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Author: JoJoJackson Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75615  
Subject: I dont like insurance companies Date: 2/2/2001 11:32 AM
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I participate in my companies 401-K plan administrated through American United Life. The only index fund available is a fund called SSgA S&P 500 Flagship Fund. This fund is proprietary to the insurance industry and is not listed like a normal mutual fund with a symbol followed by an "X".

I do not like the fact that I cannot follow the share price of the fund. I can only track "unit" value. I can't get a straight answer what a unit represents from my company or from A.U.L. The best explanation they gave me is that a unit represents a fraction of a share. They don't know what % the fraction is. They claim that the only expenses are what is covered in the .25% Portfolio Expense Ratio.

I have an inherent distrust of all insurance companies and I would never even think about using any insurance product as an investment or of using any insurance company's investment services unless I have no choice. I have no choice with my 401-K. If I want to participate, I use A.U.L.

What I need help with is what specific questions do I need to ask and to whom do I ask them? I know someone at A.U.L. can answer my questions if I ask the right person and avoid the rank and file employee who really doesn't know the answers.

Am I being prudent in my distrust of insurance companies? Or am I too paranoid?

JoJoJackson
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Author: Crosenfield Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27635 of 75615
Subject: Re: I dont like insurance companies Date: 2/2/2001 12:09 PM
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From time to time you must get an accounting of what is in your 401k, and that tells you how your investment is doing.
Especially if there is an employer match, you want to participate in the 401k.
Your other choice is to get together with others to try to persuade your employer to offer more options.
Good luck! Chris

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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: 27637 of 75615
Subject: Re: I dont like insurance companies Date: 2/2/2001 12:49 PM
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Insurance company + unit value = annuity
The "unit value" probably represents the appreciation (including both dividends and capital gains) of $1 invested when the fund started.

Find out what the "mortality and expense" charge is.

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Author: matttuttle Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27648 of 75615
Subject: Re: I dont like insurance companies Date: 2/2/2001 4:36 PM
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Insurance companies are not inherently bad or inherently good. There are honest insurance companies and dishonest insurance companies. Just as there are dishonest and unknowlegeable insurance company reps and good ones. You are focusing just on the product and not on what your particular situation is. You may need an insurance company product or you may not but you will never know until you look at the big picture. For example if you are married what happens to your spouse should anything happen to you? Can she keep the house, have to go to work, etc. How much would she need to live on? How long would it take her to run out of money?

If the answers to those questions are bad you need life insurance from an insurance co.

Regards

Matt Tuttle

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Author: phooley Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27654 of 75615
Subject: Re: I dont like insurance companies Date: 2/2/2001 9:59 PM
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I participate in my companies 401-K plan administrated through American United Life. The only index fund available is a fund called SSgA S&P 500 Flagship Fund. This fund is proprietary to the insurance industry and is not listed like a normal mutual fund with a symbol followed by an "X".

I did some checking via the Web, and found the website for State Street Global Advisors. They give a link to the "info sheet" for the fund, www.ssgafunds.com/fundsfac/pdf/svspx_sp500.pdf -- which mentions the symbol for the fund, SVSPX, and the expense ratio, 0.18%.

But American United Life states the expense ratio of the fund available to you as 0.25%: www.aul.com/images/pension/aulternativesN/ssga500N.pdf

It looks like they're charging something like 0.07% for handling the account. But maybe I'm jumping to conclusions.

I imagine if you check the NAV for SVSPX, it will not match the "unit price" they quote you.

If I were in your situation, I wouldn't really distrust the company -- there are always costs associated with a 401(k) plan, and there's nothing to indicate that these are out of line. I think you should monitor the performance of the fund, and make sureit seems to track the S&P 500 Index fairly well. There will be variables such as how quickly your contributions are credited and invested. "They" should be able to answer your questions in this regard.

Good luck,
Phooley in Phoenix

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Author: peppermintpatty Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27656 of 75615
Subject: Re: I dont like insurance companies Date: 2/2/2001 11:38 PM
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JoJoJackson -

<<I participate in my companies 401-K plan administrated through American United Life. The only index fund available is a fund called SSgA S&P 500 Flagship Fund. This fund is proprietary to the insurance industry and is not listed like a normal mutual fund with a symbol followed by an "X".

I do not like the fact that I cannot follow the share price of the fund. I can only track "unit" value. I can't get a straight answer what a unit represents from my company or from A.U.L. The best explanation they gave me is that a unit represents a fraction of a share. They don't know what % the fraction is. They claim that the only expenses are what is covered in the .25% Portfolio Expense Ratio.>>

You can follow the unit value - if the 401k uses a variable annuity package, you'll find annuity values listed at least weekly in the Wall Street Journal (Monday edition?), after all the stock markets & mutual funds... see "Variable Annuities" and look for American United Life, listed alphabetically!

<<I have an inherent distrust of all insurance companies and I would never even think about using any insurance product as an investment or of using any insurance company's investment services unless I have no choice. I have no choice with my 401-K. If I want to participate, I use A.U.L.>>

It's unfortunate you feel this way!

<<What I need help with is what specific questions do I need to ask and to whom do I ask them? I know someone at A.U.L. can answer my questions if I ask the right person and avoid the rank and file employee who really doesn't know the answers.>>

Ask your Human Resources manager who can answer your specific questions. A "Unit" is equivelent to a mutual fund "Share", so "Unit Value" is similar to "Share Value".

<<Am I being prudent in my distrust of insurance companies?>>

Yes.

<<Or am I too paranoid?>>


Yes.

Regards, PP




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