Ilovewater

10+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2009
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Hey guys, I'm a novice at investing, and I was wondering if anyone can give recommendations regarding which fund is best from the options available for my 403b. I currently have a Roth IRA (about 11k) in the Target Retirement Fund 2055. Since I didn't start investing until later, I am OK with being more aggressive with my investment (probably 90% stocks and 10% bonds). Here are 2 options I was thinking of doing:

1) 403b: 21% (VBTIX) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Institutional Shares (0.06%)
Then, split my Roth IRA to (VTSMX) Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (0.17%) and (VGTSX) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares (0.22%).

OR

2) 403b: TIAA Traditional Annuity and keep my Roth IRA as is.

Here are other 403b fund options that have lower expense ratios that I can choose from:
1) Vanguard International Index Fund (VINIX): Expense ratio 0.04%
2) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VTSNX): 0.12%
3) TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index 20-- Fund: Gross/net expense ratio 0.65%/0.15%
4) TIAA-CREF Large Cap Growth Index Fund (TILIX): 0.06%
5) TIAA-CREF Large Cap Value Index Fund (TILVX): 0.06%

Thanks!
 

ThoracicGuy

5+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2013
9,601
23,468
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Attending Physician
Hey guys, I'm a novice at investing, and I was wondering if anyone can give recommendations regarding which fund is best from the options available for my 403b. I currently have a Roth IRA (about 11k) in the Target Retirement Fund 2055. Since I didn't start investing until later, I am OK with being more aggressive with my investment (probably 90% stocks and 10% bonds). Here are 2 options I was thinking of doing:

1) 403b: 21% (VBTIX) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Institutional Shares (0.06%)
Then, split my Roth IRA to (VTSMX) Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (0.17%) and (VGTSX) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares (0.22%).

OR

2) 403b: TIAA Traditional Annuity and keep my Roth IRA as is.

Here are other 403b fund options that have lower expense ratios that I can choose from:
1) Vanguard International Index Fund (VINIX): Expense ratio 0.04%
2) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VTSNX): 0.12%
3) TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index 20-- Fund: Gross/net expense ratio 0.65%/0.15%
4) TIAA-CREF Large Cap Growth Index Fund (TILIX): 0.06%
5) TIAA-CREF Large Cap Value Index Fund (TILVX): 0.06%

Thanks!
You have three nice Vanguard funds in the 403b. The first thing you need to do is determine your asset allocation numbers - how much in stock (domestic and international) and how much in bonds. You have a good bond and international fund in the 403b with VBTIX and VTSNX. I would look at those and then use the Roth for your total domestic stock index fund. If you are looking at 10% bonds, that would leave 90% stocks. Of that 90%, I would put 20-30% in international and the rest in domestic.
 

igap

7+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2009
169
39
Status
Attending Physician
Depending on your age, you may not want to be in bonds at all. With interest rates set to rise over the next few years, bond funds are not going to do nearly as well as they have over the last few years.

If you are the typical non-financial type, your goal should be to avoid making financial blunders. Vanguard broad market index funds are probably your best bet for the long haul. The ones you have listed above are good choices. Other indexes would be ones that track the Russell index, and small-cap index, and mid-cap index, and S&P 500. Pick 5 broad market index tracking ETFs, and contribute to these funds on a regular basis through either your Roth, 401k, 403b, and taxable accounts. You will need to save a lot more than what you can contribute to an IRA or 403b/401k, in order to retire one day.
 
6

68PGunner

I recommend funds that invest heavily in domestic mid to large cap stocks. The stocks in those funds tend to have 2-3% dividend rates, giving your funds some positive returns over the years. I don't recommend investing in any international funds because of the low transparency and frauds in some markets. Even so called experts have been caught with their pants off by bogus names like Sino Forest.

Today, I wouldn't recommend funds that invest in the Russell index or small-cap index because of the maturation of this current bull market. From my analysis through various stocks, stocks with low market caps are nearing their peaks with insane valuations while mid to large cap stocks are still relatively reasonable or cheap.