Author Topic: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?  (Read 29512 times)

KatieSSS

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Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« on: April 25, 2013, 09:33:10 AM »
If any of you have been following my journal, you'll know that one of my goals for this year has been to understand my investments better. I met with a Fidelity representative and discussed switching from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity.

Here is my current 403b portfolio:
Value: $3,472.31
Allocations:
39% TIAA Traditional - just found out that if you have more than $3,000 invested in this and you want to withdraw the funds, TIAA pays it out to you over 10 years. WTF that is terrible!
15% CREF Inflation-Linked Bond - (expense charge .45%)
10% TIAA Real Estate - (expense charge .92%)
36% TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Growth Fund-Retirement Class (expense charge .73%) and CREF Stock (expense charge .49%)

In my meeting with the Fidelity rep, he recommended that I choose one of the following:
Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index Advantage Class - (expense charge 0.06%)
Fidelity Four-in-One Index Fund - (expense charge 0.23%). He said the benefit of this one would be diversification - you have both stocks and bonds. But he also said that I am too young to be investing in bonds at all.

If I stay with TIAA-CREF, I could also go for their index fund:
CREF Equity Index - (expense charge 0.43%)

I also have a Roth IRA that I'd like to switch to Vanguard.

Here is my current Roth IRA portfolio:
Value: $17,464.54
Allocations: Franklin Income Series Class C - (expense ratio 1.14%)

For this one I've thought about switching to either the Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Class (expense ratio 0.17 %) or the "four core" as described by Bogleheads:
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VTSMX fee 0.19%)
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund (VFWIX fee 0.40%)
Vanguard REIT Index Fund Investor Shares (VGSIX fee 0.21%)
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VBMFX fee 0.20%)


A little extra information about me:
Age: 28, single (want to get married and have kids eventually)
Property: None
Other assets: Car @ 3k (Kelly Blue Book value)
Emergency fund: 4k
Debt: $13,789 in student loans (goal is to pay it off this year)
Salary: 45k
Amount contributing to 403b: Me - $225/month, Employer - $450/month = $8,100/year total
Amount contributing to Roth IRA: - $1,800/year (focus right now is on paying off my student loans. Goal after that is done is to fully-fund my Roth)
Goals: Grow the 'stache to retire in late 40s or even earlier, if possible!

So the big question is: What combination do I choose? Do I switch to Fidelity for my 403b? And when I switch to Vanguard for my Roth IRA, do I go with the 500 Index or the "four core"?

Looking forward to your suggestions!

chills

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 09:41:56 AM »
I also have a Roth IRA that I'd like to switch to Vanguard.

Here is my current Roth IRA portfolio:
Value: $17,464.54
Allocations: Franklin Income Series Class C - (expense ratio 1.14%)

For this one I've thought about switching to either the Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Class (expense ratio 0.17 %) or the "four core" as described by Bogleheads:
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VTSMX fee 0.19%)
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund (VFWIX fee 0.40%)
Vanguard REIT Index Fund Investor Shares (VGSIX fee 0.21%)
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VBMFX fee 0.20%)



If you do decide to go with the Vanguard 500, instead look at    
Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX), which have an expense ratio of 0.05%, since you would be able to meet to $10000 minimum

GreenGuava

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 09:49:17 AM »
Missing some information:

* What is your desired asset allocation - that is, what percentage do you want in stocks, what percentage in bonds, and what percentage in other things (in your case, it appears you want some REITs)?

* Do you have taxable investments towards retirement also, and if so, do you intend to treat them as part of your total portfolio or as a separate thing?

* Are you actually allowed to move your 403(b)?  Are you leaving the job or do you have multiple providers?


BTW, for the Bogleheads core four, it is suggested now to use the Total International Stock Market Index instead of the FTSE one.  Lower expense ratios and a greater diversity.

Regardless, I suggest having an asset allocation and sticking with it instead of putting everything into domestic stocks (100% stocks isn't much better in expected return than 75% stocks 25% bonds, but far more volatile).  I also suggest using a total stock market index instead of the S&P 500 whenever possible, although the latter isn't a terrible mistake.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 09:58:03 AM »
I also have a Roth IRA that I'd like to switch to Vanguard.

Here is my current Roth IRA portfolio:
Value: $17,464.54
Allocations: Franklin Income Series Class C - (expense ratio 1.14%)

For this one I've thought about switching to either the Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Class (expense ratio 0.17 %) or the "four core" as described by Bogleheads:
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VTSMX fee 0.19%)
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund (VFWIX fee 0.40%)
Vanguard REIT Index Fund Investor Shares (VGSIX fee 0.21%)
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VBMFX fee 0.20%)



If you do decide to go with the Vanguard 500, instead look at    
Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX), which have an expense ratio of 0.05%, since you would be able to meet to $10000 minimum

Great advice, thank you! I didn't know about that fund.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 10:17:49 AM »
Missing some information:

* What is your desired asset allocation - that is, what percentage do you want in stocks, what percentage in bonds, and what percentage in other things (in your case, it appears you want some REITs)?

* Do you have taxable investments towards retirement also, and if so, do you intend to treat them as part of your total portfolio or as a separate thing?

* Are you actually allowed to move your 403(b)?  Are you leaving the job or do you have multiple providers?


BTW, for the Bogleheads core four, it is suggested now to use the Total International Stock Market Index instead of the FTSE one.  Lower expense ratios and a greater diversity.

Regardless, I suggest having an asset allocation and sticking with it instead of putting everything into domestic stocks (100% stocks isn't much better in expected return than 75% stocks 25% bonds, but far more volatile).  I also suggest using a total stock market index instead of the S&P 500 whenever possible, although the latter isn't a terrible mistake.

Thanks for the suggestion on the Total Intl Stock Market Index. I'll add that one in instead of the FTSE.

I am allowed to move my 403b. Work gives us the choice of either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity and we can move the funds without penalty.

As far as asset allocations goes, I get confused with this. Because I hear people tell me that at my age I shouldn't have much in bonds at all, so my thought is to go with something like Bogle recommends: 30% Bonds/35% US Stocks/35% Intl stocks or the Core Four, which is 40% bonds and 60% other (6% REITs, 18% total intl market, 36% total us market.

I don't believe I have any taxable investments towards retirement. I only have a 403b and RothIRA.

forward

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 12:18:36 PM »

I have 403b's with both Fidelity and TIAA.  If given the choice I would go with Fidelity.  TIAA is a reputable company but slow to change and typically does not have the options and flexibility that other companies have.  I have been in negotiations with them as a fiduciary at my employer and again they are reputable but costly and not flexible.

Fidelity has a good choice of low fee index options for retirement accounts.

For the lower fees and investment options I would go to fidelity.

GreenGuava

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 10:25:08 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion on the Total Intl Stock Market Index. I'll add that one in instead of the FTSE.

I am allowed to move my 403b. Work gives us the choice of either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity and we can move the funds without penalty.

Cool on both;  glad I could help on the first.

As far as asset allocations goes, I get confused with this. Because I hear people tell me that at my age I shouldn't have much in bonds at all, so my thought is to go with something like Bogle recommends: 30% Bonds/35% US Stocks/35% Intl stocks or the Core Four, which is 40% bonds and 60% other (6% REITs, 18% total intl market, 36% total us market.

People who say you shouldn't have anything in bonds at all right now are typically either interested in timing the market (explicitly or implicitly) or don't understand how bonds work or what their role is in a portfolio.  It doesn't sound like you suffer from any of those setbacks.

Bogle's suggestion of "age in bonds" is a starting point - and it isn't a bad default, either.  It's my opinion that one should err on the side of conservativism when deciding bond allocation until one has been through a stock drop and knows what his or her behavior will be in that circumstance.  I know plenty of people who were 100% stocks, saying they knew the risks and had the time to ride out a market crash, only to sell everything (near the bottom, too) and not get back in.  I doubt that'd have been the same case for them if they had some bonds to dampen the volatility.

(Bogle also suggests something like 20% of your stock allocation in international, even though the market cap worldwide would put it at 55-60%.  This is on account that the big U.S. companies are providing you with plenty of international diversification already.  I don't agree with this, but then again, he's more knowledgeable about investing than I am.  FWIW, I'm at 30% international in my stocks, although it's all in taxable)

What are your fund choices from Fidelity in the other three asset classes?  An expense ratio of 0.06% for total U.S. stock market is fantastic (almost as good as Vanguard's - one basis point isn't worth worrying about).   And it looks like your domestic stock allocation will fit into your 403(b) and then some, so in the worst case, this ends up as your 403(b) and we fill in the other classes via your Vanguard Roth IRA.

I don't believe I have any taxable investments towards retirement. I only have a 403b and RothIRA.

Yep, both aren't taxable (well, withdrawals from 403(b) may or may not be, depending, and your Roth IRA investment dollars were taxed on the way in).  They certainly aren't what I mean by taxable (wherein I mean a non-tax advantaged account).

grantmeaname

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 08:30:21 AM »
People who say you shouldn't have anything in bonds at all right now are typically either interested in timing the market (explicitly or implicitly) or don't understand how bonds work or what their role is in a portfolio.  It doesn't sound like you suffer from any of those setbacks.

Bogle's suggestion of "age in bonds" is a starting point - and it isn't a bad default, either.  It's my opinion that one should err on the side of conservativism when deciding bond allocation until one has been through a stock drop and knows what his or her behavior will be in that circumstance.  I know plenty of people who were 100% stocks, saying they knew the risks and had the time to ride out a market crash, only to sell everything (near the bottom, too) and not get back in.  I doubt that'd have been the same case for them if they had some bonds to dampen the volatility.
While your suggestion is reasonable, I think you're being a bit overly broad to say that anyone who disagrees with your opinion doesn't understand bonds. Bogle's recommendation is one of the more bond-heavy, too, with many financial planners suggesting age-20 or age-10 as the percentage of bonds in your portfolio, and the 120-age figure the standard advice in the public press. Further, over any significant time period, especially one as long as a Mustachian's retirement, you're certain to do worse in bonds than stocks, and so including more of them destroys more of your return. I agree that you need to know yourself and know whether you'll sell all your stocks if their value drops, fleeing for safety, but that's not remotely the only consideration.

OP: I'd acquire $10,000 of one fund and $7464 of another only - perhaps VTSAX (total stock market's admiral shares) and vgtsx (international stock market's investor shares), and only add more funds once your last-acquired fund reaches admiral shares. So when you contribute $5500, you could put enough in VGTSX to meet the $10,000 admiral requirement then start on your next fund. I don't think you should hold REITs anywhere near 25% of your portfolio, though -- maybe doing an investment policy statement in the meantime would help you clarify what you need from your retirement accounts.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 09:14:39 AM »
People who say you shouldn't have anything in bonds at all right now are typically either interested in timing the market (explicitly or implicitly) or don't understand how bonds work or what their role is in a portfolio.  It doesn't sound like you suffer from any of those setbacks.

Bogle's suggestion of "age in bonds" is a starting point - and it isn't a bad default, either.  It's my opinion that one should err on the side of conservativism when deciding bond allocation until one has been through a stock drop and knows what his or her behavior will be in that circumstance.  I know plenty of people who were 100% stocks, saying they knew the risks and had the time to ride out a market crash, only to sell everything (near the bottom, too) and not get back in.  I doubt that'd have been the same case for them if they had some bonds to dampen the volatility.

OP: I'd acquire $10,000 of one fund and $7464 of another only - perhaps VTSAX (total stock market's admiral shares) and vgtsx (international stock market's investor shares), and only add more funds once your last-acquired fund reaches admiral shares. So when you contribute $5500, you could put enough in VGTSX to meet the $10,000 admiral requirement then start on your next fund. I don't think you should hold REITs anywhere near 25% of your portfolio, though -- maybe doing an investment policy statement in the meantime would help you clarify what you need from your retirement accounts.

So this would be my Roth IRA, based on your suggestion:
$10,000 in VTSAX (total stock market admiral shares)
$7,464 in VGTSX (international stock market investor shares)

But what about bonds? I should have at least some bonds, shouldn't I? And so you recommend that once the VGTSX hits $10,000 I stop contributing to it and open another fund within the IRA?

If I do it this way, then are you suggesting that I do more bonds in my 403b account with Fidelity?

GreenGuava - I'm going to investigate my entire fund options with Fidelity and will get back to you.

grantmeaname

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 09:28:25 AM »
Whether or not you need bonds depends on your investment policy statement and a general understanding of what bonds do and don't do. That'll take a bit of reading and a bit of introspection, but you're definitely on the right track. It does not depend much on what GreenGuava thinks, and it does not depend much on what I think. Just do a little reading and a little thinking - the Bogleheads wiki is a good place to start.

When you've decided what proportion of bonds to hold, if any, you only need to hold them in proportion to your total holdings: if you have $30,000 total and you decide to be 90/10 in bonds, you need $3,000 in bonds total, not 10% of your Roth IRA's value in bonds and 10% of your 401k's value in bonds. Likewise with whatever proportion you decide to allocate to REITs, domestic stock, and international stock.

GreenGuava

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 09:54:47 AM »
While your suggestion is reasonable, I think you're being a bit overly broad to say that anyone who disagrees with your opinion doesn't understand bonds. Bogle's recommendation is one of the more bond-heavy, too, with many financial planners suggesting age-20 or age-10 as the percentage of bonds in your portfolio, and the 120-age figure the standard advice in the public press. Further, over any significant time period, especially one as long as a Mustachian's retirement, you're certain to do worse in bonds than stocks, and so including more of them destroys more of your return. I agree that you need to know yourself and know whether you'll sell all your stocks if their value drops, fleeing for safety, but that's not remotely the only consideration.

Just to clarify:  I don't mean "own your age in bonds or you're uninformed."  I do mean "if you think everyone should be in 0% bonds, you don't know the point of having them in a portfolio."  I frequently see (thankfully, not here) the argument that, since bonds return less than stocks, they should be avoided.  I don't think having less bonds than one's age is a problem, subject to the holder's (actual) risk tolerance.


So this would be my Roth IRA, based on your suggestion:
$10,000 in VTSAX (total stock market admiral shares)
$7,464 in VGTSX (international stock market investor shares)

But what about bonds? I should have at least some bonds, shouldn't I? And so you recommend that once the VGTSX hits $10,000 I stop contributing to it and open another fund within the IRA?

If I do it this way, then are you suggesting that I do more bonds in my 403b account with Fidelity?

GreenGuava - I'm going to investigate my entire fund options with Fidelity and will get back to you.

Let's figure out how you want to divide your total portfolio and we'll use good options from the 403(b) for whatever we can and fill in the rest.  I don't think picking up $10,000 to have Admiral shares is necessary, nor do I think it's necessary bad.  I hope there's a good non-domestic-stock option in your 403(b), though, because it's likely that domestic stock is the only fraction of your holdings that you'll want at or around $10,000 -- the Admiral threshold.  Although if you stay at investor shares for a year or so while it grows/while you contribute more, it isn't the end of the world.

Whether or not you need bonds depends on your investment policy statement and a general understanding of what bonds do and don't do. That'll take a bit of reading and a bit of introspection, but you're definitely on the right track. It does not depend much on what GreenGuava thinks, and it does not depend much on what I think. Just do a little reading and a little thinking - the Bogleheads wiki is a good place to start.

Echoing this:  you need to be comfortable with your allocation;  what the rest of us think is only something for feedback, not a constraint for deciding where your money goes.  If you come back with an allocation I don't like, I'm still going to give you the best advice I can on how to divvy up your account choices to reach that.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 11:14:51 AM »
Thanks to both of you. Really - I have done some reading on all of this but my retention for this information is very short. I don't really "like" investing, so I tend not to remember much even if I've read an entire book on it,  if that makes sense. Even though I don't like investing that much, it isn't an excuse for me not to do it. The learning is just a bit hard. It also helps me to see examples, so when grantmeaname actually put it in real dollars and funds it made more sense than just reading a hypothetical allocation.

It looks like I have two assignments before I can really make a good decision:
1) Find out what all of my options are in the 403b plan with Fidelity - if I can find these today I'll post them.
2) Do an Investment Policy Statement

And #3 is probably to get out The Boglehead's Guide to Investing this weekend and do some freshening up!

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 01:58:14 PM »
Looks like I won't be able to make any progress on this over the weekend. My HR office won't be able to get me the list of Fidelity fund choices until Monday. They only keep a small prospectus that comes with the brochures - all funds that I am not interested in (higher fees, 2040, 2050 funds etc...). I'm a bit annoyed that they don't have that information readily available. And when I called Fidelity to get it they said I had to get it from my employer.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 12:05:45 PM »
All right - I've had time to do a bit of research. I'll start first with the results of my Investment Policy Statement (IPS).

Goals:
1. Protect myself from unemployment or sudden emergencies. In other words, have a solid emergency fund. My current e-fund covers about 2 months of living expenses. I want to get this up to 6 months after I pay off my student loans

2. Own a modest house/condo and pay for it in cash. By "modest" I mean that if I never get married or have children, I'm talking two-bedroom max. I don't need a lot of space. Paying for it in cash is a lofty goal yes, but I don't plan on living in DC forever, so probably won't buy here.

3. Retire between 45-50. Current age: 28

4. Pay for 2 years of post-high school education for my future children. I don't plan on having more than three kids, by the way. This one is also a bit of an unknown entity. Who knows if I can even have kids? And who knows how many I will end up having? That is why this is number 4 on my list of goals.

Investing Philosophy:
Buy and hold long-term, all market index strategies with very low expenses.

Asset Allocation:
30% bonds and 70% stocks. I took the Vanguard survey in the Boglehead's book and came up with this, which is pretty close to my age in bonds anyway. So it looks like that was a good base for me to start from, at any rate.

Type of Funds:
Low-cost mutual funds that provide maximum diversification across classes - Index Funds.

Target Allocation:
This is a bit tricky and admittedly, I'm a bit confused. I have two retirement accounts, a Roth IRA and a 403b. I also have about $4,000 in an emergency fund. I think the part that confuses me is dividing the allocation across two accounts. As in, do I do mostly stocks in the Roth IRA since I have more money there ($17,464 currently) and use the 403b ($3,479 currently) to build the bond portion of my portfolio given that I have less money in there right now?

I also found out what funds are available to me in my 403b if I switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity. I'll do that in another post, though, so this one doesn't get too long.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2013, 12:18:08 PM »
Ok, on to the funds available if I switch to Fidelity for my 403b

Index Funds

FFNOX - Four-in-One Index Fund - 0.23% expense ratio
FLCEX - Large Cap Core Enhanced Index Fund - 0.46% expense ratio
FLGEX - Large Cap Growth Enhanced Index Fund - 0.47% expense ratio
FLVEX - Large Cap Value Enhanced Index Fund - 0.47% expense ratio
FMEIX - Mid Cap Enhanced Index Fund - 0.63% expense ratio
FNCMX - Nasdaq Composite Index Fund - 0.58% expense ratio
FCPEX - Small Cap Enhanced Index Fund - 0.76% expense ratio
FBIDX - U.S. Bond Index Fund - 0.22% expense ratio
FUSEX - Spartan 500 Index Investor Class - 0.10% expense ratio
FSEMX - Spartan Extended Market Index Fund Investor Class - 0.10% expense ratio
FIBIX - Spartan Intermediate Treasury Bond Index Fund Investor Class - 0.20% expense ratio
FSIIX - Spartan International Index Fund Investor Class - 0.20@ expense ratio
FLBIX - Spartan Long-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund Investor Class - 0.20% expense ratio
FSBIX - Spartan Short-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund Investor Class - 0.20% expense ratio
FSTMX - Spartan Total Market Index Fund Investor Class - 0.10% expense ratio
FIENX - International Enhanced Index Fund - 0.63% expense ratio

I also have access to the Fidelity Freedom Funds, Fidelity Asset Manager, and a plethora of others. The whole booklet I got from HR is about 60 pages long, so I don't want to re-type everything in there at this point!

ETA: Non-domestic stock options from Fidelity

FSEAX - Emerging Asia Fund - 0.94% expense ratio
FICDX - Canada Fund - 0.77% expense ratio
USCOX - China Region Fund - 2.49% expense ratio
FDIVX - Diversified International Fund - 1.01% expense ratio
EMEA - Emerging Europe, Middle East, Africa Fund - 1.37% expense ratio
FIEUX - Europe Fund - 0.83% expense ratio
FECAX - Europe Capital Appreciation Fund - 0.95% expense ratio
FEXPX - Export and Multinational Fund - 0.82% expense ratio
FGBLX - Global Balanced Fund - 1.04% expense ratio
FFGCX - Global Commodity Stock Fund - 1.10% expense ratio
FIVFX - International Capital Appreciation Fund - 1.22% expense ratio
FIGRX - International Discovery Fund - 1.01% expense ratio
FIENX - International Enhanced Index Fund - 0.63% expense ratio
FIGFX - International Growth Fund - 1.28% expense ratio
FIREX - International Real Estate Fund - 1.19% expense ratio
FSIIX - Spartan International Index Fund Investor Class - 0.20@ expense ratio

Ok..I have to stop there, the pages just keep going and going!

One thing I need to keep in mind with my retirement accounts is even though I have more money in my Roth IRA, I am contributing more to my 403b on a monthly basis. Here is the breakdown of the contributions:
Roth IRA: monthly = $150, yearly = $1,800
403b: monthly = $675 (my contributions + employer), yearly = $8,100

I won't be contributing more to the Roth IRA until after I pay off my student loans - which I'll hopefully do by the end of this year.

I hope this is enough extra information to get some solid input from you all. Of these Fidelity choices, I like the Spartan funds as they seem very low cost.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 12:49:44 PM by KatieSSS »

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2013, 12:38:45 PM »
You have some great choices.  As long as there is no or a very small fee charged to administer the account, you have a really good plan. 

Although they are outside the limits of your investment policy, check out some of their actively managed funds, especially some of the Select series.  Some of these funds have done quite well over extended periods of time.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 12:56:17 PM »
You have some great choices.  As long as there is no or a very small fee charged to administer the account, you have a really good plan. 

Although they are outside the limits of your investment policy, check out some of their actively managed funds, especially some of the Select series.  Some of these funds have done quite well over extended periods of time.

I do have some great choices, but I have a LOT of them. Which makes this harder. I sort of wish I had less to choose from so it didn't seem so daunting!

I'm sure I seem very inexperienced, but this is really my first effort in trying to actively learn about my retirement. I've always contributed, but I really want to do the best I can with my money.

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 01:10:56 PM »
One place to start is the Fidelity website.  You can look at the fund profile, the rating by Morningstar, and all the costs and fees.  One thing I always do is look at the chart of the hypothetical growth of $10,000 over the last 10 years.  You can see how the fund has performed, including how it did in the 2008 crash.  Is it a steady performer, or is it volatile?  The graph tells the story.  I believe there is also a fund comparison tool.  You can compare the Fidelity index funds to their Vanguard equivalents for example.

Investing your time today to learn as much as you can about investing will pay you back for the rest of your life.  Even if you only spend a few minutes every day, it's like exercising your financial muscles.  They get stronger and more defined with the exercise.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2013, 01:35:52 PM »
Yes, this is a very helpful exercise! You have to learn by doing. Based on the stated goals of 70% stocks/30% bonds, I came up with the following simple portfolio.

Total in retirement savings = $20,943 (rounding to 21,000 for these calculations)

$17,464 (Roth)
$11,000 in VFIAX: Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares - 0.05% expense ratio (Roth) = 52% of total retirement portfolio in US stock
$6,464 in VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Investor Shares - 0.2% expense ratio (Roth) = 31%  of total retirement portfolio in US bonds

$3,479 (403b)
$1,700 in FSIIX: Spartan International Index Fund - 0.2% expense ratio (403b) = 8% of total retirement portfolio in international stock
$1,779 in FSTVX: Spartan Total Market Index Fund - 0.1% expense ratio (403b) = 9% of total retirement portfolio in US stock

Added together, this would give me a total of 69% stocks (61% US and 8% intl) and 31% bonds.

Again, the thing I need to be on the lookout for here is that I am making sure my stock holdings don't get too high for my comfort level since the growth will be higher in the 403b as I contribute more to that one. I can come up with a few more scenarios where I have more bonds in the 403b, which might help out.

Thoughts on this allocation?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 01:50:57 PM by KatieSSS »

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2013, 01:50:14 PM »
Just did another quick hypothetical portfolio with more bonds in the 403b:

$17,464 (Roth)
$12,000 in VFIAX: Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares - 0.05% expense ratio (Roth) = 57% of total retirement portfolio in US stock
$5,464 in VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Investor Shares - 0.2% expense ratio (Roth) = 26%  of total retirement portfolio in US bonds

$3,479 (403b)
$1,700 in FSIIX: Spartan International Index Fund - 0.2% expense ratio (403b) = 8% of total retirement portfolio in international
$850 in FSTVX: Spartan Total Market Index Fund - 0.1% expense ratio (403b) = 4% of total retirement portfolio in US stock
$850 in FIBIX: Spartan Intermediate Treasury Bond Index Fund - 0.2% expense ratio (403b) = 4% of total retirement portfolio US bonds

This gives me the same ratio as before: 69% stocks (61% US and 8% intl) and 31% bonds

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2013, 09:51:51 AM »
My goal is to get my fees as low as possible and use index funds, which is why I'm aiming to stick to the Spartan funds at Fidelity. If it does get too complicated for me, though, I met end up going with something easy!

icefr

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2013, 04:50:53 PM »
Looks like you made some good choices - the Spartan funds are great and low cost and your Roth IRA is at Vanguard!

Bogleheads has some great suggestions for mapping Vanguard funds to their Fidelity equivalents: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Fidelity

I have a couple of minor suggestions with your plan:

1) It looks like the Fidelity international fund you're looking at (FSIIX: Spartan International Index Fund) only includes developing markets, not emerging markets. I might consider putting your international stocks in your Roth IRA to help with that since then you can use Vanguard's Total International Stock Index Fund, which includes both developing and emerging markets.

2) Instead of the S&P 500 index fund in your Roth IRA (VFIAX: Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares), I would look into Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index fund. It includes small and mid cap stocks, so it's a bit more complete than the S&P 500 fund and still has a good expense ratio.

KatieSSS

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Re: Work 403b: Switch from TIAA-CREF to Fidelity?
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2013, 08:44:20 AM »
Looks like you made some good choices - the Spartan funds are great and low cost and your Roth IRA is at Vanguard!

Bogleheads has some great suggestions for mapping Vanguard funds to their Fidelity equivalents: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Fidelity

I have a couple of minor suggestions with your plan:

1) It looks like the Fidelity international fund you're looking at (FSIIX: Spartan International Index Fund) only includes developing markets, not emerging markets. I might consider putting your international stocks in your Roth IRA to help with that since then you can use Vanguard's Total International Stock Index Fund, which includes both developing and emerging markets.

2) Instead of the S&P 500 index fund in your Roth IRA (VFIAX: Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares), I would look into Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index fund. It includes small and mid cap stocks, so it's a bit more complete than the S&P 500 fund and still has a good expense ratio.

Good suggestions, icefr. I'll take a look at those! Thanks.