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Airs tonight (4/23/2013) at 10:00 P.M. Eastern time on your local PBS station... or stream. I'm a huge Frontline fan. Their reporting is usually top notch. Thought I would give a heads up to those interested.

"The Retirement Gamble
An examination of retirement accounts. Included: the lack of uniformity in plans, which results in some workers paying much more than others; the cost of a seemingly small annual fee when spread out across a worker's lifetime; hidden fees."

Linky

There is a brief preview in the link. They also usually air one during the PBS Newshour.

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I saw a little bit of the show again last night and wondered about it in relation to Robert Reich's book "Aftershock". ... (more)

debentureboy (Jun. 19, 2013 @ 7:59a) |

good post.

psychtobe (Jun. 19, 2013 @ 11:49a) |

The Chase investment guy in the video was sweating. You could could see his eyes darting back and forth as he was freaki... (more)

Nummerkins (Jun. 19, 2013 @ 4:47p) |


Thanks for the reminder I'll record it.

Looks like PBS is playing the shill for more government regulation. Financial services is just like everything else - buyer beware. Government can't protect everybody from everything. Regulation comes at a cost. Compliance fees are already strangling the financial services industry as it is.

The old guy in the preview is Jack Bogle of Vanguard fame. I can't begin to imagine the amount of money he has saved individual investors with his life's work. This is going to be worth tuning into for whatever he's got to say alone.

If you missed it, you can watch it here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/retirement-gamble/

dcwilbur said:   Looks like PBS is playing the shill for more government regulation. Financial services is just like everything else - buyer beware. Government can't protect everybody from everything. Regulation comes at a cost. Compliance fees are already strangling the financial services industry as it is.

+1.....Frontline is definitely biased as well.

Just like in health care, the liberal agenda is to have 2 tiers of retirement plan. One tier for the entire private sector, and another tier that is for the public sector and union members in the private sector that's 10-20% better than the first tier. Cream of the crop companies should be able to offer better retirement plans to its workers. That's how you get people to perform.

dcwilbur said:   Looks like PBS is playing the shill for more government regulation. Financial services is just like everything else - buyer beware. Government can't protect everybody from everything. Regulation comes at a cost. Compliance fees are already strangling the financial services industry as it is.

evlemonkfish said:   Just like in health care, the liberal agenda is to have 2 tiers of retirement plan. One tier for the entire private sector, and another tier that is for the public sector and union members in the private sector that's 10-20% better than the first tier. Cream of the crop companies should be able to offer better retirement plans to its workers. That's how you get people to perform.

dcwilbur said:   Looks like PBS is playing the shill for more government regulation. Financial services is just like everything else - buyer beware. Government can't protect everybody from everything. Regulation comes at a cost. Compliance fees are already strangling the financial services industry as it is.


I thought the liberal agenda was to socialize all private industry and sell all our guns to terrorists?

VerbalK said:   ...I thought the liberal agenda was to socialize all private industry and sell all our guns to terrorists?.... and give the money to welfare recipients so they can make payments on their Lexi. Isn't that it?

Definitely a good watch. Thanks OP!

I will look into the index funds, based on Frontline you are better off investing your 401k in this than any mutual funds in the long run.

kenblakely said:   .... and give the money to welfare recipients so they can make payments on their Lexi. Isn't that it?
And it'd get done if it weren't for that f**king supermajority requirement. Let's abolish the filibuster ... until the pubes get the senate back.

dcwilbur said:   Looks like PBS is playing the shill for more government regulation. Financial services is just like everything else - buyer beware. Government can't protect everybody from everything. Regulation comes at a cost. Compliance fees are already strangling the financial services industry as it is.
In what sense?

The balls of regulators to make the financial scammers show the fee structure....

How like Frontline to very eloquently spread more misinformation, faulty logic, and half truths to the public like they always do(doesn't mean I still don't enjoy watching them on occasion I just have to sit there shaking my head the entire time while I wait for a couple of interesting kernels of info).

The reason why 401k plans traditionally have higher fees and higher fee funds associated with them is because of a$$holes Frontline with their bull%hit convincing congress and regulators to dump a $hit load more regulations and requirements onto these plans.

You have detailed anti discrimination testing, education requirements, enrollment rules and regulations, the plan documents have to drafted by attorney's and sent out to the labor department for approval, plan administration requirements, you have extensive disclosure requirements, you have extensive regulations involving the usage of other plans in conjunction with defined contribution, you have elevated reporting requirements, etc. And for service providers and plan administrators they have to be there to handle all employees requests even if a bunch only have a couple hundred dollars in the plan. Then to add insult to injury they now threw on huge requirements to disclose every way that a provider gets compensated that could remotely be attributed to the 401k plan itself. The regulations as they are written even require a provider to calculate what percentage of a company provided vacation is attributable to the plan and on top of that even little handouts with the company logo on it like shirts, baseball caps, a sleeve of golf balls, etc. are technically supposed to be disclosed(although last I heard they might be backtracking on some of that).

Now all of this $hit has a cost associated with it. Your typical 401k plans are loaded with costly regulation and since there is more of it there than any where else you pay for more of it there than anywhere else. See 20 years ago 401k options actually weren't that bad at the time relative to non 401k options(keep in mind it was pre internet exchange so stocks were bought and sold a mostly via phone to the pit at that time so ticket charges were higher in general) and the reason why that was, was not only because the 401k market was less regulated at that time, but your employer at that time usually paid all of the administrative cost out of their pocket. Eventually tons of regulation in that particular area just had employers screaming uncle and a rather enterprising firm(with many behind it) came around pitching an idea to employers. Allow us to handle your 401k and you'll stop paying another cent towards the administration of your plans. That firm was named Principal and their business model was to recoup the high costs of plan administration by picking the highest 12b-1 fee funds in the business for plan participants. Still to this day I believe Principal has a majority of the 401k market and it's because of A-holes like Frontline that this happened.


And then the interviewing of people who just expected that they would get high returns with low risk in perpetuity was just as bad. The financial literacy of the masses is terrible and they get bored with the subject matter easily and (luckily I haven't had this problem yet to any large degree, but I no doubt will at some point) when things don't go well then it was why didn't you have the crystal ball or they feel screwed or you should have informed me of the risks I was taking(when they had greed stamped across their face) and now they want to 'put their money somewhere safe' when the market is at all time lows.

But when it comes down to it whether it's prices, investments, or politics people just want to believe in the unicorns and pink bunnies where they can have their cake and eat it to. And what you should read out of this is not someone shaking their finger, but instead the most important thing to remember so that you don't get caught with your pants down like those unfortunate people in that documentary.

harruin said:   dcwilbur said:   Looks like PBS is playing the shill for more government regulation. Financial services is just like everything else - buyer beware. Government can't protect everybody from everything. Regulation comes at a cost. Compliance fees are already strangling the financial services industry as it is.
In what sense?
What dshibb said. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

wallet99 said:   Definitely a good watch. Thanks OP!

I will look into the index funds, based on Frontline you are better off investing your 401k in this than any mutual funds in the long run.


Definitely, you can't control your accounts performance but there are things (like index funds) that can minimize the fees you are charged.

Good show overall, nothing really new for me but I could see this being useful to share with some friends who aren't as up to date on things.

dshibb said:   How like Frontline to very eloquently spread more misinformation, faulty logic, and half truths to the public like they always do(doesn't mean I still don't enjoy watching them on occasion I just have to sit there shaking my head the entire time while I wait for a couple of interesting kernels of info).

The reason why 401k plans traditionally have higher fees and higher fee funds associated with them is because of a$$holes Frontline with their bull%hit convincing congress and regulators to dump a $hit load more regulations and requirements onto these plans.




A FW charity bake sale to benefit the retirement financial industry will take place next Thursday in the middle school auditorium.

VerbalK said:   I thought the liberal agenda was to socialize all private industry and sell all our guns to terrorists?
I only wish I were making straw man arguments about stupid liberal policies. However, these dumb idiot politicians never fail to make my case.

No more ‘firemen’ in Washington state: Governor signs gender-neutral legislation

wallet99 said:   I will look into the index funds,

You must be new to the Finance forum.

It seems to me that the real gamble is investing heavily in funds that are tax advantaged and run the risk of the govt. changing the rules in mid air and thusly taking all your money anyway.

There is an agenda beneath the surface here.

Activists, labor leaders, and politicians have been trying to force "quality standards" on retirement plans for years now, supposedly as a way of reducing risk and keeping fees down. How would they do that? Product mandates.

This group has been pushing to require minimum holdings of Treasury and GSE debt. They claim lower fees and reduced risk will benefit retirees forced into adopting the mandated investment strategy.

This is despite mountains of evidence that buy and hold Bogle-style investing produces superior returns with an acceptable risk profile, and none of the potential liabilities with holding government-guaranteed debt at low yields in an expansionist monetary environment.

Are they simply wrong, denying the mountains of evidence that low-fee index funds are excellent products?

No. There is an agenda here. The goal is to force more buyers into the market for government debt, as a way of expanding the pool of purchasers and lowering borrowing costs. They're trying to strongarm more suckers into buying government debt they would not otherwise have bought.

Current Treasury and GSE yields are far too low to meet the needs of savers who are counting on income/growth to supplement the shrinking amounts of principal they are able to put away for retirement - but political elites can't stop the deficit spending, and now they need a new bag holder for their Keynesian lunacy.

tomjef said:   Current Treasury and GSE yields are far too low to meet the needs of savers who are counting on income/growth to supplement the shrinking amounts of principal they are able to put away for retirement - but political elites can't stop the deficit spending, and now they need a new bag holder for their Keynesian lunacy.




Your post is perfectly sensible except for the bolded part - There is no relationship between the yeild you get and the yeild you need, and if you're not saving enough, the solution is to save more, not make up for your lack of savings by chasing higher risk investment than you wotherwise would have.

evlemonkfish said:   VerbalK said:   I thought the liberal agenda was to socialize all private industry and sell all our guns to terrorists?
I only wish I were making straw man arguments about stupid liberal policies. However, these dumb idiot politicians never fail to make my case.

No more ‘firemen’ in Washington state: Governor signs gender-neutral legislation


Were I to teach a debate logic seminar, your post would be the perfect example of a poory contructed straw man fallacy.

Frontline made an excellent point, FEES!!!!

I've worked for asset management firms for the past 12 years. I've involved in daily operation from trading, managing, accounting, compliance filing. The big difference is passive vs active management funds (if you don't know what that is, do a research). The cost of running the fund, believe it or not is not that much different between say $100 million vs $5Billion. When I first joined my current employer, we started managing ETFs. Staff to run the operation was pegged at 23. We started with about $800Million. We grew to $5Billion, yet, no increase in staff (actually lost 2 people in the process). The reason that happens is simple, everything's automated. BTW, avg fee here is about .8%.

Prior to my current employer, I worked for hedge fund. During my 4 years, asset under management went from $100mil to $400mil. Head count at the beginning was 12. When we sold our operation to another financial firm, head count was 8. Again, everything's automated here. We charge 2% plus profit sharing here. This was an actively managed account.

So between the two, there's a 1.2% difference in fees (at the minimum).

And before we start blaming on the fees charged by Wall St. I would say to all the investors, look to yourself. Ask why are you "buying" something that you don't know. To me that is the root to solve all this. I noticed the people interview, they just worry, or "hoping" or just accepted it. 401K is not the only vehicle to wealth management. If your company is not matching, and have limited choice of funds to invest in, I wouldn't bother. I take the after tax money , then put into a brokerage account where I have more flexibility to manage.

^^ I think people invest in hedge funds assuming or at least hoping that the managers are using inside information for them and not just for themselves.

tomjef said:   There is an agenda beneath the surface here.

Activists, labor leaders, and politicians have been trying to force "quality standards" on retirement plans for years now, supposedly as a way of reducing risk and keeping fees down. How would they do that? Product mandates.

This group has been pushing to require minimum holdings of Treasury and GSE debt. They claim lower fees and reduced risk will benefit retirees forced into adopting the mandated investment strategy.

This is despite mountains of evidence that buy and hold Bogle-style investing produces superior returns with an acceptable risk profile, and none of the potential liabilities with holding government-guaranteed debt at low yields in an expansionist monetary environment.

Are they simply wrong, denying the mountains of evidence that low-fee index funds are excellent products?

No. There is an agenda here. The goal is to force more buyers into the market for government debt, as a way of expanding the pool of purchasers and lowering borrowing costs. They're trying to strongarm more suckers into buying government debt they would not otherwise have bought.

Current Treasury and GSE yields are far too low to meet the needs of savers who are counting on income/growth to supplement the shrinking amounts of principal they are able to put away for retirement - but political elites can't stop the deficit spending, and now they need a new bag holder for their Keynesian lunacy.


How is a documentary that basically canonizises Bogle and his index funds be part of a secret agenda to sell more government debt? I guess I missed the latest "Buy U.S. Bonds" ad campaign by the treasury. Conspiracy in search of Conspirators... I smell George Soros!

hchen42 said:   So between the two, there's a 1.2% difference in fees (at the minimum).So how did the returns compare?

The presumption of course, right or wrong, is that higher fees = more active management = higher returns. Sometimes that's true; sometimes it's not.

i don't care about anything but i like your captain murphy picture sealab 2021 ftw

johnfkennedy said:   i don't care about anything but i like your captain murphy picture sealab 2021 ftw

And that, succinctly stated, is why the Republic eventually always falls.

soundtechie said:   tomjef said:   Current Treasury and GSE yields are far too low to meet the needs of savers who are counting on income/growth to supplement the shrinking amounts of principal they are able to put away for retirement - but political elites can't stop the deficit spending, and now they need a new bag holder for their Keynesian lunacy.




Your post is perfectly sensible except for the bolded part - There is no relationship between the yeild you get and the yeild you need, and if you're not saving enough, the solution is to save more, not make up for your lack of savings by chasing higher risk investment than you wotherwise would have.


Let me know how that works in the real world when housing is up, food is up, transportation is up, health care is up, energy is up, and childcare is up - all the while people are having their hours cut.

Higher growth rates means less principal must be put away - and many people are putting less principal away.

They should be more thrifty, but it's reality. It's hard enough getting enough people to put enough away at 7% real compound growth.

VerbalK said:   How is a documentary that basically canonizises Bogle and his index funds be part of a secret agenda to sell more government debt? I guess I missed the latest "Buy U.S. Bonds" ad campaign by the treasury. Conspiracy in search of Conspirators... I smell George Soros!

Guess you missed the part where I said nothing of the documentary. I pointed out that labor leaders, politicians, and morons like Elizabeth Warren are out there trying to "protect" people from themselves by forcing more Treasuries down peoples' throats at a time where the agendas of said groups are dependent on massive Treasury issuance.

Low fee, safe, growth oriented products are available. Sowing FUD is useful idiocy which plays into the hands of those with ulterior Motives.

tomjef said:   
Low fee, safe, growth oriented products are available. Sowing FUD is useful idiocy which plays into the hands of those with ulterior Motives.


We're talking about 401ks, which means that's not necessarily true.

They should do a show about the lottery and how many people use social security money to play it. Shameful

VerbalK said:   dshibb said:   How like Frontline to very eloquently spread more misinformation, faulty logic, and half truths to the public like they always do(doesn't mean I still don't enjoy watching them on occasion I just have to sit there shaking my head the entire time while I wait for a couple of interesting kernels of info).

The reason why 401k plans traditionally have higher fees and higher fee funds associated with them is because of a$$holes Frontline with their bull%hit convincing congress and regulators to dump a $hit load more regulations and requirements onto these plans.




A FW charity bake sale to benefit the retirement financial industry will take place next Thursday in the middle school auditorium.


Look portfolio management fees have been coming down for mutual funds sold to the open market(and that is a good thing), but the reason why it wont affect most peoples 401k plans is because of half truth's and bull$hit spread by people like Frontline. It was idiot notions from people like them that things like anti-discrimination testing entered the 401k market. It was idiot notions from people like them that continually put more reporting requirements on to those plans. This is why you don't see much of Vanguard in your 401k plans and it's because to offer that to the plan participants means the employer has to pay the burden of these requirements.

Look you have no idea how perverted that market has gotten. When an employer is shopping for a 401k provider and their HR department is handling it what the HR person is looking for in their own interests is 100% of their work outsourced to the administrator/broker and easy processes between their department and the administrator/broker. The other thing they're looking at is the lowest cost bore by their employer. When these 2 things come together you get all of the costs shifted on to the plan participants via mutual funds that pay a high 12b-1 fee to the broker/administrator so they can recoup those costs from there.

Now if the public wants to they can demand from their employer that they bare costs of administration on their balance sheet and give you as employees better choices in the plan. The employer might give in under pressure, but then it will just mean that they include plan administration costs as a cost of hiring and your potential for salary increases will be adversely affected to make up for that cost.

The last option(which I think given the high cost to administer is probably the best and most realistic) you can convince your employer to switch from a plan that utilizes high fee funds to cover administration to one that charges a flat percentage of assets and then all plan participants can get access to Vanguard, DFA, etc. in which case you'll probably end with about .5%-1.5% depending upon plan size plus maybe 20 basis points for the cost of Vanguard or DFA or whatever(keep in mind their HR department will want a group that takes all of the burden off of them and has administration that is easy to work with). That is the best you're going to do if you want a better plan. And the reason why is that people like Frontline have made their cause celebre over all these different supposed problems within the 401k market over the yeas and they got congress to just keep on adding this $hit onto the plans.

Now that is the reason why you can find a tIRA that has costs you zero dollars a year in fees and buy a Vanguard fund inside of it, but why invariably you would end up paying at least 50 basis points extra one way or another(even indirectly if your employer was handling it) if you wanted to own the same thing in your 401k.

tomjef said:   VerbalK said:   How is a documentary that basically canonizises Bogle and his index funds be part of a secret agenda to sell more government debt? I guess I missed the latest "Buy U.S. Bonds" ad campaign by the treasury. Conspiracy in search of Conspirators... I smell George Soros!

Guess you missed the part where I said nothing of the documentary. I pointed out that labor leaders, politicians, and morons like Elizabeth Warren are out there trying to "protect" people from themselves by forcing more Treasuries down peoples' throats at a time where the agendas of said groups are dependent on massive Treasury issuance.

Low fee, safe, growth oriented products are available. Sowing FUD is useful idiocy which plays into the hands of those with ulterior Motives.


How can I miss a part where you said nothing? Is that like getting dropped on your own head?

We were discussing a PBS documentary, which opened the obligatory "liberal/commie/socialist/nazi/death panels are destroying America" debate, so apologies for not realizing your comment had nothing to do with what was being discussed.

Please. Investing is not that hard. Clark Howard is one of many people who offer advice . You can take courses on it as well. The truth is that many don't want to either learn or they just want to spend. Also, even when the market had problems in 2000 not everyone lost money. Do you homework people. It's your money.

dshibb said:   VerbalK said:   dshibb said:   How like Frontline to very eloquently spread more misinformation, faulty logic, and half truths to the public like they always do(doesn't mean I still don't enjoy watching them on occasion I just have to sit there shaking my head the entire time while I wait for a couple of interesting kernels of info).

The reason why 401k plans traditionally have higher fees and higher fee funds associated with them is because of a$$holes Frontline with their bull%hit convincing congress and regulators to dump a $hit load more regulations and requirements onto these plans.




A FW charity bake sale to benefit the retirement financial industry will take place next Thursday in the middle school auditorium.


Look portfolio management fees have been coming down for mutual funds sold to the open market(and that is a good thing), but the reason why it wont affect most peoples 401k plans is because of half truth's and bull$hit spread by people like Frontline. It was idiot notions from people like them that things like anti-discrimination testing entered the 401k market. It was idiot notions from people like them that continually put more reporting requirements on to those plans. This is why you don't see much of Vanguard in your 401k plans and it's because to offer that to the plan participants means the employer has to pay the burden of these requirements.

Look you have no idea how perverted that market has gotten. When an employer is shopping for a 401k provider and their HR department is handling it what the HR person is looking for in their own interests is 100% of their work outsourced to the provider and easy processes between their department and the provider. The other thing they're looking at is the lowest cost bore by their employer. When these 2 things come together you get all of the costs shifted on to the plan participants via mutual funds that pay a high 12b-1 fee to the provider so they can recoup those costs from there.

Now if the public wants to they can demand from their employer that they bare costs of administration on their balance sheet and give you as employees better choices in the plan. The employer might give in under pressure, but then it will just mean that they include plan administration costs as a cost of hiring and your potential for salary increases will be adversely affected to make up for that cost.

The last option(which I think given the high cost to administer is probably the best and most realistic) you can convince your employer to switch from a plan that utilizes high fee funds to cover administration to one that charges a flat percentage of assets and then all plan participants can get access to Vanguard, DFA, etc. in which case you'll probably end with about .5%-1.5% depending upon plan size plus maybe 20 basis points for the cost of Vanguard or DFA or whatever(keep in mind their HR department will want a group that takes all of the burden off of them and has administration that is easy to work with). That is the best you're going to do if you want a better plan. And the reason why is that people like Frontline have made their cause celebre over all these different supposed problems within the 401k market over the yeas and they got congress to just keep on adding this $hit onto the plans.

Now that is the reason why you can find a tIRA that has costs you zero dollars a year in fees and buy a Vanguard fund inside of it, but why invariably you would end up paying at least 50 basis points extra one way or another(even directly if your employer was handling it) if you wanted to own the same thing in your 401k.



I admit I don't know enough about the "idiot" regulations you cite, but it doesn't quite explain why some 401(k) plans (and funds within the same plans) are substantially better than others when it comes to fees. You are making the Frontline case a bit... in a pension system, where the employer had full responsibility, the effects of regulation could be seen more directly and challenged. It was, theoretically, in everyone's best interest to create efficiencies. But now you describe a system where employers are essentially picking the option with the cheapest fees for them, which invariably leads to fees being passed down the food chain, in ways that probably yield more profit and have the added benefit of being almost invisibly to the consumer.

I recall reading a study that showed that workers value having the most investment options as being the most important aspect valuing a 401(k) program... even ranking higher than the match %. The employer has absolutely no vested interest in vetting or evaluating plans, other than their total admin cost. So they throw a bunch of poorly conceived, high fee, fund plans at the wall, let their confused employees make some ill-informed decision during orientation, at let the fund managers take 2+% annual fees. Lather, rinse, repeat... until the next bear market at least. There are inherint problems in that system, and calling Elizabeth Warren an idiot doesn't address any of them.

dshibb said:   VerbalK said:   dshibb said:   How like Frontline to very eloquently spread more misinformation, faulty logic, and half truths to the public like they always do(doesn't mean I still don't enjoy watching them on occasion I just have to sit there shaking my head the entire time while I wait for a couple of interesting kernels of info).

The reason why 401k plans traditionally have higher fees and higher fee funds associated with them is because of a$$holes Frontline with their bull%hit convincing congress and regulators to dump a $hit load more regulations and requirements onto these plans.




A FW charity bake sale to benefit the retirement financial industry will take place next Thursday in the middle school auditorium.


Look portfolio management fees have been coming down for mutual funds sold to the open market(and that is a good thing), but the reason why it wont affect most peoples 401k plans is because of half truth's and bull$hit spread by people like Frontline. It was idiot notions from people like them that things like anti-discrimination testing entered the 401k market. It was idiot notions from people like them that continually put more reporting requirements on to those plans. This is why you don't see much of Vanguard in your 401k plans and it's because to offer that to the plan participants means the employer has to pay the burden of these requirements.

Look you have no idea how perverted that market has gotten. When an employer is shopping for a 401k provider and their HR department is handling it what the HR person is looking for in their own interests is 100% of their work outsourced to the provider and easy processes between their department and the provider. The other thing they're looking at is the lowest cost bore by their employer. When these 2 things come together you get all of the costs shifted on to the plan participants via mutual funds that pay a high 12b-1 fee to the provider so they can recoup those costs from there.

Now if the public wants to they can demand from their employer that they bare costs of administration on their balance sheet and give you as employees better choices in the plan. The employer might give in under pressure, but then it will just mean that they include plan administration costs as a cost of hiring and your potential for salary increases will be adversely affected to make up for that cost.

The last option(which I think given the high cost to administer is probably the best and most realistic) you can convince your employer to switch from a plan that utilizes high fee funds to cover administration to one that charges a flat percentage of assets and then all plan participants can get access to Vanguard, DFA, etc. in which case you'll probably end with about .5%-1.5% depending upon plan size plus maybe 20 basis points for the cost of Vanguard or DFA or whatever(keep in mind their HR department will want a group that takes all of the burden off of them and has administration that is easy to work with). That is the best you're going to do if you want a better plan. And the reason why is that people like Frontline have made their cause celebre over all these different supposed problems within the 401k market over the yeas and they got congress to just keep on adding this $hit onto the plans.

Now that is the reason why you can find a tIRA that has costs you zero dollars a year in fees and buy a Vanguard fund inside of it, but why invariably you would end up paying at least 50 basis points extra one way or another(even directly if your employer was handling it) if you wanted to own the same thing in your 401k.


I agree with most of this, but one of the big issues that is that many (maybe even most) HR and other decision makers really don't know how to evaluate 401(k) plans and third-party administrators. Nor do they know how to shop for them. So, they may pay more -- or pass on more costs -- then they need to.

We have to credit frontline for the focus they gave on compounded interest and the erosion of gains that will occur over a 20 and 30 years horizon when left unchecked. Hopefully it has got people to look at what they have and reflect, adapt, and complain if needed. The plans that kick back fees to the employer are pretty crooked, and downright a scam if they don't offer a contribution match.

Skipping 168 Messages...
The Chase investment guy in the video was sweating. You could could see his eyes darting back and forth as he was freaking out inside and spouting non-answers.

The program didn't really offer any solutions --- it just dumped a pile of 'we're all doomed!' set to ominous music on the viewer and ended. What is the average person supposed to do after seeing that except panic?

They did prominently feature Vanguard but I just wish they had gone into more detail about the company's cost structure. Vanguard solves the broker and fee side of the equation, but doesn't help with people locking in their losses or cashing out retirement plans. They have put incredible pressure on the industry and I'm convinced they are the only reason anybody but Vanguard offers index funds. I am fighting a battle at my work to get our opaque and fee-riddled profit sharing into Vanguard but have not succeeded yet.



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