It was a long time coming
My iDeCo application took a long time. I didn't help matters by writing the wrong numbers on the application form (which meant an extra three weeks back and forth with Rakuten Securities) but my account is now finally up and running.
My March payslip shows two monthly payments have been taken out, and logging in to Rakuten I saw the following screen:
It took around three months all told. I suspect the wait time will come down in the future, as the system becomes more efficient and the initial spike in numbers comes down (after all, once you have an account, that's it, unless you change providers).
Happy at this development, I then tried to log in and set up my account.
No dice. The screen did not show the expected functions. I guess the account had not actually been activated at the point I saw the message (but before they had sent me an email notification). Another opportunity to practice patience ;)
But then about twenty minutes later I got this screen:
Plugging in the password and account number I received earlier in the week from JIS&T (Japan Investor Solution and Technology -the company that got the contract to administer iDeCo) took me to this screen.
Or rather it would have, if I hadn't thrown away the account number assuming that Rakuten would do that automatically for me. Unfortunately I had, so I had to call them and ask them for the number.
This was relatively straightforward but still required several phone calls and for me to dig out my nenkin number.
And then I finally got into my account.
Rakuten gives you a choice of using their tools to help you figure out your portfolio allocation, or just choosing it if you know what you want.
I had a quick look at the tools, but for most people it's going to be quicker just to choose from the list. The tools also appear to steer you towards the more expensive funds. I'm sure that's just a coincidence ;)
A few impressions about the Rakuten lineup.
iDeCo accounts make it quite easy to invest a set allocation, and to change the allocation, so you can easily get the benefits of a balanced or target date fund without paying the higher fees.
Costs are really important over the long-term, so all things being equal most people should choose from the highlighted cheaper funds above.
Again, go for the cheapest highlighted funds. Emerging markets are more expensive but not unreasonable.
Definitely avoid that domestic/international equities fund. You could buy both separately and pay 1.3% less in annual fees...
The fee for the gold fund seems high but if you want to own gold may be worth it (stay tuned for a post on how to invest directly in gold though).
I chose my allocation (the procedure for which is needlessly complicated, as they make you choose, then on the next screen you have to input the amounts again in a different form) and finalized.
So I went with 100% stocks: 50% world equities, 30% emerging markets, 20% Japan equities.
Now bear in mind this is an aggressive allocation and just a fraction of our family portfolio. This mix is unlikely to be a perfect fit for you. Please consider your own situation when deciding what to invest in.
So my iDeCo account is finally up and running, and the payments for February and March came out of my paycheck today.
I shouldn't have to do anything to my iDeCo account for the next twenty-one years, apart from take a look at it every year or so and make sure the allocations aren't completely out of whack.
How about you? Did you open your iDeCo account yet? What allocations did you go with and why?