No. of Recommendations: 0
Does vanguard have a good reputation?

The best.

oh and Caat, my allocations with TIAA-CREF are 35%stock, 25% growth, 20% international growth, 10% real estate and 10% traditional annuities.

Hi T.
Sounds like you're pretty well diversified.

If I'm reading it right, this is what you have...(keep in mind I'm not really familiar with TIAA's annuity/employer division)

35% STOCK: The Personal Annuity Select Stock Index Account is a variable account specifically developed for the long-term investor who is looking for more growth opportunities and is also willing to accept some degree of market fluctuation. The account invests a comprehensive stock portfolio designed to track the U.S. equity market overall as represented by the Russell 3000™** Index; its returns should generally parallel those of the index, but may not always do so.

Sounds similar to TCEIX. Tracking the R3000 gives you exposure to the broad market. Good.

25% GROWTH: The Personal Annuity Select Growth Equity Account invests in a fund of a broadly diversified stock portfolio of companies in new and emerging areas of the economy and in companies with distinctive products or promising market conditions. The fund seeks favorable long-term returns, mainly through capital appreciation. The fund may be appropriate for investors who are looking for long-term capital appreciation and can accept the greater risk of investing in fast growing smaller companies.

Small cap. Good. Giving you more aggressive diversification.

20% INTERNATIONAL GROWTH: The Personal Annuity Select International Equity Account invests in a fund of a broadly diversified portfolio of primarily foreign equity investments. These companies are all sizes and have certain characteristics such as substantial growth, consistent cash flow and attractive stock prices. The fund seeks favorable long-term returns, mainly through capital appreciation. It may be appropriate for investors who seek above-average long-term returns, who understand the advantages of diversification across international markets and can tolerate the greater risks of international investing.

Good for diversification.

10% REAL ESTATE: The TIAA Real Estate Account looks for favorable long-term returns through capital appreciation and rental income. In the past, real-estate returns have been shown little correlation to stock and bond returns, have been less volatile than stocks in particular, and have tended to provide a good hedge against inflation.

Cruisin'. That's just about the allocation I'm hearing is right to have in Real Estate.

10% TRADITIONAL ANNUITIES: The Traditional Annuity offers maximum safety, guaranteeing your principal and a specified interest rate (3 percent for current premiums) plus the opportunity for greater growth through dividends, which have been declared every year since 1948.

Sounds like this is your fixed income source. Your previous post mentioned that you were in an aggressive portfolio. Doesn't sound much too aggressive to me. Especially for someone your age. In fact, it looks pretty good, and well diversified. Did someone in your HR dept. help you?

As far as these being annuities, I have no idea how that works within the confines of a 403B. If it were outside an employer sponsored retirement account, I would question it, but since I'm not familiar with that type of thing, I can't comment.

Overall, I think you're doing a great job. Vanguard is an excellent choice for index funds as long as you have the minimum to avoid the fees. Sounds like you do. Here's a link that explains those fees:

Like I said in my previous post, the only thing I really see as a kind of red flag is your money sitting in the bank not earning interest. Money Market rates aren't very high right now, but you can certainly find some higher than others. Some people like ING savings because it's got higher interest than Netbank, personally, I like Netbank MMkt for the extra conveniences that it has, such as ATM and checkwriting ability for emergencies. I like the idea that I have instant access to my cash, rather than having to wait several days for it to be transferred. But that's a personal choice.

Hope this helps.
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