Well, I wasn’t going to write about this topic, but after two, almost exact, scenarios in the past week where someone called about termination fees….I just gotta.
When it comes to self-directed IRA and 401K plans, you typically have the option of paying custodian/administration fees on an annual basis, or a one-time fee (with possible annual fees) utilizing a facilitator model. The basic premise is that IF you select a custodian/administrator that charges annual fees, you will be paying fees to that custodian/administrator each and every year you have your plan. And, when you decide to close your account, you will be charged termination fees. Where, typically, with a self-directed IRA or 401K facilitator, you will pay a one-time fee, and have smaller, annual fees associated with your plan. In fact, some plans can be established with NO annual fees of any kind. Continue reading
After a glorious vacation in Lake Tahoe, it is back to the grind of “life.” We’ve stayed at the same lake property the last 15-20 years.
So, enough of idyllic thoughts and places of retreat from normal life and on to much more exciting ventures!
I was reading (more like paging through) a prospectus from a very large brokerage services company, and their language in the prospectus reminded me of a very bad charity like some portrayed in a recent news report on questionably-run charities that actually give little back to the end users they purport to assist with your charity.
How is a brokerage firm like a bad charity? Certainly, brokerage firms are in the business to MAKE money and not give any away…what is charitable about that? Most of us who have been invested in the market assume that when our 401K or IRA funds purchase Wall Street financial products, that our broker is kinda like that charity in the sense that they will take that money and foster it, grow it, take care of it….all with no selfish interests on their part. I mean, their job is to make us more money, right? Make us more money regardless of how it affects their pocket books, right? Certainly, NEVER doing anything that would not be in our best interests, right? Continue reading
In our May 30, 2012 post, we spoke about whether a “true” company 401K plan (to the layman, a 401K plan at a company with employees, etc.) can self-direct their retirement assets. The answer is YES.
While permissible, are there reasons why a company may not want to establish a self-directed 401k plan? I mean I rave about the benefits of a self-directed 401K all the time….wouldn’t I do the same with a “company” 401K plan as well? Wouldn’t I be a proponent for all of the employees of a company having the ability to self-direct and take control of their 401K accounts?
Well, yes AND no. Continue reading
For those of you who are used to a longer article from me…you will get one after this. But, it doesn’t take independent analysis to determine that you rarely hear about self-directed plans. Of course, if makes sense that your broker isn’t necessarily going to tell you about this option…and kudos to them if they do….as they most likely will not benefit (financially) from their clients utilizing a self-directed account.
That being said, there are many finance television and radio shows, newspapers, magazines and pundits who, you would think, are ALWAYS scouring for topics to discuss on air and in print. BUT, it is rare that you ever see ANY education or discussion on the topic of self-directed IRAs and 401Ks. Even during the bleakest of economic times, you did not hear a whisper about it.
Now, I would never be cynical (for those of you who don’t know me well….this is my attempt at being sarcastic) for the reasons why you don’t hear at least the concept of self-direction being discussed. But I am curious if it could or might or maybe have anything to do with advertising dollars from “others” that are interested in selling you their investment products.
I’m just sayin……