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  1. Hi Junkins, Your tip about asking for SB rep who knows about the DirectInvest was very refreshing news. Congrats! Steve
  2. Just to make matters worse, you wrote that the adviser fee is per quarter which adds up to 1.5% per year! If my math is correct! But in the k12 403b world these outrageous fees, the loads and the cost of managed funds or pathetic annuities are all very typical. In any case, have your colleague run, don't walk, away from this adviser and anything he or she touches. Your follow employee is damn lucky to have you.
  3. The usual practice is the 5.75% load is waived with tax-deferred retirement plans. Dam shame on American funds for charging those outrageous commissions!
  4. Hi Omar, Here is a ton of ideas especially for math teachers, but for all teachers too. Check out this website: https://www.ngpf.org/ All of Tim Ranzetta's resources are free and his next all-day workshop in Southern California is March 20 in Burbank: Register here: https://www.ngpf.org/fincamps/ He still has space! If you cannot make it, he is going to try and have an additional all-day workshop in the Los Angeles area. Steve
  5. My free book Fighting Powerful Interests is packed with stories like what you report. But this is very clever. What appears to be different from you is that at least the powers to be are much more nuanced than my experience 25 years ago.
  6. Hey whyme, Congratulations!!! If we cannot feel good about a single year, how are we going to feel when the market goes down over 2-3 years such as 2000-2002? There is nothing wrong with feeling good in a short time period. If some people draw conclusions, then they still have some more mistakes and more learning, just as I did when I was overly excited back in the tech bubble years. Wow! did I make mistakes, but I know now not to get too excited, but there is nothing wrong with feeling good about 2019. My goodness whyme, you worked very hard all of these years to build your wealth so now you experience for one year that your wealth earns more than your GROSS salary. That's how investing is supposed to work! Again congratulations! Most people do not experience what you reported. That's a significant landmark, and you should feel good! I would. Happy new year, Steve
  7. Ed, Thanks for posting those returns. It's a nice segway into what those broad equity market returns and what they actually mean to an ordinary investor's do it yourself portfolio. 2009: 28.76% 2011: 1.08% 2013: 33.51% 2015: 0.4% 2017: 21.19% 2018: -5.17% 2019: 30.43 Here are my portfolio returns for the last 14 years. If you look at the broad returns above and look at my returns, my portfolio is doing what it is designed to do, follow the markets whether it goes up or down. What was unexpected was the excellent returns for a very conservative portfolio! Average 5.97% annually for 14 years. There is room for both maintaining wealth but also taking on just enough equity risk to generate returns for retirement purposes. At my age and the fact that I need my investments to support my lifestyle, and I won the game, I no longer play the game. I will probably always keep my portfolio close to 30/70. Vanguard's Portfolio Allocation Models of 30/70 (click here) stock-bond split has an average of 7.1% over 90 years. My 5.97% annual average is very close to the 90-year average of 7.1% considering it is only 14 years.
  8. Broad Market Returns for 2019 DJIA 23.76% NASDAQ 37.89% S&P 500 30.43% Barclays U.S.Aggregate bond index 8.72% I have not seen these prized returns since 2013 and the tech bubble 20 years ago. In 1999, my late hubby and I grew our portfolio $550,000. We hit the million-dollar milestone in November 1999, but our portfolio continued to grow another $500,000 in just four more months. We all know what happened between March 2000 and October 2002. Besides not being diversified among the equities and having 98% in sector tech funds and without a stock-bond balance, we were doomed. Furthermore, we also didn't know we won the game. Bill Bernstein wrote a few years later, unfortunately for us, "When you won the game, stop playing." https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=163863 But we corrected those mistakes and quit playing the game about 2007 when our portfolio recovered, and I retired in 2008. Which leads me up to today. An unexpected pattern has evolved with my portfolio since 2008. While I stopped playing my portfolio didn't even with a very conservative strategy! Portfolio 2019 Return: 13.2% I take very little risk according to the Standard Deviation (one measure of risk) of each of my investments. Most have a SD between 2-5 for the bonds and Wellesley and the rest are about 12 - 15 (Total Stock Market Index, Extended Market index and the total international stock market index). The asset allocation is shown in the pie chart below. Did you notice the fees! OMG! I paid a whopping $1069.00 for my 7-figure portfolio. Happy New Year! 2020 going to be another special year for me! Some of you may have noticed on Facebook that I am engaged. No wedding plans yet.
  9. I used krow's link and scrolled down to "aggressive allocation" the only one which is titled "aggressive" and came up with this: https://www.403bcompare.com/subProducts/6157 The returns are different than the statement--in fact, they are pathetic for an aggressive title. FYI I do not rely on the returns of my portfolio from a statement or Vanguard because I have money in three places: TIAA, Vanguard and Treasury Direct. I take what I had on December 31 after the market has closed and subject it from the beginning of the year January 1st, and calculate the return (In my retired situation I add back all of the distributions because those reductions are not a loss. If you are working, you take the contributions out). Some people use Excell and do this every month to get a more accurate annual return.
  10. sschullo

    The Secure Act

    Nothing significant for our reform efforts. Here is a concise write up by White Coat Investor, Dr. Jim: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/secure-act/
  11. This WCI article is directly related to our 403(b) problem with public K12 throughout the country: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/the-case-against-annuities/ Yep, even high paid professionals are sold these hideous products!
  12. Has anybody been watching the newspapers? Once again the WSJ came out with another 403(b) article and this time they expose the powerful NEA, National Education Association, and other unions who are only thinking about making money off their members. "Teachers Pay High Fees for Retirement Funds. Unions Are Partly to Blame. Groups representing municipal employees and teachers are often paid to endorse investment products." By Anne Tergesen and Gretchen Morgenson December 18, 2019 Our own Scott Dauenhaurer was quoted: "The unions should be advocating on behalf of members, not selling products to them,” said Scott Dauenhauer, a registered investment adviser in Murrieta, Calif., who specializes in financial planning for teachers. “They are there to protect teachers’ rights, not them.” Of course, we have known this uneasy relationship with the unions and certain high-cost insurance companies for years. Have you also been following the Markets? What a banner year 2019 will be for our portfolios! WSJ 2019 Great Artirtical! Teachers Pay High Fees for Retirement Funds. Unions Are Partly to Blame. - WSJ (1).pdfWSJ 2019 Great Artirtical! Teachers Pay High Fees for Retirement Funds. Unions Are Partly to Blame. - WSJ (1).pdf
  13. Yeah! Congratulations. I reached that milestone at the ripe young age of 53 but lost most of it during the tech wreck. But California real estate and a reformed fully diversified portfolio with reasonable returns are what brought my late hubby and I back to millionaire status less than 6 years later. We were ready for 2008, and it's been great ever since.
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