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Subject:  Re: 403(b) discount brokers Date:  4/26/1998  11:10 PM
Author:  TchrP Number:  3059 of 98496

>> Does anyone know of a discount broker that will let me setup a 403(b) account? Schwab won't and I spoke to Smith Barney and they want 1.75% per trade if I do the Dow Dividend Approach. I'd have to open a unit trust to do that. What is a unit trust?
If this will help: the problem is that 403(b) accounts can only invest in annuities and mutual funds, and it is impossible for a diversified mutual fund to follow a Dow Dividend strategy.

The reason that a diversified mutual fund can't follow any kind of Dow Dividend approach is that a mutual fund has to arrange things so that, for a total of at least 75%, it has no more than 5% of its assets invested in a single company. The other 25% isn't subject to the 5% limit, so the effect is that a mutual fund must invest in at least 16 different stocks -- too many for a DDA.

One way that an investment company can get around this is with a unit trust, which operates somewhat like a mutual fund but isn't one and isn't subject to the diversification requirement. There is also at least one mutual fund that invests half its assets in a Dow 10 approach and the other half in the S&P 500, but in most cases the best you can do within a 403(b) plan is to invest in an S&P index fund.
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