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Scottyd

Urban Legend Or Truth?

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OK, I have heard several stories over the years of 403(b) agents paying for substitutes for a school so that the teachers could take off a class or an entire day in order to listen to a sales presentation by the 403b agent. I know I am not out of my mind, but I can't seem to locate anyone who has actually been part of something like this. Is this simply an Urban Legend or does it actually happen?

 

If you've seen this happen at your school or your district and can provide proof I'd like to hear about it.

 

In addition, if you've been approached by a substitute teacher selling 403b plans, I'd like to hear about that as well.

 

ScottyD

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are we getting paranoid or what?!?!?!? c'mon, thats the craziest thing you've said so far. the next thing you'll say is that you heard TSA reps are adopting numerous immigrant children and making sure they enroll them at a variety of schools just so they can have more teacher contacts!

 

like tri said, whats the point of your question...other than trying to come up with another disolution about anyone else except TC!

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Not necessarily, pathfinder. This really did happen in our school, where the entire science department consisted of such "ringers." The shocker was, they were bought and paid for by TIAA-CREF!!!

 

:-)

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The point is I want to know - whats the problem? You really think I could make this stuff up?

 

I am telling you what has been communicated to me over the years and asking if people have had that experience, regardless of the provider.

 

I didn't post to get into a debate as to why, but to find out if it is true and how widespread the practice might be.

 

My opinion is that its not a wise use of our educators time and their are plenty of other opportunities that can be made for educators to get educated on personal finances.

 

As for the immigrant children - is this really happening and can you tell me where...............of course, just joking!

 

ScottyD

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Hi Scotty,

Great question. I would not be surprised if it does happen. But I had not heard about this scenario. As Joe said, they used to sit in the cafeteria looking and acting like lounge lizards but the LAUSD board of education (not the union) put a stop to that.

What is going on is that two different union approved vendors (one last year and another this year) are now taking union reps out on a dinner cruise, off Marina del Rey, to thank them for their support.

Steve

 

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Guest TR1982

Would it be a wise use of our educator's time if their employers provided unbiased advice or seminars during contract time? I'm sure no teacher would object to that and yet there are still plenty of opportunities for people to educate themselves in other ways. This thread doesn't pass the smell test.

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I suppose you are the arbiter of "the smell test"?

 

Get real, what are you afraid of learning anyway?

 

ScottyD

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I have never had to hire a substitute teacher, I just ask the Principal if they will watch the class. You agent bashers and expense hounds probally think I am making it up, but it is true. It is also true most good reps can make up the additional expense of during business with them. Most educators by their own admission are clueless and want an agent or rep.

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I've never heard of any such practices, but that doesn't mean they're not happening somewhere. I'd be fascinated (to say nothing of greatly surprised) if someone substantiated it.

 

TR's reaction might be a little defensive, but it's understandable given the zeal with which full-service providers are impugned on this board. Most people make allowances between ethical practitioners and unethical, but this board in particular doesn't spend much time talking about the ethical ones. In particular, if you work for an insurance company, too many people on this board are ready to assign all sorts of motivations to you, and none of them good. Perhaps the general atmosphere around here (and the resulting dialogue) could be greatly improved with a little less generalizing and a lot more empathy towards different points of view.

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Guest TR1982

"TR's reaction might be a little defensive, but it's understandable given the zeal with which full-service providers are impugned on this board. Most people make allowances between ethical practitioners and unethical, but this board in particular doesn't spend much time talking about the ethical ones. In particular, if you work for an insurance company, too many people on this board are ready to assign all sorts of motivations to you, and none of them good. Perhaps the general atmosphere around here (and the resulting dialogue) could be greatly improved with a little less generalizing and a lot more empathy towards different points of view."

 

FT,

I wasn't being defensive. I was simply asking the question, what is the point of the discussion? In any business situation you can find individuals doing unethical or illegal things. So what's new? What value is there in having this discussion? If we knew that these situations happened, how would that enhance or benefit anyone's knowledge or understanding of 403b plans?

 

I've tried to read between the lines here and it doesn't seem unreasonable that the point of the discussion was to call into question the motives and practices of advisors in this business. That seems pointless to me. It's just tit for tat. To make generalizations about everyone in this business is liking making generalizations about all teachers. I don't accuse the teachers on this board of being simply because Mary Kay LeTourneau was. I would appreciate it if others here would refrain from those kinds of comments as well.

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TR, I thought the general tone of your response did sound defensive, which is why I responded that way. That said, the appearance of a defense usually indicates the presence of an offense. For someone to post something that says, in essence, "I've heard the 403(b) marketplace--with the exception of me, of course, saintly fee-only CFP that I am--is so corrupt that they [insert offensive practice here]" is pretty much a generalization that we can live without.

 

I stand ready to be corrected, of course, if this has actually occurred somewhere. Or if it's actually a regular practice of any company in particular, or insurance companies in general. But the general lack of a response so far would seem to indicate the contrary.

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PS. In general, I also think it's over the top to suggest a parallel between unethical business practices among certain financial professionals and widespread pedophilia among teachers, but that's just me. Perhaps that's because I'm a teacher, or perhaps that's because pedophilia is a genuinely more disturbing crime than aggressive sales practices.

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The point of the question was not to defame honest, ethical advisors, or even to denigrate 403b agents. The point of the question was to get to the bottom of a practice I have heard about and wanted to find confirmation on - what better place to ask a question than a board that deals with 403b. I find it a little ridiculous that TR automatically jumps to conclusions and attempts to turn a question into a debate that was never intended.

 

If the practice isn't widespread and doesn't happen then fine - we know the truth. But what if the rumors I am hearing are true, doesn't that bother you just a little and shouldn't that practice be debated as to whether it is ethical or not - regardless of your position? What happened to good, honest debate?

 

I too think it is a little sick to compare to aggressive sales agents - even if that wasn't your intent.

 

I do believe there are more bad agents, than good in this industry, but is a whole separate topic, unrelated to the question.

 

So........if anyone out there would like to post as to if you've seen this practice, I'd appreciate it.

 

ScottyD

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