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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: of 76418  
Subject: Re: Asset Allocation For Retirement Date: 5/19/2004 9:22 PM
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SOMEBODY pays the loads for funds in your 401k. It is possible that it is your employer. Your employer pays the trustee that manages your 401k money, and how much of that payment is directly to the trustee for doing the paperwork, vs to the fund managers at Merrill Lynch and the like.
Note that you probably do not receive a paycheck-by-paycheck accounting of how many shares of which fund were purchased for your account on what day. Your employer does have a little leeway as to when to turn over deducted funds to the trustee, but if you get paid on Friday, make the assumption that your employer pays the trustee the following Monday, keep a spreadsheet showing your assumed number of shares bought at the price in the paper, I believe you will find that your returns are consistently less than what you calculate. The fee paid to the trustee may or may not be shown on your statement.

The fees may be invisible, but I assure you both the trustee and the mutual fund companies get paid!
With this array of mutual fund choices, I'd go have a talk with the person in HR who presented the plan to you, about giving you some lower-cost choices.
It could be worse. I've seen plans where all the choices are annuity shares!
Best wishes, Chris
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