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Mutual Fund Advice...


Ravenous Wolf
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My employer is switching from Fidelity to Prudential to manage our 401k.

I really like two funds that were in it and they both had a five star rating from Morning Star. However, you have to pay to go into Morning Star to see their stats for other funds.

Does anybody know of any other place to go to for good information about funds that is free???

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You can always ask your plan provider for the prospectus for each fund you are considering.

I don't know of any other sources that are free. I have software that I subscribe to, but I'm also in the investments business - so it isn't cheap.

You can always check on the fund symbols in the business section of the newspaper to check performance.

Sorry I can't be more help.

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529 plans are municipal securites that are state specific.

For example: American Funds is for the state of Virginia. Franklin Templeton is for the state of New Jersey.

In addition, before investing an ANOTHER state's 529 plan, it is important to review if there are any specific STATE tax benefits offered by investing in that state specific plan.

For example, living in CA, there are no additional state tax savings for investing in a CA 529 plan than the VA plan. BUT, investing in OHIO's plan (when living in OHIO) I believe DOES offer advantages and THAT needs to be taken into consideration.

To me, it is MORE important to save money on your taxes where possible THEN find an investment style that you agree with.

Now to find a "Green" mutual fund family for you to invest in... I'm not sure.

I can say that Franklin Templeton offers a Natural Resource mutual fund, but I don't know if they offer it in their 529 plan. Also, that particular fund is still not "socially responsible", but I'm getting closer.

Here's my Google search on 529 and Socially responsible. I believe that Calvert offers good funds with decent returns, but do your own diligence and request a prospectus for yourself.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Socially+Responsible%22+529&spell=1

Disclosure: This is not investment advice. This is not an investment recommendation. Please consult a tax advisor for tax specific questions. See an investment advisor regarding 529 plans in your specific state.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use http://www.etrade.com and http://finance.yahoo.com to browse stocks and mutual funds. Etrade has a nice fund browser that lets you filter by different criteria, including an option for selecting only funds of a certain star rating (that's how I found one of the funds I currently own). However, one thing that complicates this is that many 401(k)'s contain private funds that don't have ticker symbols, so information can not be acquired through public means. Good luck!

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From the date that I orignally posted that question, I still don't know which funds from Prudential that we have to choose from...

Even our benefits person said that she doesn't know much about investing so she randomly picks funds for her 401k...

That is fine if she is counting on the Retirement Fairy... But for the rest of us, we want to do our own research and analyze each fund... And so far, we have yet to get the stock symbols so we don't have a clue on which ones to research...

Its frustrating because we should be able to make informed decisions by now...

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I had Prudential till a few weeks ago. My company just went with someone else. But my Prudential account is still active. These are the choices I had in my Prudential plan (below).

I'm a young guy, so I was fairly aggressive. I made some nice gains in Dodge and Cox. Go to morningstar and do your own DD, but I highly recommend it going into 2006 if you have it as a choice. Mostly Japanese and European stocks. And you get to take advantage of any depreciation in the dollar which will likely happen as the Japanese economy is on fire, and the EU is raising interest rates going into this year. That attracts global equity (thereby making the greenback less attractive) and you get the aded bonus of banking on the exchange rate differential. The choices are all listed below, categorized by risk/reward, safest choices first. Prudential's # is 800-253-2287. Put this on your list as your second NYE resolution. Good luck

Stable Value

GUARANTEED INCOME

Fixed Income

CORE BOND/BSAM FUND

PRUDENTIAL SHORT-TERM BOND

Balanced

LIFETIME20 FUND

LIFETIME30 FUND

LIFETIME40 FUND

LIFETIME50 FUND

LIFETIME60 FUND

Large Cap Stock

CALVERT SOCIAL INV (CSIF) EQ-A

DRYDEN S&P 500 INDEX FUND

LARGE CAP GROWTH/TURNER INV

LARGE CAP VALUE/LSV ASSET MGMT

OPPENHEIMER CAP APPRE CL A

T.ROWE PRICE EQ INC-ADV SH

VANGUARD GRO & INC-ADMIRAL SH

Mid Cap Stock

MD CAP GROWTH/ARTISAN PARTNERS

MID CAP VALUE/WELLINGTON MGMT

Small Cap Stock

ROYCE LOW PRICED STOCK FUND

SMALL CAP GROWTH/TIMESSQUARE

WELLS FARGO ADV SML CAP VAL Z

Global/Int'l Stock

DODGE AND COX INTERNATIONAL

Global/International Stoc

INTERNATIONAL GROWTH/ARTISAN

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  • 2 weeks later...

i carry an article in my planner around stating that index funds are better than mutual funds. the writer of the article quotes david swensen, one of the most successful money managers in america today.

basically swensen says forget about mutual funds run by money managers and buy low cost "index funds" instead.

an index mutual funds mimics the performance of a particular market.

the article is in the august 28/september 5, 2005 newsweek pg. 45

just a thought.

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It took forever to get real information from my employer. Even the benefits manager said outright that she doesn't really care too much about her 401k and how she invests.

Unfortunately, there are only THREE funds that have stock symbols, thus the rest are not traded in the open market.

That really bites because there is not a real way for me to quickly and easily research the historical data of the rest of the funds. The one's that do have stock symbols, I can plug them into something like MSN MoneyCentral and compare their past performance.

A lot of us are upset and fee that we are getting a screw job.

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