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My husband has been funding his 401K at the Principal Financial Group for a number of years. The money has gone into such vehicles as "US stock fund" and "International Stock Fund". He has been trying to find out how much The Principal group is charging him to manage his portfolio but has not had a straight answer. Our understanding is that these "funds" are not mutual funds.

We cannot find the company listed on any type of third party rating service that would report on either performance or fee structure. Does anyone have any experience or insight with these folks?
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Before I quit to become self-employed, I worked at a company whose 401K was managed by Principal. Let's just say I was not impressed by either their management abilities or by the choice of investment vehicles.
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My wife's 403B is managed by The Principal Group. There are some underlying funds behind the divisions, but it is less than clear. Ask the person at the employer for details. If it weren't for the matching and and tax-deferred nature, I'd get her out of there.

Steve
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CPAmom,

<<My husband has been funding his 401K at the Principal Financial Group for a number of years. The money has gone into such vehicles as "US stock fund" and "International Stock Fund". He has been trying to find out how much The Principal group is charging him to manage his portfolio but has not had a straight answer. Our understanding is that these "funds" are not mutual funds.

We cannot find the company listed on any type of third party rating service that would report on either performance or fee structure. Does anyone have any experience or insight with these folks?>>

There is no central reference for this type of information. However, you should be able to obtain several pieces of information from the plan administrator to help you get the information you want. There should be a description of available investment options that includes data on investment fees and charges. Additionally, each year you should receive by law a Summary Annual Report that includes information regarding the expenses of the plan. If you're not receiving this data, then your husband should pursue the issue with his benefits and plan administrators.

Regards….Pixy
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<<<My husband has been funding his 401K at the Principal Financial Group for a number of years.

....

We cannot find the company listed on any type of third party rating service that would report on either performance or fee structure. Does anyone have any experience or insight with these folks?>>

Pixy responded:
.... Additionally, each year you should receive by law a Summary Annual Report that includes information regarding the expenses of the plan. If you're not receiving this data, then your husband should pursue the issue with his benefits and plan administrators.
>

You should also be able to examine the complete report for the plan at a given site. You can also receive a copy for a "nominal" charge. My current employer does have a semi-nominal charge of $8, but I have seen some plans where the "nominal" charge is $50.
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