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jphillips

Why Won't Joel Say Who He Is?

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Do you know that you buy Class B shares which means you pay a sales charge if you change carriers within 5 years of investing with ING/Opportunity Plus? Do you know that you pay, just for Mortality and Expense risk 100 basis points or 1.00 percent. Did you know your brothers and sisters at the State and City Universities of NY (SUNY and CUNY) pay 0.03 percent and have been giving the carrier their 403(b) business for forty years? I give you one and only one chance to name the 403(b) carrier. That is correct!...TIAA-CREF!

 

************************************************

 

Imagine my shock to read another commercial for TIAA-CREF coming from you. But of course you have no ties to TIAA-CREF...right?

 

Your posts remain enjoyable because they continually harp on the same points ("Other people pay less! MUCH less!") while ignoring any and all rebuttals ("Other people pay more, but RECEIVE more...far more!"). I'll be happy to acknowledge and respond to your questions when you extend to me the same courtesy. Meanwhile, you might want to ponder that the reason your little campaign fails to get traction in New York is precisely because what I'm writing is true: that teachers, by and large, have sufficient choice between full-service and low-cost providers, and they know it. Furthermore, you continue to ignore the FACT that any and all limitations placed on teachers' choices are placed there by the DISTRICT, not by the UNION. Again, don't let the facts get in the way of a good crusade.

 

I'm tired of tilting at windmills with you, Joel, so I'm dropping this little exchange. I will come back as often as is necessary to do what I've done here, which is to make sure everyone is aware of the gigantic holes in your logic.

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Frenchman: You can rest assured that the largest financial services firm in the world doesn't need someone to post on these disscussion boards on their behalf. But I would not put it past your NYSUT/ING crowd to hire somone like you to spin the party line.

 

Good night and good luck and please don't take offense when I once again say.

 

Peace and Hope,

Joel L. Frank

Current Pension Topics Columnist

The Chief-Civil Service Leader

 

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But I would not put it past your NYSUT/ING crowd to hire somone like you to spin the party line.

 

 

Unbelievable Joel. When in doubt cast asperions on those that disagree with you. Shame on you.

 

I do not understand why you and others on this site are so opposed to choice. LACOE & LAUSD both offer TIAA as a choice, and I for one like having a choice. And yes I've read the propaganda put out by Vanguard "Can There Be too Much Choice..." I give it as much credence as I'd give a similar publication put out by Saturn. Dan has written, "An RFP is a lot like getting work done on your house or car." I have to disagree with this. When making the choice of a provider it is the District that makes the decision as too who the provider will be and the employee who is making the contribution. I don't like the idea of being told what companies I can choose from. I want choice!! And before you bring up the argument. " Well you don't get any choice with health insurance." In most if not all Districts there are choices and the District pays the lions share of the premium.

 

Also, I have read Joel ranting that high fee brokers would not be let in the front door at Fortune 500 companies. That also is not true. I think if you look at the 401k's of most major companies they are limited in choice, use large brokerage firms, and charge fees.

 

Jim

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QUOTE (gadfly @ Mar 23 2004, 06:56 AM)

The last thing I did yesterday before I left school was help a teacher who had brought all her account information from three jobs, four different 403b's and at least 20 funds. The grand total of ALL of the investments over the years was less than $20,000!

 

 

 

You are leaving some things out of the equation. How much has she been contributing and for how many years? If she has been putting in $600 per year for the last 10 years then she's done pretty well. If she's been putting in $6000 per year for the last 10 years then obviously something is wrong.

 

What was her account value before the bear market? Isn't having $20,000 in an account better than having done nothing? Has she been working with the same broker or just switching accounts everytime some new guy came through the door? If she has been working with the same broker and he has been selling her new accounts all the time can't she file a complaint against him? What kind of help did you provide her?

 

 

But she has been kept in the dark about fees and none of the various salespeople even talked to her about redundant funds. You seem to be saying that just because she was ina 403b and had so much of it taken in fees, that she is better off than having not done it at all. That is the same argument I have heard from the various sales reps, that the they have been instrumental in getting people to save. I don't buy that argument. The reason I don't buy that argument is because they forget the other half at the info sessions. When was the last time you heard a rep say "I will help you save and for getting you started, I will take 45% of your final investment?"

I'm not disagreeing that this teacher may have been taken advantage of. I don't know enough about this women's situation to make that judgement. And since you totally ignored providing the answers to those questions there is no way of knowing whether this women was really damaged.

 

Were any of the other salespeople aware of her other accounts? Did she tell them about them or neglect to put that in the eqaution? If she did and the salesperson sold a product that was redundant just to generate a commission that is probably illegal.

 

My question still remains: how much did she invest over how many years to realize the $20,000 and how much was in the account prior to the bear market.

 

And yes, I am saying that saving, even in an abusive 2 tier annuity like I did as a new teacher is better than not saving. Over the 5 years I had an annuity with Nat'l Western I saved $6,750 approx. in taxes, and accumulated $75,000 in that account. Could I have had more elsewhere, ABSOLUTELY!!!! Would I have had the $75,000 if I had not contributed, NO!!!! So don't try to tell me I wasn't better off saving.

 

Jim

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Frenchman says: "Furthermore, you continue to ignore the FACT that any and all limitations placed on teachers' choices are placed there by the DISTRICT, not by the UNION"

 

Joel says: I am in full agreement with the above quote of yours. Now, would you please furnish us with the name of a single school district in the State of New York that has not allowed NYSUT/ING to be sold to its employees.

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Frenchman says: "Furthermore, you continue to ignore the FACT that any and all limitations placed on teachers' choices are placed there by the DISTRICT, not by the UNION"

 

Joel says: I am in full agreement with the above quote of yours. Now, would you please furnish us with the name of a single school district in the State of New York that has not allowed NYSUT/ING to be sold to its employees.

 

*****************************************

 

Woodman, happy to use your own words from a previous post to answer your question:

 

From "Redwoods":

Why is the NY City teachers union, the largest affiliate of NYSUT, representing about half of the teachers in the State of NY, steadfastly opposed to ING and simply does not allow their sales reps to solicit NYC teachers?

 

So, by your own account, that's about HALF the teachers in the State of NY that don't have access to ING! I presume from your note that you were about to sound yet another conspiratorial alarm about how no-loads are banned from New York State (which would have been false anyway), but no one ever opposes the "endorsed" carrier, ING (clearly also false, by your own words).

 

Anything else?

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Dear French Teacher:

 

Thank you for noting and re-emphasizing for us that the largest teacher local in the country, the United Federation of Teachers and the City School District of New York fully agree that NYSUT/ING does not provide good value for their members and employees respectively and, therefore, do not allow school district employees to contribute to Opportunity Plus.

 

Having said that, I interpreted your statement: "Furthermore, you continue to ignore the FACT that any and all limitations placed on teachers' choices are placed there by the DISTRICT, not by the UNION" as referring to school districts OTHER THAN NYC? This is what I assumed you meant. So in any event, I ask you: Other than NYC, please furnish us with the name of a single school district that does not allow Opportunity Plus to be sold to its employees. Thank You.

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I interpreted your statement: "Furthermore, you continue to ignore the FACT that any and all limitations placed on teachers' choices are placed there by the DISTRICT, not by the UNION" refers to school districts OTHER THAN NYC? This is what I assumed you meant. So in any event, I ask you: Other than NYC, please furnish us with the name of a single school district that does not allow Opportunity Plus to be sold to its employees. Thank You.

 

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Why? For God's sake, what is your point? Assuming, as always, that you have one?

 

Let's see how this game will play out. If I say there are no other districts that don't do business with ING, you will screech about how I am "up against the ropes" and that there is a clear statewide conspiracy (driven by NYSUT, of course!) to force everyone into the arms of ING and their outrageous fee structure. (We'll set aside, for the moment, the fact that everyone has options that are both full-service AND no-load, and that therefore your claims ring completely hollow.)

 

On the other hand, if I do the research that you are apparently too lazy to do and produce the names of other districts that do not do business with ING, I'll get the same triumphant screech, the "up against the ropes" nonsense, and the repeating of the point that there are other people besides you who find better value in companies other than ING. (Again, we'll overlook the fact that I have never once suggested that ING is a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, nor have I suggested that no-load options shouldn't be available to all teachers...oh, wait a sec, that's right, they ARE ALREADY AVAILABLE...never mind.)

 

Either way, I trust you'll change the point you were trying to make a few squares back, which was that somehow the union is the boogeyman in all this, limiting choice for teachers in New York State. Since I've proven you completely wrong on this, let's see where the conversation takes us next.

 

Pick whichever answer suits your purposes, Joel, and fire away.

 

 

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Dear Frenchman:

 

You contend that all NYSUT members can have high cost or low cost. But this is an inaccurate statement because we both know that in NYC only NO-LOADS are available. So we can agree that in NYC there is not a full choice of carriers because the full service provider---ING is excluded. So we now have stipulated that there is at least one district in the state that does not offer full choice...NYC.

 

Now let's focus our attention on school districts outside of the City. Insofar as you first asserted that all NYSUT members can have high cost or low cost and we fully agree that it is up to the DISTRICT and not NYSUT to exclude or include carriers I am simply asking you to name a district that offers no-loads in addition to ING. Is this not a reasonable request?

 

Peace and Hope,

Joel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Frenchman:

 

You contend that all NYSUT members can have high cost or low cost. But this is an inaccurate statement because we both know that in NYC only NO-LOADS are available. So we can agree that in NYC there is not a full choice of carriers because the full service provider---ING is excluded. So we now have stipulated that there is at least one district in the state that does not offer full choice...NYC.

 

Now let's focus our attention on school districts outside of the City. Insofar as you first asserted that all NYSUT members can have high cost or low cost and we fully agree that it is up to the DISTRICT and not NYSUT to exclude or include carriers I am simply asking you to name a district that offers no-loads in addition to ING. Is this not a reasonable request?

 

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Dear Woodman:

 

Frankly, it's an easy enough request that I'm primarily offended by your laziness in not simply doing the research yourself. It took me exactly one phone call, and four minutes of "work."

 

One example. Arlington, NY. Includes TIAA-CREF and Vanguard in its menu of 403(b) options available to teachers.

 

By the way, since we're pointing out inaccuracies, you say above that "the full service provider---ING is excluded." I trust you are aware that there are a number of full-service providers available elsewhere in New York State, and all are unavailable in NYC. Your comment makes it sound as though ING was somehow singled out for exclusion.

 

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I only know you as "French Teacher" so I address you by that name or sometimes I refer to you as "Frenchman" which is really inappropriate because you have not revealed your which is your right and I respect it. In that spirit of respect please refer to me as Joel not as "woodman"....I love love love the Redwoods and have seen them three times in my life but I have never slept under them nor in any other forested area in this great USA.

 

Yes you are indeed on point when you say NYC has never permitted any full service, high cost provider, to compete with its no-loads.

 

As far as Arlington is concerned can you tell us which provider has the lion's share of the business?

 

Peace,

Joel

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In that spirit of respect please refer to me as Joel not as "woodman"....I love love love the Redwoods and have seen them three times in my life but I have never slept under them nor in any other forested area in this great USA.

 

Yes you are indeed on point when you say NYC has never permitted any full service, high cost provider, to compete with its no-loads.

 

As far as Arlington is concerned can you tell us which provider has the lion's share of the business?

 

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My apologies, Joel...referring to you as "Woodman" was glib, but certainly not intended to offend. I'll avoid doing so in the future. I don't mind being referred to as "French Teacher," but "Frenchman" is misleading if only because I'm not French. I teach it, but I am American. If you must use a name for me, I like "Baudelaire." :-)

 

I assume you are filled with outrage by the fact that if a NYC teacher needs financial advice from a human being, (s)he has nowhere to turn. You must write the NYC folks every day, demanding that those who need full-service providers are afforded the opportunity to make that choice!

 

I don't teach in Arlington, so I can't say with certainty which provider has the lion's share of the business. The full-service options outnumber the no-loads, so it's probably a safe assumption that they have a greater number of the 403(b) accounts. But surely your point was to express relief and happiness that not just one, but TWO, no-load options are available to Arlington teachers, no? And not just any two, but the two that I see most cited on this website for their low cost and overall excellence. Anyone who WANTS a high-quality, no-load 403(b) plan in Arlington has it available to him/her.

 

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Jim,

 

 

I just can’t ever buy the argument that agents should be thanked for getting us to save. In this case, the client has had the choice of a low cost deferred compensation plan OR a high cost 403b plan. With comparable funds in each, of course, the agent will steer her into the high cost 403b plan. One of my colleagues, as I mentioned in a previous post was “advised” to put his funds into a high cost money marker (because the client wanted absolute safety) and of course he was put into the 403b money market instead of a low cost 457 money market. Of course, I believe that all this is about to change, thankfully as we educate ourselves.

 

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Hi French Teacher,

 

The situation in NYC is as follows: In addition to a no-load 403(b), the teachers have a no-load 457(b) and 401(k). The UFT (the NYSUT affiliate for NYC) conducts monthly pension clinics at no out of pocket cost to the member. The TRS conducts seminars on 403(b). The Deferred Compensation Board (457(b) and 401(k)) provides financial education, guidance and service via their website, 800# and group seminars. All of this is provided for 0.34 percent.

 

How do you compare this package to the 2 percent you pay for "Opportunity Plus"?

 

Peace and Hope,

Joel

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Hi French Teacher,

 

The situation in NYC is as follows: In addition to a no-load 403(b), the teachers have a no-load 457(b) and 401(k). The UFT (the NYSUT affiliate for NYC) conducts monthly pension clinics at no out of pocket cost to the member. The TRS conducts seminars on 403(b). The Deferred Compensation Board (457(b) and 401(k)) provides financial education, guidance and service via their website, 800# and group seminars. All of this is provided for 0.34 percent.

 

How do you compare this package to the 2 percent you pay for "Opportunity Plus"?

 

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[That 2 percent number for Opportunity Plus is quite likely high, and dependent upon which funds within Opportunity Plus you select, but of course you know that.]

 

If the NYC teachers are happy with this plan as you describe it, then good for them. I assume they ARE happy with it, since I have heard as little complaint from NYC teachers as I have from teachers in my own district about the much wider array of options available to us.

 

By and large, I would question the "Big Brother" approach of the district selecting who offers financial education, and when, and on what terms. I much prefer a system whereby such low-cost options are available to people, alongside other options that involve selecting your own provider/financial planner. In your description, the Deferred Compensation Board offers education/guidance via "their website, 800# and group seminars." What if someone wants a full financial plan done for them? More simply, what if someone wants a one-on-one, face-to-face meeting with someone at which they can sit and discuss their personal situation, even if it's just as simple as asset allocation? Sounds to me like they'd be stuck ponying up the high hourly fees that a fee-only financial planner would charge.

 

NYSUT endorses ING, but does not mandate them; indeed, I am impressed by the wide array of options available to people in my district. The UFT, on the other hand, has put a system in place that, by your description, sounds like it does not even allow for alternatives on the part of its membership. Why would you advocate such a draconian setup? Simply because it's more attuned to YOUR vision of what a 403(b) plan should be? I would think that you would advocate for choice on the part of the membership. I certainly do.

 

 

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