better selection here at my district than CA, at least according to 403bCompare) and load vs no load depending on... I don't know what. Then the individual advisor for your workplace sets up his fee on top and bills it to you as 'only one' fee, instead of multiple small ones. At least I think that is what is going on. How in the world is this possible? My understanding is that you cannot make after-tax contributions via check or ACH into an employer plan. They all have to be salary reduction, right?
  10. Hi, I am a 27 year old teacher in Missouri whose district's 403(b)/457 options are provided only by FTJ FundChoice. I've attempted to parse through all the documents, understanding the layers of providers, RIA's, fees, etc... It's been a rabbit hole! In short, here are some things I *think* I've found out: My District's plan guy (perhaps IRS Coordinator? not sure) has a title of "Investment Advisor Representative". His business card says "Forrest T. Jones & Company" researching him online, he is apparently with National Pension & Group Consultants Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Not sure what that means. He informed me that his fees are: $25/year for the account .95%/year AUM Fee Two Options - Self Directed or Outsourced. Self Directed - all done in FTJ FundChoice Website called, 'portfoliologin'. It is built on Orion Architecture. In addition, FTJ FundChoice uses TD Ameritrade Trust Company for the purchase and sale of securities. Not sure exactly why Orion's 'interface' is needed, especially if trades go through TD Ameritrade... Vanguard is available. Admiral Shares. Outsourced - This is where things get interesting. I initially brushed this aside, as I was planning to go all Vanguard and be done. However, I did not realize that the option of DFA access might be available. I am especially irked by the .95% AUM fee, especially that it seems all my 'investment manager' does is sign me up and let me decide to have another company allocate my money, or have me do it myself. I'm not exactly sure how or why this is the case, but knowing that FTJ is built on Orion's web interface, which in turn uses TD Ameritrade Trust Co to actually enact trades... I feel like the layers of fees are just egregious, and I do not understand to whom every basis point is going. I guess I just took the .95% at face value, since that's our only provider. Three 'strategist spectrums': Strategic, Tactical, and Diversifiers Strategic - Loring Ward & PGR Solutions available. Loring is an additional 0 pb, PGR is 10. Both offer acccess to DFA Funds. So, after all of this: my only concern is that both Loring & PGR (I think) offer comprehensive portfolio solutions; I seek to create an 'all value' portfolio, preferring to invest in VTSAX/VTIAX in my Roth IRA at Vanguard. Knowing that I have a well-diversified pension (14.5% employee contribution), I know I can take the volatility that the all-value/small/emerging markets portfolio would afford. I tried contacting FTJ themselves about DFA Access, and they seemed unsure, claiming that my 'advisor' (Mr. .95%) might have to 'request access' himself. If this is the case, then maybe I will be able to create my own custom allocation... still unsure here. Anyways, I just wanted to get some thoughts. This is my first foray into the 403b/457 world, and I want to take advantage of my age, low fees, and the academic research as best as possible. If I had known day 1 that there 'might' be a DFA option, I might have chosen to do that instead of self-direct and choose Vanguard funds... TLDR; navigating these is a PITA, looking to offset the .95% management fee via beta, and figure out if I have DFA access/to what extent I can customize. Linked is a .pdf of the handout the advisor gave me when I signed up for my plan. Took me a while to find it, but its the exact same as my worn, pocopied copy... FTJ_ProgramDescription2015-07.pdf
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