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Old 02-08-2008, 10:44 AM   #101
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they will no doubt have account transfer fees of $45-$60 per account
Well worth paying to get out of there. Calculate:

Total account value * Average expense ratio @ Ameriprise

minus

Total account value * Average expense ratio @ VG, TRP, Fido, etc

I think you'll see that paying that 'release fee' was the best investment you've made so far

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This is a 403-b from her current job, so I will check with them and/or the Mutual Fund Co. we choose to roll it over to, to see if it can be sent there without any tax consequences.
This is called an in-service transfer. Some plans allow, some do not. Request a copy of the plan literature (the legal stuff) - it should be in there.

Rollovers are not taxable events UNLESS you touch the money - so make sure you contact your new service provider (ie VG, TRP, etc) and have them initiate the transfer. There's more to it than that, but thats basically how it works.

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BTW, there are market classes that have been hit harder than the S&P 500. IMHO, the S&P is NOT a good measure for ALL domestic funds
Good point. The s&p 500 is an appropriate benchmark for large-cap core/growth funds.. thats about it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:17 PM   #102
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Okay, I think I've seen the error of my ways, and I'll be moving my money out of Ameriprise. I've started an account at Vanguard with a minimal investment in Total Bond Market Index and in Total Stock Market Index, using some extra cash I had on hand.

I'm currently reading the highly recommended Bogglehead's Guide and some other books. I feel I should stay with Ameriprise for a short while longer until I work on my financial education. After all, I don't want to move a sizable chunk of change just because someone on the internet told me to!

Maybe I'll be able to answer this myself after some more reading, but right now, the big question in my mind is: with the current state of the market and the declining value of my investments, does it make sense to move them at this time? My gut feeling is that it makes just as much sense to move them now as it would any other time. Moving from one down fund to another down fund is essentially keeping things even. And selling the Ameriprise funds when they're down should reduce any capital gains for tax time.

Does that sound reasonable or am I way off?
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:21 PM   #103
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I would make the move now rather than wait. The Vanguard funds you have are as good as any right now. The only thing you have to lose is the high fees you are currently paying. As your education progresses you may decide to move on from Vanguard, but it is, IMHO, a solid place to park your money now.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:15 PM   #104
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I would make the move now rather than wait...
That's because you have confidence in what you're doing! I'll most likely move the funds out in a few weeks, it just seemed prudent to at least do a quick read of some books on investing first.

I'd like to feel confident that now is as good a time as any, even is a recession is coming. And I'd like to get a better idea of any tax consequences of cashing in the funds. I hope to ER later this year but I'll still have made a decent salary this year. If I do have capital gains on these funds, maybe I'd be better off cashing in next year when I have no salary? But considering the down market, maybe there'd be no gains on these investments right now.

I just wanted to consider these things first, if for nothing more than feeling a little less clueless about my own finances.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:18 PM   #105
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If you don't move them now, it's becuase you are waiting for what? Do you have taxable gains you don't want to realize? Are you concerned you need to know more before you make a change? Those could be good reasons to pause. If you are waiting for some kind of market uptick or down trend, then that's not such a good reason.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:29 PM   #106
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Definitely NOT waiting for any trend in the market. I'm just concerned that I need to learn a little more, and that a few weeks of reading first won't be a bad thing. Otherwise, I might just be making more mistakes.
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:04 PM   #107
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Joe as you correctly point out the one advantage of moving now vs latter is with the market down your cap gain taxes are lower.

On the other hand in the context of a couple of decades a few weeks and few percent (who know if it will be up or down) are absolutely no big deal. Boogle's books are good. Ok well maybe not a fun read but educational.
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:07 PM   #108
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Question for the time board members. With Joe switches from Amerprise to Vanguard, how many people have we sucessfully convinced to dump Amerprise?
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:01 PM   #109
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Definitely NOT waiting for any trend in the market. I'm just concerned that I need to learn a little more, and that a few weeks of reading first won't be a bad thing. Otherwise, I might just be making more mistakes.

Not meaning to rush you, but the switch from Ameriprise may take a while. Ameriprise has been known to "lose" transfer information and when I first switched to Vanguard, the estimated completion date was 6 months from when I started the transfer. It was actually completed in about two weeks, but you have to be prepared for it to be a lot longer.
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:19 PM   #110
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Our move from Ameriprise to Vanguard took roughly a 3-4 weeks.

Considering the mess they have me in now, I couldn't be happier.

Notable quotes from our FA there:

'My doctor said I needed back surgery, I wouldn't second-guess or question him on that' - When we wanted to know more about the whys behind what they were recommending.

'Rich people don't care about interest rates' - When we asked him why we should put money in an Amex MMA at 0.9% interest instead of our GMAC account at 5%

'You seem to have a trust issue' - That was the start of the end

I'll post more if I can think of them.
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:50 PM   #111
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.............I'll post more if I can think of them.
Yooper, you are just too suspicious...........
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:53 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Marquette View Post
Our move from Ameriprise to Vanguard took roughly a 3-4 weeks.

Considering the mess they have me in now, I couldn't be happier.

Notable quotes from our FA there:

'My doctor said I needed back surgery, I wouldn't second-guess or question him on that' - When we wanted to know more about the whys behind what they were recommending.

'Rich people don't care about interest rates' - When we asked him why we should put money in an Amex MMA at 0.9% interest instead of our GMAC account at 5%

'You seem to have a trust issue' - That was the start of the end

I'll post more if I can think of them.
Those are priceless. I especially love the doctor quote. First I think I would get a 2nd opinion for any serious operation. Second, anybody can claim to be a financial advisor. Anybody know the percentage of Pre Med students who actually become doctors, and how many years of training it takes to go from college student to practicing physician?
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:01 AM   #113
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Those are priceless. I especially love the doctor quote. First I think I would get a 2nd opinion for any serious operation. Second, anybody can claim to be a financial advisor. Anybody know the percentage of Pre Med students who actually become doctors, and how many years of training it takes to go from college student to practicing physician?
Years ago I worked as a medical secretary for several doctors and I'll NEVER forget what one of them told me: "Always question medical advice until you are comfortable and understand what you are being told. After all, even the med student who graduated last in his/her class may still be an M.D. -- but that doesn't mean that he/she is a GOOD doctor!"

Since then, I've always checked out the medical credentials of EVERY doctor my family sees. And on the first visit to any doctor, I always ask a few questions of the doctor about board certification, advanced training, and if a surgical procedure is involved, I always ask how many of this specific procedure has he/she personally performed, etc.

Why wouldn't anyone do the same with their finances? Another reason to dump Ameriprise.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:27 PM   #114
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Those are priceless. I especially love the doctor quote. First I think I would get a 2nd opinion for any serious operation.
Most back surgeries are unnecessary...........

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Second, anybody can claim to be a financial advisor.
Anybody? Ok, then, I AM a financial advisor.........

Just having a little fun...........
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:27 PM   #115
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Well I convinced my new wife to move her accounts from Ameriprise to Schwab late last year. Main reasons were high annual wrap fees and investments in mutual funds with high loads and high expense ratios.

I am grateful that my wife had them for an advisor to get her to start saving seriously early on. But I shudder at the advisor fees she paid over the last 8 years or so.
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