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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 08:45 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I have a hunk (probably too much) of my $ in Dodge & Cox Balanced with Fidelity as custodian.

OP may find s/he sleeps better if the pot is divided between a couple fund management groups. As Mother advised me as a kid, don't spend all your money in one place.

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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 11-01-2006, 04:16 AM   #22
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Originally Posted by astromeria
.... but IMO a discussion of good fund companies should mention Dodge & Cox.
I agree. I've been moving from individual stocks to mutual funds to index stuff. But the last mutual funds I'd selll (and probably never will) would be the Dodge and Cox funds.

Regarding companies mentioned in OP, I have Vanguard and Fidelity - moving more towards Vanguard (because of lower expense ratios). I think Fidelity has a slightly better website.

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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 11-01-2006, 08:30 AM   #23
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Originally Posted by mb
I think that NORDS is the only person on this board that I have heard express a negative opinion on Vanguard.
I have no personal experience with Vanguard and I don't plan to ever acquire any, but FundAlarm ran an article about an employee's 2003 SEC complaint with the company.

Admittedly everything may be all better now, but IMO Vanguard seems to under-fund the customer service department and overhype the asset-consolidation marketing department. You could also ask the Vanguard Diehards for their worst customer-service stories and see if anything there is a concern.

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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 11-01-2006, 08:49 AM   #24
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I got no problems with Vanguard or Fidelity or really any other fund family.

But I don't plan to deal with them.

USAA has an S&P index fund that has an expense ratio approximately what all the rest charge. They arrive on the scene as what they are -- possibly the finest company in the US dedicated with a capital D to customer service.

The former military officers on the board know about USAA. A little story about them may help . . . .

They are a non profit, member owned insurance (financial services) firm. About 10 yrs ago there was an internal quarterly meeting of regional managers for the life insurance portion of their business. Manager after manager got up and gave his briefing of performance. Some had performance below plan, some were above plan. One particular regional manager briefed performance 25% above plan -- achieved via a combination of selling high margin riders and reduced payouts.

There was silence in the room. The VP thanked everyone for their input and adjourned the meeting, but asked that manager to stay behind. He was asked to provide the details on his performance and how it was done. The manager provided it all, thinking the company would adopt it nationwide.

He was removed from his position and offered another post with no management authority. He resigned in a huff.

The company briefed the story -- pointing out that performance like that above plan could be achieved only at the expense of the customers (members) and this was unacceptable in the USAA culture.

Anyway, I prefer to deal with them for just about everything. I diversify into other places, but with them I never have to do ongoing research to see if I'm being gouged. I confess I checked up on them a few times over the decades, but I don't bother anymore. They are always either competitive or superior in all their rates. I've been a member about 33 yrs now. I have a few personal experience stories of dealing with them, but maybe too far off topic.

Anyway, their S&P fund is where I park that allocation.

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