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Plan Optimization

BY John Iekel | 6/10/2014
Many sobering reports have been issued regarding the degree to which U.S. workers are preparing — or not — for retirement. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Personal Savings Initiative (PSI) may... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 5/30/2014
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... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 5/29/2014
Last week Fidelity Investments released a study analyzing 13 million 401(k) investors living in metropolitan areas. The report contains some interesting comparisons among different metro areas but... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 5/29/2014
According to research from Cerulli, the move toward passive investing continues. In 2013, $60 billion flowed into passive U.S. equity strategies compared to just $3.4 billion for active; and $31.8... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 5/16/2014
Are lump sum matches all bad? When AOL decided to switch to lump sum payments due to higher health care costs, they relented after a public uproar — even though other plan sponsors like IBM had... Read More
BY John Iekel | 5/16/2014
Auto enrollment and escalation can be very useful in boosting plan participation and setting in motion all the good effects that result from that. But like medicines, they should be used properly —... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 5/15/2014
Two interesting studies on improving DC investor outcomes were published last week:• “Financial Knowledge and 401(k) Investment Performance,” a Pension Research Council (PRC) working paper; and • “... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 5/13/2014
Though Charles Schwab still seems committed to putting them into DC plans, are ETFs — as one advisor stated in a P... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 5/9/2014
Echoing the famous quote by savvy investors, many DC investors are more concerned about return of capital than return on capital. To that point, as well as longevity risk, a LIMRA’s Secure Retirement... Read More
BY John Ortman | 5/8/2014
An important trend in the industry — a shift in influence from the fund provider/record keeper to the fee-based independent advisor — will put advisors in a key position, asserts Jerry Bramlett in... Read More
BY John Ortman | 5/7/2014
Retail investors are not being fleeced by high-frequency traders using programs to jump ahead with buy and sell orders that fetch better prices, SEC Chair Mary Jo White asserted April 29. “The... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 5/2/2014
Will private equity investing go mainstream? Based on actions by NASDAQ’s OMX Group and large PE firms, the answer is getting closer to “probably” than ever before. Though they have not officially... Read More
BY John Iekel | 4/29/2014
More and more employers are making Roth accounts available within their DC plans — and more employees are taking them up on the offer, according to a new white paper from Aon Hewitt. The number of... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 4/24/2014
Auto-plan design features have made a significant impact on retirement readiness and are being widely adopted. So what are the best practices? A white paper by BMO reviews the questions and the... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 4/17/2014
A recent research paper by RidgeWorth Investing, “Large Cap Value Indexing Myth-Conceptions”, seeks to demonstrate that large cap value managers can add value over the Russell 1000® Value Index.The... Read More
BY Warren Cormier | 4/11/2014
In a white paper published by Arnerich Massena, Inc. in March 2014, the authors review a variety of research studies that look at the investment returns of DC participants’ accounts compared with the... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 4/2/2014
At the 2014 NAPA 401(k) Summit last week, there was an interesting point/counterpoint discussion between NAPA Executive Director/CEO Brian Graff and Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the Schwartz... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 4/1/2014
While the growth of alternative mutual funds is significant — some of which is fueled by DC plans — and many hedge fund managers are participating either on their own or through sub advised... Read More
BY John Iekel | 3/31/2014
For an investment committee to do its job properly, it needs to function smoothly. Bob Collie, chief research strategist for Russell Investment’s Americas Institutional business, offers some tips on... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 3/31/2014
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... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 3/26/2014
A recent Investment News article promotes the idea that, “for advisers, the addition of private equity opens new doors and poses new challenges.” The idea of opening “new doors” is rooted in the fact... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 3/20/2014
In terms of types of money management, it seems that the names are increasingly being narrowed down to three types: beta, smart beta and active. The evolution of the distinction between beta and... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 3/16/2014
Citing a study by befi researcher and Santa Clara business school professor Meir Statman, blogger Michael Kitces questions whether the problem with our current retirement policy is that we treat all... Read More
BY John Iekel | 3/7/2014
When it comes to saving through a DC plan, more is better. But how much? A new paper by Fidelity offers a guideline: Targeting a percentage of an average earner’s final net pay as a goal for income... Read More