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It seems that I'm not the only one with a 401k plan that has a not-so-great basket of mutual funds to pick from.

I see that the standard Foolish Thing is to consider reducing 401k participation and then using the extra money for self-directed common stock purchases.

Instead, has anyone ever confronted their company's 401k administrator and poured a can of Fool in their lap? Would the process of making new funds available to participants have any reasonable comparison to mating elephants(*)?

Fidelity seems to have a couple of real humdingers (like FDCPX with its hot tech stocks or FSPHX with its hot health care holdings), and we get to choose from BIG FAT BLOATED COWS like the 74 BAZILLION dollar Magellan, which Robert Stansky could use for the purchase of some small country, were he permitted to do so.

Would the employer balk at offering high beta funds because we'd be bouncing our money around too much? Does Fidelity charge employers more for offering more volatile funds that encourage more shifting around (at Fidelity's expense, I might add)? Would I stand to gain more by discussing my 401k with my cat? What is the maximum airspeed velocity of a stock certificate when folded into a paper-plane?

RM
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(*) The mating of Elephantidae has three notable characteristics:

a. It's done at a very high level.

b. There's enough kicking and screaming involved that you certainly don't want to be underfoot or within earshot when it occurs.

c. It takes 22 months to produce results.
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Greetings, RM, and welcome. You asked:

Instead, has anyone ever confronted their company's 401k administrator and poured a can of Fool in their lap? Would the process of making new funds available to participants have any reasonable comparison to mating elephants(*)?

<snip>

Would the employer balk at offering high beta funds because we'd be bouncing our money around too much? Does Fidelity charge employers more for offering more volatile funds that encourage more shifting around (at Fidelity's expense, I might add)? Would I stand to gain more by discussing my 401k with my cat? What is the maximum airspeed velocity of a stock certificate when folded into a paper-plane?


It's not the plan administrator that controls plan offerings. Instead, it's the plan sponsor. That's your employer. The sponsor will indeed offer other choices when prodded by plan participants. It's up to you to do the prodding, and it will be far more effective if you can convince others to do so with you. One person won't be enough, but a group will cause your employer to give the matter very serious consideration.

Fidelity may very well want to charge a higher administrative fee for adding other options. That will be a consideration of your employer. If higher fees are too costly, it could also be the deciding factor for the denial of expanding your range of choices.

I'm sure your cat is financially astute, but IMHO you should discuss your 401k options with other participants. If they agree with you, then that discussion should be taken to the employer. And as to the airspeed of stock shares shaped like an airplane, that's a function of the inverse ratio of PE to BV multiplied by the cube of the share price divided by the square root of the transaction costs. I regret my financial calculator isn't sophisticated enough to perform that calculation, and I'm far too lazy to do it by stubby pencil.

Regards.....Pixy
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My company also uses Fidelity for our 401k. Finally after years of prodding by the employees, they have added some non Fidelity choices. We did have some decent choices before, Contrafund, Growth Company , and others. Now they have added some Janus and Baron funds and a few others.

My point is that this came about as the result of input of the employees input. They also relaxed the loan requirements and increased the company match. So I guess it comes down the how much the company listens to and cares about keeping their employees. So its worth it to let your wants known to the higher ups.
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Greetings, Jimmonroe, and welcome. You wrote:

My company also uses Fidelity for our 401k. Finally after years of prodding by the employees, they have added some non Fidelity choices. We did have some decent choices before, Contrafund, Growth Company , and others. Now they have added some Janus and Baron funds and a few others.

My point is that this came about as the result of input of the employees input. They also relaxed the loan requirements and increased the company match. So I guess it comes down the how much the company listens to and cares about keeping their employees. So its worth it to let your wants known to the higher ups.


Bravo! I've said more than once that persistence in raising the issue and the involvement of employees can work wonders in broadening the selections in a company's 401k plan. Thanks for the affirmation.

Regards…..Pixy
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