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need help with my fund selection and expense ratios..thanks
Old 10-08-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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need help with my fund selection and expense ratios..thanks

I read a few books about investing and mutual funds over a year ago (including bogleheads) to help me set up my retirement accounts. When i took a look at the current portfolio summary today it seemed i forgot everything i learned and i need some help. I currently have two retirement accounts: one roth ira with vanguard that i opened a 1 year ago and a unmatched school 403b with fidelity. I have more money in the 403b, but i can't move it to vanguard because the 3rd party who is handling my school's retirement accounts won't add vanguard as a vendor because Vanguard won't pay them.

I was keeping expense ratios in mind when picking my funds so i thought i had some good selections but i'm not sure now. I think the vanguard roth has a low expense ratio, but i'm not sure about the fidelity, because there are a few more it seems for each account that i don't remember being there last time.

Here's some other info that i have to take into account now. It seems teachers have been getting whacked as of late and now that has made my state take a look at everything such as retirement age etc... so if things change and i'm sure they will in the next few months; my retirement age will be increase to 70, so i'll be teaching for 43 years...geeze that's a long time, and i'll be lucky to have any pension.

Anyways, here's the vanguard roth ira first. I currently contribute to it. Let me know if the funds and the expense ratio are good...i think they are.

Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund (VFORX)

Asset class Life-Cycle Category Target-Date

Acquired fund fees and expenses
as of 09/30/2010 0.19%

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares
Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares
Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund Investor Shares†


I'm not feeling easy about the fidelity 403b though. I do have more money in there but i can't contribute to it right now, so i got money sitting there. I thought the spartan funds were a good way to go because it seemed they had low expense ratios and management fees...but i'm no sure now. I really didn't want management fees but these were lower than others that i had seen. I wanted the all in one account, like the freedom fund (.78% expense ratio) but i thought doing 4 spartan funds separately like the freedom fund would lower my fees. Now as i look at it a year later there are like 4 things under each account relating to fees and i'm not sure what some mean like
Expense Ratio after Reductions, Short-term Trading Fee 1.00% and
Short-term Fee Period90. I'm also not sure if the management fee is included in the overall expense ratio since they are mentioned separately. Once again take a look, see if the expense ratios/fees are ok or not and if i should keep these funds. Oh yeah, in the past 7months i lost $5,000 with these four funds, but i'm hoping it just cause the normal volatility of the market. Take a look and let me know if the fees are ok and if i should keep these funds.

  • Spartan 500 Index - Investor Class (FUSEX)
49.83% SPTN 500 INDEX INV

Fees Management Fee 0.07%
Expenses & Fees Expense Ratio as of 04/29/2011 0.10%
Expense Ratio after Reductions as of 02/28/2011 0.10%

  • Spartan International Index Fund - Investor Class (FSIIX)

Fees Short-term Trading Fee 1.00%
Short-term Fee Period90
Days Management Fee 0.17%

Expenses & Fees Expense Ratio as of 04/29/2011 0.20%
as of 02/28/2011 0.10%
Expense Cap as of 10/14/2005 0.10% Expense Cap is a limit that Fidelity has placed on the level of the expenses borne by the fund. The cap is voluntary and indicates the maximum level of expenses (with certain exceptions) that the fund would be paying at that time. The Expense Cap may be terminated or revised at any time, which may lower the fund's yield and return.

  • Spartan U.S. Bond Index Fund - Investor Class (FBIDX)

Fees Management Fee 0.19%
Expenses & Fees Expense Ratio as of 02/01/2011 0.22%
Expense Ratio after Reductions as of 02/28/2011 0.31%

  • Spartan Extended Market Index Fund - Investor Class (FSEMX)
Fees Short-term Trading Fee0.75%
Short-term Fee Period90
DaysManagement Fee0.07%

Expenses & Fees Expense Ratio as of 04/29/2011 0.10%
Expense Ratio after Reductions as of 02/28/2011 0.10%

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Old 10-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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You can look up your funds on for ER data that may be easier to understand. However, the Fidelity Spartan funds are perfectly good index funds with very low expenses. Stick with them. They will be lower cost than the Freedom funds, and probably any other fund in your plan.

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Old 10-09-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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The Fidelity Spartan funds are the lowest cost mutual funds you can buy at Fidelity. If you're looking for cheap, you found it.
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