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DGI sloppy website

I ran into difficulty on the DGI website trying to access an investment form to add to my ROTH IRA. On the page for selecting a payment method for adding to an account, instructions say to indicate the Pay By Check option on the confirmation page. There is no way to reach the confirmation page, as the only options given from the page for choosing payment method are Back and Cancel. There's no way forward. That’s not all. From the DGI "geeks and lawyers" page, clicking on Literature and Forms opens an option to access a form for adding to an IRA but on that form there is no ROTH IRA option. I know I can send a check with a note and my account number but this is sloppy, cheesy, whatever you want to call it. DGI inspires confidence as investment experts. The sloppy website does not and causes me to doubt the wisdom of investing with people who are careless with their website. I phoned and the friendly young voice representing DGI had no answers and seemed nonchalant about the whole thing. Just send us a check and write your account number and all will be well. Well, yes I know that, but the amateurish, even childish attitude gives me pause.
Does anyone have some insight or first hand knowledge on this matter? Thanks!


  • @Ben: they were slow dealing with a check I sent. I wish I had established bank transfer to open the account. Now transactions work fine. Not using DGI for IRA.
  • Thanks for your reply, Ben. DGI's apparent nonchalance about fixing the poorly constructed areas of their website made me wonder if they'd be equally careless with my bank info so I've chosen the Check Option instead.
    BenWP said:

    @Ben: they were slow dealing with a check I sent. I wish I had established bank transfer to open the account. Now transactions work fine. Not using DGI for IRA.

  • edited October 2023
    Very difficult to find info on DGIFX out of MN (08/2011- ). Its equity has SC/MC tilt that is less common among allocation/balanced funds. There are lots of other funds/firms that use terms "DGI" or "disciplined", so web searches can be frustrating (well, not to me). Only the MFO shows many hits on search, including a writeup in September 2022 MFO.

    The SEC/Edgar filings seen are useless. May be it files documents under another name/identifier.

    I was finally able to find its Prospectus from a click on its website (bad - lot of fluff, not much substance). Very basic combo Prospectus + SAI. It says that fund is distributed via ALPS Fund Services. It also says that it pays some unspecified intermediaries/firms to distribute the fund. So, not sure what is so unique about it being "direct-sold" - that seems to mean only that Fido, Schwab, etc mass-market fund platforms are excluded. Checks go to Kansas City, I suppose to an entity belonging to ALPS, and that may explain the delays mentioned in the OP.
  • For what interest it holds, I poked the folks at DGI and their director of business development promised to reach out to folks affected by their transition.
  • @Ben: I manage the marketing, client service, and operations effort of The DGI Fund from the manager side (I work for DGI in Minneapolis). Along with our Transfer Agency (SS&C ALPS), we launched a new portal in July. Overall, it's gone well but a handful of people have run into issues. Would you mind connecting directly and we can trouble shoot it? Also, we are adding the box for a Roth IRA to the form you referenced. It was on the old version of the form and for some reason it disappeared when we reformatted the forms to our new branding.

    I can assure you that all client data is very secure. While some of the design choices and available information can be improved upon, the data and its flow through to the secure client portal are administered by SS&C ALPS, which is the largest transfer agency (of course that does not mean they're infallible, simply that data security is in line with all other major mutual funds). I'll send you a direct message with my contact information.

  • @yogibearbull: We are definitely not the most self promotional investment firm on the planet! That said, what type of information would you find more helpful? I'm all ears as to the level of depth you'd like to have from a manager. Our current website is designed with a less sophisticated investor in mind than where Mutual Fund Observer followers would probably shake out.

    Also, as far as "Direct Sold" - every fund has a third party distributor (is required to). Large firms like Fidelity will generally create their own distributor. The distributor is essentially the issuer of shares of the Fund. They would also establish any selling agreements with brokerage firms, if we chose to distribute through those firms. By "direct", we simply mean we do not pay resellers like Schwab, Fidelity, etc to list us on their platforms. Generally, those fees to the manager are 40 basis points for assets through the platform (most actively managed funds build this into their baseline management fee or an "other expenses" line). Not distributing in that way helps us keep costs reasonable to shareholders and to know all shareholders in the Fund by name / directly (as opposed to seeing omnibus account flows from brokerage firms). Hope that helps!
  • @EvanDGI: my glitch is resolved and I am receiving regular statements regarding my monthly DCA as well as quarterly statements. My suggestion would be to review how the paper documents accompanying the quarterly statement might be consolidated or edited with a view towards paper reduction.

    The DGI fund is an unusual allocation animal, maybe not your uncle’s 60/40. Another truly global, all-cap allocation fund is FBBAX, the First Foundation Total Return Fund. It may be that @David_Snowball will able to sleuth out the history and genesis of this fund, because these are not readily apparent to the uninitiated. It also, in my opinion, is one of the very few go-anywhere, actively-managed MFs around. For those who are shy about international holdings, this may not be for them.
  • @EvanDGI, Thanks for addressing some issues raised in my post.

    The fund website should be a go-to place for fund info & should be more than a brochure or set of pages with PowerPoint look.

    At DGIFX website, I was expecting:

    A clear link in the menu or home page for Prospectus. I found it buried deep in an unrelated tab.

    I wanted to look at the SAI to find distribution arrangements as the OP was complaining about delayed handling of checks. The SAI addendum at the end of Prospectus didn't have much details. Prospectus mentioned ALPS Fund Services (Kansas City). It also said that fee sharing arrangements do exist with some 3rd party firms. If so, just avoiding Fido or Schwab doesn't make the fund direct-sold; if not so, why does Prospectus mention this possibility?

    The links provided for SEC/Edgar were to the SEC homepage, not to specific fund filings. The SEC/Edgar link that I could find didn't have filings of fund Prospectus or holdings, but only on large holders who recently bought or sold the fund. May be there is another SEC/Edgar link for other fund filings.

  • @EvanDGI: thank you for your speedy response and for addressing my concerns. I well understand that changes in a website portal or host or other changes can lead to unexpected missing elements. It has happened to me with a website whose business I was involved in. But in my case I proofread everything and made sure the missing parts were restored. The dead ends and missing Roth option, and hard-to-find pages and info on the present DGI website seem to indicate that the new version of the site was not proofed well or not at all. And that's what I meant by "careless" etc.
    Mind you, I have no complaints about how DGI invests nor about return on investment. That's why I want to add to my investment.
  • msf
    edited October 2023
    I'm not sure I'd call a related distributor (a la Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.) a third party, as that term often suggests independence. Rather, a distributor is a separate legal entity (whether independent or a subsidiary), perhaps a distinction without a difference.

    The 40 basis points mentioned is more significant, as that's the rack rate that Schwab and Fidelity charge for NTF funds. They charge significantly less to carry TF funds, so the fund might be able to go that route instead. In addition, Fidelity and Schwab carry funds from a few families that decline to pay even this fee (they charge investors a higher TF instead). Realistically though, the brokerages are going to sell funds without charging for shelf space only if the funds are so popular that the brokerages benefit from carrying them anyway.

    It also said that fee sharing arrangements do exist with some 3rd party firms.
    The prospectus says only that these arrangements may exist. Also that shares are available directly or via retirement plans.
    Generally, shares may be purchased, exchanged or redeemed through retirement plans or directly from the Fund. ...

    The Adviser and/or its affiliates may enter into arrangements to make payments for additional activities... These payments are often referred to as revenue sharing payments”

    It's boilerplate - disclosing potential conflicts of interest. IOW, legalise. As stated on this page (I assume from the original website) linking to the prospectus: "Some people prefer legalise to English." (Okay, I admit it; I'm one of those people:-))

    The SEC filings for the fund are here:

    The fund is a series of the Financial Investors Trust, as are Seafarer Funds (SFGIX, SFVLX) and a variety of other funds. Here's the full prospectus for the trust:
  • edited October 2023
    @msf, thanks!

    One tab I didn't look was Geeks + Lawyers - I thought that I was neither (-:). BUT there is all the info that I was looking for in the rest of the site. This included the CRITICAL info in the SAI that the fund was a series of the Financial Investor Trust (so, one has to look for that at Edgar/SEC).
  • May be wrong question to ask but why are you guys trying to improve the fund’s processes, rather than find another fund? Why is this fund so irreplaceable?
  • @BaluBalu: good question/several answers. In my case, I'm a do-it-yourself kind of person. I don't try to do my own plumbing repairs. I'm gonna get it wrong. But once I make an investment decision, if I encounter a problem I'd rather try to fix it than flee. In dealing with DGI I am not dealing with a faceless mega monster but with real humans. I think they want to get it right. Another answer: DGI invests well. Its return on investment is good. Another answer: transferring or liquidating shares in a mutual fund is a bit of a hassle when not investing through a brokerage. I'd rather try the repair route. One more answer: DGI is unique. There's nothing quite like it that I know of. So in that sense it is irreplaceable. Vital to my financial security? Nah. Indispensable? I don't think so. Pretty durn interesting? Certainly.
  • @Ben

    There may be more, but I'm only familiar with a couple other small/midcap balanced funds including Greenspring (GRSPX), Intrepid Capital (ICMBX) and Villere Balanced (VILLX).

    DGIFX shines in comparison to this list.
  • This filing shows a new address for DGIFX:


    Disciplined Growth Investors Fund
    (the “Fund”)

    DATED AUGUST 31, 2023

    Effective immediately the following change is made to the cover of the Prospectus:

    The Disciplined Growth Investors Fund,
    PO Box 219554
    Kansas City, MO 64121-9554


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