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ANY SURPRISES LEFT SHOULD NOW COME FROM INVESTORS THEMSELVES (mutuals fraud)
NY POST ^ | 11/09/03 | TERRY KEENAN

Posted on 11/09/2003 3:27:04 AM PST by Liz

Edited on 05/26/2004 5:17:20 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The mutual fund scandal has shone a bright light on an industry where more than half of all American households park their money, and so far the scrutiny has produced a lot of nasty surprises.

Who would have thought there were so many inventive ways to cheat your loyal customers?


(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Extended News
KEYWORDS: mutualfunds
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1 posted on 11/09/2003 3:27:04 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
Gee, sounds like the Russian economy - where was organized crime in all this? Can't see them missing such a gold mine in view of the actions of less sophisticated thieves like fund managers.
2 posted on 11/09/2003 3:42:42 AM PST by Henchman (I Hench, therefore I am!)
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To: Liz
This will be the big story of 2005. It will simmer through the election then explode. W had best get alot of these managers convicted and incarcerated if he wants to serve 4 more years. The retirees down here in Florida are furious about this scandal and want action.
3 posted on 11/09/2003 3:57:56 AM PST by Beck_isright (Socialists are like cockroaches. No matter how many die, 300 more are born under every cowpile.)
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To: Henchman
Good point.......and to answer your question, I would venture a guess that OC owns the funds....LOL.
4 posted on 11/09/2003 4:10:28 AM PST by Liz
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To: Beck_isright
Oh yeah, I think they're going to jail, alright. There's lots more mutual fraud yet to be
uncovered. For example company loans to insiders which brought down Tyco's Koslowski.
5 posted on 11/09/2003 4:13:22 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
I was thinking more about the swaps between banks also. I noticed alot of this funny business started the minute bankers were allowed to sell market products.
6 posted on 11/09/2003 4:14:25 AM PST by Beck_isright (Socialists are like cockroaches. No matter how many die, 300 more are born under every cowpile.)
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To: Willie Green; A. Pole
,i>Why does it matter? Well, in the case of Putnam and others, huge compensation packages from the top on down led to a culture of greed and arrogance. (Sound familiar?) Despite the fund industry's image as a place to invest for the long term, Putnam managers were encouraged to take risky bets in order to meet quarterly performance goals that translated into golden bonuses.

Substitute CEO's for the fund managers and that is what going on in America companies, too.

7 posted on 11/09/2003 4:17:54 AM PST by raybbr
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To: Willie Green; Wolfie; ex-snook; Cacophonous; Jhoffa_; FITZ; arete; FreedomPoster; Red Jones; ...
Well, in the case of Putnam and others, huge compensation packages from the top on down led to a culture of greed and arrogance. (Sound familiar?) Despite the fund industry's image as a place to invest for the long term, Putnam managers were encouraged to take risky bets in order to meet quarterly performance goals that translated into golden bonuses. In recent years, that strategy has produced disastrous results for Putnam investors, and even now nearly half of the company's funds lag behind their peers.

I suspect that many of those mutual fund investors are workers who are spoiled by the trade unions and are too lazy to compete. Another example of envy and class warfare.

8 posted on 11/09/2003 4:32:04 AM PST by A. Pole
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To: Liz
Good to see Terry K. writing on the subject. But in the end, when it blows up - it'll be Bush's fault.
9 posted on 11/09/2003 4:45:07 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: TopQuark
Another example of envy and class warfare.

You said earlier :

"You may have never considered it from this angle but the price of talent has risen. CEOs is just one area where this is so."

How do you evaluate "the price of talent"?

10 posted on 11/09/2003 4:46:37 AM PST by A. Pole
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To: Liz
A monthly, or bimonthly, report card would go a long way toward giving small investors a snapshot of how their money is being put to work without the risk of front-running.

I'm afraid not. The solution is not more government-mandated disclosures, we get enough of those alread which nobody reads. The solution won't come as long as the government subsidizes companies who put their employees into these scammy funds. People should get more ordinary income which the invest themselves in stocks or tradable funds which they instantly enter and leave on their own investment criteria.

11 posted on 11/09/2003 4:53:04 AM PST by palmer (They've reinserted my posting tube)
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To: A. Pole
Thanks for the ping. You are right, but we are all in the union now.
12 posted on 11/09/2003 4:55:13 AM PST by palmer (They've reinserted my posting tube)
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To: Henchman
Gee, sounds like the Russian economy - where was organized crime in all this?

Well, the scams take bankers, brokers, analysists, accountants, CEO's, CFO's, and government oversight agencies to get away with. I'd say that's pretty organized.

13 posted on 11/09/2003 4:58:01 AM PST by steve50
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To: A. Pole
How does the fact that Putnam appears to be in the hands of a pack of crooks lead you to such a conclusion?
14 posted on 11/09/2003 5:02:56 AM PST by em2vn
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To: anniegetyourgun

Yes, it's funny how the great unwashed will forget that all this crooked cooking of the books was going on during the Clinton boom years. I never hear that mentioned specifically on any of the business shows, so those with a short attention span will just remember this as happening during Bush's term. I hope Lasser and Strong are locked up with all those guys who steal $100 from a liquor store. Isn't that what justice under the rule of law demands?
15 posted on 11/09/2003 5:03:59 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Liz
Speaking of Koslowski, did you see the tapes of his wifey's 40th birthday party (at shareholder's expense), where the nymphettes ran around bare a$$ed and appeared to be participants in a Roman orgy?
16 posted on 11/09/2003 5:03:59 AM PST by The_Media_never_lie
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To: The_Media_never_lie
The video is tantamount to a signed confession that Kos ripped-off the company. The judge refused to show some parts of the porn vid to the jury.
17 posted on 11/09/2003 5:11:32 AM PST by Liz
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To: em2vn
How does the fact that Putnam appears to be in the hands of a pack of crooks lead you to such a conclusion?

Good question :)

18 posted on 11/09/2003 5:16:13 AM PST by A. Pole
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To: palmer; anniegetyourgun; raybbr; Henchman; Beck_isright; The_Media_never_lie; kittymyrib; ...
I love to tell this story during the bubble years on handling cold calls from brokers and mutuals wanting my business.

I'd act very interested, get all the details, then just when they were salivating with greed, when they figured they had a sucker on the line, I'd say, "I have to go now, I'm working on a case."

"Case?" they'd say.

"Yes, " I'd respond. " I head the FBI's telephone investment fraud unit."

They'd hang up so fast. Didn't even say goodbye. LOL.

19 posted on 11/09/2003 5:25:41 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
Oh yeah, I think they're going to jail, alright.

I hope you're right, but what's the evidence so far?

20 posted on 11/09/2003 5:28:44 AM PST by iconoclast
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To: Beck_isright
OK-- Bonds are low-risk, but currently a bad investment. Now this business with mutual funds-- which I was just getting ready to put some money in at least until bonds got better. So what low-risk, slightly higher-return investment is there? I tell ya, the little guy can't get ahead.
21 posted on 11/09/2003 5:33:41 AM PST by Clara Lou
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To: iconoclast
There's a buncha FR posts on this. Why not do a search and become more familiar with the evidence so far.
22 posted on 11/09/2003 5:44:52 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
Of topic but, Airline Exe.'s Are pulling down mega bucks while tax payers are subsidizing their companies.

Mutual funds provide a service and the fees have to be posted up front. If someone takes more than declared then it is stealing.

In my expirence 99.9 % of investors have no buisness trading a portfolio. They get killed everytime. TV investment shows are a comedy show to most professionals. Remember there is a small group who control 40% of the equity markets. The game is run by insitutions. Please don't think you can beat the house.

23 posted on 11/09/2003 7:11:32 AM PST by Afronaut (Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.)
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To: raybbr
Substitute CEO's for the fund managers and that is what going on in America companies

Don't forget that these are the folks that fund the Presidential and Congressional election Campaigns as well as the well paid (paying) lobbiests who pamper and persuade our great leaders...

24 posted on 11/09/2003 7:13:28 AM PST by Iscool
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To: A. Pole
I have only been with putnam a year now, and they are up 15% on my 401K.. Things like this make m e wonrder if it is a fluke
25 posted on 11/09/2003 8:02:00 AM PST by N3WBI3
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To: Clara Lou; Liz
"I tell ya, the little guy can't get ahead."

There are temporary periods in economic cycles where that is absolutely true! Temporarily, fixed interest vehicles are the "low-risk" parking lots, or "sidelines!"

If you are afraid of risks, then you are afraid of rewards, or waiting for them. Carefully calculated risks can minimize risk, without eliminating it, but can create a higher degree of safety. Ask a pro to help you with techniques like diversification, to spread risk.

There are rotten apples in each barrel and they stink it up pretty bad. Glean the good one's that were good before and will be even better after the bad one's are gone.

It's a catharsis, of sorts and is cleaning out the Clinton era ethics/morality break down that is NOT systemic! Believe it or not.

26 posted on 11/09/2003 8:18:36 AM PST by SierraWasp (Moderates & RINO's Suffer From Severe Political "Bi-Polar Disorder!" They need medical attention!!!)
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To: Beck_isright
First things first, we have to get Martha Stewart behind bars.
27 posted on 11/09/2003 8:20:05 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: kittymyrib; anniegetyourgun
Yes, it's funny how the great unwashed will forget that all this crooked cooking of the books was going on during the Clinton boom years.

That refrain is getting a little old after 3 years, especially considering that both parties blocked the SEC from any real enforcement in the Clinton years.

Bush has a chance to pro-actively solve this problem and start looking around for more infractions instead of relying on Elliot Spitzer to do his work for him.
28 posted on 11/09/2003 8:22:32 AM PST by lelio
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To: Beck_isright; BOBTHENAILER; SierraWasp; Liz; Miss Marple
Probably none of the retirees in Florida voted for GW in 2000.

Most voted by absentee ballot for the Goron in the state they were from. Then if they didn't hang a chad in Florida. They voted for Goron again.

Worrying about those voters is like worrying about the SOB's not voting for GW, the Sons of Buchanan. They never have and never will.

Having said that. The CEO's of the good mutual funds are using this as an opportunity to push for more reforms and transparency for the "little" investors.

Those who participated in these scam will be:

1. Fired and banned from even coming into the offices of the funds.
2. They will be tried by local DA's since their crimes were done in a state.
3. Fund companies like Putnam and other fund companies where these scams were rampant will be in big trouble. They will lose their locked in business with states, unions and other large groups. Then, they will be merged into other funds.
4. Finally Congress will get off its A$$ and pass some re reform acts for the mutual fund industry.
5. The next group to get bashed will be the bond fund managers who can spin and talk for hours and never say anything that touches on realities.
6. The good fund companies and their good fund managers will be in even more demand as the Bush economy continues to bury the doubters.
29 posted on 11/09/2003 8:54:24 AM PST by Grampa Dave ("If you can read this, thank a teacher!....Since it is in English, thank a Veteran!")
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To: Liz
TERRY KEENAN: "Americans pay mutual fund companies tens of billions a year in fees in order to have someone else to manage their money. Unfortunately, individual investors may have to take that power back in their own hands."

They aren't allowed to, Keenan. The trillions in "Retirement" plans must, BY LAW, be invested in approved funds. Almost NO plans allow individual investment choices. And, personally Keenan, I'd like to INVEST my nest egg in local RE and local businesses, like restaurants. But BIG MAMMMY NANNY STATE will not ALLOW that.

30 posted on 11/09/2003 9:04:42 AM PST by bvw
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To: A. Pole


31 posted on 11/09/2003 9:38:56 AM PST by Incorrigible
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To: kittymyrib
Yes, it's funny how the great unwashed will forget that all this crooked cooking of the books was going on during the Clinton boom years. I never hear that mentioned specifically on any of the business shows, so those with a short attention span will just remember this as happening during Bush's term.

And, of course, all those with an attention span limited to the Clinton administration will see nothing happening before or after as part of the problem as well.

Crime by fraud and deception has been around for quite a while (some say almost since the beginning of mankind) and criminals are always going to look for weaknesses to exploit. We can't anticipate every situation that will ever arise and make a pre-emptive law to prevent it. There is an old saying about not being able to cheat an honest man. Greed (an attempt to get something with little or no real effort) is a form of dishonesty, IMO. The person looking for honest profits and realistically approaching his investments (and their risks) rarely gets cheated. The lure of huge profits on small iinvestments is just too much for most investors though. Laws tend to be enacted after the fact to crimes.

32 posted on 11/09/2003 9:39:17 AM PST by templar
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To: Clara Lou
I tell ya, the little guy can't get ahead.

It depends on how you look at investment. Would you rather go out and buy a business that makes enough profit to earn back your purchase price in 30 or 40 years or would you rather go out and buy a business that will earn back your purchase price in 1 or 5 or 10 years? The PE of a stock is all that I've found to be of any value in evaluating a it, and any PE above 12 is just plain bad investing as opposed to just buying a business or starting a business (including real estate). I've found that 10,000 dollars invested in new equipment for my business pays for itself and starts making my bank account bigger in about 3 years. The stocks I buy seem to make nothing or make my bank account smaller. I'm pretty much through with stocks as an investment.

During the '90's I bought precious metals and I bought stocks and I bought equipment for my work. Guess which ones I still have and which ones are worth as much or more than when I bought them and which one puts money in the bank today?

33 posted on 11/09/2003 9:56:06 AM PST by templar
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To: bvw; Grampa Dave; Liz; BOBTHENAILER; Lando Lincoln; farmfriend; eldoradude
"I'd like to INVEST my nest egg in local RE and local businesses, like restaurants. But BIG MAMMMY NANNY STATE will not ALLOW that."

Are you ever RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!!

I ran for local government office a decade ago, trying to make "Main Street" safe for investors like you! The Liberal EnvironMentalistas and NIMBY's filed a blinding blizzard of litigation!

Not being a "Politician," I didn't get re-elected and proceeded to help people invest in "Wall Street," instead. Now all the liberals are ganging up on that "Investment Backed Expectation," trying to make it look as evil as possible!

What's NEXT?

34 posted on 11/09/2003 11:29:17 AM PST by SierraWasp (Moderates & RINO's Suffer From Severe Political "Bi-Polar Disorder!" They need medical attention!!!)
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To: bvw; SierraWasp; Liz
Actually, my wife's Fido Ira and my Fido Ira allow us to invest in any stock that is traded, bank cds, treasure notes and bonds/promisary notes from a lot of companies.

I recently rolled over my Fido 401k because of the restrictions that you noted to my Fido IRA. I'm retired, so I can do that.

My wife's old 401k was a terrible pos. There were so many complaints that they are allowing self directed 401ks. Unfortunately Fido was not ready for these new self directed 401ks.

So we went to Vanguard. They are like dealing with the worse old maid school teacher that you or I ever had. However, if you are willing to jump through the hoops, you can invest in any Vanguard Mutual Fund that is being sold. However unlike Fido and most other 401ks, she can't use the internet to sell or buy funds. Everytime we have to go through a gauntlet of Nannies saying no. Things got a little better after I sent an email saying that if they did locate her account and allow some trading, I would notify SEC.

Finally since dealing with them, she is fully invested in what we see as their better mutual funds. Of the eighteen, I might have 6-8 of them in my IRA if I didn't have to pay a fee for each fund purchased or sold. Fido and Vanguard erect little expensive fences to prevent their customers from buying from the other big guy.

Needless to say the moment my wife retires, that Van Guard 401k will be rolled over to her Fido Ira. That should only take about 3 months knowing Fidelity.
35 posted on 11/09/2003 11:44:45 AM PST by Grampa Dave ("If you can read this, thank a teacher!....Since it is in English, thank a Veteran!")
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To: Liz
ROFL!
36 posted on 11/09/2003 12:46:36 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Grampa Dave
Nice list.....now may be a good time to get into the M&A business.
37 posted on 11/09/2003 1:37:07 PM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
Just an example of how the "correspondents," even those specializing in business, distort the facts and shape our culture --- all in name of being "egalitarian," or as the British now call it, "democratic."

Well, in the case of Putnam and others, huge compensation packages from the top on down led to a culture of greed and arrogance.

There is absolutely no evidence for that whatsoever, and has never been. What is true is that "greed" exists first and gets attracted to places where it can be satisfied.

It is nothing short of amazing that the word "greed" is going in the way of "gay" --- being hijacked by the leftists. The pursuit of profits has never been looked down upon in our culture --- in fact, it was admired: "industrious" used to be a compliment.

What has always been looked down upon, and more so in the past than now, is certain methods by which one pursued profits. Observe, however, that there is no emphasis on the methods in the quoted sentence: the culture of greed is the culprit itself. Pathetic.

(Sound familiar?) Despite the fund industry's image as a place to invest for the long term, Putnam managers were encouraged to take risky bets in order to meet quarterly performance goals that translated into golden bonuses.

So she admits herself: it is not the size of the bonuses --- characterized earlier as "huge" --- but the structure of the compensation that is allegedly a problem: it is the measures of performance to which bonuses were tied that must be called in question. That is not what she does, however.

Why do we even talk about greed here? Why is mere dishonesty not a sufficient explanation? These people were crooks; there is no excuse for their actions. The question of where crooks come from is that of sociology --- in the case of all crocks but those in business: here the leftists have to attack the very essence of business. And they do so, as demonstrated by Keenan, no matter how unqualified they are to do so.

The problem is, they get away with this even when the self-described conservatives read this trash.

38 posted on 11/09/2003 2:47:09 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: A. Pole
I suspect that many of those mutual fund investors are workers who are spoiled by the trade unions and are too lazy to compete. No need for saracsm here: the references fund managers and traders are pure crooks; they have not right to do what they did to any investor --- even felons who chose to invest.

Another example of envy and class warfare.

The example is given once again by the leftist elites that exploit the anger by misdirecting it from the perpetrators to the very essence of American society. And they are increasingly successful in doing so.

39 posted on 11/09/2003 2:50:59 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: A. Pole
How do you evaluate "the price of talent"?

There is only one mechanism for price formation: the market --- in this case, the labor market --- determines the price for Michael Jordan, Paverotti, presidents and provosts of universities, Grasso, and top managers management of organizations.

40 posted on 11/09/2003 2:53:26 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: palmer
we are all in the union now.

Very nice. How can a conservative not trow up upon discovering that he wrote, even accidentally, these words?

Say hi to Willie Green: he may get you on payroll.

41 posted on 11/09/2003 3:10:35 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: palmer
The solution is not more government-mandated disclosures,

Of course not: this has nothing to do with the government or finance. This has more to do with the departure of the western civilization from the Judeo-Cristian values.

People should get more ordinary income which the invest themselves in stocks or tradable funds which they instantly enter and leave on their own investment criteria.

This is a misconception: all activities that require expertise that one lacks are typically delegated to an agent. This includes hiring a barber, a teacher for one's children, and an investment advisor.

42 posted on 11/09/2003 3:14:20 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: Liz
That's a great one, Liz, the best I've ever heard!
43 posted on 11/09/2003 3:17:20 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: Wolfie
First things first, we have to get Martha Stewart behind bars.

And then what -- behead Marie Antoinette? Aaaah, sweet smell of blood getting out of the veins --- you appear to be really enjoying that, don't you?

44 posted on 11/09/2003 3:19:47 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: Liz
Keenan never really struck me as the bightest blond... I mean, bulb, but this piece she wrote is really dumb.

Americans pay mutual fund companies tens of billions a year in fees in order to have someone else to manage their money. Unfortunately, individual investors may have to take that power back in their own hands.

She is a business correspondent, and yet I wonder whether she has even heard of fiduciary duty. So what does she think "Americans pay mutual fund companies" for --- convenience? Most people are incapable of managing their own investments just like they cannot cut their own hair. "Americans" cannot "take that power back in their hands:" one cannot take back what one has never had.

45 posted on 11/09/2003 3:26:08 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: TopQuark
That's a great one, Liz, the best I've ever heard!

Thanks. I've laughed myself silly recounting the story. For
sure brokers on the receiving end weren't laughing. LOL.

46 posted on 11/09/2003 3:30:09 PM PST by Liz
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To: TopQuark
all activities that require expertise that one lacks are typically delegated to an agent. This includes hiring a barber, a teacher for one's children, and an investment advisor

I think you've missed my point. The government has decided that using an agent (i.e. the one selected by your employer) is good for everyone. By subsidizing this activity (employer tax credits) and restricting it (there is no way out unless you leave that employer), they make it impossible for responsible people to manage own their money.

47 posted on 11/09/2003 5:18:14 PM PST by palmer (They've reinserted my posting tube)
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To: palmer
The government has decided that using an agent (i.e. the one selected by your employer) is good for everyone. Yes it is in the sense that the tax breaks provide an incentive for the employer even to have a plan.

By subsidizing this activity (employer tax credits) and restricting it (there is no way out unless you leave that employer), they make it impossible for responsible people to manage own their money

I am afraid it is you who misses the point: judging by your posts, you CAN manage your money, but you are projecting that ability too far. Most of the people would NOT be managing their moneys and without the employer incentives they would not have a savings plan at all.

Moreover, as others pointed out earlier, you are exaggerating the problem: most plans allow roll over into an IRA, which you can always make self-managed. Even when restrictions are in place, they are all lifted once you leave the company, and this occurs once in four or so years, on average.

48 posted on 11/09/2003 6:36:14 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: Liz
Man, where are all of these white collar crooks coming from? Is there no end to this?!
49 posted on 11/09/2003 7:31:14 PM PST by huck von finn
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To: A. Pole
Is there no end to corporate thuggery? This is unreal. One scandal after another.
50 posted on 11/09/2003 7:32:18 PM PST by huck von finn
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