Search found 210 matches

by KSActuary
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Individual Corporate Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 401

Re: Investing in Individual Corporate Bonds

Been buying more individual bonds lately as short end moves higher. You could start a short maturity bond ladder and buying longer maturity bonds as rates move up in 2018. I would not move into bonds from companies that you do not feel comfortable with or have some knowledge of.
by KSActuary
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?
Replies: 30
Views: 1498

Re: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?

Empower(Old Great West Life) or your employer should provide you a Participant Fee Disclosure when you join. That should outline all fees. There is no personal information in the document so you could post parts of it and we could react better.
by KSActuary
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review & 401k Fund Options
Replies: 7
Views: 403

Re: Portfolio Review & 401k Fund Options

The AF target date has performed as well as the Vanguard target date fund net of expenses. Also, the AF ticker is RFITX.
by KSActuary
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for Ideal 401k Fund Lineup
Replies: 11
Views: 664

Re: Suggestions for Ideal 401k Fund Lineup

EF was probably more expensive due to their 8 bps trail if the assets are big.

Report back on the Guideline presentation as I find a lot of people talking about them but few actually using them.
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for Ideal 401k Fund Lineup
Replies: 11
Views: 664

Re: Suggestions for Ideal 401k Fund Lineup

I believe that EF forces the employer to pay the annual $1,500. Maybe wrong. Pass on ADP as the payroll integration will not cover-up the high fee, low performing funds they will stick you with in such a small plan. I just moved one to Vanguard but it was slightly bigger than your plan. The EF web s...
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stats on When People Take Social Security
Replies: 168
Views: 10763

Re: Stats on When People Take Social Security

The reasoning behind taking SS early or late is a personal one and should be made after careful consideration of health and family medical problems. First step is to get a thorough physical. Many take SS early because they can make another $17,000 before any deduction and most of their SS is tax fre...
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401K - best for biz w/ employees?
Replies: 3
Views: 485

Re: 401K - best for biz w/ employees?

You could look at EmployeeFiduciary for a mostly fixed fee solution. Vanguard is probably to pricey for a small employer. EF is pretty bare bones but they do offer an open architecture fund universe so you can get all of your funds that you select. What product are you using at American Funds? How m...
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory
Replies: 15
Views: 1144

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory

Find an advisor who will work on fixed fee and follow your advisory plan, not theirs. They are out there. We do it all of the time.
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting out of Whole Life Insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 1050

Re: Getting out of Whole Life Insurance

I would also point towards Jefferson National.

NWM life agents are great at capturing early docs and having their way with them. The plan set forth may have been conservative but may also have been okay if the circumstances had not changed.
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strange Life insurance product - keep or dump?
Replies: 18
Views: 1356

Re: Strange Life insurance product - keep or dump?

Looks like variable universal life. Universal life is a life product which produces some cash value along the way to fund later in life premiums. This is a policy which is intended to be kept until death versus a term policy which can expire and does not offer cash value. The cash value goes to $0 u...
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best choices in horrible (IMO) 401k plan
Replies: 15
Views: 526

Re: Best choices in horrible (IMO) 401k plan

First, the majority of the funds offered in your 401k are actively managed. Second, the fund Er's are high because they are paying the administrative expenses through revenue sharing. Would you rather have an S&P 500 fund with an ER of 0.04% with administrative expenses equal to 0.50% of your accoun...
by KSActuary
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Robo-Investors driving the market to insane levels?
Replies: 36
Views: 5172

Re: Are Robo-Investors driving the market to insane levels?

Low volatility is caused by ........ low volatility. You couldn't really invest much in volatility until recently and everybody is short volatility. Only fools go long volatility. Volatility is now an investment available to the broader crowd of retail investors. Everyone buys the dip. Higher than u...
by KSActuary
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are 401k ROTH rare?
Replies: 11
Views: 1209

Re: Why are 401k ROTH rare?

Our experience is that most, if not all, plans offer a Roth option. Most employees at enrollment select the Roth is they are under age 40. I believe low utilization is due to poor communication by advisor, HR or web site - or all. Feedback is that some lower paid employees do not find Roth appealing...
by KSActuary
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obtaining a Mortgage After Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: Obtaining a Mortgage After Retirement

Banks would love to loan you money on a good home where a significant down payment is made. See it all of the time.
by KSActuary
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg warning of inherent market risk
Replies: 8
Views: 1375

Re: Bloomberg warning of inherent market risk

A much better explanation of what is going on.

www.artemiscm.com and read the Volatility and the Alchemy of Risk paper. Very good paper explaining what is really happening within the markets and how volatility is no longer a statistic as investment firms provide ways to invest in volatility itself.
by KSActuary
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we keep this variable annuity?
Replies: 65
Views: 3031

Re: Should we keep this variable annuity?

Mid-sixties and covers both so the internal rate of return on the annuity is around 5% with a $2,500 flat payment over 30 years. The last survivor may live past 95 but that's what insurance companies insure against - out living your supposed mortality. You did not state the original deposit but you ...
by KSActuary
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DFA access
Replies: 30
Views: 3249

Re: DFA access

If the DFA portfolio was passively invested then a 25 bps annual fee is quite doable.
by KSActuary
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Standard Deviation
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Re: Standard Deviation

St deviation can be calculated using any form of return information but the most common is to use monthly info then annualize it by multiplying by the square root of 12.
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding Jackson National Perspective II Variable Annuity - Helping a family member
Replies: 6
Views: 347

Re: Understanding Jackson National Perspective II Variable Annuity - Helping a family member

Do you have a copy of the original application and other front end paperwork? Did the family member tell you that she informed the agent that she was terminally ill? If so, is this documented? The basic death benefit in the policy may be a payout equal to the current account. The surrender charge ma...
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding Jackson National Perspective II Variable Annuity - Helping a family member
Replies: 6
Views: 347

Re: Understanding Jackson National Perspective II Variable Annuity - Helping a family member understand

Not much information here so difficult to discuss what best strategy is. How old is family member? What is her life expectancy? Does she need the money now? Has she withdrawn any money from the product yet? To be clear, JackNat is going to make money off of the family member. That much is clear. The...
by KSActuary
Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401 k [withdrawal question]
Replies: 6
Views: 323

Re: 401 k [withdrawal question]

You could roll it into an IRA then take a distribution which will be taxable and may incur a 10% excise tax. If money flows in before the 60 days is up then you re-pay the IRA and avoid the taxable withdrawal.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey
Replies: 40
Views: 6905

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Work with Vanguard quite a bit and they will tell you that they have a difficult time keeping certain online clients due to perceived poor service. To my ears, this sounds like client blaming. I work with a lot of financial institutions online and by phone and have difficulties only with Vanguard. ...
by KSActuary
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey
Replies: 40
Views: 6905

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Work with Vanguard quite a bit and they will tell you that they have a difficult time keeping certain online clients due to perceived poor service.
by KSActuary
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help in selecting funds for 401K
Replies: 13
Views: 857

Re: Need help in selecting funds for 401K

For simplicity, I would pick the closest target date fund as the American Funds have performed well over time.
by KSActuary
Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any Target Date Funds better than Vanguard?
Replies: 46
Views: 4609

Re: Any Target Date Funds better than Vanguard?

American Funds target date series is pretty good but you should remember that most, if not all, TDF funds are actively managed so certain allocations will change over time.
by KSActuary
Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?
Replies: 64
Views: 6111

Re: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?

Sell volatility when appropriate.
by KSActuary
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Provider
Replies: 12
Views: 1153

Re: Best 401k Provider

Vanguard/Ascensus uses TDAmeritrade for its self-directed option. There is no employer cost but the employee pays $50 per year for self-directed.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Provider
Replies: 12
Views: 1153

Re: Best 401k Provider

We use the Vanguard/Ascensus platform for almost all of our plans as they provide a low cost, fixed fee per head recordkeeping alternative with the broadest fund universe from which to select funds with no hidden fees. They offer the compliment of Vanguard funds and you get the TDFs at the instituti...
by KSActuary
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Will Indexers Affect A Downturn---or the functioning of the market in the long-run?
Replies: 30
Views: 3110

Re: How Will Indexers Affect A Downturn---or the functioning of the market in the long-run?

David Jay wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:36 pm
Rus -

If indexing becomes so popular that it interferes with price discovery to such an extent that the impact becomes exploitable, I will be among first to exploit it. Thus, the issue is self-resolving.
+1
by KSActuary
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Clarification of index "trust" funds in 401k
Replies: 11
Views: 1068

Re: Clarification of index "trust" funds in 401k

1. How are these different that the regular index funds? These two Vanguard funds are much cheaper than the other similar tracking indexes in the 401k, so I would like to keep them, but I am just unfamiliar with the "trust" component. They do not have to comply with the SEC's regulations involving ...
by KSActuary
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ameriprise :(
Replies: 29
Views: 2964

Re: Ameriprise :(

How does your advisor meet the "Know your client" obligation if he hasn't talked with you. Want to get his attention? Call the office manager and ask to speak with him regarding the advisor's lack of professionalism and mention you would like to keep this from escalating to a written letter which th...
by KSActuary
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roger Ibbotson and ZebraEdge Annuity
Replies: 5
Views: 781

Re: Roger Ibbotson and ZebraEdge Annuity

Ibbotson is the index provider inside the annuity. Another one goes to the dark side.
by KSActuary
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard vs Fidelity -- views on Target Date funds
Replies: 5
Views: 936

Re: Vanguard vs Fidelity -- views on Target Date funds

TDF can be actively managed which makes the internal allocation between US and non-US equity not as important when a snap shot is taken. Also, most TDF for younger participants is almost always 90% equity.
by KSActuary
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer Moving 401K from Empower to Voya
Replies: 6
Views: 634

Re: Employer Moving 401K from Empower to Voya

A plan with $1.0 million in assets and 500 employees is a really difficult plan to price as the current average account balance is extremely small. There could have been an administrative issue internally that you are not aware of or Voya may have priced the plan differently. The cash flow into the ...
by KSActuary
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do DFA Funds have lower trading costs than Index Funds?
Replies: 32
Views: 1607

Re: Do DFA Funds have lower trading costs than Index Funds?

My question was in the context of being shown their results for several funds over many different time periods where their trading, etc. should help but I didn't so I put most of it down to randomness. I understand the advantages of their approach, I guess I just wanted to be shown where it worked w...
by KSActuary
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do DFA Funds have lower trading costs than Index Funds?
Replies: 32
Views: 1607

Re: Do DFA Funds have lower trading costs than Index Funds?

That is only true for 401k plans. The retail investor has to use a financial advisor. I am not sold on their methodology as I have asked them several times over which time periods they expect outperformance and I never really get a good answer.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which is better: Wellesley or 5-yr 2.5% CD?
Replies: 51
Views: 4030

Re: Which is better: Wellesley or 5-yr 2.5% CD?

Ever consider a small bond portfolio of 5 year IG bonds? Maybe clear 2.5% - 3.0% using all recognizable names.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small Business Retirement Options
Replies: 18
Views: 1434

Re: Small Business Retirement Options

The Vanguard approach is to offer several testing scenarios but not unlimited attempts to refine or maximize results as this can take up a lot of their time. After several scenarios, Vanguard goes to an hourly rate which is high enough to scare most off.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody use Personal Capital to advise them?
Replies: 10
Views: 1080

Re: Anybody use Personal Capital to advise them?

PC is just another in a long line of robo advisors hiding behind a free financial platform. As many have said, you can do just as well at Vanguard.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small Business Retirement Options
Replies: 18
Views: 1434

Re: Small Business Retirement Options

Vanguard charges an extra $775 annually to perform the New Comparability test for the profit sharing contribution. Employee Fiduciary will do the same but I can't remember the additional charge off the top of my head.
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuities Yes/No
Replies: 49
Views: 5414

Re: Variable annuities Yes/No

As with all things, it depends. The industry has made some changes to the commissions charged for these annuities as some insurers offer annuity products where there is no up-front commission but, rather an advisory-like fee each year of 1% or so. I would guess that most annuities are still sold wh...
by KSActuary
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401K admin fees
Replies: 20
Views: 1546

Re: Help with 401K admin fees

An asset-based fee structure is not fair for plan participants, especially those who have large account balances since you are not receiving any real benefit for those high fees. Its merely a math problem since the fees are prorated by balance. Looked at another way, how much is that $9,100 as a pe...
by KSActuary
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401K admin fees
Replies: 20
Views: 1546

Re: Help with 401K admin fees

An asset-based fee structure is not fair for plan participants, especially those who have large account balances since you are not receiving any real benefit for those high fees. Its merely a math problem since the fees are prorated by balance. Looked at another way, how much is that $9,100 as a per...
by KSActuary
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF)
Replies: 3
Views: 373

Re: Understanding Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF)

Here is the descriptor from fi360 who provides training for the designation. "The AIF Designation Training and designation help mitigate this liability with instruction covering pertinent legislation and best practices. Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designees have the ability to implement ...
by KSActuary
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice regarding long term care insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 619

Re: Need advice regarding long term care insurance

There are other LTC products out there where increasing premiums are not a worry. You are simply buying a fixed monthly benefit for a stated number of months. You get approximately the premium without interest if you die or surrender the policy. The LTC benefit is about 3 times the premium amount - ...
by KSActuary
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever seen a 401k with so few options?
Replies: 13
Views: 1092

Re: Ever seen a 401k with so few options?

Any good fund line-up should include the big four - total us, non-us equity and bond.
by KSActuary
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever seen a 401k with so few options?
Replies: 13
Views: 1092

Re: Ever seen a 401k with so few options?

By a "Vanguard" plan, do you mean that it is offered through Vanguard or includes Vanguard funds? I have heard where certain other recordkeepers only offer the target date funds under the ERISA 3(38) protection but allow other funds if the participant waives the 3(38) rights. I think it is odd if th...
by KSActuary
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuities Yes/No
Replies: 49
Views: 5414

Re: Variable annuities Yes/No

As with all things, it depends. The industry has made some changes to the commissions charged for these annuities as some insurers offer annuity products where there is no up-front commission but, rather an advisory-like fee each year of 1% or so. I would guess that most annuities are still sold whe...