Safe Harbor Advisors is a retirement plan specialist.

It is our mission to provide small/medium sized businesses and their employees
with a unique retirement plan experience they will value.

Retire Earlier.

Retire Wealthier.

Retire Wiser.

What We Do:

Safe Harbor Advisors is your local point of contact.

Lower Plan Cost

We will help your business uncover and understand your current 401(k) cost and compare that to the Vanguard 401(k) alternative.

Investment Selection & Monitoring

We will design a 401(k) investment menu that lowers your company liability by mimicking your government auditor’s retirement plan.

Onsite Education & Guidance

We will use our experience to ensure a smooth transition from your current provider to Vanguard.

We will guide you on day to day matters and be onsite to provide your employees with ongoing financial education.

What Vanguard Does:

Vanguard is the Plan Administrator.

Account Statements & Website

The Vanguard brand is widely known and respected.

IRS Form 5500

IRS Form 5500 will be prepared for you “signature ready”.

All Required Testing & Disclosures

All required year-end testing, annual notices and fee disclosures are included in pricing.

Freakonomics Podcast

On a recent episode titled: The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money, Freakonomics dives into the topic of active versus passive investing and the negative role fees play in your long term returns. Listen below or read more at

Why Vanguard?

We exclusively use Vanguard as a plan administrator.

Why Choose Us?

Retire Earlier.

Lower Cost = Earlier Retirement:

Retirement plan costs can be broken in to three seperate categories:  administration, advisory/broker compensation and investment cost.  These costs can be shifted from one category to another (sometimes making the retirement plan look “free”) so it is important to understand all three expenses side by side.

We aggressively work to uncover and lower ALL plan costs because studies show that excessive fees of just 1 percent can delay a worker’s retirement date by 2 ½ years.

Retire Wealthier.

Better Investments = More Money

Research overwhelmingly proves that low-cost index funds should be the cornerstone of any retirement plan.

Retire Wiser.

Financial Education = Good Employees

A financially stable employee is sick less often, more productive on the job and happier at work and at home.

Our firm provides group level and one-on-one financial education for your workforce.

Who We Are:

Our firm’s president is Kurt A. Houghton.

U.S. Army Veteran

Mr. Houghton is a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and graduate of the University of Maryland.

Mr. Houghton continues to serve his community as an Emergency Medical Technician, volunteering in the City of Frederick.

Reformed Stock Broker

He began his financial career with Merrill Lynch in 1998 and founded Safe Harbor Investment Advisors, LLC in January of 2008. He has been the featured guest speaker at many clubs and civic organizations in Maryland including the Kiwanis club, Lions club and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

Retirement Plan Specialist

He has been recognized by the College of Financial Planning as a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS®) and was awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation (AIF®) from the Center for Fiduciary Studies in 2007.

Understanding The Costs:

Retirement plan costs can be broken in to three separate categories:  administration, advisory/broker compensation and investment cost.  These costs can be shifted from one category to another (sometimes making the retirement plan look “free”) so it is important to understand all three expenses side by side.

Administration Costs

One-Time Transfer Fee

Ongoing Per Participant Fee

Less Vanguard Credits For Using Certain Vanguard Mutual Funds

Investment Costs

Basic Vanguard Index Funds

Expanded Investment Menu

Average Investment Cost From 0.11% to 0.35%.

Advisor Costs

Admin. Support Needed

Investment Complexity

Ongoing Education

Are you ready for a 401(k) audit?

Find out how we can help you. Contact Us

What Sets Safe Harbor Advisors Apart.

Onsite Education

We provide onsite comprehensive and ongoing financial education for your employees.

Fiduciary Standard

Our advice is held to the highest legal standard possible – the fiduciary standard. By law we must always put your interests first, disclose our compensation and invoice you for our fees. +

Low Cost Index Funds

  • Vanguard costs: 82% lower than average*
  • Lower costs significantly help your returns
  • The savings add up over time

+Most brokers and insurance agents are only required to give you “suitable” advice. They get paid commissions (therefor they will be Series 7 licensed) and you will not get a separate invoice for their fees.

*Based on 2014 U.S. mutual fund industry average expense ratio of 1.02% and Vanguard’s average expense ratio of 0.18%. Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Work For Vanguard?

No. Safe Harbor Investment Advisors does not work for and is not affiliated with Vanguard. We are independent advisors that work for only our clients.

How Are You Paid?

Our fees are billed quarterly, in arrears, based upon the market value of The Plan as of the last business day of the quarter. Clients may elect to be billed directly for our fees and pay that fee without using the Plan’s assets or they may choose to instruct a directed trustee or independent custodian to calculate that fee based on our written agreement, and to pay us out of The Plan assets.

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