Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

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Topic Author
Fiscal Ferret
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:46 pm

Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by Fiscal Ferret »

I was reviewing my 403b of about $21,000 and I realized I have not been approximating the S&P 500 considering my attempt to take on a simple yet aggressive approach to investing for retirement (35+ yrs from now, probably more?). I believe mistook the purchase of VINIX as a total S&P tracker or forgot that this was for the S&P large-cap and therefore didn't add other funds over the last year and a half. I'd be happy to share more of my profile if anyone deems it necessary for better advice and such but I figured I'd keep my post as short as possible.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated in regards to picking out the available funds from TIAA listed below. I think I need to pick up the medium and small caps but I'm not sure how much to balance.

Goal: 30% Int'l markets; 60% S&P 500; 10% US Bonds: for retirement in 35-40 years.

Approx. Current Portfolio at TIAA:
30% VFWSX Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Institutional (Mutual Funds);
60% VINIX Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds);
10% VBTLX Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral (Mutual Funds)

Italics mark the current holdings.

EQUITIES (10)
American Funds EuroPacific Growth Fund - R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.46%
American Funds New World R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.59%
CREF Growth R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.32%
CREF Stock R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.39%
JPMorgan Equity Income Fund Class R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.48%
Neuberger Berman Real Estate Fund Class R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.95%
TIAA-CREF Small-Cap Blend Index Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.06%
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.08%
Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.04%
Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.04%

FIXED INCOME (4)
CREF Bond Market R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.32%
CREF Inflation-Linked Bond R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.29%
MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond Fund Class R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.60%
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.05%

GUARANTEED (1)
TIAA Traditional (Fixed Annuities)ER:

MONEY MARKET (1)
Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund Investor (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.11%

MULTI-ASSET (14)
CREF Social Choice R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.32%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2010 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.52%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2015 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.52%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2020 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.53%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2025 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.55%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2030 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.56%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2035 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.58%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2040 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.60%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2045 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.61%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2050 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.62%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2055 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.64%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2060 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.72%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2065 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 3.94%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Retirement Income Fund - Instl Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.54%

REAL ESTATE (1)
TIAA Real Estate (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.78%

One thought I've had is if I should prioritize maxing out a Traditional Roth first since my employer doesn't match any contributions (but they do put in 7% for the pension regardless). I don't want to make it too complicated to track different accounts. I find myself needing to check again how each bank or portfolio tracking tool displays the various return measurements.
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retired@50
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Location: Living in the U.S.A.

Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by retired@50 »

Fiscal Ferret wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:01 pm I was reviewing my 403b of about $21,000 and I realized I have not been approximating the S&P 500 considering my attempt to take on a simple yet aggressive approach to investing for retirement (35+ yrs from now, probably more?). I believe mistook the purchase of VINIX as a total S&P tracker or forgot that this was for the S&P large-cap and therefore didn't add other funds over the last year and a half. I'd be happy to share more of my profile if anyone deems it necessary for better advice and such but I figured I'd keep my post as short as possible.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated in regards to picking out the available funds from TIAA listed below. I think I need to pick up the medium and small caps but I'm not sure how much to balance.
Welcome to the forum. :happy

The portfolio you currently have is good.

VINIX tracks the S&P 500 according to Vanguard.
Link: https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... file/VINIX

If you want to add a bit more U.S. Stock exposure, you could use "Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.04%" but it isn't really necessary. The S&P 500 index fund you already have tends to track the Total US Stock Market Index fund very closely over long periods of time. It does strike me as a bit peculiar that your plan offers the mid cap index fund, but no small cap index fund.

ETA: I see that Cycling Duo has better eyesight than I do. The duo noticed this fund that would be appropriate for small caps.
TIAA-CREF Small-Cap Blend Index Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.06%


Regards,
Last edited by retired@50 on Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.
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CyclingDuo
Posts: 4276
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:07 am

Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by CyclingDuo »

Fiscal Ferret wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:01 pm I was reviewing my 403b of about $21,000 and I realized I have not been approximating the S&P 500 considering my attempt to take on a simple yet aggressive approach to investing for retirement (35+ yrs from now, probably more?). I believe mistook the purchase of VINIX as a total S&P tracker or forgot that this was for the S&P large-cap and therefore didn't add other funds over the last year and a half. I'd be happy to share more of my profile if anyone deems it necessary for better advice and such but I figured I'd keep my post as short as possible.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated in regards to picking out the available funds from TIAA listed below. I think I need to pick up the medium and small caps but I'm not sure how much to balance.

Goal: 30% Int'l markets; 60% S&P 500; 10% US Bonds: for retirement in 35-40 years.

Approx. Current Portfolio at TIAA:
30% VFWSX Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Institutional (Mutual Funds);
60% VINIX Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds);
10% VBTLX Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral (Mutual Funds)

Italics mark the current holdings.

EQUITIES (10)
American Funds EuroPacific Growth Fund - R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.46%
American Funds New World R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.59%
CREF Growth R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.32%
CREF Stock R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.39%
JPMorgan Equity Income Fund Class R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.48%
Neuberger Berman Real Estate Fund Class R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.95%
TIAA-CREF Small-Cap Blend Index Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.06%
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.08%
Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.04%
Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.04%

FIXED INCOME (4)
CREF Bond Market R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.32%
CREF Inflation-Linked Bond R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.29%
MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond Fund Class R6 (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.60%
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.05%

GUARANTEED (1)
TIAA Traditional (Fixed Annuities)ER:

MONEY MARKET (1)
Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund Investor (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.11%

MULTI-ASSET (14)
CREF Social Choice R2 (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.32%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2010 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.52%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2015 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.52%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2020 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.53%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2025 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.55%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2030 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.56%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2035 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.58%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2040 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.60%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2045 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.61%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2050 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.62%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2055 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.64%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2060 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.72%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2065 Fund - Institutional Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 3.94%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Retirement Income Fund - Instl Class (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.54%

REAL ESTATE (1)
TIAA Real Estate (Variable Annuities)ER: 0.78%

One thought I've had is if I should prioritize maxing out a Traditional Roth first since my employer doesn't match any contributions (but they do put in 7% for the pension regardless). I don't want to make it too complicated to track different accounts. I find myself needing to check again how each bank or portfolio tracking tool displays the various return measurements.
Is the Vanguard Extended Market Fund not available within your TIAA plan? It's usually an option, but perhaps your particular plan doesn't offer it. If so, that's a good way to approximate the TSM.

If not, and as mentioned above, you can use the Mid-Cap fund as well. I would also toss in the TIAA-CREF Small Cap Fund to the mix so you have the small caps, mid caps, and the S&P 500 combined to approximate the TSM.

Instructions to approximate are here:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Approxi ... ock_market
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
Katietsu
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by Katietsu »

Just to clear up your terminology. You have been investing in a S & P 500 index fund. This is what you listed in your stated goal. You have not been approximating the Vanguard Total Stock Market which also includes mid cap and small cap stocks.

You can look at the Wiki for the 3 fund portfolio. They will have a couple suggestions for approximating a the Total Stock Market fund. I would probably just add the small cap right now. When your balance grows larger, you can rebalance to add the mid cap as well.

With your retirement savings just starting, the couple of thousand dollars being in the smaller cap stocks would have made just a tiny difference in the big picture.
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beernutz
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Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by beernutz »

VINIX and VFINX are 99% correlated but the former has a .035% NER vs .14% for the latter. You own the better one imo.

I've been at TIAA since 1999 and 60% of my current portfolio there is TIAA-CREF S&P 500 Index Fund - Institutional Class (TISPX) with a .05% NER. The other 40% is in TIAA Traditional. Can't get much simpler.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers
Topic Author
Fiscal Ferret
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:46 pm

Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by Fiscal Ferret »

retired@50 wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:39 pmIf you want to add a bit more U.S. Stock exposure, you could use "Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Institutional (Mutual Funds)ER: 0.04%" but it isn't really necessary. The S&P 500 index fund you already have tends to track the Total US Stock Market Index fund very closely over long periods of time.
Thanks for the warm welcome and the suggestions.
CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:33 amIs the Vanguard Extended Market Fund not available within your TIAA plan? It's usually an option, but perhaps your particular plan doesn't offer it. If so, that's a good way to approximate the TSM.

If not, and as mentioned above, you can use the Mid-Cap fund as well. I would also toss in the TIAA-CREF Small Cap Fund to the mix so you have the small caps, mid caps, and the S&P 500 combined to approximate the TSM.
Unfortunately, I don't have a Vanguard Extended Market fund. What would you say if that small-cap was following the Rusell 2000? (See my question below about adding the small-cap fund)
Katietsu wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:18 am Just to clear up your terminology. You have been investing in a S & P 500 index fund. This is what you listed in your stated goal. You have not been approximating the Vanguard Total Stock Market which also includes mid cap and small cap stocks.
Thank you for the correction. I meant to say the total stock market. Don't ask me how my wife even understands me when I try to explain this to her - she should be doing this, not me!
beernutz wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:05 amI've been at TIAA since 1999 and 60% of my current portfolio there is TIAA-CREF S&P 500 Index Fund - Institutional Class (TISPX) with a .05% NER. The other 40% is in TIAA Traditional. Can't get much simpler.
Thanks for the feedback. I looked into some of the guaranteed TIAA Traditional and looks like it might be at 3% guaranteed but I need to read more into it if it'd be a good substitution for bonds or at least how to leverage it to my benefit. The information I read the other day has already turned to fog and I can't make sense of the options I see listed on another page of my TIAA.

For everyone,
I believe what Katietsu pointed out, is what I should have been asking so here comes my follow-up: Using CyclingDuo's reference to Boglehead's Approximating total stock market wiki page I get a little lost in how to plug in the funds VINIX (Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional) and VMCIX (Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Institutional). Further lost in my own search, I found danielc's matching predicament thread. I'd have to sort through my history but I believe seen this approx. 80/20 balance pop up in another thread.
  • Should I bother with the TIAA-CREF Small-Cap Blend Index Fund - Institutional Class (TISBX) which uses the Russell 2000 as its benchmark?
  • How does the Large/Mid =80/20 split sound? (or what would this look like if suggesting to add the TIAA-CREF small cap?
  • How can I roughly cross-check it to better understand what I'm measuring?
  • My employer isn't matching anything. Should I throw my hands up, max out a Traditional IRA with VTSAX, VTIAX, and VBTLX, and add the remaining to invest into the 403b?
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by CyclingDuo »

Fiscal Ferret wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 9:46 pm
CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:33 amIs the Vanguard Extended Market Fund not available within your TIAA plan? It's usually an option, but perhaps your particular plan doesn't offer it. If so, that's a good way to approximate the TSM.

If not, and as mentioned above, you can use the Mid-Cap fund as well. I would also toss in the TIAA-CREF Small Cap Fund to the mix so you have the small caps, mid caps, and the S&P 500 combined to approximate the TSM.
Unfortunately, I don't have a Vanguard Extended Market fund. What would you say if that small-cap was following the Rusell 2000? (See my question below about adding the small-cap fund)
Yup. Perfect.

That is one of the options of combinations to approximate the US Total Stock Market. Combine the S&P 500 fund with the Russell 2000 in this percentage for the US Equity Total Stock Market:

83% Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VINIX Vanguard Institutional Index Fund)
17% Russell 2000 Index

CyclingDuo
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
TropikThunder
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Re: Adjusting funds for 403b at TIAA

Post by TropikThunder »

CyclingDuo wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 11:40 pm
Fiscal Ferret wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 9:46 pm
CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:33 amIs the Vanguard Extended Market Fund not available within your TIAA plan? It's usually an option, but perhaps your particular plan doesn't offer it. If so, that's a good way to approximate the TSM.

If not, and as mentioned above, you can use the Mid-Cap fund as well. I would also toss in the TIAA-CREF Small Cap Fund to the mix so you have the small caps, mid caps, and the S&P 500 combined to approximate the TSM.
Unfortunately, I don't have a Vanguard Extended Market fund. What would you say if that small-cap was following the Rusell 2000? (See my question below about adding the small-cap fund)
Yup. Perfect.

That is one of the options of combinations to approximate the US Total Stock Market. Combine the S&P 500 fund with the Russell 2000 in this percentage for the US Equity Total Stock Market:

83% Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VINIX Vanguard Institutional Index Fund)
17% Russell 2000 Index


CyclingDuo
That leaves out #501-1,000 though. It's one of the problems of using funds that track different index makers. If I really felt the need to supplement the S&P500, I would hold the extended market fund in my IRA instead of cobbling together mis-matched funds in a 403b. But in the end it probably won't matter much.
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