I've just started (over the last few months) working to understand retirement investing, to clean up my accounts, and to create an asset allocation for myself. While doing this, I'm spending alot of time researching the various options in my current 401k.
I'm still VERY much a novice, and am finding a couple of things confusing. I'm hoping someone here can help me make sense of two things in particular...
Note: The 401k is with Fidelity. 1. Funds without Ticker Symbols
My 401k has several funds available that do NOT have ticker symbols. Some (but not all) include the name of the company that I work for in their name. (Note the company that I work for is NOT in Financial Services/Banking/Investing at all.) Some have this notice, "This investment option is not a SEC-registered 40 Act fund."
The funds that I'm looking at ARE index funds, so I can see what index they are tracking, but it's difficult to get more detailed information about the fund itself.
What are these? Is there a good way to understand what they're composed of? I'd really like to be able to put my accounts into the Morningstar X-Ray tracker, but I'm not sure if that's possible without a ticker to reference.
If I find another mutual fund or ETF that tracks the same index, is it reasonable to use THAT in Morningstar, to get an idea of what's in my fund?
As an example, we have an International Index that has a goal of matching "MSCI ACWI ex U.S. Index". I would like to know what percentage of this fund (which I'm invested in) is in Emerging Markets. The index itself DOES seem to have exposure to Emerging Markets (though I'm not clear on the percentage).
I've found an ETF (iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Index Fund - ACWX) that ALSO tracks this index. Can I use ACWX as a stand-in in X-ray for my actual, untickered fund? I believe ACWX, when I looked at it, was ~16% emerging markets... is it safe to assume that my fund has a similar percentage?2. Record-keeping fees
Not too long ago, I began investing a small amount in a fund called, "[company] Total Return Bond Fund" (ER 0.46%). Note "[company]" is the name of the company that *I* work for (not a financial company).
While I began researching my portfolio, I found that I had a quarterly "record-keeping" fee of $8 that was associated with this fund (!).
I went back and read everything I could find about the fund, and could not find any reference to this fee, at all. There were no loads associated with the fund, no penalties, etc. The only way that I knew about it was by looking at my transaction history, and seeing a deduction every quarter for $8, listed with the name of this fund.
Between the small amount that I had invested, the $32/y fee, and the 0.46% ER - I decided this was too expensive, and sold the fund completely, and put the money into my other assets while I continue trying to figure out the asset allocation that I should set up.
Well, I looked at my account today... and there's STILL an $8 fee (for the quarter starting in July!). It's just associated with a DIFFERENT fund now, one that has NEVER shown a fee in the past!
Is this normal? What IS it? Shouldn't there be a disclosure somewhere? I'd like to know, for example, if the fee is the same for everyone, or if it changes as your balance goes up. Or, if it's a charge for paper statments (again, I haven't seen that disclosed - and I DO get paper statements, because as far as I can tell, Fidelity doesn't auto-generate regular PDF statements and save them for later access. If I don't get paper statements, and I don't think to "create" a statement, then I have no records of the account... and that makes me nervous as it gets bigger).
And, can they really just pick whichever investment they want to pull that fee from? (Previously, they were taking it from a fund that had a fairly small balance. Now they're taking it from a fund that has the largest balance. I'm not sure how they decide where to pull it from.)
Thanks for any information you can share! I'm really enjoying reading the discussions here, and am learning a TON.