BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

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555
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BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

Post by 555 »

My 457 plan recently added these funds, but it's hard to get much info about them, so I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with these. They are called

BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J
where 20XX is one of 2015,...,2050 and also there is
LifePath Index Retirement Fund J

There's only a `fact sheet', no prospectus etc. Two footnotes are

* Collective Trust Fund Option. A ticker symbol is not available for this investment option.

* Asset allocation funds may be subject to a fund operating expense at the fund level, as well as a prorated fund operating expense of each underlying fund in which they invest. For more information, please refer to the fund prospectus and/or other disclosure documents.

But there is nothing else to refer to. The claimed Expense Ratio is 0.15% but I'm concerned some more expenses may be hidden in the fund of dunds structure. Anyone know? As for what's inside, here are a couple of examples.

LifePath Index 2020 Fund J
30% Equity Index Fund E
8% Extended Equity Market Fund E
16% BlackRock MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index Fund E
36% US Debt Index Fund E
6% US Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Fund E
4% Developed Real Estate Index Fund E

LifePath Index 2040 Fund J
46% Equity Index Fund E
9% Extended Equity Market Fund E
24% BlackRock MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index Fund E
12% US Debt Index Fund E
1% US Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Fund E
8% Developed Real Estate Index Fund E

Is this all BlackRock?
Any info on the component funds?
What are their individual Expense Ratios?
Are the individual Expense Ratios included, or in addition to, the quoted 0.15%.

These funds look good on face value, but all the non-disclosure makes me wary. Are these okay?

For context, the 457 fund lineup is mostly high ER (1%), but these LifePath Funds and a few other Funds have low ERs and those ones are also called `Collective Trust Funds'.
dbr
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Post by dbr »

Since the fact sheet refers to a prospectus and/or other disclosure documents, you should ask the fund administrator for those documents. They should also be able to give you a Plan Summary Description and a Plan Annual Report.

I apologize that I am not knowledgeable about those specific funds, but I agree you should be suspicious and assume the worst until proven otherwise.

Have you attempted even once to Google for information on some of these funds as here:

http://www.forbes.com/funds/Tearsheet.jhtml?tkr=PNIEX

http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=PNIEX

I will sympathize, however, that it is easy to find the wrong entry or to find information that does not apply to your plan.

The above fund has an ER of 0.18%. To add 0.15% to that to operate it as part of a plan is probably not outrageous, depending on where the plan might be charging plan fees in addition to fund costs.

As an aside, Vanguard funds of funds do not have an add-on cost past the cost of underlying funds.
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555
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Post by 555 »

Yes I had googled some of these names. For example I also found the fund you mentioned but I don't think `Equity Index Fund E' is the same fund as 'BlackRock Index Equity Instl (PNIEX)'. There are so many similar fund names (with wildly different expenses) that google doesn't necessarily work that well. Googling `LifePath' indicates that BlackRock has at least 2 different LifePath series with quite different contents and expenses. And it's hard to get google to take notice of that "E" (presumably indicating a share class), though putting it in quotes seems to help.

Anyway I've done some more googling and link following and I've come up with these that look promising. This LifePath series might be the real deal.

https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/FFund.pdf
The F Fund invests in the U.S. Debt Index Fund by purchasing shares of the U.S. Debt Index Fund “E,” which, in turn, holds shares of the U.S. Debt Index Master Fund.
https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/CFund.pdf
The C Fund invests in the Equity Index Fund by purchasing shares of the Equity Index Fund “E,” which, in turn, holds shares of the Equity Index Master Fund along with a liquidity pool.
https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/SFund.pdf
The S Fund invests in the Extended Market Index Fund by purchasing shares of the Extended Market Index Fund “E,” which, in turn, holds a liquidity pool and shares of the Extended Market Index Master Fund.
dbr
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Post by dbr »

You've stumbled on the Federal Government Thrift Savings Plan data sheets. Are you a Federal employee? If you are not those data sheets wouldn't apply to your plan, but it does appear possible that your plan is using some funds from Blackrock that are managed by them using some underlying investment trusts that Blackrock also uses for the TSP. You might note the ER's on those TSP funds are in the 0.01-0.03% range all in, and that does not seem to be the case in your 457.

I fear good information on the Forum might have to await someone who actually knows what is what in your plan and with Blackrock. I wish I knew more detail to help out.

Just out of curiosity, what organization is your plan with, though not necessary to say if you would rather not? I suspect you really are fine as mention of 0.15 here and 0.18 there is not ominous.
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Post by pkcrafter »

The problem seems to be the J class. I could not find anything on that.


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Post by Warren McIntyre »

Didn't BlackRock buy Barclay's and thereby iShares? I would assume that they have tapped into the iShares expertise to develop these funds. I think it looks like a great option for your 457.
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Post by 555 »

dbr wrote:You've stumbled on the Federal Government Thrift Savings Plan data sheets. Are you a Federal employee? If you are not those data sheets wouldn't apply to your plan, but it does appear possible that your plan is using some funds from Blackrock that are managed by them using some underlying investment trusts that Blackrock also uses for the TSP. You might note the ER's on those TSP funds are in the 0.01-0.03% range all in, and that does not seem to be the case in your 457.

I fear good information on the Forum might have to await someone who actually knows what is what in your plan and with Blackrock. I wish I knew more detail to help out.

Just out of curiosity, what organization is your plan with, though not necessary to say if you would rather not? I suspect you really are fine as mention of 0.15 here and 0.18 there is not ominous.
Right. It seems that 3 of the underlying funds are identical to 3 funds used by TSP, with their ultra-low ER's. (I'm not a Federal employee and don't have TSP.) So maybe the other 3 listed "Fund E" funds also have such low ER's. However I also suspect that the quoted 0.15% ER is a wrap on top of that. The following link I found (not my employer) suggest that LifePath Index 20XX Fund J has a 0.15% wrap on top of LifePath Index 20XX Fund F, and the latter consists directly of the "Fund E" funds with their ultra-low ER's and 3 of which are used by TSP.

https://fesavingsplan.ingplans.com/stat ... s/OEA3.PDF (4pagePDF)
The LifePath Index 2020 Fund J returns are net of an annual management fee of 0.15%. The fund is subject to an accrual
for administrative costs, including, but not limited to accounting, custody and audit fees. The amount is capped at 2 basis
points (0.02%) per year in order to limit the impact on fund performance.
The fund invests all of its assets in the respective LifePath Index Fund F series of the same year. Returns prior to
12/18/07 are those of the LifePath Index 2020 Fund F (inception date of 08/01/05). The LifePath Index Fund F returns are
gross of an annual management fee. It holds units of the following underlying funds: Equity Index Fund E, MSCI ACWI
ex-U.S. IMI Index Fund E, Extended Equity Market Fund E, U.S. Debt Index Fund E, U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected
Securities Fund E, Developed Real Estate Index Fund E and the Money Market Fund.
As dbr says, the overall ER may be 15bp or maybe a few bp more, but it's pretty good for a 457 plan.
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555
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Post by 555 »

morningstar.com doesn't list
LifePath Index 2020 Fund J
LifePath Index 2020 Fund F
which appear to be `Collective Trust Funds' with no ticker symbol, and which contain these "Fund E" funds with their ultra-low ER's (3 of which are also used by TSP).

On morningstar.com there appears a different BlackRock LifePath series. These seem to be mutual funds made up of iShares (and some other things) and the ER's vary widely. E.g. 2020:

BlackRock LifePath 2020 Institutional (STLCX) 0.85%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=STLCX

BlackRock LifePath 2020 R (LPRMX) 1.35%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=LPRMX

BlackRock LifePath 2020 K (LPSCX) 0.50%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=LPSCX

BlackRock LifePath 2020 Investor A (LPRCX) 1.10%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=LPRCX

BlackRock LifePath 2020 Investor C (LPCMX) 1.85%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=LPCMX


And another series with a similar name (with yet other stuff inside)

BlackRock Lifecycle Prepared 2020 Inv A (BAPCX) 1.30%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=BAPCX

BlackRock Lifecycle Prepared 2020 Instl (BIPCX) 0.80%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=BIPCX

BlackRock Lifecycle Prepared 2020 R (BRPCX) 1.54%
http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=BRPCX
centrifuge41
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Post by centrifuge41 »

My new 401k plan also has Blackrock Lifepath funds. Once again, there's no ticker, and the funds appear to be privately managed investment portfolios. The funny thing is that the Blackrock Lifepath 2055 fund is labeled with a "Q", while the other Lifepath funds do not have a suffix letter / share class.

The fund sheet does not contain a breakdown. It appears that the later target dates contain the following (parenthesis indicates what I believe the line represents):

Equity index fund E (large cap stock index)
MSCI AWCI Ex-US IMI Index Fund E (Includes Canada, small caps, emerging markets)
Extended equity market fund E (small/mid cap completion stock index)
Developed real estate index fund E (REIT index)
US debt index E (total bond index)

Earlier / more conservative target date funds contain more bonds relative to stocks, but also include:
US Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) fund E

I looked through the Morningstar Blackrock lifepath funds linked above. None of them seem to match. The ones on Morningstar are about 50% active, whereas OP's and my plan are composed of indices, other than the TIPS, which should be quasi-index anyway.

I believe the closest match to OP and my funds are found here, even though the fact sheet shows a share class of F and mentions that the assets are non-lendable.

I believe that the 0.15% expense ratio is for the entire fund, since technically the lifepath fund is not a mutual fund.

Any other thoughts? In my case, my Blackrock Lifepath funds' expense ratio is 0.12%. The only other good option is Spartan 500 (0.07%), and some expensive active funds, so I couldn't build a complete low-cost portfolio unless I used a Blackrock Lifepath.

Edit: the international component includes Canada, small caps, and emerging markets.
Last edited by centrifuge41 on Sat May 21, 2011 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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555
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Post by 555 »

centrifuge41, compare these

LifePath Index 2030 Fund J (1 page PDF)
https://fesavingsplan.ingplans.com/stat ... s/OEA5.PDF

LifePath Index Retirement Fund Q, full series (12 page PDF)
http://www.oregon.gov/PERS/OSGP/docs/Li ... S.pdf?ga=t

It looks like "Q" beats "J" by 5 basis points (0.05%) so you have a good deal for sure (and otherwise the "Q" and "J" funds are identical). These are `Collective Trust Funds' which can apparently have very low ERs, but which aren't required to disclose much.

I've decided the low ERs are for real and I put my whole 457 plan into one of these funds. I think it's an easy choice.
centrifuge41
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Post by centrifuge41 »

555,

Thanks for doing so much detective work around the Blackrock Lifepath indices. It looks like you and I have good options that cost less than Vanguard's target retirement funds (about 0.19% or so). Yours is 0.15%, which is great, and mine is 0.12%, which is trivially cheaper. Because the components are all index funds, we should be confident of no over weighting, under diversification, or excess turnover that may arise from managers actively buying/selling a subset of securities from the market.

The good thing to hear is that our Lifepath funds seem to contain: all US stocks, all mid/large cap international stocks (including Canada and emerging markets), all US bonds, REITS, and TIPS too (if you select a conservative fund). Thus, all we would need is a fund such as Vanguard FTSE All world except US Small Cap fund (VFSWX or VSS) to become fully diversified.
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Post by 555 »

You don't need "a fund such as Vanguard FTSE All world except US Small Cap fund (VFSWX or VSS) to become fully diversified".

MSCI ACWI ex USA IMI index contains small-caps already! It's the same index Vanguard recently switched to for its Total International Stock Index Fund
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... t-09242010
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ofcmetz
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Post by ofcmetz »

My state 457 plan also switched to these. They do seem to be a very nice all index Lifecycle type fund. I'm not using them right now because I use this fund for just bonds currently. But I think they are a very good deal with a very low ER. Should serve you fine.
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centrifuge41
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Post by centrifuge41 »

555 wrote:You don't need "a fund such as Vanguard FTSE All world except US Small Cap fund (VFSWX or VSS) to become fully diversified".

MSCI ACWI ex USA IMI index contains small-caps already! It's the same index Vanguard recently switched to for its Total International Stock Index Fund
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... t-09242010
Thanks, you're right. I got confused with the FTSE all world except US index. Indeed, the MSCI includes small caps, emerging markets, and Canada. Comparison / reference.

Sounds like the Blackrock Lifepath fund is terrific and doesn't leave out any asset subclasses!
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Post by kjm »

I would argue that you would need something like VSS to complement this fund. A morningstar x-ray of ACWX shows 89% large cap, 11% mid cap and no small cap
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Post by 555 »

kjm wrote:"I would argue that you would need something like VSS to complement this fund. A morningstar x-ray of ACWX shows 89% large cap, 11% mid cap and no small cap"
Different index.

ACWX uses
MSCI ACWI ex-US Index

The (Int Stock part of) Blackrock Lifepath fund uses
MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index

The latter includes small caps.
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Post by centrifuge41 »

As of June 30th 2011, I'm seeing an updated porfolio for Blackrock Lifepath funds. This must be a recent change, since a PDF from oregon.gov dated 03/31/11 does not show any commodity exposure. Expense ratio remains unchanged, at 0.12% for me (Lifepath Q).

My Fidelity 401k shows that roughly 5% of the aforementioned Lifepath J/Q funds now hold commodities. They are held in the "Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Daily Fd E", which seems to include:
coffee, copper, corn, cotton, crude, gold, heating oil, lean hogs, live cattle, natural gas, silver, soybean oil, soybeans, sugar, unleaded gasoline, and wheat.

Reference. See the subindexes tab, noting that the asterisked subindices, along with aluminum, nickel, and zinc, are not included in the DJ-UBS commodity index.

My thoughts? I've never actually held commodities. The 5% allocation may help to buffer the volatility of a stock/bond balanced fund, but any effects are probably minimal. Given the low or nil expected return of commodities over the long run, this may damper performance a little bit at the benefit of better diversification and lower volatility.
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Post by 555 »

Hmm, the fact sheets for my 457 plan are still dated 3/31, but I'll watch out for this change. I'm not sure what to think. One problem is that some of these more `exotic' subfunds may have their own expenses that are not included in the official ER.
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Post by SSSS »

My 401k switched to these January 1st (formerly using the high-expense actively-managed Fidelity target retirement funds). They're legit. I got a guarantee from the plan administrator that the expense ratios are complete and accurate. They're 0.12% for my company, though, so it's probably negotiated on a per-plan basis.

Here are the holding stats for the 2030, which I use since it's reasonably close to my 50/25/25 allocation.

US Stock:
Equity Index Fund E 38.48
Extended Equity Market Fund E 8.92
Developed Real Estate Index Fund E 5.90

Foreign Stock:
BlackRock MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index Fund E 20.77

Bond:
US Debt Index Fund E 22.60
US Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Fund E 3.33

If you try to research these, make sure you're looking at info about LifePath Index funds. They don't have anything to do with the actively-managed LifePath funds.
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Post by Manbaerpig »

This is what I use as a placeholder for funds for up to 3 months or so of my 401k before I shuffle it over to the "self managed brokerage" option that I use to (usually) buy more Vanguard ETF's

It seems more than satisfactory to me, 0.12 ER, 68% equities (27% foreign) and 32% bonds (5% tips)

Blackrock LifePath® Index 2025 Fund Q
Top 10 Holdings as of 12-31-10 % Assets
Equity Index Fund E 34.68
US Debt Index Fund E 28.76
BlackRock MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index Fund E 18.91
Extended Equity Market Fund E 8.77
Developed Real Estate Index Fund E 4.83
US Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Fund E 4.05
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Post by 555 »

It seems these LifePath Index Funds are good enough that there's no point bothering with your "self managed brokerage" option.
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Post by Manbaerpig »

not really, my wifes 401k options are limited to (1) single usable fund, so I have to shuffle everything else around it to maintain my AA

it's perfectly good enough for new contributions, generally speaking, for months at a time tho certainly

but as she is piling into US-total-market I have to pile into the rest at roughly the same pace

*not complaining
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Post by 555 »

Okay, I see. The old patchwork portfolio problem. I have it also, in other plans.
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Post by ofcmetz »

In the minutes of my deferred compensation committee meeting they mentioned that the life path funds were going to start holding some commodities. I'm still waiting for the June fund sheet.

Has anyone heard anything about this?
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Post by 555 »

centrifuge41 mentioned it a few posts up (Sat Jul 16) but I haven't seen confirmation either.
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Post by SSSS »

ofcmetz wrote:In the minutes of my deferred compensation committee meeting they mentioned that the life path funds were going to start holding some commodities.
Were they talking about Lifepath funds or Lifepath Index funds? They have extremely different holdings.
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Re: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

Post by YDNAL »

555 wrote:My 457 plan recently added these funds, but it's hard to get much info about them, so I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with these. They are called

BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J
where 20XX is one of 2015,...,2050 and also there is
LifePath Index Retirement Fund J
The LifePath 20xx funds have multiple share classes. I just participated in a thread with Q shares.

Louisiana uses J shares.
http://www.dcprovider.com/PDF/louisiana ... lights.pdf

On the BlackRock site you find classes I, R, A, C, and K.
http://www2.blackrock.com/US/institutio ... s-overview

In summary, IMO these are pretty good Target Date funds.
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ofcmetz
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Post by ofcmetz »

555 wrote:centrifuge41 mentioned it a few posts up (Sat Jul 16) but I haven't seen confirmation either.
Thanks, I just read that post. I'm really not sure how a 5% commodities addition makes any sense, and I've also never invested in commodities. Seems that are making these too complex.

We are talking about the Blackrock Life Path Index funds. My 457B offers them at 0.15% expense ratio.
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Post by Manbaerpig »

with all the various mining/metal/energy companies in the US market (alcoa,exxon etc) I think I read somewhere the S&P 500 has basically a 5% commodity tilt anyways
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Post by centrifuge41 »

Odd. My updated Blackrock Lifepath Q documentation says that as of 7/31/11, there's no commodity exposure in either the 2050 or 2055 fund. The Oregon Lifepath documentation shows commodity exposure, but the pdf is dated 6/30/11.
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Post by ofcmetz »

centrifuge41 wrote:Odd. My updated Blackrock Lifepath Q documentation says that as of 7/31/11, there's no commodity exposure in either the 2050 or 2055 fund. The Oregon Lifepath documentation shows commodity exposure, but the pdf is dated 6/30/11.
Is yours a lifepath index fund or just a lifepath fund? Also, my 457 hasn't put out an updated fund sheet since 3-31-11 so I'm still waiting to see what it's composed of as far as commodities go.

Edit: I see now that they have updated the sheets.

https://docs.retirementpartner.com/fund ... LL_ALL.PDF
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centrifuge41
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Post by centrifuge41 »

Yes, my Lifepath Q are all index.

Here's the composition for 2055 on the info sheets:
EQUITY INDEX FUND E
BLACKROCK MSCI ACWI EX-US IMI INDEX FUND E
EXTENDED EQUITY MARKET FUND E
DEVELOPED REAL ESTATE INDEX FUND E
US DEBT INDEX FUND E

No percents sadly, but Fidelity's portfolio tool gives me the following for 2055:
64.28% domestic stock
32.66% foreign stock
0.9% bonds
1.17% short term
0.00% unknown
0.92% other

Maybe "other' represents the short-lived commodity exposure being wound down? Who knows. 2055 is pretty aggressive - it doesn't have 10% in bonds, whereas that's the lowest bond exposure for Vanguard TR's.
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Re: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

Post by bnes »

I know this is an old thread. However I found a fresh new
link to details on the LifePath index funds:

http://profile.morningstar.com/profile/ ... =portfolio

The fund holds no stocks, and unlike some blackrock funds does not lend securities.

Top 25 Holdings
Russell 1000 Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $1,475,597 41.40%
BlackRock MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index Non-Lendable Fund F --- USA --- $842,988 23.65%
U.S. Debt Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $662,867 18.60%
Developed Real Estate Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $296,460 8.32%
BlackRock Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Daily Fund E --- USA --- $136,487 3.83%
Russell 2000 Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $82,823 2.32%
U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $66,674 1.87%

With a claimed expense ratio of .15%.
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Re: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

Post by 555 »

bnes wrote:I know this is an old thread. However I found a fresh new
link to details on the LifePath index funds:

http://profile.morningstar.com/profile/ ... =portfolio

The fund holds no stocks, and unlike some blackrock funds does not lend securities.

Top 25 Holdings
Russell 1000 Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $1,475,597 41.40%
BlackRock MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index Non-Lendable Fund F --- USA --- $842,988 23.65%
U.S. Debt Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $662,867 18.60%
Developed Real Estate Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $296,460 8.32%
BlackRock Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Daily Fund E --- USA --- $136,487 3.83%
Russell 2000 Index Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $82,823 2.32%
U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Non-Lendable Fund E --- USA --- $66,674 1.87%

With a claimed expense ratio of .15%.
Interesting. Looks similar to "J" but it for US Stock it uses

Russell 1000 Index Non-Lendable Fund E
Russell 2000 Index Non-Lendable Fund E

instead of

Equity Index Fund E
Extended Equity Market Fund E
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Re: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

Post by bnes »

On the face of it, this is a balanced low cost index fund of funds.

The question is there fund selection risk, as they vary the composition over time?
And what's that 30.60% cash line doing there?

(The link by the way comes from a large company 401k fund. The expense ratios are
rather low in that 401k. For example American Funds New Perspective can be had
for no load with half the retail annual fee.)
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