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'Frontline: The Retirement Gamble' Looks At Risks In Savings Products

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 7:05 AM
There's war on the American homefront, and we aren't winning it.

That's the word from journalist Martin Smith in the new "Frontline" documentary "The Retirement Gamble," airing at 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS, channel 11.

According to Smith, who has covered battlegrounds around the world, this is a different kind of war - and the troops are everyone in America planning to retire some time in the future.

This film investigates an industry that may be draining retirement savings with hidden fees and relying on for-profit rather than fiduciary advisers to make money for itself. With the rise of the 401(k), many Americans are buying into a product without any knowledge of its true cost, according to the film.
ShorebreakShorebreak2,700 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,636
1. Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 8:43 PM
Thanks. I love  Frontline and seem to miss it so much of the time.
Ally6770Ally6770944 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,745
2. Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 9:48 PM
I still refuse to yield to index funds, I think that I can do a little better over the long term by careful study and practical test runs.
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
3. Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:05 AM
I watched the documentary last night. It was another well-done Frontline documentary. If you missed it, you can watch in online here.
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,473 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,800
4. Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 1:34 PM

I watched that program.  I love Frontline.  But this episode seemed a bit off.

It struck me like they were claiming ALL financial products were just an excuse to get into your wallet.  And in particular, they were down playing the 401K savings plans.  Much of their presentation may have been on target, but the overall theme seemed to be reporting bias solely to justify a conclusion, rather than the other way around.

I do agree that picking a low cost product like an ETF or Index Fund can be a good play, but ONLY if they compete with a managed product NET of fees.  I never heard the show talk about comparisons NET of fees, but then again, that exercise may not have had enough sensationalism to it.

And to the people who thought their Annuity was an annual 12% guaranteed rate of return, it seemed to me to just be people who were looking to blame someone else for their own bad decisions.  Even if they felt mislead by the representative, that statement and expectation just does not pass the smell test.

AND NO - I am not in the business.  Just an end consumer who is also swimming in the pool of all of these investment products, and trying to make good selections of products for the long run.
Anon456Anon45630 posts since
Oct 30, 2011
Rep Points: 78