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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 57  
Subject: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 6/15/2007 5:05 PM
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Is there anybody still checking in for a voice in the wilderness?

Our 403b has added some new options. One appears to be being able to buy stocks, bonds, and CDs through a brokerage account within the Cref 403 b. This would be nice, even if they do charge for auction bids. But I'm clueless about how to make it work. I don't know if I actually have to fill out new forms to use it, or if it is automatically part of the retirement plan. And I don't know if I have to call to find things out, instead of finding the bond desk electronically, like elsewhere.

Anybody been there or done that or simply out there.
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Author: LVBYFTH One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 6/15/2007 5:52 PM
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I have not heard of this through Cref's 403b account. I would be interested if we could invest directly in stocks, but that hasn't been possible. Maybe there's been a change that I haven't heard about.

I'll let you know if I find anything.

LVBYFTH

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Author: LVBYFTH One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 6/15/2007 5:58 PM
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It looks like they offer a brokerage service where you could invest in stocks and other things outside of their funds. However, with their 403b accounts I don't see that as an option.

LVBYFTH

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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 6/15/2007 6:19 PM
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It looks like they offer a brokerage service where you could invest in stocks and other things outside of their funds. However, with their 403b accounts I don't see that as an option.

I think this is not offered by all their employee plans.

I discovered a few months ago that when I looked under transfer options within my account, there were several new funds (including multiple index funds for slice and dice) and something that appears to be a brokerage option. The brokerage for TIAA-CREF outside retirement accounts lets you buy bonds and get CDs, so my guess is the same options would be available within this mysterious brokerage option within the retirement account. (I can do better than TIAA-Traditional for supplemental with individual bonds and CDs, no questions asked, even after commission).

I haven't tried transferring money in and seeing if that gets me somewhere. When I click on the option with no money, I get nothing.

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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 46 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 6/18/2007 3:18 PM
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Here's what I found out.

I don't know how many retirement plans have this option, but if yours does have a "Self Directed Brokerage Account" within the 403b, here's what I was told you have to do.

Step 1: Call TIAA-Cref Retirement 800 number and then talk to brokerage. Request a form to be mailed to set up self-directed brokerage account (and mail back).

Step 2: After they get the form processed, transfer money into brokerage account.

Step 3: Call retirement broker and purchase stuff.

Advice: figure out what you are looking for in advance. It is clear the selection of CDs and bonds is weak compared to Vanguard. I'm not interested in individual stocks, so I don't know.

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Author: Latinus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 7/17/2007 4:53 AM
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Hi, Lokicious
>>I'm not interested in individual stocks, so I don't know.<<
But perhaps you ought to be.
With some skill, you can do better in stocks than in CDs or bonds.

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Author: jrr7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 7/17/2007 12:48 PM
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With some skill, you can do better in stocks than in CDs or bonds.

And with poor skills, you can shoot yourself in the foot much more easily in stocks than in CDs or bonds.

How is one to know, in advance, whether one has good skills or poor skills?

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Author: Latinus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 49 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 7/17/2007 8:20 PM
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Hi, jrr7
You surprised me by replying to my post.

>>And with poor skills, you can shoot yourself in the foot much more easily in stocks than in CDs or bonds.<<
I hope you have done better than that.
-
>>How is one to know, in advance, whether one has good skills or poor skills?<<
Was it Ralph Waldo Emerson who said "Know thyself."?

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Author: jrr7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 7/20/2007 11:57 AM
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I hope you have done better than that.

Actually, I haven't -- each of my forays into stocks (Despite researching) has been a disappointment.

Some people have "the stuff" to research stocks. Some (including me) don't.

Was it Ralph Waldo Emerson who said "Know thyself."?

It's my opinion that most people are incapable of knowing how they'll do at stock investing, and the less capable you are, the worse you are at predicting.

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Author: Latinus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 51 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 7/20/2007 8:25 PM
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>>Actually, I haven't -- each of my forays into stocks (Despite researching) has been a disappointment.<<
-
Hi, jrr7
I am sorry that stocks have not been good to you.
I see that I have you on my Favorites; I must have figured you for a smart guy. And you are at what you do.

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Author: jrr7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 52 of 57
Subject: Re: Buying Bonds: Brokerage option Date: 7/25/2007 12:21 PM
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I see that I have you on my Favorites; I must have figured you for a smart guy. And you are at what you do.

Smarts at one thing don't automatically translate into smarts at another thing (the Holiday Inn Express commercials notwithstanding).

I don't do stocks, because I don't react well to them.

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