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  1. I've been checking with the various NY school districts that have Omni as A TPA, and both VAnguard and T Rowe Price have recently been added as investment companies. Check with Omni Financial. Tim
  2. I have a question that concerns several people who invested in ING's 403 annuity program in NY. There was a provision in that settlement between the state teachers' association and the state attorney general allowing teachers an opportunity to roll over their savings without charge to another provider. Does anyone know how long that provision was good for? Can teachers still roll over their 403b program to an (honest) provider without getting hit with a surrender charge? Thanks. Tim W.
  3. TimDex


    I've been following the vendors provided by Omni Financialin New York and now it appears that Vanguard and T Rowe Price have signed agreements and are offered in some school districts. Tim
  4. I would duplicate the federal TSP program, (but note it was built up over time and can be improved). There's no point to the SP 500 if you have the Total STock Market. So I would go with Total Stock Market, Total International, Total Bond Market, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (Tips), a short-term bond fund, and perhaps a money market. Tim
  5. I've been occasionally watching the progress of Omni Financial link -- http://www.omni403b.com/ in NYS, having a relative in the school system. I have to say it doesn't look promising. Each school has a checklist of providers, with a "check" for those who will continue after the new regs go into effect in January. All the usual suspects (AXA, Metropolitan, Legend, etc.) have checks, while firms like Vanguard, Fidelity and TR Price do not have a check. Usual ugly business, I suspect. Was this the point of the regs? Tim
  6. I'm familiar with the NY 457 plan. It is absolutely superb and includes about six Vanguard funds. It's all your wife needs (which I think you realize). Go with that, and tell as many teachers as you can to do likewise. It seems to be, usually the case, that school administrators really don't understand this stuff, and go along with what the usual investing suspects (insurance companies selling annuities) tell them. Good luck. Tim
  7. Someone on the boglehead board was asking yesterday why annuities are often used within 403b programs? I was curious myself -- I know that the program was originally "populated" pretty much entirely by insurance companies, and that annuities were often the only offering. But why are annuities even offered within a tax deferred program when they're not actually necessary? What's the history of it? Tim
  8. TimDex

    Axa Equitable

    What you need to look for is the list of finance companies serving your district and hope that one of them is a large mutual fund company (like Vanguard, Fidelity, T Rowe Price etc). Unfortunately, most of them will probably be large insurance companies, all of which do a marvelous job of hiding the fees. In which case, I would consider funding an IRA instead. Tim
  9. As noted, NY has a great 457 plan for government workers (transparent, low fees, good selection of funds, including about half a dozen low-cost Vanguard funds). Schools can sign up, but apparently only a few districts have. Why more employers in NY haven't signed up for the state 457 mystifies me. NY school districts are now apparently going with Omni Financial, which acts as an administrator. Our local district just signed up and all the selections are high-cost insurance companies and the usual bad actors in the business. I don't know whether to ascribe it to pure ignorance or the usual behind the scenes garbage. Celia: You're absolutely right that how a fund performs in the end is what matters. And since the chief determinant of that is cost, smart investors focus on that. There isn't any magic sauce in investing. What you get is the market return minus the cost of investing (sales loads, fees, hidden portfolio costs all add up). A total market index fund returned about 12.5% over the past 25 years. The average mutual fund returned about 10%, and that difference is pretty much due to the costs of active management. Also note that the average investor didn't even get that, but thanks to performance chasing and market timing, only received about 7%. Tim
  10. Joel: No they haven't, and for the life of me, I can't understand why. The state's 457 is a great program with transparent and low fees and excellent low-cost choices; the city uses it for municipal workers (one of whom is my wife, a librarian). Why the school didn't simply go with it makes no sense, but I think they went along with a county wide schools decision to go with Omni, since all the other schools in the county seemed to be signed up. Since the local administrators are clueless I think my sister in law is going to have try contacting someone at the county BOCES level where it seems the decision was made. I never can understand why teachers seem to get the short end of the investing stick. I think it may be because it matters so little to them; they have a good pension system and seem to believe that saving is meaningless, and that they'll be taken care of. (Don't start throwing bricks at me. Just my opinion.) Tim
  11. Very interesting replies. Thank you all for this conversation. Any thoughts on how to add a vendor to the list? My sister in law would like to add Vanguard to the vendor's list (it's already on the vendor lists for a number of other school districts in NYS -- I checked). Business office is clueless. Any thoughts on this? Has anyone done it? Thanks. Tim
  12. Thanks for that. My sister in law just found out what vendors are on the list: Aetna ING Commonwealth Financial Network AXA Equitable Life Employee Benefit (Legend Group) Lincoln Investment Planning Metropolitan National Remitting (Mutual, Inc.) Nationwide North American Northwestern Mutual Life Oppenhiemer Prudential Insurance RiverSource (formerly Ameriprise) Travelers State Farm Unity Mutual. All the usual suspects. We'll have to find out how to get Vanguard added to the vendor list. Tim
  13. Excuse me? I've done a google search on omni and found its website. What I wanted to know is if anyone has had experience with them. A snide comment doesn't count. Tim
  14. A relative, who is a teacher in NY, reported to me that Omni Financial is now acting as TPA for a new 403 program at her school. (She was told she had one day to sign up, with no information on expenses, costs, or investment options.) Has anyone heard of Omni, had any experience with them? Thanks. Tim
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