Is the Stock Market Rigged?

According to author Michael Lewis, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. In his soon-to-be-released book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt and in a March 30 “60 Minutes” segment, Lewis explained how high-speed traders can legally get out in front of even the largest and most sophisticated institutional investors to make a few pennies. This, Lewis estimates, amounts to tens of billions in losses to ordinary investors.   Read More

Security ‘Blanket’

“How do they expect to retire on that?” In the week or so since the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey hit the streets, I think I’ve heard that question more than any other, both from advisors and reporters alike. “That” in this case is the widely cited finding of the survey that 36% of respondents have less than $1,000 in savings.   Read More

“40 Under 40” Deadline is Next Week

Where is the next generation of plan advisors going to come from? To answer this question and highlight the next generation, NAPA is launching its own version of “40 under 40” — the 40 top DC plan advisors under 40 years old. But we need your help — the voting period has been extended until next Friday, April 4.   Read More

The Status Quo Is Not Acceptable

“It’s not just about a decision to save, it’s about saving more.” NAPA Executive Director/CEO Brian Graff captured the heart of the discussion over retirement readiness at a March 25 session of the NAPA 401(k) Summit in New Orleans. Graff debated Teresa Ghilarducci, Chair of Economic Policy Analysis and Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Analysis at the New School — and well-known critic of the 401(k) system.   Read More

Supreme Court May Hear Tibble v. Edison Case

Judging by his State of the Union address, retirement issues are front and center for President Obama. Increasingly, state governments are following suit, with at least 16 of them now considering variations on the auto-IRA theme. Now it looks like we can add the U.S. Supreme Court. Just as the Fifth Third stock drop case is set for oral arguments next week, the Court has asked the Solicitor General and the DOL to submit a brief on the Tibble case. Many believe the Court’s invitation indicates an interest to hear the case.   Read More

Godin: Connect, Lead — and Leap

Even a business model or industry that’s perfect won’t stay that way forever. But having the vision and courage to anticipate and create demand and go beyond just changing with the times can be revolutionary. That was the core message of best-selling author Seth Godin in his March 24 keynote address at the NAPA 401(k) Summit.   Read More

Developing a Sound Rollover Strategy

There’s good news and there’s bad news on the IRA rollover front. The good news: The regulatory agencies and industry groups with jurisdiction over IRAs — the DOL, the SEC and FINRA — seem to be getting on the same page, diminishing the likelihood of conflicting mandates from multiple regulators. The bad news: They seem to be moving in the direction of the DOL’s approach to rollovers, increasing the likelihood of yet another participant disclosure mandate.   Read More

DOL’s Fee Disclosure Guide Proposal Includes New Requirements

It’s been two weeks since the DOL issued its proposal to require a new 408(b)(2) fee disclosure summary, and we’re now starting to see the deeper, “second-day” analyses from the law firms that serve the retirement plan market. One of the best of these deeper dives, from the Groom Law Group, describes several new requirements in the March 12 proposed rule that go beyond the new 408(b)(2) summary guide.   Read More

As TDFs Turn 20, What Does Their Future Hold?

It may have been 20 years since Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, but their music stopped long ago. Not so with the target date fund concept, which celebrates its 20th birthday this month, and is still growing in popularity and complexity. Wells Fargo and Barclay’s debuted the first TDFs in March 1994 — followed by Fidelity in 1996, The Principal in 2001, T. Rowe Price in 2002 and Vanguard in 2003.   Read More

Kelly, Compass Financial Win 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award

The advisory team at Compass Financial Partners in Greensboro, NC, represented by Kathleen A. Kelly, CRPS®, AIFA®, has won the 2014 NAPA 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award. Kelly, a Founding and Managing Partner of Compass, received the award on behalf of the team during a session of the NAPA 401(k) Summit in New Orleans March 24.   Read More