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Hello everyone,

Once more I find myself looking to for wisdom.

(I did also post this to Index Funds, but noticed this discussion group - I hope that you don't mind.)

My scenario: I am a new employee who is now faced with the option of signing up for my new company's 401(k). I previously, in my old position, was quite foolish and cruised with their 401(k) program, which was with a Fidelity Index fund.

My new company has a relationship with someone called 'ManuLife'. Never heard of them and further investigation on the web turned up very little. Here are a few of the peculiarities:

1) I don't find quotes for their funds on-line as I can with Fidelity, Price, Vanguard etc. I don't see that they are as … well … available as any other I can regularly see in the paper or online – anyone know why?

2) Almost to the fund, there is a small paragraph that begins the description of the fund with “This fund is offered to you through a business arrangement between two strong performers in investment and retirement savings management: ManuLife Financial and (one of many depending on the fund such as Janis, Fidelity, Franklin, AIM, Lord Abbott)”. What exactly does this mean? I am presuming higher fees than if I went to the other directly.

3) The index fund I lean towards is now changing itself to “invest solely in the Manufacturers Investment Trust (MIT) 500 Index Trust, managed by Manufacturers Advisor Corporation”. Again – more fees I presume?

As I am depressed by the options here, rather than see my retirement money line the pockets of those administrators of the so-called funds, I am thinking that I might just have to take the money that I would put to my 401(k) and put it in a new (maybe Vanguard) account that I open for myself – fully realizing that it is not going to be tax deferred, but most likely a better choice that paying out the wazoo for something that is less than palatable.

I would appreciate any and all help or comments to help me straighten this out a little.

Thank you all,

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