‘New Neutral’ Drives PIMCO’s Bond Strategy

In the long term, betting against PIMCO’s Bill Gross when it comes to bonds has proven to be dangerous. In the short term, however, the opposite has been true. Now that PIMCO’s fund has decided to go shorter on bonds — betting that interest rates will remain stable and that economic growth will be low — advisors and their clients need to decide which side they’re on.   Read More

Demystifying Stable Value Funds

Pooled stable value funds are one of the least understood investment options in defined contribution plans, yet they make up at least 15% of the total assets. Of the many investment types in the fixed-rate marketplace, pooled stable value funds are one of the most transparent, and as such, open to analysis.   Read More

The Coming War on Income Inequality

The issue of income inequality is seen by many politicians in Washington as an opportunity to portray successful, wealthy individuals as those “denying” others their rightful share of the pie, writes Brian Graff, NAPA’s CEO/executive director, in the latest issue of NAPA Net the Magazine. “Regrettably, income inequality as misapplied to retirement policy is a theme that our industry will need to get accustomed to hearing.”   Read More

Deficit of Confidence in Investment Advice

More often than not, employees who obtain investment advice do not follow it — and that’s among those who bother to seek it in the first place. EBRI’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey suggests that advisors have some work to do in boosting plan participants’ interest and confidence in professional advice.   Read More

Can Reynolds Drive Putnam to the Top?

With sights clearly set on Fidelity, Putnam’s CEO Bob Reynolds has put together a firm that has at least a chance to challenge the top retirement provider. As outlined in a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, Reynolds sees the opportunity to build a market leader. That, of course, is what Reynolds built at Fidelity when he led their retirement business — nearly ascending to the top job there before leaving in 2007.   Read More

CFP to Probe Advisors’ Pay Models

Last year, the CFP wiped out the compensation model for all certificants because of concerns about misinformation by some who checked the “fee-only” box when they should not have. So rather than have CFPs selectively make the change on their own, the CFP Board preferred a “redo” for everyone. Now, they have sent a letter to all 70,000 CFPs announcing a new investigation process to identify those who inaccurately disclosed their compensation model.   Read More

Surface Conditions

As retirement plan advisors well know, a growing concern for employers, workers and policymakers alike is the changing composition of the American workforce and what that might mean for benefit plan designs, succession planning and workforce management.   Read More

No Rush to Roths

According to Vanguard, adoption and usage of Roth 401(k) plans has been tepid at best. At the beginning of 2013, to avoid a fiscal “cliff,” the federal government came up with a way to raise an estimated $12 billion by making it easier to convert pre-tax retirement assets in DC plans to Roth plans. The initial results were very slow, according to Charles Schwab, and — at least based on data from Vanguard’s plans and participants — the momentum has not picked up.   Read More

Last Week’s Top 5 Posts on NAPA Net

The list of most-read posts on NAPA Net last week reveals interest in NAPA’s updated record keeper consolidation list, Capitol Hill testimony from 401(k) critic Teresa Ghilarducci, a proposal from an SEC commissioner to force RIAs to pay for third-party audits, coverage of retirement issues hitting mainstream media outlets, and assets in target risk funds outstripping those in TDFs.   Read More

Record Keeper Consolidation Will Continue

The consensus among DC industry consultants, executives and experts is that record keeper consolidation will continue. Driven by rising technology costs, lower fees and increased intellectual capital needed to remain competitive, the prognosis is for fewer providers — which will result in higher fees and worse service. Industry consolidation has sped up in 2014, with six deals already — matching all of 2013. As a result, we’ve just updated our DC Consolidation List.   Read More