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gchs

Planned Members Anyone?

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Has anyone had any expereince with Planned members- a mutual fund co. out of Calif.? Can anyone advise how I can get more info about this co. (A website from the gov.) I also had an earlier post asking for help-PLEASE...Thanks in advance!

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Could they possibly be called PlanMembers? This company is out of Carpinteria, CA. I found the following information from www.403compare.com

 

I checked out this offering: PlanMember Services Premier Program

http://403bcompare.com/Employee/Products/MutualFund/Information.aspx?pid=1365

 

Advisory Fee 1.6% annually

$25 annual fee (waived if $100,000 in total assets under management)

 

Funding vehicles are through VanKampen and Oppenheimer

 

I checked out the Van Kampen Growth and Income Fund. This fund charges 0.86% on top of the 1.6% Advisory Fee making this investment at least 2.4% annually plus $25. But it gets worse...

 

I then checked out the Oppenheimer Value Fund. The term value is obviously used pretty loosely here as this fund charges 2.07%. So this fund would cost 3.67% when the advisory fee is factored in plus there is still the annual $25 charge.

 

If this is the company in question, I encourage you to go to: www.403bcompare.com and search by vendor. I think what you find will be very eye opening.

 

Dan Otter

 

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Dan,

 

You are doing such a great service by making that post. If I could add just one more comment: the difference between an expense ratio of 2% and, say, 1% is HUGE when compounded over many years. It will cost an investor many, many thousands of dollars. New investors just don't understand this until they do the math. COST REALLY DOES MATTER! (Sorry for the caps, but I really did want to get the attention of new investors)

 

If you have access to a low cost alternative (e.g., Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity), go with that! If you do not have such an alternative, you can go with a high fee provider and then transfer your funds to a low cost provider periodically. However, be careful because there may be obnoxious surrender fees that will make this costly.

 

 

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Hey Westerndad,

 

I just did a little web calculator comparison with a fund charging 3.67% and a fund charging 0.18%.

 

Fund A charges= 3.67% (rounded to 3.7%)

Fund B charges= 0.18% (rounded to 0.2%)

 

Assumptions:

Contribute $4,000 a year for 35 years

Earn 8% annually

 

Value after 35 years

Fund A=$320,232

Fund B=$686,842

 

To try your hand at the 403(b) calculator from Dinkytown:

http://www.dinkytown.net/java/Retire403b.html

 

Dan Otter

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Dan Otter and westerndad,

 

Thank YOU so much for sending me in the right direction! I didn't realize I could use Cali. site to compare. I assumed the website would restrict outsiders.

 

One thing this agent said was that there was more fees assoc. w/ the mutual fund as opposed to the EIA fund. I read the EIA article elsewhere. I asked him the % of earnings for the EIA & he said in 7 yrs. it was 9.1%- can that be?

 

I will ask if this agent will do a 90-24 (is that the correct term for transferring)?

There is just so much info. to sift through. But I am trying at least.

Again thanks so much

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gchs,

 

The promise of an equity indexed annuity--the growth of the stock market without the risk--should make you very, very wary.

 

Do you have any non-agent options? You might consider working with a Certified Financial Planner on an hourly basis. This individual could look over your options and help you select investments based on what's best for you, not an agent.

Good luck.

 

Dan Otter

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Hey gchs,

 

If you have other products availabe that are not agent sold you could work with a CFP to choose among these options. What other choices do you have? Was the information I found on PlanMembers the same company you were inquiring about?

 

Dan Otter

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Dan,

Yes, The info you found was on the MF co. the agent works with. And I found where that co. has one of the highest fee base from this website also!

 

I spoke with Fidelity"s 403b dept. and they said my county is listed in their database, even though it is NOT on our approved vendor list!

Vanguard is sending an employee & employer kit but I feel like my county will not budge.Ok here's a NEEBIE ? : Who decides on the vendor list-schoolboard or superintendent?(I want to know who to bug if needed.)

Here are our approved vendors:

 

First Investors , American Express

Franklin Life, Horace Mann

Metropolitan Life, Putnam

State Farm Insurance, Sun Life

Primerica , Valic

ValuTeachers, Inc.(this is the EIA and MF-Planmembers)

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions. And thanks

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gchs,

 

This is a pretty grim lineup if you are looking for low-cost options. It really is the poster child for what ills the 403(b). I would probe more into the Fidelity possibility. Other options are to 90-24 transfer money to a vendor of your choice. Vendor choice decisions vary by district. I would first start with your employer. Show them calculations from the 403(b) Calculator from Dinkytown.

 

Good luck.

 

Dan Otter

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