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Hannibal Grubis

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  1. My school district has hired Gatekeeper as our "hold harmless" administrator. Unfortunately I can no longer directly invest with no-load providers such as Fidelity or Vanguard. My choices are insurance companies... I have two questions and one statement of what I think I need to do. 1) 403b ASP is a company that allows me to get into Vanguard and Janus funds (403b ASP has provided management services for 401k plans and now it is getting in the soon to be lucrative 403b plan management). I'm having a hard time finding info. about 403b ASP. On independent sites, I found that their fees are $40 a year plus 0.1% plus the cost of the mutual fund. I could live with that. However, I stumbled across an asset based fee of 1.78% and a consent deferred sales chared of 1% if I keep money in funds for at least 6 years. I am so nervous about hidden fees... Also, there is a 1% fee for having an advisor. Do I have to have an advisor with 403b ASP?? 2) Gatekeeper offers 14 different vendors, predominately insurance companies or companies like 403b ASP and ING which are middlemen that seem to be getting too big a piece of my pie. Some of these vendors, such as Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, are in financial trouble. Now that my District has limited my options for investments, could my district have some fudiciary responsibility for the bad financial decisions of its vendors? My plan is to make sure that I do NOT roll my current 403b monies into one of these robber-barrons. I will max my ROTH IRA and look into a 457 through my state. Our distict has a poor history of trying to manage our 403b accounts. They signed up with Horizon Benefit as a hold harmless company that also sold investment products and was found to embezzle 403b monies. Needless to say, we got our District to drop Horizon Benefit after a year and a half of meetings. I understand that the current situation is different, but I'm tempted to find my legal options...
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