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Old 07-26-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Iowa City
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Hi guys,

This is a newbie question. I have Vanguard account, almost all in 3 index funds, and I can clearly see how much Vanguard is charging me for everything (not much) and I understand what index funds do. I also have TIAA-CREF through my employer. I seem to have dozens of individual components to my portfolio, I don't really understand any of them, and I can't figure out how to tell how much they are costing me. Any help? I did talk to a real person last year. He mostly tried to sell me some sort of insurance. Sounded like a terrible deal.

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Old 07-26-2019, 11:17 PM   #2
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Location: DuPage County IL
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Dave Ramsey’s advice is to never invest in something you don’t understand. Towards that end he maintains a list of investment advisors he calls “SmartVestor Pros”, consultants and advisors with “the heart of a teacher”. it sounds like you need to have a chat with someone like that.

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Old 07-27-2019, 05:34 AM   #3
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My wife too has TIAA-CREF, and they're a giant with the teachers retirement funds.

There has been some criticism recently to how their "advisors" advise. Like all funds, they are required to report costs. You should be able to pull up their cost ratios online or at least in the documentation they often send out.

Note: My wife's TIAA-CREF investments are the conservative part of our portfolio. My other funds have always been more speculative and well diversified
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:58 AM   #4
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DW is also a retired teacher and TIAA is where about 1/3 of our nest egg resides. All tax-sheltered in a 403(b) and a 457(b). A good bit of that is in TIAA traditional.

TIAA is hard to understand and their "regular" investment options have higher costs for sure. TIAA Traditional is complex in terms of payout (as it is basically an annuity), but we grin-and-bear-it for its contribution to the bond/CD/cash side of our AA.
"Time wounds all heels...." - Groucho Marx
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:19 AM   #5
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Found what seems to be a way to get the expenses at

Says you can enter up to 5 funds and about 1/2 way down I see expense ratios

I'd start here
FIRE 31 Aug, 2018
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:36 AM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Iowa City
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Thank you! All of you had great info to share!

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