After finding out that my optional retirement plan with another insurance company was charging about ten times the rate as TIAA-CREF, I started doing the research. I do not particularly care for annuities, but then again, this is my pension plan, the base for my retirement, so the rest - the 403b, Roth IRA, and Drip investments - are for padding the retirment plan.TIAA-CREF, as has been stated, is a quite stodgy. But that sometimes means safe. They don't do wacky crazy stuff, like that one mutual fund that put everything into securities denominated in Mexican pesos (peso went from 3=US$1 to 7.5=US$1). If you want the no-brainer, go for the Equity Index Fund. It tracks the Russell 3000 instead of the S&P 500. Although laggin behind the S&P 500 for several years, I don't think that will always be the case.I think their Growth fund is less volatile than most, the Stock fund is ok but has generally lagged behind the S&P 500. The Stock fund is the largest managed equity fund in the world, even larger than the Fidelity Magellan Fund! TIAA-CREF is no small potatoes. The offer a Global Equities and Social Choice funds, too.Personally, I don't care for the Real Estate Fund or the Traditional. I don't like real estate investments where I have not seen the property, and the traditional account has a fairly low return. If you are younger, go for the CREF stock funds.The mutual funds are for IRA and non-tax sheltered accounts. They also have extremely low fees and seem to have performed well in their short existence.Their web site is:http://www.tiaa-cref.orgCurrent returns and past performance are available at:http://www.tiaa-cref.org/set-newchart.htmlAnnuity profiles are at:http://www.tiaa-cref.org:80/set-annprofs.htmlMutual fund profiles are at:http://www.tiaa-cref.org/mfunds/set-mfprofs.htmlHope this helps.Taylor
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