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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75643  
Subject: Oh, My God, What a mess!!! (long post) Date: 1/10/2001 4:57 PM
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Hello.

I have just discovered a nightmare!  I am relatively recently married and 
have just gotten the information on my husband's retirement savings.  

3 years ago, at the age of 37, a very bad man at Merrill Lynch evidently talked 
him into a 7% surrender charge annuity within a traditional IRA.  
I have just gotten the details of the expenses and funds in this IRA/Annuity.  

(Fair Warning: Now is the time for the weak-hearted to move on before seeing 
something that will haunt your dreams)

The Funds are:

Fnd		Cat	M*	LOAD	FEES		12b-1		Rsk	Rtn

APGAX		LG	4/3	5.5	1.5%		.50		hi	hi
AVLFX		LV	4/4	5.5	1.0		.25		med 	hi
MFEGX		LG	1/1	5.75	1.13		.35		hi	lo
MAIEX		LB	2/2	5.25	1.32		none		med	lo
		(international)
MADCX		LV	2/3	5.25	1.84		1.0		hi	lo

One fund, on smartmoney.com, actually said that the fees outweighed the return.  
Another had no return at all so  it couldn't even evaluate the fee structure.  

On top of that, he is paying a $40.00 custodial fee to 
Merrill Lynch, and annuity administrative fees between 1.5 and 2%.

Ironically, in those 3 years, he has made about $1600.  He started with around 
6k and now has about $7600, BUT...well, how much could he have made in those 
three years if he had been in a couple of good Vanguard funds?

All of the loads are front-end...so I know that money's long gone, 
but my question is this....

Right now the surrender fee would be $304.($228 if we wait until October.)  
Any opinions out there as to whether or not it would be worth the surrender fee 
to get out now (or in Oct?) and roll that money over into a Vanguard IRA or SEP? 
Maybe VTSMX... or...VFINX & VEXMX...or something to the effect?  ie: would he likely 
lose less now, by surrendering, getting into low-fee funds and not having those
expenses over the next 4 years?

I know this is long, but...what a mess. (And I thought I was having trouble choosing 
another fund for my own IRA!)  Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Caat
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