Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral
  1. I have been following this since it broke and read the article and commented on that board too. What a travesty. Investor confidence wasn't already low enough.
  2. I have to admit, about 20 months ago I was desperate to get away from VALIC, and I did much research, read these boards constantly, and settled on a rollover to Fidelity. My International, emerging markets, and s&p 500 are like everyone else's (pretty tanked), but my bond fund is up 16 percent which is somewhat of a positive offset. WELL yesterday we get a DL to everyone in the district saying that "Here are the people you can choose for your 403b. If yours isn't on the list, your contributions will stop in January. Pick someone else or all contributions will cease." I emailed our person in charge of this in the district (Katy, Texas-- a rather large suburb of Houston with around 80,000 or more students and over 6.000 employees). Bottom line, FIDELITY has not agreed to the plan terms and has not signed the agreement; therefore, they will no longer be offered. WELL, DAMN! This came as a surprise and it is much too late for me to do anything related to lobbying. It is purposeful that they waited until the last possible moment to tell us that well over half the vendors that were once "approved" will no longer be available. (they waited until one day before our Christmas break starts). I called Fidelity who of course, were no help to me. They just kept saying that no agreement has been made. Besides being ticked that I have to choose a vendor from the district's "approved" list, I am just fed up with this. How dare ANYONE tell me where to put my retirement money--that company A is okay but company B is not. My retirement fund already does that--my personal account should be just that--personal. What a racket. 403b's should go the way of the dinosaur and get the employer out of the middle. My retirement savings are essentially being dictated by some agreement between a school district and a third party administrator. You can see I am ranting. Does anyone know perhaps why Fidelity Investments is okay with losing potentially tens of thousands of investors due to these new regs? I am considering taking the tax hit, putting the extra in a cash account, taking the loss that will happen due to inflation, and calling it a day. Helpful and useful comments would be most appreciated. You guys helped me in the past with getting my plan in order at Fidelity in the first place! If I MUST choose someone else, Vanguard may be on the list. But to start over again with the research....no school district should have that power over where I am allowed to put my retirement money!
  3. Thanks--it is good to hear some reassuring advise. I won't need the money for another 13 years; however I plan to "retire" ie. quit education in 5 more years when I have 30 years in education. That will of course depend on current conditions and whether I have a position that allows it. I am fairly well diversified but husband is in aggressive and moderately aggressive portfolios that are premixed where he works. Probably a bit too much risk for age of 47. I am probably more nervous than usual. I have weathered drops and down markets before without big worries, but none of us alive have had all the variables that are involved in this current market--it seems like a perfect storm. No one seems to agree on which way is up and the guys at the heads of the tables are arguing amongst each other on how to fix this mess. Translation to the people: No one really knows exactly how to fix it yet. They keep taking stabs and hopefully will come upon something that will work long term. I guess these are uncharted waters but Schullo, you are right. If we do have the dollar snatched out from under us, we are all on the Titanic together at that point. I guess I just should not think about that. Nothing much I could do about it anyway I guess. I have followed the advise on the boards here and trust that all are wise. But it is my opinion that our nation just cannot keep consuming at levels that they have in the past. That is what got us in this mess. Credit that people could not afford. We have gone from a nation of manufacturing and exporting goods to an import nation of many jobs that are service oriented and not exportable. All in a relatively short period of a few decades. It is costing us now. I am amongst those who thought the bailout was a very bad idea- an incredibly expensive bandaid on a gun s###### wound. Call me distrustful of those in power right now. I guess time will tell. Again, thanks for your comments. I know each of you is wise and that is why I enjoy reading your opinions.
  4. Yes, in a nutshell. Speculation of course. I read lots of domestic and international sources. Most recent short version anticipating nonpayment is from 2020 GEAB NO. 28. (you can google it.) Keep in mind that it is an "anticipation" bulletin. But it is interesting to see what the people on the other side of the pond are thinking about us Americans. This does probably lend to the doom and gloom thinking that is becoming more and more pervasive in our current society.
  5. From the looks of things, our 403s are doomed even if we are fully in cash. Now I hope not, but I am afraid the dollar will tank in the next several months, and possibly for sure by summer as the US is unable to pay its debts. I realize the dollar is up now but that will be short lived by most estimations due the influx of dollars which they like to call liquidity which is a nice word for inflation. I fear a hyperinflation which could bring the dollar to its knees. If we have a dollar worth 10% of its value within the next 8 months to 2 years, what is any other option to escape this? I have read on more than one occasion that they will have to adopt a new currency if this occurs. (I realize this is speculation at this point). I can't invest in yen, or swiss francs in my 403b. Maybe I am overly worried but after reading 4 books recently and many many news articles from varied market and money sources (admittedly some by contrarians), I am not feeling confident at all that any real comeback is even an option. The 401k is down 38% and we're not expecting more than a dead cat bounce and then continued devaluation in the markets. Comments or ideas? How does one truly safeguard the 401k if the dollar tanks? You can't even flee to cash.
  6. Tony, I came to these boards a little over a year ago and have moved all monies that were in Valic to Fidelity and have about half in various Spartan funds. I am certain that I was seriously beat up over the years in large part by the hidden fees I didn't realize I was paying in my annuity. I had about half my money going into a 500 stock index fund within the annuity and the rest in various other types of funds. I did have about 10% in tech stocks and finally cashed in at a loss with about a 70 percent loss. That fund never rebounded even after I cashed out years ago. Yes, I am sorry to say that I am still not even after 20 years regarding my 403b. Partly, I believe, because my second Valic "advisor" had me change my whole portfolio, which ultimately cost me 25% in about a year's time, because it would "really earn me so much more." Within the first three months I had lost about 10% and this was because I was poorly diversified, heavy in high risk instruments that were bought in bulk at peak prices, (at the advice of the advisor who said of course they will go up!), then went down. I could have been the poster child for what NOT to do. Of course I was following the "advisor" (what a term--more like scalper). I had a third advisor, then finally a 4th. About 5 years ago, I started getting wise and reading up but still hadn't moved the money. When I would complain to our AG Edwards advisor where we held other investments such as Roth IRA's, that we had only had one year in six in the black, he pulled out his fancy graphs with risk coefficents, long term comparisons, etc. and said you just have to be patient. At his advise, we put about half of our money over several years in those expensive front loaded American Funds and Aim funds to the tune of about 35,000 over a period of years. I can't sell them now as it seems to take forever to recoup the load fees and show results that can beat the S&P. Bottom line: This has been an incredibly expensive education!! And the funny thing is, I am excellent in all other areas with money; we have no debt other than a house note, we have a fairly substantial liquid sum, I have a child that will go to college in a year and we could pay for the whole thing today in cash if we needed to plus we have a TExas Tomorrow Fund that will pay all tuition at today's cost. We have an ESPP, I started a 457 about a year ago too, etc. BUT.....if those ***** Valic salespeople had not been around to sell me the annuity, (and I had not trusted their high return charts and their projected "conservative" returns,) I would probably be at least 60-80,000 further ahead than I am. Luckily I don't have to live off just my 403b since my husband invests through his employer with a 4% match, or I would really be crying in my beer. I agree with everything you (Tony, AP Teacher, Schullo) and the like have to say about the index funds. A high priced variable annuity is no place for most people under the age of 60 to put his/her money based on everything I have read in the past few years. What a racket. This practice of predators in the teacher's lounge should be illegal. Keep up the excellent posts. I really enjoy reading the good things that you share.
  7. Thanks. Just looking for some sort of silver lining or maybe a silver bullet. 20 years of investing and still not back to even makes me discouraged. The " buy and hold on" adage did NOT work for me but I take the bulk of the blame for being with an annuity for so long. Man, did I get taken for a ride. I am now wiser but ###### did it ever cost me for trusting those salespeople. Water under the proverbial bridge... All the talk on the finance and investing radio stations/shows I listen to are starting to throw around the Big D word. Not just recession but Depression. Can anybody say mass panic? What does an investor who is 5-8 years from getting out of this business do in such a situation? (I know--keep working till I croak!) I haven't even recovered from the last one--when trying to build and never getting enough momentum in the market. I guess I buckle my seatbelt again and hang on! I just don't think time is on my side.
  8. Hi, I read this forum regularly and want to diversify more than in my Spartan funds (which have absolutely awesome fee structures.) I want an honest opinion about Fidelity Covertible Fund. The total expense ratio is .79 which is much more that the Spartan funds, but I am wondering if anyone believes the fund is worth the fee. I know that the convertible funds tend to behave more conservatively than many equity funds based on what I have read, and they have done well in the past years, but again, just looking for reasons to OR NOT TO invest a portion of my future contributions. I feel like all my Spartan funds mirror one another (except the intermediate bond fund). I am just looking for potential or additional diversification. ( Ihave Spartan 500 index, Spartan international, Spartan emerging markets and Spartan Intermediate Bond Fund). Also still have a hunk in the money market which I could move to any fund at any time. I haven't wanted to move it with the possibility of the bottom falling out though! Not looking to chase funds--if I did that I would invest in the Fidelity energy or Energy Services, or Canada or Latin America funds (all have and are currently making tons of money---which would probably guarantee a tanking since I would have invested in them! (note sarcasm and self deprication). If I invest in those, when they are doing so well, it seems like chasing which I did in earlier years with devastating results. Just looking for more sage advice regarding covertible funds though since I have read positive reviews. Thanks!!
  9. Yet another -- another! -- complaint from someone who wants HER MONEY, and has to go through grief just to get it. For the new folks: educate YOURSELVES about investing. Don't rely upon a salesman whose interests are not aligned with your own. Yet another -- another! -- complaint from someone who wants HER MONEY, and has to go through grief just to get it. For the new folks: educate YOURSELVES about investing. Don't rely upon a salesman whose interests are not aligned with your own. I will be calling Fidelity today on the move of an old IRA> Next, I will set up the ROTH rollovers. Maybe this week. I have looked at the 4 in 1 fund which is low fee but not sure if I only want 15% bonds. Any other suggestions for a small IRA that has to sit there and languish until we are 60? I have to go in with 2500 miimum per fund and the IRA is only over 4,000. The ROTHS will be around 58,000. On another thankful note, I moved, with the expert help of this board---my annuity from the hidden and heavily fee laden (ICK YUCK) VALIC this summer before the 90-24 transfers stopped. I invested in 4 Spartan Funds (500 index, international, emerging market fund and Intermediate Bond fund all with low fees. I am thrilled to report that even after the big drop in the market, I STILL have more money than I started with and I have made no contributions to that account. IT is because the bond fund has bouyed me up and I still have about half in cash waiting to decide what to do with it. While the three stock indexes have gone down, I have received dividends and FEES have not eaten me alive. Thanks to those of you who regularly post. You have been and continue to be of great value to us--especially me!
  10. I can find nothing online about fees that AG Edwards will charge me to essentially close down with them and move it into the same vehicle at Fidelity. I will save on fees and frankly, my advisor for the last 7 years has been of little use. Always wants to put us in front load funds of course. I mentioned moving it two years ago and I got my head bit off by him. I think I will just move it with Fidelity by providing the paperwork to them and letting them send to AG Edwards. Before I do, does anyone know what fees they will charge? I am rolling over two of them. Don't want to call and ask him as I don't need the lecture from him and the continued sales pitch about how useful he is to come to our house and pick up our checks each year. Yes, he really used that line as a reason to stay with him! I have made my mind up to move them unless there is some ridiculous fees involved. *mine and husband's. Not sure if anything else has changed since Wachovia took them over.
  11. Of your choices, I would STAY AWAY from Valic. Run the other way! Fees are not fully disclosed though you will find them in the very fine print. You will be told things that will never pan out. They are paid on commissions and will do anything to sell you. RUN THE OTHER WAY from valic!
  12. Thanks Dan. Well I made my decision and opened my account with Fidelity--or it should be open by early week. Both VanGuard and Fidelity have many options with low fees. My husband has some of his retirement assets in VG and I have an option of the stock index fund with VG through a 457 which I may fund by summer or so. I really am not sure that I need both retirement vehicles in index funds though. I just know I want to spend as little as I can on fees. for now I took 20% bonds, 15% S&P 500 index, 10% International, 5% Extended market index and the rest are in a money market and I will feed in the remaining amount over the next several months until I drain the MM. This way if we are topped out in the market, well I can catch some lower prices, but if not, I will continue DCA until I am fully in the funds. I will continue to watch these board as my next task is to open a 457 with monthly funding through PARS for my region in TX, as well as check on moving my Roth to a more competitive company. I don't look forwarfd to moving the Roth from AG Edwards because my sales guy will yell at me and tell me I am making a horible decision just like he did last year when I almost did it then. I can hear him now....."Who will come to your house to pick up your check and give you printed updates....." Thanks again!
  13. Yes, financial education should be taught and is, to some degree, through economics classes. (That class was not required nor offered when I graduated!) and my first opportunity to take it was in college. I had no clue what it was about back then! ###### if I had the knowlege back then....... But it seems criminal that school districts who focus on EDUCATION don't bother to educate its teachers as to the options available and hire an unbiased fiduciary person to educate teachers on options. We get a list of annuity options and non annuity options (and only when you ask specifically for them) and that is it. Choose one! Of course the wolf in lamb's clothing is lurking nearby. He works on commission and doesn't always have your best interest in mind. Of course teachers, trusting as we are, assume he means the best for us, just as we always try to do our best by our students. HA! Once bitten, twice shy! Guard your money--no one else will if you won't.
  14. Thanks AP Teacher for all of your help. (What AP course do you teach? 20 years ago or thereabouts I taught IB Psychology before they replaced IB with AP in the schools.) But I digress.... I am still reasearching and am getting closer to my decisions. This is a wonderful site and resource and is much appreciated. And I have also been reading Tony's links too. And Steve, it is too bad that there isn't a better way for educators to learn about the faults of annuities besides getting burned. It seems that by the time people like me find this site, it is, sadly, for reasons like mine. But I guess better late than never!!
  15. The reason I am not transfering to the one I am currently contributing to is because I am currently with a broker with American funds and I do not want to buy that much with a 5% front end load. The load fee alone would be 3,200.00 I am sure my broker would love that though! I am going to transfer this into a new 403b since the one I am closing is a fee laden annuity. (Luckily I have no surrender fees since I have been with them for 15 years). Once that is settled, I may stop with my current broker and continue with the index funds at Fidelity. I am sold on that based on all the data I have run on the effects of fees over the long term. I have never gotten any advice that was worth as much as what I have learned on my own and through sites like this one and individuals who have nothing to gain except to help educate others who have gone down more costly roads. I have no real need to pay an advisor for what I can do myself. And frankly I find this interesting and don't mind doing the work and research. I am sorry if I was not clear on why I did not want to put it with my current plan. Now I am going to call and get it done right. There is a website at www.fidelityatwork.com and it has the nonprofits/schools. It is a different department and phone number I discovered. I knew this didn't sound right to me. So beware if you are an educator that you go through the right department to get the correct account set up for your express purpose. I now have to cancel the 401k and start a new application. No problem, though. I am just glad it had not been funded yet.
  • Create New...