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  1. Hey all, I've been following this forum for quite a while now. I left the financial services business last year after watching it go into the toilet (even more so than it already was). The companies are putting more and more burdens on the "advisers" and treating clients like dollar signs with shoes. I knew it was time to go when I heard management wisdom such as, "You haven't been kicked out of a school until they've threatened to have you arrested" and everyone's favorite, "Sell her an insurance policy because it pays you more." The reps are getting squeezed and I'm sure that clients will pay for it in the end. I tried to take care of my clients and do the right job for them. I chose to lose the right way versus win the wrong way. Best of luck to you all....especially those of you who are clients of these vultures.
  2. I find it quite disturbing that you call someone an idiot, liar, moron, etc. without actually knowing what you're talking about. Many that post on this board are obviously very intelligent and ethical, which makes it all the more shocking when personal attacks are made without any factual information. The fact is that Met does offer a mutual fund only platform that is also cost effective.....IT IS NOT AN ANNUITY. I have no relationship with the consultant or the district of which you speak, nor do I have any idea as to the name, location or even state of this district. I can understand how one would jump to the same conclusions as yourselves, but find the personal attacks upsetting and beneath the integrity of the members of this board. ScottyD...you have published some great information and are a great advocate. It's really shocking to see you post that this man may have been telling the truth, albeit not explained very well, and then call him an idiot for no reason. I expected more.
  3. There's too many variables. 1. Which Vanguard fund(s)? 2. Which Valuebuilder fund(s)? 3. Is it the Valuebuilder 403(b) or 403(b)(7)? The media loves to spew about how bad the NEA is for their annuity plan, but they fail to mention that more than 2/3 of the Valuebuilder accounts are mutual funds. 4. Are the funds you're comparing the same type of fund? I am not a Valuebuilder rep, I just know a great deal about it. Nor am I an NEA member/employee. I compete with it. I just wish people would portray things accurately versus their own agendas. I'm not making that statement towards you Brian (education is a good thing), but those people who write the articles. I also think that it's an unfair comparison between Vanguard and the Valuebuilder/other plan because of the advice/service you're not getting with the Vanguard plan. I agree that many advisors (TSA Salespeople) are just that and I can understand your frustration (even share in it), but there are also many fine advisors out there who truly make a difference in their client's lives. I try very hard to be in the latter group and know of others (even some competitors), but we're outnumbered by the others. I'm in this field and market to help teachers because there were some that made such a difference in my own life growing up. I think teachers get a bad rep generally by a public that doesn't understand the job at all. They see the benefits, time off and work day, but have no idea of the extra time, money, effort and caring you put into this career. They also see a few bad apples and base their judgement on those few. I feel that this same misconception applies towards what I do. This profession isn't about picking mutual funds or annuities, there are so many calculators and information out there that someone could do it. It takes an experienced advisor (in most cases) to tie it together into a cohesive strategy to make dreams come true. There are some very intelligent people out there, including some who post here, who can do it themselves, but based on many of the questions I see on blogs, boards, in magazines, etc. the average person doesn't have the time or experience to do it right. The potential for ruin is too great. I remember seeing portfolios in the late 90's of some do-it-yourselfers who were "diversified" because they had six different funds. Too bad they were all large cap growth funds. I commend people educating themselves and think that there isn't enough dialogue regarding issues overall anymore. I'm not posting here to solicit business. In fact, posting here excludes me from ever working with any of you, even if you track me down. I look forward to continuing our dialog and wish everyone the best. The work you do truly makes a difference. <Steps down from the soapbox>
  4. That rule has been out for over a year now. http://www.fpanet.org/member/govt_relation...mp;PageID=35974
  5. Interesting. According to Morningstar's Guide to Mutual Funds, actively managed small cap funds (growth in particular I think) and fixed income funds have been able to outperform their benchmarks over the long term. Peter Bernstein's book "Against the Gods" is a great read. In one of the chapters he tackles the random walk theory and proves that it isn't valid. The markets do not always act in accordance with Malkiel's theory that all current information is factored into the market. He especially disregards the strong form of market behavior. He also illustrates with charts that shows that there isn't a normal distribution of returns around the mean.
  6. You can only contribute earned income. As the current rules stand, increases are indexed to inflation in $500 increments. For that to reach $500, inflation would have to exceed roughly 3.23%. We'll have to see.
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