Frankenstein’s 401(k) Plan

“I beheld the wretch-the miserable monster whom I had created.”  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley The 401(k) industry has created a monster that’s devouring the retirement dreams of millions of Americans.  Employees don’t value it as a benefit like health insurance or vacation time.  The fees are high and hidden.  The investments are sub-par and financial […] […] Read more

Six Things We Could Learn From The Governments TSP

Time and again I see the same common problems with small business 401(k) plans:  They have high (often hidden) costs, poor participant outcomes (meaning:  will people be able to retire adequately) , unexpected liability and poor investments .  So how do you kill these problems with one stone?  Make your 401(k) plan look like the […] […] Read more

The “F” Word: Fiduciary.

I hate the “F” word.  You know the one I am talking about:  Fiduciary.  401(k) salespeople love to talk “fiduciary responsibility” – The only problem is that most of them have none.  If you are a business owner with a 401(k) plan, fight back with a few pointed questions. 1.Who is the Named Fiduciary?  For […] […] Read more

What Google And Brightscope Have In Common

Brightscope, a popular financial information company that rates 401(k) plans, has something in common with Google:  They both know the value of data that the rest of us are all to willing to give away without thought. As a 401(k) adviser, I am always looking at different tools available to help plan sponsors benchmark and […] […] Read more

Chumming the 401(k) Waters

I have sympathy for the folks in HR.  Basically their job seems to be to handle everything the boss has no idea idea what to do with – while they fill in for the receptionist, clean the lunch room and fix payroll problems at the same time. So it probably shouldn’t surprise me when my […] […] Read more

Right Fund – Wrong Share Class

Let’s imagine for a moment that you have hired a suit and tie guy to help you with your 401(k) plan. The funds that adviser puts on your 401(k) menu look good – names like Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, American Funds, Fidelity and Dodge & Cox.  Let’s also assume that you have made sure you […] […] Read more

“Your Fired” – Donald Trump

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you are breaking up with the most popular person in school:  American Funds Growth Fund Of America.  This mutual fund is found in most 401(k) plans and it is one of the largest, most popular funds out there. Here is the problem:  The fund is described as […] […] Read more

I Promise You…Average Investments

I Promise You…Average Investments. Low cost index funds that promise you “average” returns can be a hard sell.  Here is how my conversation goes when explaining it to prospective clients: KURT:  If you want to know the single biggest predictor of a mutual funds future success – just look at it’s cost.  For mutual funds […] […] Read more

Stock Market Turmoil

Things have been crazy lately with the stock market so what should you do? It depends on where you are in your investing life… If you are buying into  the stock market on a regular basis through your 401(k), you are in the “accumulation phase” of your investing life.  Like any other purchase, be happy […] […] Read more