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  1. bc646

    Full Service

    What I have found with my advisor is that he, himself, does not have all the answers to my financial planning concerns. Through his company, he has the resources to get the right answers to my situation(life insurance specialists, estate planning attourneys, etc...) If he did have all the answers, I would be a little skepitcal. However, I appreciate it when he tells me he does not have the answer to my question, but will do his best to obtain the right info. And i don't pay a fee for this information(investments aside)......And yes, I am a satisfied load-incurring investor(through the American Funds!) for my 403b/roth............
  2. Yes, Joel for every transaction I make, 3.5% comes off the top. Something to keep in mind: The Growth Fund of America began in 12/1973. Since inception, it has returned 15.51% with the 5.75% sales charge imposed. At NAV, it has returned 15.7% since inception. A .20% difference @the highest sales charge(and i''m currentlly at the 3.5%)The moral to the story seems to be, if my calculations are correct, that in the long run, a front end charge does not mean too much to your investment(annual fees aside, which average .75% a year roughly. So i guess it only adds up to roughly 1% a year in the long run..... Does that still seem like too much for you?
  3. To answer your questions and put this discussion to rest, i found out my advisor makes around $6.13 for every transaction i make with him(403b/roth). I am at the 3.5% breakpoint and his dealer concession is 35% of that. The 12-b1 fees are roughly .25 a year. I don' tknow what he makes on the life insurance products, but i reallly don't care. The bottom line is that i am content with this. You say this person's only obligation is to distribute american funds, but this person does not work for american funds. He represents a private financial services company who incorporates the whole scope of financial planning-savings/insurance/investments, etc.., which i am sure he is properly liscenesed to do so. I feel that he has earned his money to service my family and I. HE calls me once a quarter and we meet at least twice a year to review our plan to seem if we are getting closer to our goals. It seems you have this preconceived notion that all advisors/planners are transaction-oriented bums that do not care about clients situations/goals,etc.. I interviewed 4 planners before my family and i decided who really seemed to care about our situaion. I feel that thid decision was the best thing I could have done for my family and I in regards to our financial matter. In addition to our planner, we have a lawyer, accountant, and a doctor that we trust implicitly. Why? Because common people can not handle these matters by themselves(unless that is their profession)!!! The same reason parents do not teach their children geometry, trig,stats,etc.,which is why they have us educators(probably not the best analogy, but you get the idea) I understand your passion for making people aware of what they are paying when they invest money. I was in high-fee annuity(sadly sold by a former teacher) before we started working with our planner. I began to realize what is really important in the financial planning process and my family will be better off because of it.
  4. The person that I work with is compensated only through the investment company itself. To the best of my knowledge, there are no 'wrap' fees or other fees for service charges (I think i would have noticed these fees). In regards to service/advice, my planner has helped me in planning for my sons' college costs, helped me figure out how much income i would need in retirement, and made sure I was adequately insured to protect my families dreams/goals in the event I was not there. I did not pay anything extra to see these analysis'. It seems that this individual took the time to understand my goals and aspirations and put forth a plan that met all these concerns, which is something i could never do myself(i would not even want to try). What i have gathered andI hope people on this site understand, is that, in the quest for financial planning, there are alot more important issues than choosing which fund out performed the last 5yrs or what you paid or did'nt pay for the investment. I've learned from my advisor that having a cohesive plan that will help facillitate all of my families goals is what matters most. Then setting up an investment strategy that will help reach those long term goals, which eliminates the need to react to short-term situations that don't matter in the long run......
  5. The only thing I think I could do to improve my American Funds offering is to add more $$$ to my accounts than i currently do. i believe i can add a total of 19k this year to a 403b?
  6. I am a big fan of the American Funds Group. I have been participating in my 403b with them for the last 15yrs and I am quite happy with the funds that my financial planner has recommended. I've noticed their long-term, value-oriented approach, low expenses, and along with that some of the best long term returns in the industry(load or not) I sense that many people that frequent this site are proponents of the no loads like vanguard and tiaa-cref. Despite the charges I incur to compensate my planner, I feel that they are warranted through the service and advice I get which I feel will ultimately help achieve my financial goals(retirement, college planning,estate planning, etc..) Is their no-load estate planning? I hope not......
  7. It would not hurt to consider the American Funds Group. They have the long-term track record, low fees, and their performance numbers speak for themselves- even better than the majority of the "immortal" no loads- Vangurad/Fidelity,or tiaa-cref.
  8. Does anyone know if a public school employee that has unused sick days has the ability to transfer that money into another retirement plan( 403b,IRA?) once they are retired. Any info would be much appreciated.
  9. RW Durham is an insurance broker out of Torrence California. They sell products from TransAmerica, General American and so on. From what I can see, they would probably offer Annuities in the 403(b)- very bad. They also seem to favor fixed accounts in my experience which I also wouldn't reccomend. Look into purchasing mutual funds directly & not through an annuity. Good Luck
  10. Just a comment on this- The local reps understand 403(b)(7) VERY well. A little thing called asset retention causes them to play dumb when faced with losing your account. At the national call centers people are speaking on a recorded line, so they are somewhat accountable for what they say. If your representative claims something you suspect to be false, ask to speak with his supervisor. 9 out of 10 times the supervisor is "unavailable". Call back the main line and ask for who's in charge. The supervisor may find it very suprising to learn he/she was out of the office only moments ago.
  11. Gadfly- Like all annuity sub-accounts, numbers and comparisons are hard to come by. They are technically not mutual funds, although very similar, but some disclosure laws that apply to mutual funds simply don't apply to these sub accounts. There are typically way fewer investors in these funds because they are generally 403(b) accounts (our little world is just a microchasm in the universe of investments). Mutual funds fund everything from 401(k)s to IRAs to taxable investments. Thus greater demand for information. Run your own numbers. Under current market conditions if you've had the account for ten years or more you should have averaged about 8% a year in stock funds, slightly less if bonds or fixed accounts are involved. As for this raging TIAA-CREF debate: Has anyone considered different things might be better for different people? You can only be an expert in so many things. I follow my own investments passionately, but I go to a mechanic for car repairs, and if my sink leaks I call a plumber. Maybe if I were a little more handy around the house I'd pay for investment advice. It is important. Rather than bash people for personal decesions maybe some of you should talk to your colleagues who aren't even contributing to the plan. Good luck to all. Bruce C
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