Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Tuesday Diz

As happens every few months, I've embarked on a round of 401(k) enrollment meetings.

Today was my first. And I expected, given the interesting times through which the stock market is traveling, that I would get close to zero employees showing up in Disney Animation Studio's big conference room. (No doubt there would be room enough in a hall broom closet.) But I was wrong ...

Ten 401(k) candidates showed up. After saying they must all be there because of the tremendous returns of the stock market (a few sardonic laughs), I went through the usual "How to fill out the forms," ... "How much you can invest" routine. After which I launched into a harangue I give often, and which I present (in condensed form) here:

"I don't think anybody should take money from the old 401(k) Plan from their last company and roll it into the new Plan at the new company. I know it's convenient, but here's why it's unwise:

"401(k) Plans, all 401(k) Plans, are more expensive than low-cost mutual funds like Vanguard, Fidelity Spartan, and a handful of others. Funds inside a 401(k) Plan are more costly because they have a layer of administrative fees on top of them that every Plan incurs because it has to comply with Federal regulations.

"Often, these fees aren't high. And often they're layered on top of the least expensive share classes of this or that mutual fund, but they are always there. And they make 401(k) funds more costly than index funds ... and many actively managed funds, in the non-401(k) universe.

"My advice? When you're able, roll over 401(k) Plan money into an IRA Rollover account at a low-cost Mutual Fund family. Not only will you lower your management fees, but you'll have a much wider universe of investments from which to choose."

And so on and so forth.

The Bolt crew is about where DreamWorks' Madagascar, Back 2 Africa crew is: right at the tail end of the picture.

Unlike the folks on Madagascar Deux, however, most Bolt staffers -- as they finish up -- will be headed for other gigs at other companies. A shame, but the way it is. There's simply nothing new for people to swing onto.

Meanwhile, the story crew on Princess and the Frog saw the latest version of that feature today, and I stood in the entrance hall on my way out, mesmerized by the random clips from Bolt flashing on the screens there.

Looks like a solid flick to me. Hopefully both Disney and DreamWorks will clean up with their respective animated pictures this holiday season.


Anonymous said...

Steve, don't leave us hanging. So they saw Princess, what did they think of it? Anymore news on it? How is Rapunzel doing? I heard they're still having trouble with the second and third acts? More info, Puh-leeez.

Everything I hear from people I know about "Bolt" sounds like they've got a winner here. Can't wait to see it this coming Turkey Day.

Steve Hulett said...

Re "Bolt," I'm told the studio is expecting big things out of it.

(I think it will have an interesting time, duking it out with "Madagascar Back 2 Africa.")

Re "Rapunzel," I've heard nothing. Re the screening of "Princess" yesterday, many had split after the screening and I spoke to nobody. I was in the place late in the afternoon.

Site Meter