Friday, March 31, 2017

More 403(b) Vendor Shenanigans & Trips...Those Amazing Trips

This past week I've come across several instances of what I consider improper marketing efforts by insurance agents for 403(b) vendors. 

As best I can tell, this week it's LSW and Midland, two of the worst 403(b) vendors in the industry in my opinion. 

I also found where LSW is having their Conference of Champions trip and have posted the details.

WaPo: Why so many teachers need a second job to make ends meet

The fact that this article has to be written makes me sad. Why so many teachers need a second job to make ends meet

Thursday, March 23, 2017

403bCompare Rebirth

Way back in 2000, a group of 403(b) activists lobbied the California state legislature to pass a bill allowing school districts to control their 403(b) vendor list, the bill didn't make it in the original form, but instead became a disclosure bill. The law that was passed created what we now call, a website where all 403(b) vendors in California must register if they want to offer their products to California public schools. They must register and disclose their products. There is no other database like this in the country.

I was involved in both the lobbying and the development of the original website and have provided consulting services to CalSTRS (who operates the site) ever since. I've watched over the past 18 months as the people at CalSTRS worked to redesign and modernize the site, the new site launched this week and I think they've done a great job.

 Just a few new features you will see is an expense ratio range (low - medium - high) and a disclosure of whether the product will pay a commission when sold (no data on what the commission would be at this point). Comparisons are now simpler and all the data for mutual fund and annuities are in real time, including performance information. There are also filters to help you exclude certain products and a design that should allow for simpler navigation.

I've linked to a brochure and flyer below and you can watch a few of the videos as well:

CalSTRS Press Release

CalSTRS 403bCompare Flyer

CalSTRS 403bCompare Brochure

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MPAS, AIF