And If You Don’t Know, Now You Know…

October sucked if you held anything but cash in your portfolio.

Not so much if you are a beleaguered teacher stuck in a crappy annuity infested 403(b) plan.


A glimmer of light flickered in the darkest corner of retirement savings plans. For once, it wasn’t an oncoming train.

Last month, the interest in 403(b)’s was unprecedented.  Traders understand that the “trend is your friend.” We smashed through some important resistance. Hopefully, these levels will hold. The onslaught of conflicted annuity sellers is fierce.

Darla Mercado came out with this gem for CNBC. Why these teachers’ retirement plans aren’t making the grade

Next, we saw the Los Angels Times publish my friend and Bloomberg contributor, Nir Kaissar’s piece. Savings plans shortchange public-school teachers. Here’s how to fix it.

Finally, yours truly contributed to the esteemed financial journalist, Jonathan Clement’s blog, HUMBLEDOLLAR. 403 Beware

We participated in two very important meetings.

I travelled to Washington D.C. to address the CFP Board’s Public Policy Council. The members were interested in my thoughts on solving this issue. While I can’t disclose what was discussed, I can assure you, it was very animated.

Dow Jones Corp. graciously donated a room to our cause. The major leaders of the reform movement from around the country were generously given a place to share ideas and plot future strategy. Teachers, advisors, consumer advocates, legal representatives, and technology experts all attended this first of its kind event. We are excited about the possibilities going forward. More to come.

Many advisors on social media have reached out and asked how they could help.

My friend, Peter Huminski, had me on The Finance Factory Podcast. Episode 16: Don’t Be A Jerk w/ Tony Isola

I don’t think I was.

Previously, when tweeting about teacher’s retirement plans, the response was akin to a cricket choir.

Now, things seem to be changing. Likes, comments, and retweets suddenly appeared.

In the big scheme of things, we are a rounding error compared to the conflicted insurance companies and brokerage firms. They are relentless in their desire to exploit public school employees.

For now…

The good news- the trend is no longer be their friend.

The battle has been joined.

Winston Churchill, after the 1942 second battle of El Alamein which resulted in Allied victory, eloquently stated:

“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

God knows, things have been way worse.