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Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 07:43 PM   #1
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Anyone know anything about these?

I have been looking into investment companies, and am wondering if anyone has had any experiences with any of them and what they thought of them as far as handling your retirement funds. Any feed back would be appreciated.

CitiGroup

Wachovia Securities

The Mutual Fund Store

Fisher Investments

Vanguard Mutual Funds

T. Rowe Price Mutual Funds

Thanks,

Bill
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 07:55 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Bill, I see that you're a new member here, so welcome.

Many here use Vanguard as well as Fidelity but I'm sure there are some who have experience with the other firms you mention. The main factor is expenses and Vanguard is usually hard to beat. Assuming the basic service, web access, and other fundamentals are acceptable you might wish to decide what kind of funds you need, check out the offerings, and select based on expense ratio. There are conveniences to having everything with one company, but usually total returns would trump that.

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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 08:00 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Welcome. As a new poster you may not be aware that anything but minimal fees is beaten senseless along with anyone that advocates them. That beating is, of course, written.

Vanguard is a great mutual fund company with some excellent, low fee funds. I'm not real sure about the others but anyone that wants a 1% (or thereabouts) management fee will probably not ever be worth the fee on a long term basis.

I would suggest you google "scott burns" and see about his "couch potato" family of low cost mutual fund recommendations. It's probably a good place to start. Look through the forums archives and you bound to find more investment rants.

The bottom line is that paying fees will not improve your investment performance.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

vanguard and t.rowe price would both receive my endorsement.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 09:49 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I checked out several funds before I finally jumped in to anything. I narrowed my choices down to Vanguard and T. Rowe-Price. This time around I decided that since I'm rather busy juggling around my other investments, I wanted something sort of on "auto-pilot" for a while, that I didn't have to keep close tabs on and balance/rebalance, etc.

I finally chose one ofthe TRP target Retirement funds in a Roth IRA. I like their higher ratio of stocks than the other comparable fund companies. I've been reasonably content with my choice. Hey, it's making money!!! I'll be maxing out my contributions again this year and next, since I'm ER'ing in 5 months (@ 50) and won't have any earned income after that.

At that point in time I'll have a little more time to tinker with my $$, and will more than likely invest in some other TRP fund(s). I just like the folks I've dealt with there, the fees are low, and their website is nice to work with (you can arrange it to suit your taste) and it's easy to navigate.

But hey, this is just my opinion....others may differ. :
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 10:32 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Fidelity is my custodian but Vanguard is hard to beat.
You can purchase TRP funds through Fidelity, probably Vanguard too.

Were I you I would choose Fidelity or Vanguard as the custodian and use their network to buy managed funds.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 11:25 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I'm with d: Vanguard & TRP.

All of my IRA money is with Vanguard and has been for years. I have a small 401k with Fidelity (OK group, too; have used them in the past) and another with Merrill Lynch (barely adequate--not recommended).

I wouldn't even consider the others listed. I would shred before opening.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-30-2006, 11:44 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Vanguard is excellent and TRP is very good.

I have had money with both for >15 years and I'm still putting new money there.

I think that NORDS is the only person on this board that I have heard express a negative opinion on Vanguard.

I get mail from Fisher fairly often but it hasn't impressed me enough to want to find out more. Marketing tripe IMHO. He did write a column for Forbes.

Don't know anything about the others but eliminating options with high fees and loads is a pretty good first step to narrow down the investment universe.

MB
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 12:07 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

The Mutual Fund Store is the odd-ball in your list. It is not a mutual fund company, but rather a financial consultant organization that recommends mutual funds. I believe you need at least $50K to open an account, and they will use the Schwab OneSource service to actually hold your funds.

For their services, they charge a sliding-scale percentage fee based on the size of your portfolio. This makes them a fee-"based" advisor, which is between a commissioned advisor (who gets their money by actually selling you funds) and a fee-only planned (who only charges you for the advice).

The guy who owns the Mutual Fund Store broadcasts a show each Saturday morning. The list of stations is at: www.themutualfundstore.com

I don't have any connection with the organization, I just have listened to the show several times.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 02:54 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

vanguard is good if your going the index fund route. fidelity is good if your going active management and want a wider choice of investment choices
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 03:51 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

"The Mutual Fund Store"? Never heard of it, but it sounds kinda gimmick-y..

What would it offer beyond what you can get from Schwab with a managed portfolio? How are the fees w/r/t these (from Schwab site)?:

Quote:
Daily eligible assets
(excluding cash investments) Annual program fee
First $250,000
($50,000 minimum) 0.50%
Next $250,000 0.35%
Assets over $500,000 0.25%

While professional portfolio management often requires a substantial investment, you can invest in a Schwab Managed Portfolio with just $50,000.
Your program fee is significantly lower than most comparable services and is based on all assets except cash and cash equivalents.
Your program fee covers all commissions associated with trades placed by Schwab in your Schwab Managed Portfolio.
You enjoy access to the Select Share classes of Schwab FundsŪ, which offer lower expenses and normally require much higher minimums than the share classes typically available.
If you want to bail from the managed part, Schwab will refund your last quarter's fees.

Why pay for extra advertising, storefronts, franchise fees and whatnot..?

Plus, this Adam Bold guy.. (if that is his real name) has some past "issues" as a stockbroker.
Quote:
Adam Bold, owner of Mutual Fund Store, an Overland Park, Kans. chain of franchised fee-only investment-advice offices in strip malls, hosts a weekend national radio show on money and tells reporters investors should check out advisers. Okay. Prudential Securities fired Bold as a stockbroker in 1996, citing "violation of firm policy with regard to sales practices and violation of firm's core values." Clients have received $90,000 in arbitration cases. His Web site bios don't mention he was ever a broker. Bold, 40, disputed the stated Pru reasons back then and now says he's happy to be out of commission work.
quote from Forbes, linked here:
http://mutualfunds.about.com/od/expe.../fundstore.htm


I have no experience with the managed portfolio aspect, but I like Schwab since I have found their services, fees, website, etc. very easy to use, straightforward and transparent. Not the absolute cheapest for trades, but they give you extras that the bargain basement brokers don't (I trade so infrequently that it is not an issue for me). If you like a lot of Vanguard funds though, best go with VG; Schwab will charge xaction fees for buying and selling VG funds. They have their own passle of no-xaction fee, no-load funds, but I have not looked into their performance.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 05:50 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Thanks everyone for you thoughts. Looks like VG and TRP are the clear favorites. I actually use both of them as well, so I'm no stranger to them.

TRP suggested their 2010 retirement fund. VG financial planner gave me a well diversified portfolio 50/50 stk/bonds. 50% bonds seemed a bit heavy to me. They also gave me an alternate choice of just 2 funds if I didn't want as many funds to deal with. They were LifeStrategy Conservative Growth fund and Total Stk Mkt Indx fund with an 80/20 mix.

It's a big decision, and you have to wait to long to find out if you made the right one, then it is to late if you made the wrong one. Who said there was no stress in retirement!!

Thanks again,
Bill

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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 08:29 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I've had great experience with Vanguard. You may also want to add Fidelity to your "short list" - they are better than Vanguard for certain things (I'm a happy client of both!).

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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 09:16 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I have been with Fidelity for ten years (both brokerage and IRAs) and DW with Vanguard (IRAs only) for the same period. We are both very satisfied. Both firms are very good on customer service and both have great, no-load, low expense ratio funds.
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:22 AM   #15
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Before I knew much about index investing, I bought 3 Dodge and Cox funds. Although I've gradually sold most of my active funds and individual stocks, I am happy (for now-) to hang onto DODBX (D&C Balanced), DODGX (D&C large-cap value US), and DODFX (D&C large-cap value foreign). DODBX & DODGX are currently closed to new investors. I don't want to confuse the original poster, but IMO a discussion of good fund companies should mention Dodge & Cox.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 10:24 AM   #16
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

I have accounts with Russell, Fidelity and now Vanguard. I am rolling funds from 401Ks in the 2 former funds to a Vanguard IRA - leaving some company stock in each 401K that I expect to perform well over time. I like the cost/diversity and performance of several of the index funds at Vanguard. And would like to consolidate the bulk of my assets.
Decide what kind of fund/investments you are going for and compare those specific offers at each of the companies.
Good luck!
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 10:31 AM   #17
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Why not just put half of your pot in one of the Vanguard portfolios and the other in the TRP portfolio (assuming that you have enough to spread around)? You won't worry then that you picked the wrong horse.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 10:38 AM   #18
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
Before I knew much about index investing, I bought 3 Dodge and Cox funds. Although I've gradually sold most of my active funds and individual stocks, I am happy (for now-) to hang onto DODBX (D&C Balanced), DODGX (D&C large-cap value US), and DODFX (D&C large-cap value foreign). DODBX & DODGX are currently closed to new investors. I don't want to confuse the original poster, but IMO a discussion of good fund companies should mention Dodge & Cox.
Agreed............
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 11:28 AM   #19
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Ditto the endorsements of Vanguard. I also thing Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and TIAA-CREF are worthy.

Certainly, among those 4 or some combo you could fashion a great portfolio and get as much educational material & tools as you might need to be a competent investor - couch potato or otherwise.

Keep in mind that the single most important factor in your long-term success is not the choice of individual investments (individual stocks or funds) - and CERTAINLY not the timing! - but your allocation among classes of resources and the disciplined adherence to it.

Go to any of the web sites of the above companies and do a lot of reading. There's no need to jump in before you know what you want to do & have a plan established.
Good luck -
(although "luck doesn't have much to do with it ......)
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?
Old 10-31-2006, 09:29 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone know anything about these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
I don't want to confuse the original poster, but IMO a discussion of good fund companies should mention Dodge & Cox.
Agree, they are about the most boring fund company in existence and they are excellent.

I have some of my mom's money, two UGMA accounts and some of my own money there. I think that Bogle even has some good things to say about them a couple of years ago.

MB
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