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Craig B

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  1. Hi Steve, I see now how I've not really said much about the specifics of my investment strategy since your recommendations last March. Honestly, I haven't gone much beyond thinking I would put my money in a target fund and let it self manage. I appreciate your reminder that I should be diversified and I want to get more educated about it all down the line - probably next summer, making changes as I see fit. I guess I'm just wondering if I should think differently than a target fund because of the current market over the next year or would this be "trying to time the market". And I'm still not sure about your recommendation to avoid getting out of the market . . . . . if I'm transferring my funds - isn't that getting out of the market on those particular funds in order to put them in the new funds with the new program? And if I'm doing that anyways, wouldn't it be ok to jump ship from a market that will probably slump for a couple more months anyways by getting guaranteed interest funds in AXA until I transfer? Or are you saying that it is reckless to try to guess what the market will do over the next 2-3 months and so leave it where it is until I transfer it. Or are you saying, keep my money with AXA until it makes some dividends and sell at break even or higher? Geez . . . I sort of understand this stuff and sort of don't . . .. I'm just looking for support and clarification in my thinking . . .. . I suppose the easiest thing would be to just let it ride and transfer it to a target fund but like everyone else who is losing, I'm wondering if there is something else I can do in this transition period to reduce losses. Well thanks for the sounding board and your dedication to helping out those of us that are less experienced. Craig
  2. Hi, After looking at the previous post, I am convinced that my current question is new. I did post a similar question back in March "My question is, if the value of my 403b falls below my contributed amount, should I wait until it comes back to at least break even before transferring it?" but there was never a reply (or am I missing on how to find it?). I did talk in my March post about transferring my money to Fidelity. Well things have changed and now I have to work with First Investors. They are contracted to manage the district's 403b. Under that umbrella there are several ways to participate. There is a lot more transparency in the set up as they have made all expenses clear. There are no front loads and no mortality expenses. We can choose our own funds including some Fidelity and American Funds. The average expense is supposed to be 1.3%, which is better than AXA at 2.5% but of course not as good as Fidelity Spartan at .1 % Unfortunately, we will not have access to the SPartan funds. Anyways, my current question is that I am already below my principal contribution with AXA and have a few more months until I can roll it all over into a new company. I'm anticipating that the stock market will not bounce back much if at all and will likely continue to dip. Is it useful to put that money in a guaranteed interest account right now until I can transfer it next year or should I let it stay in the current funds I own? And when I do transfer it, should I simply look for the funds with the lowest expense ratio? I apologize if I'm making anyone answer a question twice but I didn't find anything related to this particular question in my previous post. Craig
  3. Hi Everyone, I'm looking for some advice about how I should handle my current 403b with AXA Equitable until I roll it over with a new investor next year. (about 3 months). My thinking is this - take my current portfolio and move it into a guaranteed Interest account until I roll it over next year. I'm betting that the market is going to continue to fall and so I will continue to lose money. If I put it all into a guaranteed interest account (through AXA) then I will at least protect my current value. When I talked to my advisor at AXA, he said I would be realizing my loses by selling the stock and moving it to the guaranteed interest account. And of course that is true. He recommended staying in the market now even if I were to roll it over to a new company in a few months. If I were to stay with AXA over the long term I would just ride the market out as I am only 45 years old. However, my district is reorganizing our investment options per the new regulations. It's a little complex to explain their set up but suffice it to say that they are offering investments with a much lower expense ratio than AXA. I cannot rollover into the new set up until next year. Soooo .... Should I leave my funds alone (which have dropped 30% since a year ago) or should I put them into a G I A until I can rollover? THanks for any advice! Craig
  4. Hi! Thanks for your responses. It is so exciting to participate here and get this all figured out with you who have already taken further steps down the teacher investment path. I called my district and they have said that no transfers are being allowed at this time because the district is reworking things due to the new regs. My surrender fees are either 1% or 2% and will go to zero after year 6 (I think 1.5 years). In any case I'm stuck for now. My question is, if the value of my 403b falls below my contributed amount, should I wait until it comes back to at least break even before transferring it? Thanks for the fund and book recommendations. I'm gonna take a look at those and see what's what. I'll probably do the Freedom Funds for convenience because I'd rather play my guitar than manage my funds : ) Still a .10 % expense ratio sure is tempting. I still have to find out which specific funds are allowed for my district. A fidelity rep told me on the phone that the district actually chooses a list of funds available for their specific 403b. Is this right? I've not seen anyone mention it on this site. Well in any case, he said if I open an application, I can then see the list of funds available, so I'm going to start there. Thanks again everyone! Craig
  5. Hi, Hello, I have about $9K in a 403b with AXA Equitable in 4.5 years. I've finally been in contact with my "advisor" after 2 months of phone messages and have put him on the line to justify all the fees. He has claimed there are no front load or 12b-1 fees. The M&E and Asset Management fees are just under 2%. If I understand this business correctly, I have to tack on the ongoing expense ratio percentage in order to have the total charges for any one fund. So a .88 % fund expense ratio would make the total charge about 2.78%. On top of that there are 5 different funds with different expense ratios ranging from .6 - 1.019. So each fund has at least a 2.5% expense ratio. WoW! From reading post on this website, I thought there was one total for the whole investment, not different % numbers for each fund. Can someone set me straight here? I had been wondering if I should transfer funds from AXA if I am at break even or losing $s. I found out from my district that transfers are frozen right now until this business with the new regs gets taken care of. As it stands the surrender charges on my AXA account are set up at 6% in 6 years. Does that mean only in year 7 do I get to 0 surrender charges? Should I wait that long? I have already stopped putting anymore money in and there are no rolling surrender charges. I'm extremely excited that my district does offer Fidelity and I can do it directly over the phone or online. Now that I know this, how do I proceed to choose which fund is right for me. I'm 44 and will probably teach for another 20 years. Are there some books I should read? Is there a web site or articles here I should read? I do have the Teach and Retire Rich book which has gotten me this far, but I don't want to jump in to quickly and have regrets later. On the other hand I'm on my spring break and would like to take care of this before I get back into teaching and attending grad school. Any advice would be much appreciated!!!!!!!! Craig P.s. Sorry for the repost (I had mistakenly posted this in the New Regs Forum)
  6. Hello, I have about $9K in a 403b with AXA Equitable in 4.5 years. I've finally been in contact with my "advisor" after 2 months of phone messages and have put him on the line to justify all the fees. He has claimed there are no front load or 12b-1 fees. The M&E and Asset Management fees are just under 2%. If I understand this business correctly, I have to tack on the ongoing expense ratio percentage in order to have the total charges for any one fund. So a .88 % fund expense ratio would make the total charge about 2.78%. On top of that there are 5 different funds with different expense ratios ranging from .6 - 1.019. So each fund has at least a 2.5% expense ratio. WoW! From reading post on this website, I thought there was one total for the whole investment, not different % numbers for each fund. Can someone set me straight here? I had been wondering if I should transfer funds from AXA if I am at break even or losing $s. I found out from my district that transfers are frozen right now until this business with the new regs gets taken care of. As it stands the surrender charges on my AXA account are set up at 6% in 6 years. Does that mean only in year 7 do I get to 0 surrender charges? Should I wait that long? I have already stopped putting anymore money in and there are no rolling surrender charges. I'm extremely excited that my district does offer Fidelity and I can do it directly over the phone or online. Now that I know this, how do I proceed to choose which fund is right for me. I'm 44 and will probably teach for another 20 years. Are there some books I should read? Is there a web site or articles here I should read? I do have the Teach and Retire Rich book which has gotten me this far, but I don't want to jump in to quickly and have regrets later. On the other hand I'm on my spring break and would like to take care of this before I get back into teaching and attending grad school. Any advice would be much appreciated!!!!!!!! Craig
  7. Craig B

    Axa Equitable

    Hello everyone, My first post woo-hoo! I'm also with AXA Equitable in MI. I've been trying to talk to my advisor for months on the phone with little success. Here I am paying extra buck-oos for an advisor whom I can never talk to. Regardless I just decided to stop putting any more money into that 403 b while I figure out what to do. I even left him a message that I was thinking of pulling out and wanted to ask him about surrender fees. Not calling back - perhaps his best strategy for keeping me in the fold. My district options are: Consolidated Financial Corp., First Investors, GLP & Associates, Horace Mann Life Insurance (No Thanks!), Zurich Kemper Investors, Paradigm Equities Inc., VALIC Financial Advisors, INC, Educators Financial Services, Inc. and . . . . .. Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is the only one of the bunch I've heard recommended on this site but the postings in this thread are troubling. I'll have to look into if Fidelity Direct is part of this deal or if I am also dealing with a third party mediator. Questions: What can I do about getting info from AXA when my salesman doesn't call back? Are any of the other companies listed above worth checking out? How do I open a Fidelity account without getting involved with a salesman there too? Do I just tell my district to open one for me? Do I do it on the phone with the guy who is listed for Fidelity? (I've been unable to talk to him too!!!) Thanks a $$$ Craig
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