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Author: Huram One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75801  
Subject: Re: Need Help With the Parent's IRA! Date: 9/4/2003 10:47 AM
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Thanks for all your thoughts. I greatly appreciate it. Thankfully my parents are seeking my help, and do not feel threaten by my suggestions. They trust me and know I am not "taking over" there retirement money, but helping them out by giving them suggestions on areas they are not that knowlegable on. I don't know what they are going to do, but I sent them the following email. If you have any further suggestions or ideas on my suggestions and ideas to my folks, please continue to post. Thanks again!

Mom and Dad

Good to hear from you. Yeah, hope that IRA info was helpful. You seem to be doing pretty well. The only things I would for sure reexamine are the following:

1. The management fee is 1 percent annually -- but are there any other fees? Read the fine print -- get all the facts and see if the broker is taking more than 1%. Regardless of whether it is more than 1%, I would be very, very tempted to switch to a low cost index fund that only charges 0.18% and may perform just as well (compare Todd's record with the S&P over the past few years). Below is a following list of the annual charges for an IRA worth $650,000.00

3% $19,500.00
2% $13,000.00
1% $ 6,500.00
.18% $ 1,170.00

Chances are, Wachovia is charging you more than the 1 percent. Even if it was one percent, that is a signicant chunk of change that could be brought down significantly.

Another advantage of a low-cost index fund, is that you won't have to pick and choose specific stocks while having Todd call you all the time.

2. Secondly, I would compare Todd's performance in the past couple years to the S&P 500's. Is there a significant difference? If there is a significant difference -- with Todd's performance significantly outperforming the S&P over the last few years, you may just want to keep him if you like him, if you feel Wachovia's charges are not too high, and it is not too annoying or stressful to
have him calling you all the time.

3. Thirdly, don't worry about converting your IRA to a Roth till after Dad is 59 1/2. It won't make any sense. Rexamine this till after you have access to the money.

4. Lastly, if you want to keep all your money in stocks, it is up to you. The outlook for the next couple years is optimistc, although anything could happen. I would be tempted to put at least a slice of that pie (maybe 10-25%) in a low cost bond index, but that could probably wait til you ride this rise on stocks for a while.

Those are my suggestions. In sum, most importantly -- you need to fully
understand all of Wachovia's charges. Is it more than 1%? Secondly, see if Todd's performance is worth the thousands extra you are paying in comparison to a low cost index fund. If you are satisfied with his performance, don't feel they are gouging you to much with fees, and think he can continue to do better than the S&P 500 in the future, go ahead and keep him. If you are dissatisfied with any of these points, I would save the your dough from this service and move to a lower-costing index fund and/or bond fund with Vanguard or USAA.

Let me know your thoughts. Whatever happens, I think you are doing fine with your IRA. The above suggestions though, may save you a substantial chunk of change in fees.

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