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Everything posted by sschullo

  1. I had two friends who just wanted to pay the hourly fee. One said she couldn't find one, and the other was rejected on the spot because she said that "most advisers don't work that way." This adviser was on the Garrett Planning Network. Yeah, it's a five-year-old story, but I just wonder how current this issue is. Read it here: https://latebloomerwealth.com/did-garrett-planning-network-pass-the-smell-test/ Why don't you bring your request to the panel and ask them if they would look at your plan for the hourly rate?
  2. Yes, but I have not read his other two free books. Do you know Paul's work?
  3. Here is a book for FREE from Paul Merriman. He is good as I have been listening to his podcasts for over a decade. And I read his book: Get Smart or Get Screwed: How to Select the Best and get the most from your financial advisor. get-smart-or-get-screwed-how-to-select-the-best-and-get-the-most-from-your-financial-advisor1.pdf
  4. Pushing this up. May 6 is a very special gathering. With the world's top financial advisers dedicated to 403(b) k12 teachers. Come one come all! Dan: You might attract a deluge of teachers who want to take advantage of free financial advice! :- ) Getting competent and genuine fiduciary advice in the corrupted 403(b) world is RARE! But they are all joining in on a panel that Dan is hosting! This is a first-time event that people can interact with the pros in public!
  5. CPAs and Attorneys, believe it or not, are fiduciaries! 90% of wall street minions are not, and fight every inch of proposed fiduciary legislation.
  6. Thank you. I am very happy you liked it. It was written for advocates like yourself, but for all educators too. Educators will learn the investing language and how corrupted the 403(b) is and what some of us were able to do at L.A. Unified. Those years from 2000 to 2014, the only place you got objective information was 403bwise.com right here in this forum. As you know, this topic is NEVER discussed publically anywhere in California within public k12 districts and unions. As you read in my book, the total absolute SILENCE from 1961 to 1998 is one of the great mysteries of retirement planning. Millions and millions of smart, and savvy investing educators came and went and back in those dark ages, no one warned their colleagues about the lawlessness of the 403b! But back in 1998, it took like ole me and an L.A. Reporter, Kathy Kristoff, to bring the permanently dormant topic, the 403(b), to transparency, and then U.S. News and World Report in 2000 put this site on the map for good. Its been a long, long slow grind but we keep moving forward. I have to believe that more and more teachers across the country are hearing the new message, avoid annuities like the plague. BTW, missed you yesterday on the zoom.com meetings. Are they great! Teachers from across the country are logging on and asking questions, and you get to see them. Dan has it well organized, and Scott fills in with the regulatory stuff. They are a great team. Next Tuesday will be a very special topic dear to my heart, Dan and Scott have a panel of fiduciary financial advisers that are our 403b reformed minded friends: Tony and Dina Isola, Breana, and another advisor, all fee-only fiduciaries. These advisers are about the only FAs around that understand the depth of the 403b problem. Our colleagues need help!
  7. Great Dan. Perhaps some of the regulars here will join in on the real live spirited discussions with real live people vs. the old fashioned 20th century written posts. See you Wednesday. Steve
  8. Happy you are going to use us as a model. Attend a committee meeting. If they don't have one, ask them if you can sit in on one of their meetings when they discuss 403/457b plans. We all know they meet behind closed doors and to let them know that you know they have meetings that affect the financial welfare of all of the districts employees will go a long way to opening up those meetings to employees. If they refuse, go to the school board public meetings as let them know what you want to do for the employees, its always for the employees. Use LAUSD as an example. Our committee is composed of reps from all collective bargaining units. To make sure the board understands that this committee is an advisory, it has no power to make changes, we advise the CFO, and he or she either says yes or no. The CFO is the fiduciary. I shudder to think how terrible the 457b plans are around the country when no employees are watching. The plan sponsors tell districts when they want to know, and its never about what is best for district employees. I got to know a teacher next door in the next county, and they have the same TPA for both plans. He mentioned to his superintendent about forming a committee, and the super sh-ot back, "TOO MUCH LIABILITY." Get ready for the 19th century thinking from district staff. I have done all of the above over the years, and I wrote it all in my book Fighting Powerful Interests, free download. All that I did from 1994 to 2014. It's an incredible story of how fighting for change against an inclosed educational culture that sees this topic as totally alien! As I mentioned in the webinar, I was very lucky that one benefits administrator knew how terrible the 403b was and started the 457b plan and asked my friends and me to join a committee. We are all volunteers and been on it for 14 years, long enough to get a Plan Design 457B Award.
  9. ScottO and I have been attending these one-hour workshops every week hosted by Dan Otter and Scotty D. It's a great opportunity for face to face assistance while sitting in the safety of your house. The presentations are spot-on for newbies with these sometimes complicated topics. Next week"s topics are the 403b, and investing and asset allocation. 1. Wednesday: Investing & Asset Allocation session on https://403bwise.org/events/details/event-get-wise-to-the-403b042920 2. Thursday: https://403bwise.org/events/details/event-get-wise-to-investing-and-asset-allocation043020 Requires using Zoom.com which is now used everywhere in the country. I had a family get together last evening and it was terrific.
  10. Now I can't even edit my above message and spell the offensive word with a dash, ho-t. The bottom line is that teachers have not been coming here much for years and years, but they are frequenting FB and that site is less than a year. I wish they would have come here, but they just don't and for me and all of us frequenters here, it remains a baffling mystery--this site is 20 years! 20 YEARS! It's not working, sad to say.
  11. Search functions are terrible everywhere, FB, here and on Bogleheads. As far as ease of use, I have been using FB for 12 years and have two pages, personal and one for business. I love the way I can target my audience on the business side of FB. I sell nothing but try to give away my blog posts to enlighted teachers are the forever corrupted 403(b) with k12, and give away my two books! LOLs. This site is very annoying about the deleting of potentially offensive words like ! GIVE ME A BREAK!
  12. Hi Blosky and Deb, Really! I don't see a difference in difficulty between FB and here. However, the FB page is much more active than here by a long sho-t! Every day there are two or three questions and several people answering. That hardly ever happens here. About once every couple of months, we might get a discussion thread here but NEVER LIKE FB. Dan will have to make a decision to close this website down because it takes time and effort to keep it open for very little action, when FB has about 1000 teachers who have registered and it's growing! It's about ROI, Return on Investment! But of course, Dan would be happy that both of you found what you needed here and moved on. That's what this is all about. Steve
  13. Update. Since Q1 ended, my portfolio has recovered and is only down -3.6% YTD at the close of the markets last Friday, April 17. FYI, my portfolio recovered because the stock and bond markets recovered. Will it continue? NOBODY knows that answer. If it continues, my portfolio will continue to grow also, and if it goes back down, my portfolio goes down too. Quite simple. On the contrary, a friend did not know why her portfolio went down last year in 2019 and did not grow much in the last 3 or 4 years! Her portfolio was managed by an incompetent investment management firm. That's hideous, not knowing why her portfolio has not grown when the broad markets were setting records! Wow! She eventually got out, transferring her money to Vanguard, she was so angry! That's why we preach to do this yourself.
  14. Of course, your won't because you people never point your clients to low-cost options as an absolute priority, your rationale makes sense to you. But for us consumers, low-cost options ARE THE BEST FINANCIAL ADVICE EVER because it doesn't exist in the financial industry except for one man, and one man only--John Bogle. AKA St. Jack to us followers to this great man!
  15. AXA is a terrible company! And of course, it's not right to lump them together, but the alternative is worse. There isn't enough return from the stock and bond market to also included a financial adviser's costs, especially when they do not add value. They are way too expensive, as I have said over and over. For years, everybody from insurance agents, brokers, and fee-only financial advisers are all calling themselves fiduciaries. It used to be the "in-word" but its gotten so hackneyed and jaded, fiduciary doesn't mean very much anymore. 99% of all people don't even know what an oath is nor why they exist! The founder of this site, Dan Otter and Scott D., has vetted some FA for those who come to this website searching for an adviser. But the discussion forum here focuses and encourages everyone to do it yourself. It is a different world here than in the real world. People can successfully self manage their money and get better results than using financial advisers, especially in the 403(b) world!
  16. Almost all K12 public school educators in this country have had a bad financial adviser. Just about every new poster who comes here is asking how to get out of an annuity. It's been this way since the 403(b) was launched in 1961. At that time we could only use annuities. Annuity salespeople do NOTHING but get that signature and collect a commission, and move on to the next victim. I think we agree on insurance agents. But you might be talking about genuine fiduciary financial advisers who can help people stick with their plans. I agree that many fiduciary advisers are competent and genuine portfolio investment managers, but there is a problem there too. In the last ten years, the perverse incentive system for the financial industry has changed, but not enough. When commissions or revenue sharing fees were dropped from retirement plans and the so-called fiduciary financial adviser transferred from a commission and revenue business model, those hideous costs I mentioned, to the new business model, the fee-only pay by the hour, we were thrilled! But then we heard that people don't like to open up their checkbooks to pay for an adviser! (Interesting, people pay big bucks for attorneys, taxman, plumbers, new cars every 3 or four years, and ALL OTHER PROFESSIONALS by the hour, but the advisers complained they were not making any money. So the Assets Under Management (AUM), AUM fees were launched. They retreated to hiding the fees once again! What started as a great idea turn out a very disappointing change with unintended consequences. If investors aren't careful, they will get ripped off by this new business model too. In some situations, they can be abused even when a fiduciary adviser, who even signs oaths to look out for the client's interest over their own, charges way too much for what they do. Who says that can't charge way over the top AUM, as high as 1.25% or higher! That's way too high, and that's taken away value, not adding. Read one of my most popular blog pieces when I confronted an adviser who was listed on the well respected Garrett Planning Network, where if an investor wants to pay by the hour, the adviser must allow it. It was shocking what this unethical adviser did with one of my blog readers: https://latebloomerwealth.com/did-garrett-planning-network-pass-the-smell-test/ BTW, Sheryl Garrett, the founder, removed this adviser when I reported this terrible incident. Just one final note, I am so grateful that I can manage my money without an adviser. So many of my friends, family members and my blog readers lack the confidence and knowledge to do this. Also, one friend who has an adviser doesn't want to think about his money! I met his adviser and while this adviser is a fine person, I would never allow him to manage my portfolio. NEVER, because he charges fees for something I can perfectly do myself. In fact, I have saved so much in fees, it paid for solar panels, and two new electric cars in the last ten years since I retired.
  17. I wrote all about 2000-2002 and 2008 experiences in our book Late Bloomer Millionaires (free on my blog). I am experiencing this global epidemic is almost as scary as my cancer diagnosis. It is scary right now. I thought I was coming down with something as my throat was feeling weird, not sore but just different. similar to like my twice a year blood tests that I had for 4 years after my cancer surgery, did it spread? No, but in the meantime, every six months I was concerned. Compared to today, did I catch the COVID-19? Scary stuff.
  18. Just some thoughts about feelings. Sometimes we get our predictions correct. For example, I predicted for a long time that I will feel nothing when the next crash comes because I am prepared for it. So that's exactly what happened, I felt nothing too, but it never matters what other people think or feel. It's my experience. But it is reasonable to assume that nobody knows how I feel until it actually happens. When it comes to predicting risk, many investors take on too much risk. I will never make that mistake again. It was during the 2000-2002 crash. In 2000, I remember when my portfolio lost 33%, I felt nothing too. But two years later when my portfolio lost 70% at the very bottom in 2002, I felt shocked. But I am very proud that did not respond to that emotion by doing more damage. I stood my ground and repeated that I was not going to sell out at the bottom, and I didn't. Its quite an experience losing all of those gains going back to 1995. I thought long and hard about why did I keep playing the game when I won. But I know enough that the markets will recover even after almost 3 long years, and they were LONG! I learned from my mistakes and revamped my portfolio and was well prepared for 2008 and 2020. I never looked back again. I now know how I felt when I was told I had cancer and needed surgery right away! And finally, I know how I felt when my husband of 40 years died shockingly in one week. Strong feelings either positive or negative are short-lived, just like bad times vs. good times. Contentment is long-lasting. I had the cancer surgery and I have been cancer-free for 20 years. I went to a bereavement group, saw a shrink, a life coach, and my Buddhist teachings got me through my grief and to heal. I am now a happy newlywed to a wonderful person. I am so fortunate that I found a second person who loves me very much. Those experiences tell me nothing about what will happen to our economy and our collective health because of COVID-19. All I can say now is that we are going to recover eventually and "to keep doing what we were doing in January." Steve
  19. Hey colleagues, Getting FREE PD has never been so accessible. We have discussed Tim Ranzett's Next Gen Personal Finance and his incredible financial literacy PDs and his rich library and laboratory resources before. Now he has gone totally online. Look what PDs are coming up: https://www.ngpf.org/pd/virtual-pd/ Stay safe and healthy Steve
  20. Hey Scott, Nice to have met you on Dan and Scott's videocast dubbed "happy hour" this afternoon. Very happy you and your wife are part of the FI and FIRE movement. Teachers have one benefit that most FIRE people do not--PENSION! I also remet Nancy and also met for the first time, the great millionaire teacher, Gerry Born! There were 18 amazing 403b advocacy educators that came to the discussion. While it was a little clumsy getting started because of the virtual blackboard that Dan was using, it became a great place to ask and answer questions. People from all over the country came aboard and the comradery was infectious. Some of you regulars, Tony, Whyme, krow, MCGopher and Ed come and join the next discussion and share your wisdom. People need support during these hard times. BTW, we just a 4.9 earthquake. One picture toppled over in my office and the swimming pool water was rippling. It was loud and hard but did not last long thank goodness. Thats all we need now! YIKES! We are fine. Steve
  21. For people retiring early, under 40 with 60 years of living to go, now that's a challenge for financial advisers, and for the investor. They cannot be overly aggressive or they risk losing during times like this, but if they are overly conservative like my portfolio of 30/70 they will not keep up with the standard of living. But that just touches the surface of what the FIRE movement is trying to do. They will figure it out. I have the fullest confidence they will figure it out, and the working, shopping and entertainment world are accommodating as we speak. This epidemic is going to be a game-changer for working, shopping and being entertained at home, so they don't have to own a car, just for starters! But that's huge. Cars alone are expensive during the life of a working person! But the working world itself will change bigtime. The investing world has changed so much during the last 25 years, and so it will develop again during the next 25 years. Costs of investments have gone way down. Robo advisers will hopefully replace human advisers, as all humans are way too emotional. The FI and FIRE movement will adjust to all of this and benefit, they are still young. My investment costs are so low, that in the last ten years, I have saved on costs alone to purchase two new electric cars and solar panels, to even save more money on filthy petroleum products and home electric bills. You mentioned about bad information for the FI and FIRE movement as some people may quit their jobs too soon. Let's talk about my boomer generation got a heck of a lot of worse information. We were sold hideous annuities, told to buy big homes, buy a new car every three years, get the latest and greatest expensive and useless crap ever. Except for the annuity ripoff, I was lucky that I never bought into that never save a dime crowd. My family was similar to yours and I grew up to always save a little and live frugally. My mother bought 3M shares as she was an employee and I learned about stocks as a kid, and how they worked. I never bought a new car during my working career and I used that money to invest in my 403(b) instead and have a nice nest egg to live off of now.
  22. I read parts of MMM. As millions of his readers have already said over and over, he is one brilliant and insightful guy. He alone is made the word "Frugal" a lot less negative for the public. I have always liked it as we teachers are naturally frugal and so are engineers, but the general public does not. Now MMM has taken his message to help his followers psychologically through this mess. The FI and FIRE movement people are VERY savvy. Of course, some or many will make mistakes. Who here has not made investing mistakes? Or other life mistakes? We all have. As I have said before I love the movement to move to a less stressful life with less material crap, reasonable size houses, small cars, or no car and replace that unhealthy stress with a less materialistic value system with a more holistic value system.
  23. I am only calculating investments as shown in the tables above. If I am missing something please explain.
  24. It is obvious that end of February and all of March went NUTS! So, to nobody's surprise, the financial press reported that this past quarter was the worse since 2008. I remember 2008 well. What is different is how fast the markets went down from an all-time high on February 12th. My 30% stock / 70% bonds returned a negative 7.0%. This negative return is right in tune with my asset allocation when stocks went down 23% and bonds went up about 3.0%. Here are the particulars. Nothing new except that I added a tax-except from CA and the Feds muni fund.
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