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Author: Yogamama One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76078  
Subject: MetLife redistributions Date: 1/4/2005 10:59 AM
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Hello, my first post to this board. I posted to the Foolish 401k board last week but did not receive any replies, and am now trying other boards. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.


Is anyone out there familiar with the Met Life TDA products? I am in a 403b Met Life plan (because there is no other vendor with this employer) and am looking to redistribute monies in my account. I no longer contribute to the plan, as I am a per diem employee, and contributed for 12 years before going per diem. I'm investigating other investment options, hence my reason for becoming a Fool. Anyways, the current distributions look like this:

American Funds Growth 9.9%
American Funds Growth-Income 36.5%
FI Mid Cap Opportunities 4.5%
Harris Oakmark Focused Value 4.3%
Harris Oakmark Large Cap Value 10%
MetLife Stock Index 21.5%
Russell 2000 Index 9.7%

I'm looking to dump MetLife Stock Index, Harris Oakmark Foc Value and FI Mid Cap Opp. Am particularly interested in a Neuberger Berman Mid Cap Value fund and the various Int'l funds right now. Any ideas or recommendations would be greatly appreciated by this Foolish beginner.

Thank you in advance!

Yogamama
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Author: bogwan Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43890 of 76078
Subject: Re: MetLife redistributions Date: 1/5/2005 5:21 PM
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1) You need to find the expenses on each fund. Unless you truely believe in a fund manager paying more than a 1% expense ratio is just stupid. Compare the expense ratios of the index funds to those of vanguard or ishares.com.

2) While investing in many mutual funds seems safer remember that all your funds put together probably just return the same as one of your index funds, but charge more expenses. I personally think that your actively managed funds are unlikely to as a group do better than the less expensive index funds.

3) I do not see any bond, international, natural resources, REIT, in your investment mix.

4) I do not see any of those funds listed on finance.yahoo.com, I do not like that.

5) Why don't you roll over your IRA to another fund company with a brokerage account.


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Author: Yogamama One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43900 of 76078
Subject: Re: MetLife redistributions Date: 1/6/2005 12:37 AM
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1) You need to find the expenses on each fund. Unless you truely believe in a fund manager paying more than a 1% expense ratio is just stupid. Compare the expense ratios of the index funds to those of vanguard or ishares.com.

2) While investing in many mutual funds seems safer remember that all your funds put together probably just return the same as one of your index funds, but charge more expenses. I personally think that your actively managed funds are unlikely to as a group do better than the less expensive index funds.

3) I do not see any bond, international, natural resources, REIT, in your investment mix.

4) I do not see any of those funds listed on finance.yahoo.com, I do not like that.

5) Why don't you roll over your IRA to another fund company with a brokerage account.


Bogwan, Thanks for the ideas. I have not invested in any bond funds, as I was being a bit more aggressive in my earlier years, and haven't made any changes as of yet. Currently, I'm 41, with 2 small children, so the priorities are shifting. I do see a few bond funds, plus a Neuberger Berman Real Estate fund (I'm assuming an REIT) on the list I have from MetLife.

The MetLife products have been difficult at best for me to examine. It is hard to tell what all the expenses are. They kind of put their own "funds" together, it seems to me, and rename them funky names that I haven't been able to do research on over the internet. They collaborate with quite a few different companies Fidelity, American, Janus, Morgan Stanley, and the list goes on. Anyways, on my quarterly statements, it doesn't show what the expenses are, and when they are taken out. I would imagine that I would have to dig up a prospectus on each fund to find it.

My DH has a Roth through Pershing. Don't really like the yearly fees ( am looking for an alternative), but the fees are easy to find. Need to check on the expense ratios, though.

I would have to inquire about moving my 403b to another brokerage. Don't know if that is allowed while I am still technically an employee. I would think so, since the employer does not make any contributions due to my per diem status. The account is now at 70K (was at almost 100K before the drop in 2000), and I'm a little nervous about yanking it without a good game plan. Thought that I would rearrange some of the distributions first, and then look into investing it elsewhere.

I haven't been entirely pleased with MetLife, but 1) it was the only one to pick from with this employer when I started working 17 years ago; 2) the vesting period was immediate, which also meant that the employer contributed not so much compared to other 401k's in the industry; and 3) I learned early not to turn down the free money, as well as the tax shelter. So in short, I feel a bit "stuck" with it, but given that I work for a not-for-profit community hospital, I'm probably pretty lucky to have what I have.

But if I truly can take it out and invest it with another company, do you have any suggestions? Don't think that I want to go the Pershing route due to the yearly fees, but don't know what else is available. Hey, I guess that's why I joined the Fool community!

Yogamama

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Author: Yogamama One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43927 of 76078
Subject: Re: MetLife redistributions Date: 1/7/2005 10:49 AM
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1) You need to find the expenses on each fund. Unless you truely believe in a fund manager paying more than a 1% expense ratio is just stupid. Compare the expense ratios of the index funds to those of vanguard or ishares.com

FYI on MetLife yearly expenses on their funds:

After wading through the online prospectus, I did manage to find the expenses for each of the funds available to me. The expenses range from 0.31% to 1.33%. My current selections range from 0.31% to 0.83%, so I guess I'm managing to do okay by staying under 1.0%. I was dismayed to find out that the 2 American funds charge 12b-1 fees, but overall the total expenses on those 2 still are 0.59% and 0.64%. Don't know whether or not to ditch them because of the 12b-1 fees.

The decision now will be to go with a fund that yields more but has a larger expense charge, or stick with a lower expense fund and suffer the poorer return. Calculator time, I guess.

I think the reason the funds are so hard to find are because MetLife has many sub-managers for their funds. MetLife then turns around and names them something different probably from what the sub-manager calls them, and then they can't be found by a standard search on the internet. Don't know whether this should be a red-flag or not.

Thanks for shedding some light on this situation.

Y.

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