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NJ25

Axa Equitable

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New Jersey,

 

My bother listening to all these insurance agents when you have fidelity available. You can set up a pretty

diversified portfolio using their index funds or target funds.

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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?

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###### < $25,000

 

Let's assume that you invest ###### dollars in the funds for N years and there is no growth and no reinvestment of dividends:

 

Return on A shares: ###### * 0.9425 * (.9926 ^ N) = ReturnA

Return on B shares: ###### * (0.985 ^ N) = ReturnB

 

###### * 0.9425 * (0.9926 ^ N) = ###### * (0.985 ^ N)

 

"Class B shares automatically convert to Class A shares in the month of the eight-year

anniversary of the purchase date."

 

BUT, what if there are non-zero returns. What if you have dividends that you re-invest? (Remember, reinvestments are not subject to the initial load.) What if ###### is greater than or equal to $25,000, or what if you expect to eventually have $25,000 or more invested in this fund or a group of American Funds?

 

Here's a link to the prospective for American Funds New Perspectives: http://www.americanfunds.com/pdf/mfgepr-907_npfp.pdf

 

Check my math. It's Friday night and time to go! Best of Luck!

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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.

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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.

 

 

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he 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.

 

 

 

New jersey 25

 

 

List up. Is this an annuity? Are there surrendar fees? Did he mention that? Access to many Mutual fund familiies? At what cost compared to what they really cost direct?

 

I think you would be better off NOT investing in a 403B. You can get Fidelity fund direct in non-tax advantaged

accounts, Thats what I would do or go the roth IRA route. Just call fidelity at their toll free number

 

 

I think you are getting ready to buy into something you don't fully understand and you will pay the consequences later. I was with Lincoln. YOU CAN DO BETTER.

 

But... will you heed our advice?........ I don't think you will.

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[/b]

 

 

New jersey 25

 

 

List up. Is this an annuity? Are there surrendar fees? Did he mention that? Access to many Mutual fund familiies? At what cost compared to what they really cost direct?

 

I think you would be better off NOT investing in a 403B. You can get Fidelity fund direct in non-tax advantaged

accounts, Thats what I would do or go the roth IRA route. Just call fidelity at their toll free number

 

 

I think you are getting ready to buy into something you don't fully understand and you will pay the consequences later. I was with Lincoln. YOU CAN DO BETTER.

 

But... will you heed our advice?........ I don't think you will.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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What about surrendar fees??? Do you want to be locked in? and then pay to get out?

 

Even though its way to much to pay for an index fund. The fidelity deal would come out about the same

as going with lincoln. 1.5% charge plus .10% for the spartan fund but probably no surrendar charge.

 

 

Gosh I just don't think you need to be paying all that much for any of these products. Go the Roth Route!!

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NJ25 I am in very similar situation as you. However not only is my $ tied up in a high fee 403 b but my wives are too. We have blindly been paying into a 403 b for years and I am currently trying to fix my situation. However with the 90-24 transfer no longer available I'm basically up shit creek. The products you have available sound similar to mine and I am going the roth ira route for now. I will not pay those fees again under any circumstances and don't feel anyone should. Remember, there may be some high fees like that attached to some 401k's that many people participate in, but I'm guessing in your case there is no company match. This takes much of the value away from a 403 b that charges high fees.

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Hello everyone,

 

My first post woo-hoo! I'm also with AXA Equitable in MI. I've been trying to talk to my advisor for months on the phone with little success. Here I am paying extra buck-oos for an advisor whom I can never talk to. Regardless I just decided to stop putting any more money into that 403 b while I figure out what to do. I even left him a message that I was thinking of pulling out and wanted to ask him about surrender fees. Not calling back - perhaps his best strategy for keeping me in the fold.

 

My district options are: Consolidated Financial Corp., First Investors, GLP & Associates, Horace Mann Life Insurance (No Thanks!), Zurich Kemper Investors, Paradigm Equities Inc., VALIC Financial Advisors, INC, Educators Financial Services, Inc. and . . . . .. Fidelity Investments.

 

Fidelity is the only one of the bunch I've heard recommended on this site but the postings in this thread are troubling. I'll have to look into if Fidelity Direct is part of this deal or if I am also dealing with a third party mediator.

 

Questions: What can I do about getting info from AXA when my salesman doesn't call back? Are any of the other companies listed above worth checking out? How do I open a Fidelity account without getting involved with a salesman there too? Do I just tell my district to open one for me? Do I do it on the phone with the guy who is listed for Fidelity? (I've been unable to talk to him too!!!)

 

Thanks a $$$

Craig

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Questions: What can I do about getting info from AXA when my salesman doesn't call back? Are any of the other companies listed above worth checking out? How do I open a Fidelity account without getting involved with a salesman there too? Do I just tell my district to open one for me? Do I do it on the phone with the guy who is listed for Fidelity? (I've been unable to talk to him too!!!)

 

 

Craig

 

I would call the AXA toll free number and talk to customer service. Tell them what you want to do and do it. Also mention how worthless the agent is. AS you can see once they have you on autopilot THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT YOUR NEEDS. When I tried dropping my American Express annuity years ago I called my advisor and told him I wanted out and that I was going to transfer money out using a 90-23. He refused to follow through on the paper work. I had to call the main office in Minneapolis to get their attention. Vanguard

my new company had to bug them too.

 

I can't comment on any of the rest except of the ones I do recognize, and you have a usual list of suspects there that are only making themselves rich at your expense.

 

It sound like if you have Fidelity through an agent than you may not be dealing directly with the company but instead an intermediary that sells their products. I would see if you can find the intermediaries main office phone and keep calling.

 

If you can't reach him I would call Fidelity and express ypur concerns on how this intermediary is not doing Fidelity products justice by not following through on phone calls.

 

I would strongly urge you to just go the Roth IRA route and encourge everyone else you know to stay away

from these 403B vultures. Only then when business slacks off and the consumer gets wise will these companies give you a semblance of the true value you deserve for putting your hard earn money in their hands.

 

You know in terms of asking your school system to open up a plan for you to directly invest in Fidelity might be possible. When I was investigating Vanguard, the telephone rep told me a plan could be opened with just

one participant!! I coulkdn't believe it. Its worth a try. That was back then however and things are now changing because of the new regs but I would push to get a direct connection with Fidelity if you can do

it. You may have to call some school board members if you are not getting anywhere with your central office.

 

 

I would just take your time. Believe me its worth taking a look at what you are getting yourself into. Be cynical before proceding. I wish I had taken my own advice when I was younger!!

 

Tony

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Tony, is that the route you've taken, to simply put your $ into a Roth and taxable accts.? The $5,000 I can put into a Roth would be pretty close to what I was contributing to my 403 b before I realized I was getting raped by fees year after year. I realize the tax differences, but between a Roth and my pension I should be pretty comfortable. I would love to be able to defer some taxes w/ a 403b but if I can't get lower fees I'm about ready to just screw the 403 b and go the other routes.

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Actually. I am maxing out my 403B account but I have Vanguard. I am getting real value, real diversification and low fees. If you don't have that than yes a Roth would be the way to go or a tax managed mutual fund. Sure you lose the tax deduction but you will come out ahead going with the funds you choose which in my opinion should be index funds. Do you have a flex spending account? That would give you some tax deductability.

 

Something as simple as a target retirement fund or total bonds, total stock market, and total international index funds is all you really need to do well in the market if you show patience.

 

All these managed funds are a joke. Only 20% ever beat the index over time. So many funds exist because they make money for the company , NOT YOU!!

 

I'm 53 and I have made all the mistakes from thinking managed funds are better than index funds, to believing advisors knew something I didn't, to buying annuities.

 

Trust me!!

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How do I open a Fidelity account without getting involved with a salesman there too?

Craig

 

Ask your payroll office for a list of the 403b vendors. Be prepared for a little hemming and hawing. It took years for my district to provide that information to us. If Fidelity is one of the choices, then call 1-800-343-0860 and ask if your district offers Fidelity Direct or Fidelity Adviser.

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Actually. I am maxing out my 403B account but I have Vanguard. I am getting real value, real diversification and low fees. If you don't have that than yes a Roth would be the way to go or a tax managed mutual fund. Sure you lose the tax deduction but you will come out ahead going with the funds you choose which in my opinion should be index funds. Do you have a flex spending account? That would give you some tax deductability.

 

Something as simple as a target retirement fund or total bonds, total stock market, and total international index funds is all you really need to do well in the market if you show patience.

 

All these managed funds are a joke. Only 20% ever beat the index over time. So many funds exist because they make money for the company , NOT YOU!!

 

I'm 53 and I have made all the mistakes from thinking managed funds are better than index funds, to believing advisors knew something I didn't, to buying annuities.

 

Trust me!!

 

 

I too have made those same mistakes, determined to never laet it happen again. Currently I am using Vanguard to rectify much of my problems, unfortunately, they are not one of my 403 b providers. However if you'd like a rundown of what Lutheran Brotherhood , Horace Mann, or Northwest Mutual Life offers I've got just the ticket. Freakin' joke!

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