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evan

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  1. As an independent (I have voted D&R) I prefer a political process which balances out each other, rather than a "winner take all" mentality. There is a TED talk by Lawrence Lessig: "We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim", which provides many alternatives to this article. Additionally, rolling back the Dobb Frank is, in my opinion, a mistake unless this committee is working hard to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act to its original form (which I doubt). Clearly, Wall Street must be restrained and contained, otherwise every sector of our economy and indeed the world's is open for grabs as this beast is not capable of self-regulating or obeying the law.
  2. Hi Joel, I do not represent Aspire as they are only a record keeper and they are agnostic regarding mutual funds, TPAs, and advisors. As I mentioned, you find the major firm's funds listed above on Aspire. I think it's a combination of many factors; viz: if its not broke don't fix it, name brand recognition be it a mutual fund company or insurance one, decisions are made by senior management (or consultants) and they both have their favorites (typically the rank and file suffer under this regime as they have little investment experience not to mention resources), some believe that the lowest cost is the best option, whether that is in administration of the plan and/or funds selected (I disagree sometimes), some HR folks believe they aren't paying for plan administration because they've been told so ( hard to believe I know), etc. But to you main concern Joel, Don't they want to increase participation? Yes they do. But I think it is also a matter of if the employee, who may be a parent, simply can afford to save for college, retirement, pay rent or mortgage, food, utilities and all of the other necessarities to live when they are faced with rising costs of: food, medicine, housing, education, gas, which have all risen by triple digits over a 30 year period, CEOs incomes have risen the highest by over 700% with the average American receiving a 5% increase (various articles supporting this data). I am not judging this just naming a possible cause as to why employees can't participate or if they do they cant save enough to retire. Another common concern I've heard is the distrust in the markets for not participating feeling the markets are rigged or favor the wealthy. But, I also think name brand recognition has a lot to do with the decision making process as plan sponsors don't truly understand the Aspire model and they have a fiduciary responsibility to their participates. Better safe than sorry. Think Matthew Hutcheson. And frankly, these large mutual fund or insurance companies do a very good job. Now for my personal bias, I think plan participation would increase if financial advisors would be allowed to advisor the rank and file employees. Have the broker dealer or the insurance company vet their own advisors and hold the senior officers within those firms accountable for employing unscrupulous advisors. If one CEO went to jail because one of their advisors committed fraud, misrepresented or mislead a plan participant (all part of the Securities Act of 1940) advisor behavior in our industry would change. I know others feel we are despicable beings but I happen to beiieve the vast majority of us are professional. Just as I do of these professions: consultants, doctors, judges, teachers, govt employees, fire and police, etc. This is a great topic Joel and one which is plaguing our industry. There are many other reasons why the 90% of Americans can not retire and the 10% can.
  3. ASPire Financial Services should be your first stop to look at a truly independent, objective and low cost alternative to the most common names in 403B, 457 plans. Aspire is not a mutual fund or insurance company, you can select any share class you want, you have unlimited selection of investments (providing your plan allows this), there are no charges to deposit or to surrender ($75 processing fee to close your account), $40 annual account fee, plus 15 basis points, plus the cost of the funds you select, ETFs, loans, no mortality and expense fees, you can build your own portfolio or hire an advisor. This is truly a platform that allows you to have it your way. There are no biases, as you will find many of the big name companies you know so well in this market on the Aspire platform. You have 24/7 access to your account and to trade as well. Aspire is the 4G to 403B.
  4. As a professional in the retirement plans business since 1985 I think the best open access model that is available to 403B participants is ASPire Financial Services. Here's why: no surrender fees, no charge to deposit your money, unlimited mutual funds and ETFs to select and to build your own portfolio, $40 account annual account fee plus 15 basis points plus the cost of the funds you select, 24/7 access to your account, unlimited transfers between investments, a fixed account too, not an insurance product, not a mutual fund company either, no mortality and expense fees, they are truly objective when it comes to your plan and investments because you select what you want; they just build it for you. You can work with any investment advisor you want, if their company will allow it (some captive advisors will not be allowed to use ASPire). While the other companies mentioned have name brand recognition, I will ask you why that is important when you want a pure investment platform? Use an investment advisor if you want or DIY, either way you, the investor wins by having a wider selection of funds, at their lowest possible cost. By the way, you will find some of the companies mentioned above on ASPire too.
  5. Indeed, you read correctly, VALIC was behind it, which is odd...they have been a source of variable annuities for a long time...hence the name. Persaonlly, it would appear they were jumping on the train and seeing the destination. VALIC is also losing a lot of district's it TPA'd for, ie LAUSD. All in all, not sure what they are playing at. I do not think it serves any purpose to bash anyone either for or against this bill. I was the last person to testify against it and met with Assemblyman Cedillo afterward. All retirement plans need a major overhaul in favor of the investor. It is not just fees that change the day, for if fees are the major issue: would you rather have an 8% return paying one half of one percent or a 12% return with a 1% charge. The answer is obvious. Stating that lower fees mean higher gains is obvious too. Here is what I propose: Full disclosure and full transparency of all fees, true third party relationships (Today, there are TPA firms doing the 403(b) plan administration for school districts that do not disclose they have a broker dealer side as well, thereby providing their adviors access to educators within those districts), full disclosure and full transparency of advisor compensation (stating that commission advisors are bad and fee advisors are good is an oversimplification and scapegoating. There are investors who want to pay a commission rather than a fee when I describe the difference. For the record, I am mostly fee based advice.), Choice is good, stating that there is paralysis by analysis and the paradox of choice is again, a ruse. How many of us are paralyzed by all of the choices we have in our everyday world? The guide through these different asset classes is the trusted advisor to the investor. Stating that index funds or target funds or lifestyle funds are the answer is simply an answer for some but not all investors want these funds and for good reasons. You state annuities are bad, fair enough, but what is your defined benefit plan if not an annuity called a pension when one elects to payout of their funds over their life time? I agree, annuities are not a great way to accumulate money during one's career but given no other alternative they are better than not saving at all; and I do not prefer them or recommend them for the accumulating phase of money. I suggest the following: a separate record-keeper of all the funds (Not an insurance carrier like TIAA CREF or VALIC) but a true third party record-keeper with no alliance to any mutual fund (Fidelity) or insurance company and able to have all 26,000 funds on its platform including ETFs, trusted and professional financial advice allowing the investor to chose (hold the broker dealer accountable to the trustworthiness of their advisors or if an RIA demand a bond equal to the assets they manage. Remember e-luminary?), true third party administration and eliminate conflicts of interest from all levels (How many educators sell Horace Mann annuities?). Financial advice should be just that: unbiased and independent advice and investments need to be measured according to meeting the investor's suitability and risk tolerance rather than some company's goal. Put the investor first.
  6. As a past VALIC advisor for 2 decades, I can provide more detailed information. VALIC, as do most carriers that specialize in retirement plans, has several variations to their product offerings. In this case you might be in their Portfolio Director account. I suggest you read your contract for the various ways to escape paying a surrender/withdrawal charge. One that is typically overlooked is if there are no deposits for 5 years, one may withdraw their funds without a charge. Your statement should state whether you have a surrender charge too. Another method to determine if you should pay the surrender charge is if you would be earning more interest (not appreciation..so I am comparing fixed accounts here, not variable or mutual fund appreciation)than if you left your money in your VALIC account. Then calculate how long it would take you to make up the surrender charge and be ahead. Short paybacks (3 years or less) are usually a good indicator to transfer the account. I hope this helps.
  7. Understood. Thank you.

  8. evan

    Fidelity Funds

    No one is a prognosticator of what will happen in the markets ever. A suggestion would be to go to the FINRA website and use their fund analyzer software to satisfy your own curiosity. Often times, consumers find a company they believe in and and use them exclusively and, they can do that. However, no one company, Fidelity and Vanguard included, manage all asset classes well or even mostly well. This is why we, a financial advisor, seek to diversify our client's holding not only within different asset classes (assuming the minimum deposits are reached for that fund) but also among different fund families (e.g. Fidelity for stocks funds, Vanguard for index funds, PIMCO for bonds.) We are attempting to get "best of breed". I am a big believer in staddling my clients positions; meaning, indexed funds and actively managed funds, etc. One's preference for seeking lower fees might be overlooked if there was a fund whose past performance was 40% but the fund expense was 9% (Bernie comments excluded please). My point is fees are not the only issue when selecting a fund or fund company. I will use an annuity, in the payout (retirement) phase, not because I am paid a big commission as is commonly thought but because my client can never out live a specific amount of money that the carrier will paid her/him...never out-live that amount. A mutual fund can not state that. But I will also use a managed account such as ASPire's platform because again, none of us can determine what will happen in the future so I try to cover as many bases for my clients as possible. ASPire is a recordkeeper and has most any fund and fund family one could possible want; thereby allowing one to construct a portfolio using several asset classes and fund families. A case can be made for indexed funds only or actively managed funds or low expenses or modest ones or alpha or diversification or dividing your assets according to your age (if your 40 years old, you have 40% in bonds and 60% in stocks. 50 years old, 50% stocks, 50% bonds, and so it goes). Investing is not simply setting it once and forgetting it. Too many funds depends upon how much money you are referring to but typically when designing a portfolio one could have as many as 15 though it is stated not to have more than 18. What is the projected rate of return for this portfolio and what is the standard deviation for it too? One last comment, before you decided on these funds did you complete a risk analysis on yourself and if so how did you score? And,is this portfolio in line with your risk/reward scoring? Hi evan, Good summary of your thinking about diversification and constructing a portfolio that meets an individual needs. But I sense you rely on managed funds for what it looks like to me as part of the diversification. Managers cannot predict the future either as you correctly said at the beginning. Here are my other comments, unsolicited of course. Just to give readers and chance to see differing investing philosophies. Managers do not add value. Some get lucky and add value, a few quite a bit, but they soon fall out of favor. It is never long lasting. The index fund will beat 99% of all active funds over many years according to Rick Ferri’s new book. It’s very convincing. Good luck getting that 1%. But I don’t want to base my strategy on luck, that’s for Vegas, not investing. Other comments: Pimco is too expensive. Fidelity has index funds too, their excellent Spartan funds. Fees are the only issue when selecting a fund. Yes, you can set up a simple portfolio and stay the course. You are partly correct. An investor has to "rebalance" to get back to original stock bond split and the diversification plan. A 30% equity / 70% bond fund has a 7.2% historical returns with low volatility. Purchasing an annuity for lifetime ###### of income, after the accumulation phase in equities, is fine as long as the annuity is from TIAA CREF or Vanguard. Later, Steve Thank you Steve for your insights and please forgive me yet, I can not be painted into a corner or box or another's opinion. When I stated: "No one knows" I stated something very clear: "no one knows the future performance of the markets or the investments". Not me or you or Fred or Peter Lynch or Ben Bernanke. If you want to believe that an index fund is the method to use to invest you will. But an index is fictitious and therefore by the very nature of a true index fund, it will never beat the performance of the fictitious index. If it does, then that fund is not a true index fund (meaning it is doing something that the fictitious index isn't doing to beat the fictitious index.) And since in the future the composition of that fictitious index can change, performance will too. If one believes the statement: "past performance is no indication of future performance"; then, ipso facto, one can not rely upon the past performance of any fund, index or otherwise as a means for investing in a fund. I do not rely upon managers, as you stated, what I do do is rely upon my clients to tell me what they want. They determine if the investment I am suggesting is "right" for them. It is my hope that I present sound enough reasoning as I do not rush to judgement. While you might like TIAA, I am not particular fond of them. They are paternal in their behavior and design of their accounts. Imagine a TIAA account holder may not take a lump sum withdrawal, but must take that distribution over a minimum of 10 years. If you investigate any of their lawsuits filed against them you will note, they are not very pleased with ###### rights as it pertains to a contract holders beneficiary selection. AS I recall, TIAA was taken to court over their restrictive withdrawal option of a lifetime annuity years ago; one could not lump sum the TIAA side. TIAA was forced to change this restriction from never being allowed to lump sum the TIAA side to withdrawing it over a 10 year period. No wonder their assets are as large as they are...whose wouldn't be if you dictated to a client how they could withdraw their own money. TIAA was set up to provide a fixed dollar annuity for the annuitant; with no other option. (see: http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/691/691.F2d.1054.79-7739.79-7737.79-7715.1375.1376.html scoll down to item 9) And they were taken to court to change their mortality tables from M/F to unisex. This is interesting:http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=6203879956. And, apparently they do not play fair with ###### beneficaries either. See http://www.aidslawpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/press_release_5-28-10.pdf Big brother anyone? Companies are fallible and who they are today is not who they will be tomorrow and last point Steve is: No one knows. But I am not admitting defeat only awareness to this single and very important fact, so I design my course accordingly. But I do not think it is better because the fees are lower or the performance is better or whatever "it" happens to be as my critical deciding factor; that was yesterday. Thank you. I had no idea that I painted anybody. We are just having a frendly debate right? You have to take a stand, so how can you not be in a corner. I love corners. Indexes are indeed dumb and boring. Thats precisely why investors will do better over long periods of time than actively managed funds. Your clients want to see action in their portfolio, so be it. I don't and the writers such as Ferri, Bogle, Swedroe, Schultheis, Bernstein, Malkiel, Bogleheads Guide to Investing and Buffett all say that because of indexing low costs and tax efficiency, investors will get their fair share of the market over individual stocks or actively managed funds. TIAA CREF has one fund that has surrender fees and should be sued for that, but the rest of their funds and their philosophy is good. I do worry that the culture is reflecting more of Wall Street than main street when they hired a Wall Street connected CEO a few years ago. Heck, if TIAA CREF can get me more money, Ill take "big brother" anytime when they don't charge commissions and excess fees. Here is their mission statement: Serving the Greater Good For over 90 years, TIAA-CREF has been helping those in the academic, medical, cultural and research fields plan for and live in retirement. We do this with a full array of financial products and services to help them live to and through retirement and invest for life's other goals along the way. In keeping with our strong nonprofit heritage, we offer low fees, a long-term approach to investing, and a full line of financial products and services provided by consultants who never receive commissions. Instead, they are compensated primarily on how well they serve you, not what they sell you. We have different philosophies of investing and life. Its pretty clear, but nobody cares. We have an active passive debate going on. People want to know whats best for them. When it comes to investing, playing dumb will make you richer than playing smart thinking you can beat the averages. Telling people that they can beat the averages is a sales job, not objective. Beating the averages will fail over long periods of time. The OP was given the 4 in one index which is very good option that will serve him for the rest of his life. Thats what this is all about. Have a good day, Steve Thank you Steve and I like this discussion, if I seemed annoyed; I am not. What I have discovered is that choice is a good thing for investors. Too much choice can be overwhelming for most (50% of the investing public). Fees in and of themselves are not bad but in fact, necessary as advisors who work in this business deserve to be compensated. Should you not wish to pay for our services that is your prerogative. However, Bogle and Buffet and the others are not in the same league as the common investor. Their advice, it can be argued, is not for these investors in total for many reasons but the most important one is complete disinterest and/or misunderstanding on their part in their ability to apply it for themselves. And many people just do not want to invest their own funds; they want advice and trusted counsel. Regarding fees and returns, there are those in the not-for-profit world (who I work with) who believe in principle before profit. They want only Socially Responsible funds regardless of their performance (to a point). They dislike Wall Street mentality and they dislike big brother. I am glad we have them in our investing world. To be clear, I never stated I have told anyone they can beat the averages. Never. I have simply stated, no one knows and so straddle the investments. Also, I do use index funds just not for all asset classes. And we must remember, my advice to my clients can always be overruled by them. We have not discussed the greed factor and how it influences an investor's behavior. But this factor is real and present. It also appears, and I can be wrong, that you dislike sales. Perhaps, you dislike the high commissions (define high. The SEC sets the maximum sales commission for us), but the free market will take care of that. If it is the unethical sales practices, the regulators will take care of those miscreants (Perhaps they don't manage that aspect of the industry as swiftly as you and I would like but law and order before vigilantism). But sales is not a dishonorable profession; being a con person is. My rub, if you will, is not with the financial advising profession as I believe the majority of them to be honest and hard working. My distaste is at the top of corporations, with the: Board, the CEO and other Officers of the company. For them to abscond with outrageous compensation for failing at their supervisory and principle responsibilities is an outage and more of the public should be screaming bloody murder. These were the Officers in charge to make sure their products and services were suitable for their clients. They were the ones who approved the application but if it wasn't suitable for the client than it is not suitable for the company. This systemic problem is top down, not bottom up. Lastly, Steve, regarding TIAA, it is said, it is not what is written but what is done. Take a look at those lawsuits. Why does TIAA disallow a lump sum distribution from their fixed investments? If you dislike sales, one can look to the "sales" job TIAA has done. They are a non profit. Their advisors are paid salary but they do have incentives (for: saving assets and attracting more). They typically service the top of an organization and leave the rank and file to seminars or no service at all (How can they do anything else they do not have the salesforce). If your a small college with little assets you'll be lucky to see anyone from TIAA/CREF. Remember the study that was done on TIAA/CREF and their clients years ago? Many education employees who signed up in their money market or TIAA account decades ago were still in that same account when they retired. TIAA/CREF cannot service their clientele. They can not. To be fair, TIAA/CREF is not alone here, most of the firms can not service what clients they have. Yet the firms concentrate more on: "how many assets does a client/institution have" then it does on: how can we best service our clients? Clients judge an advisor by how many assets they manage or how will they manage their money for the highest return. Advisors are grilled by their brokerdealer under similar conditions; what have you done for the BD today? This is precisely why I am an independent advisor. But I also think we are closer to our ideals than further apart; viz, keep our clients interest first and always and do what is best for them. If you want to paint me into a room, you may just make sure it doesn't have any walls or ceiling. I hope where you are the weather is enjoyable and perhaps we can discuss over a cup of coffee one day. My best, Evan
  9. evan

    Fidelity Funds

    No one is a prognosticator of what will happen in the markets ever. A suggestion would be to go to the FINRA website and use their fund analyzer software to satisfy your own curiosity. Often times, consumers find a company they believe in and and use them exclusively and, they can do that. However, no one company, Fidelity and Vanguard included, manage all asset classes well or even mostly well. This is why we, a financial advisor, seek to diversify our client's holding not only within different asset classes (assuming the minimum deposits are reached for that fund) but also among different fund families (e.g. Fidelity for stocks funds, Vanguard for index funds, PIMCO for bonds.) We are attempting to get "best of breed". I am a big believer in staddling my clients positions; meaning, indexed funds and actively managed funds, etc. One's preference for seeking lower fees might be overlooked if there was a fund whose past performance was 40% but the fund expense was 9% (Bernie comments excluded please). My point is fees are not the only issue when selecting a fund or fund company. I will use an annuity, in the payout (retirement) phase, not because I am paid a big commission as is commonly thought but because my client can never out live a specific amount of money that the carrier will paid her/him...never out-live that amount. A mutual fund can not state that. But I will also use a managed account such as ASPire's platform because again, none of us can determine what will happen in the future so I try to cover as many bases for my clients as possible. ASPire is a recordkeeper and has most any fund and fund family one could possible want; thereby allowing one to construct a portfolio using several asset classes and fund families. A case can be made for indexed funds only or actively managed funds or low expenses or modest ones or alpha or diversification or dividing your assets according to your age (if your 40 years old, you have 40% in bonds and 60% in stocks. 50 years old, 50% stocks, 50% bonds, and so it goes). Investing is not simply setting it once and forgetting it. Too many funds depends upon how much money you are referring to but typically when designing a portfolio one could have as many as 15 though it is stated not to have more than 18. What is the projected rate of return for this portfolio and what is the standard deviation for it too? One last comment, before you decided on these funds did you complete a risk analysis on yourself and if so how did you score? And,is this portfolio in line with your risk/reward scoring? Hi evan, Good summary of your thinking about diversification and constructing a portfolio that meets an individual needs. But I sense you rely on managed funds for what it looks like to me as part of the diversification. Managers cannot predict the future either as you correctly said at the beginning. Here are my other comments, unsolicited of course. Just to give readers and chance to see differing investing philosophies. Managers do not add value. Some get lucky and add value, a few quite a bit, but they soon fall out of favor. It is never long lasting. The index fund will beat 99% of all active funds over many years according to Rick Ferri’s new book. It’s very convincing. Good luck getting that 1%. But I don’t want to base my strategy on luck, that’s for Vegas, not investing. Other comments: Pimco is too expensive. Fidelity has index funds too, their excellent Spartan funds. Fees are the only issue when selecting a fund. Yes, you can set up a simple portfolio and stay the course. You are partly correct. An investor has to "rebalance" to get back to original stock bond split and the diversification plan. A 30% equity / 70% bond fund has a 7.2% historical returns with low volatility. Purchasing an annuity for lifetime ###### of income, after the accumulation phase in equities, is fine as long as the annuity is from TIAA CREF or Vanguard. Later, Steve Thank you Steve for your insights and please forgive me yet, I can not be painted into a corner or box or another's opinion. When I stated: "No one knows" I stated something very clear: "no one knows the future performance of the markets or the investments". Not me or you or Fred or Peter Lynch or Ben Bernanke. If you want to believe that an index fund is the method to use to invest you will. But an index is fictitious and therefore by the very nature of a true index fund, it will never beat the performance of the fictitious index. If it does, then that fund is not a true index fund (meaning it is doing something that the fictitious index isn't doing to beat the fictitious index.) And since in the future the composition of that fictitious index can change, performance will too. If one believes the statement: "past performance is no indication of future performance"; then, ipso facto, one can not rely upon the past performance of any fund, index or otherwise as a means for investing in a fund. I do not rely upon managers, as you stated, what I do do is rely upon my clients to tell me what they want. They determine if the investment I am suggesting is "right" for them. It is my hope that I present sound enough reasoning as I do not rush to judgement. While you might like TIAA, I am not particular fond of them. They are paternal in their behavior and design of their accounts. Imagine a TIAA account holder may not take a lump sum withdrawal, but must take that distribution over a minimum of 10 years. If you investigate any of their lawsuits filed against them you will note, they are not very pleased with ###### rights as it pertains to a contract holders beneficiary selection. AS I recall, TIAA was taken to court over their restrictive withdrawal option of a lifetime annuity years ago; one could not lump sum the TIAA side. TIAA was forced to change this restriction from never being allowed to lump sum the TIAA side to withdrawing it over a 10 year period. No wonder their assets are as large as they are...whose wouldn't be if you dictated to a client how they could withdraw their own money. TIAA was set up to provide a fixed dollar annuity for the annuitant; with no other option. (see: http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/691/691.F2d.1054.79-7739.79-7737.79-7715.1375.1376.html scoll down to item 9) And they were taken to court to change their mortality tables from M/F to unisex. This is interesting:http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=6203879956. And, apparently they do not play fair with ###### beneficaries either. See http://www.aidslawpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/press_release_5-28-10.pdf Big brother anyone? Companies are fallible and who they are today is not who they will be tomorrow and last point Steve is: No one knows. But I am not admitting defeat only awareness to this single and very important fact, so I design my course accordingly. But I do not think it is better because the fees are lower or the performance is better or whatever "it" happens to be as my critical deciding factor; that was yesterday. Thank you.
  10. evan

    Fidelity Funds

    No one is a prognosticator of what will happen in the markets ever. A suggestion would be to go to the FINRA website and use their fund analyzer software to satisfy your own curiosity. Often times, consumers find a company they believe in and and use them exclusively and, they can do that. However, no one company, Fidelity and Vanguard included, manage all asset classes well or even mostly well. This is why we, a financial advisor, seek to diversify our client's holding not only within different asset classes (assuming the minimum deposits are reached for that fund) but also among different fund families (e.g. Fidelity for stocks funds, Vanguard for index funds, PIMCO for bonds.) We are attempting to get "best of breed". I am a big believer in staddling my clients positions; meaning, indexed funds and actively managed funds, etc. One's preference for seeking lower fees might be overlooked if there was a fund whose past performance was 40% but the fund expense was 9% (Bernie comments excluded please). My point is fees are not the only issue when selecting a fund or fund company. I will use an annuity, in the payout (retirement) phase, not because I am paid a big commission as is commonly thought but because my client can never out live a specific amount of money that the carrier will paid her/him...never out-live that amount. A mutual fund can not state that. But I will also use a managed account such as ASPire's platform because again, none of us can determine what will happen in the future so I try to cover as many bases for my clients as possible. ASPire is a recordkeeper and has most any fund and fund family one could possible want; thereby allowing one to construct a portfolio using several asset classes and fund families. A case can be made for indexed funds only or actively managed funds or low expenses or modest ones or alpha or diversification or dividing your assets according to your age (if your 40 years old, you have 40% in bonds and 60% in stocks. 50 years old, 50% stocks, 50% bonds, and so it goes). Investing is not simply setting it once and forgetting it. Too many funds depends upon how much money you are referring to but typically when designing a portfolio one could have as many as 15 though it is stated not to have more than 18. What is the projected rate of return for this portfolio and what is the standard deviation for it too? One last comment, before you decided on these funds did you complete a risk analysis on yourself and if so how did you score? And,is this portfolio in line with your risk/reward scoring? Hi evan, Good summary of your thinking about diversification and constructing a portfolio that meets an individual needs. But I sense you rely on managed funds for what it looks like to me as part of the diversification. Managers cannot predict the future either as you correctly said at the beginning. Here are my other comments, unsolicited of course. Just to give readers and chance to see differing investing philosophies. Managers do not add value. Some get lucky and add value, a few quite a bit, but they soon fall out of favor. It is never long lasting. The index fund will beat 99% of all active funds over many years according to Rick Ferri’s new book. It’s very convincing. Good luck getting that 1%. But I don’t want to base my strategy on luck, that’s for Vegas, not investing. Other comments: Pimco is too expensive. Fidelity has index funds too, their excellent Spartan funds. Fees are the only issue when selecting a fund. Yes, you can set up a simple portfolio and stay the course. You are partly correct. An investor has to "rebalance" to get back to original stock bond split and the diversification plan. A 30% equity / 70% bond fund has a 7.2% historical returns with low volatility. Purchasing an annuity for lifetime ###### of income, after the accumulation phase in equities, is fine as long as the annuity is from TIAA CREF or Vanguard. Later, Steve
  11. Admin

    Hey Evan,

    Good to have you on the site. We are supporters of what Aspire does but we can't have direct solicitation on the Discussion Board.

  12. evan

    Fidelity Funds

    No one is a prognosticator of what will happen in the markets ever. A suggestion would be to go to the FINRA website and use their fund analyzer software to satisfy your own curiosity. Often times, consumers find a company they believe in and and use them exclusively and, they can do that. However, no one company, Fidelity and Vanguard included, manage all asset classes well or even mostly well. This is why we, a financial advisor, seek to diversify our client's holding not only within different asset classes (assuming the minimum deposits are reached for that fund) but also among different fund families (e.g. Fidelity for stocks funds, Vanguard for index funds, PIMCO for bonds.) We are attempting to get "best of breed". I am a big believer in staddling my clients positions; meaning, indexed funds and actively managed funds, etc. One's preference for seeking lower fees might be overlooked if there was a fund whose past performance was 40% but the fund expense was 9% (Bernie comments excluded please). My point is fees are not the only issue when selecting a fund or fund company. I will use an annuity, in the payout (retirement) phase, not because I am paid a big commission as is commonly thought but because my client can never out live a specific amount of money that the carrier will paid her/him...never out-live that amount. A mutual fund can not state that. But I will also use a managed account such as ASPire's platform because again, none of us can determine what will happen in the future so I try to cover as many bases for my clients as possible. ASPire is a recordkeeper and has most any fund and fund family one could possible want; thereby allowing one to construct a portfolio using several asset classes and fund families. A case can be made for indexed funds only or actively managed funds or low expenses or modest ones or alpha or diversification or dividing your assets according to your age (if your 40 years old, you have 40% in bonds and 60% in stocks. 50 years old, 50% stocks, 50% bonds, and so it goes). Investing is not simply setting it once and forgetting it. Too many funds depends upon how much money you are referring to but typically when designing a portfolio one could have as many as 15 though it is stated not to have more than 18. What is the projected rate of return for this portfolio and what is the standard deviation for it too? One last comment, before you decided on these funds did you complete a risk analysis on yourself and if so how did you score? And,is this portfolio in line with your risk/reward scoring?
  13. I have. RSVP when I worked at VALIC was Retirement Service Valued Plan. Not sure if this acronym still stands. It is an open architecture platform which a plan sponsor can use for almost any pre-tax retirement plan. Since leaving VALIC I have found the ASPire recordkeeping platform to have a much boarder selection of mutual fund share classes and the opportunity for the investor to manage their portfolio themselves or to use a financial advisor on a commission or fee base schedule.
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