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NJ25

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  1. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    I don't the 1.9% was a result of the economy, bro. Sure the past 1 1/2 years have been tumultuous and inconsistent, at best, but the previous 3 1/2 years should have yielded significant returns.....much more significant than a paltry 1.9%. I don't really blame the rep - I blame the company, their hidden fees, and the fact that they rip off unsuspecting teachers who they claim to be helping. We're seen as nothing more than prey and it's pretty f'ed up.
  2. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    Thanks everyone. This board has been a huge help. I learned a shitload of information that all educators should know before these insurance companies sink their teeth into them. As for my Roth with Fidelity, I didn't go with the Freedom Fund as originally suggested. I went into a straight-up fund - no load, no fee. Game on.
  3. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    I took everyone's advice and am about to open a Roth IRA with Fidelity!!! How does everyone feel about their Freedom funds? Since my retirement is years out, I'm considering either the 2050 or 2045 funds... Unforutnately, I just can't contribute enough to get me into the Spartan; even though I would very much like to get in. And Vanguard, they want 3 g's just to start up an account..... Hopefully somewhere down the line I'll be able to jump into both of these, but for now it seems like Fidelity is the way to go.... -s
  4. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    How did you get into Vanguard? Did you call direct? Is there a minimum to open?
  5. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    That's why I joined the board - to educate myself. Everyone here has been extraordinarily helpful. As for Lincoln, they are not annuity funds - they are straight mutual funds. I am starring at the various prospectuses now. I will call Fidelity actually during the week to look into other non-403b possibilities. I'm very interested in what everyone has been saying - especially about their Spartan funds. Problem is that in the town I work, the only access I have regarding a Fidelity 403b is through a third party financial group that is looking for me to pay 1.5% on top of the fees for the funds themselves. Forget that shit.
  6. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    NJ, Repeat after me: The ADVISER is in reality a SALESMAN. I don't know if AXA is a better deal than Fidelity-with-a-salesman, but I would look at both very skeptically. Neither seems like a great option. A 1.5% fee above and beyond fund fees? Good grief. If the Fidelity salesperson could put you into Fidelity Spartan, that would make expenses of 1.6%, 16 TIMES WHAT IT WOULD BE WITH FIDELITY DIRECT. So you have to ask yourself (and your friendly salesperson): is he/she worth it? Then there is AXA. 1.34% for M&E? Oh, brother. That's even more than NEA Value Builder charges. Frankly, NJ, and I apologize for being blunt, you are getting screwed without the pleasure. Ha Ha Thanks. That's pretty much what I figured. I'm trying to put a stop to it now, and, believe it or not, the offer from Lincoln Investors looks like the best so far. BTW, how would I get into Fidelity Direct? Or Fidelity Spartan, for that matter? The guy I met with Lincoln said I would have access to over three dozen fund families. I'm going to call him on Monday to see if those are something I could get into.
  7. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    I met with Lincoln Investments today. The gentleman I met with specifically stated that he charges no additional fees. The only fees I pay are the annual operating fee for the fund (e.g. American New Perspective Fund Class B shares charge 1.52%) and the annual administrative fee from Lincoln, which I believe is $35.00. I liked what I heard because I can buy into straight mutual funds from over three dozen families. He suggested that I buy Class B shares to avoid the front-end fees of Class A shares because after six or eight years, the B turns into an A anyway. He suggested I put 40% in the American New Perspective Fund, 40% into the American Mutual Fund, and 20% into the American SmallCap World Fund. These seem to be strong funds over the past 17 or so years. I also spoke with a gentleman from Fidelity the other night. Problem with that is my district works with Fildelity, but through a third party. Meaning, the salesman I spoke with is an agent for Fidelity. And on his contract, he explicitly states that in order to use him, I must agree to pay an annual fee of 1.5% directly to his financial group (independent of any fund fees) to be my financial advisor. In my estimation, that's just as bad as the 1.34% AXA charges for those M&E fees. What does everyone else think?
  8. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    Great advice. I'm meeting with Lincoln Financial tomorrow. Any feedback on them?
  9. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    Thanks for all the feedback! I called my Central Office and they faxed me a list of companies that work with the district. I discovered that Fidelty is actually one of the providers we deal with. I called the gentleman this afternoon and we had a very lengthy discussion that was quite revealing. The company seems to have a great reputation both on this board and in some other literature I've read, so that is pretty comforting. I got off the phone and immediately called AXA to question my 403b. I discovered I am paying for a life insurance that included with my funds. Kicker is, not only wasn't I even told about this when I initially set up the account, but it costs 1.34% for each fund and I only receive the "benefit" if I die AND the current balance in my account is less than the amount I contributed since inception. And even if that did indeed happen, I only get what I put in. Unbelievable. AND on top of that 1.34% for insurance fees, I pay an additional fee for the funds which range anywhere from 0.34 - 1.5%!!!!!!! That is a fee as high as 2.54% on some funds!!!!! Additionally, I discovered that my surrender fees include a $50 administrative fee and a $500 withdrawal fee - or basically 6% of my contributions. But I figure sacrificing this 6% now will be much more cost effective than the hit I take in the long run staying with a company like this. Teachers really ought to know about this stuff so they don't get taken advantage of. Steve PS - I kept it clean this time! Sorry about that!!!
  10. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll be sure to call my "advisor" during the week. Where would you suggest I go? I've read about Vanguard, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price, but will I be able to transfer my money to any one of these 403b providers if my district union does not endorse them?
  11. NJ25

    Axa Equitable

    Hi everyone. I'm new to the board, but after 5 years teaching in NJ, I'm finally starting to wise up to all the going on between the unions and some 403b providers. I have about 10k invested in AXA (I have a ratio of 10% fixed and 90% stocks). Thus far, my 403b has returned a paltry (sarcasm) 1.9%. I have been told to chalk it up to the market being very volatile - especially over the past year and a half. I'm curious to see what everyone thinks of the AXA funds. I've read a half dozen articles tonight and none list Equitable as one of the worst, but I'd hate to realize in 35 years when I retire that I pissed away a few hundred grand. What should I ask my "financial advisor" to ensure that I'm not getting ripped off? Should I transfer my funds to a different provider? I'd really appreciate any advice on this matter. They don't teach you this shit in college.
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