June 17, 2016

Best of Blogs for Week of June 17th

Every Friday afternoon I share some of the more interesting or notable posts that I have seen in the personal finance blogs and other sources for the past week

DoughRoller tells us How to Run Home Comps and Why They Matter
With some good step by step info on how to get real estate comps off various online sites.

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June 14, 2016

401k's Usually Have High Fees But Most Peoples 401k Does Not

You may have heard that 401k's often have high fees.   They do.   Most 401k plans are charging high fees just for the 401k itself.    Thats bad and erodes peoples retirement savings.    But while most 401k's may have high fees, that doesn't mean that most people have bad 401ks at their jobs.    Let me explain..

When you look at all the 401k's out there you'll be looking at lots of 401ks offered by small businesses.   Small business plans have 401k's with a few employees and relatively low balances.   Those plans tend to have higher fees as a percent of assets.    This is due generally to overhead costs and scale.    Large companies have 401k's with many 100's of employees and millions of dollars of assets.   When the 401k administrator figures the fees it can be a much lower percent of assets due to volume.    Large 401k market is also much more competitive so you get lower prices that way.

Generally small companies have high 401k fees and large companies have low 401k fees.     But since there are far more small companies then there are far more 401k's with high fees.     On the other hand most people work for the larger businesses and then they have 401ks with lower fees.

Combine that all and you get :

The average 401k has high fees.   - AND -  The average persons 401k does not have high fees.


The GAO report  401(K) PLANS Increased Educational Outreach and Broader Oversight May Help Reduce Plan Fees (from Apr. 2012) has this chart showing average fees based on plan size :



So while the average 401k had a fee of 1.13% the large plans were only at 0.15%.   Plans with 50-400 people were paying 0.24%.    And the majority of people work at companies with > 100 employees.

Looking at BLS data on employment by firm size  (figures dated 2009) we can see that ~60% of people work at companies of 100 or more.     38% of people are employed by companies over 1000 employees.

Whats more the small 401k's offered at small companies with under 50 people are even worse than the average and they charged 1.33%.


Bottom line :   As far as fees, the 401k's at small businesses are usually bad but big  companies offer decent 401ks.

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June 13, 2016

500 Amazon Coins ($5 value) for $1

The current HumbleBumble deal has 500 Amazon coins for the "Pay what you want" price.    The minimum you can pay is $1.    So you can get 500 coins (worth $5 in app purchases) for $1.    There are several other game items on the list, but nothing too special as far as I can see.   But look for yourself, maybe you'll find other value.

Id' only recommend this if you've got something you particularly want on the Amazon app store that costs money and is worth spending money on.   Theres tons of free apps out there so paying for apps is often wasting money.    But theres exceptions.

Here's a link :   E3 digital ticket

Or go to Humblebumble.com and follow the links to the game bundles.

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June 12, 2016

Large Business Percent of Jobs and Payroll By State

Nationally most jobs and most wages are at big companies (over 500 employees).    52% of all jobs and 58% of all wages in the USA are from big companies.    But of course it varies by state.    In Montana only 32% of jobs are from big companies and its 59% in Nevada.      Montana again has the lowest wages from big companies at 39% and at the other end Georgia has the most wages at 62%.

I found data on employment based on firm size data on the SBA website.   Specifically :  Table 1- Number of firms, establishments, employment, and payroll by firm size, state, and industry

The following table shows the % of jobs that are with big companies and the % of wages earned by workers of big companies.

State jobs pay
Alabama 52% 56%
Alaska 46% 53%
Arizona 55% 61%
Arkansas 51% 58%
California 50% 58%
Colorado 51% 58%
Connecticut 51% 59%
Delaware 54% 61%
District of Columbia 52% 57%
Florida 57% 60%
Georgia 56% 62%
Hawaii 48% 52%
Idaho 44% 51%
Illinois 53% 58%
Indiana 53% 59%
Iowa 51% 55%
Kansas 48% 54%
Kentucky 54% 59%
Louisiana 46% 52%
Maine 43% 48%
Maryland 49% 54%
Massachusetts 54% 60%
Michigan 49% 55%
Minnesota 52% 60%
Mississippi 52% 57%
Missouri 52% 59%
Montana 32% 39%
Nebraska 52% 58%
Nevada 59% 60%
New Hampshire 48% 51%
New Jersey 50% 58%
New Mexico 45% 50%
New York 49% 58%
North Carolina 54% 61%
North Dakota 41% 49%
Ohio 53% 60%
Oklahoma 47% 53%
Oregon 44% 53%
Pennsylvania 53% 59%
Rhode Island 45% 50%
South Carolina 53% 58%
South Dakota 41% 46%
Tennessee 56% 60%
Texas 54% 60%
Utah 53% 57%
Vermont 41% 41%
Virginia 53% 58%
Washington 48% 58%
West Virginia 49% 56%
Wisconsin 49% 56%
Wyoming 38% 47%
United States 52% 58%


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