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Subject:  Re: 401(k): Merrill Lynch Date:  10/7/1999  3:31 PM
Author:  BGPenhollo Number:  14306 of 102347

"Is anyone familiar with Merril Lynch's Investment Plans? "

Our company was using M-L. We are now moving to Scudder. From what I can tell of the 401K plans, the choice is made by the company based on the company's cost of administering the plan.

Our ML plan did not give us access to ALL of the ML funds (as if that was anything I wanted). We also were given access to a few other funds such as AIM Value, MFS Emerging Growth, and Templeton Foreign as well as what ML considered an in-house index fund. It usually had a 0.5% lower return than Vanguard's VFINX. (Gee, it also had an admin fee around 0.7% versus Vanguard's 0.2%)

When we original moved from our old 401K to M-L, ML moved all funds to ML funds. We were not given a choice on how we wanted to map our transfer. And ML had all contributions set to accummulate in one ML fund. I didn't get to see what they did for 6 months. I quickly moved most all of it to AIM and the ML Index look-alike.

We received quarterly statements almost two months late and I would spend almost 2 to 4 hours deciphering and entering this statement into Quicken - What a horrible mess.

But no matter how bad ML is, make certain you max out to the companies maximum contribution.

I suggest if you are given Internet access (we did not get that option) or phone access that you watch ML like a hawk and make sure your investments are going where you expect them to be made.

If you still have specific question, you can email me.

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