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Plan Optimization

BY Fred Barstein | 1/13/2014
While the number of arbitration cases involving variable annuities declined in 2013, it did so at a slower rate than mutual funds and common stock, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing... Read More
BY John Ortman | 1/7/2014
Financial advisors have yet to coalesce around a common methodology or set of products for generating retirement income for their retiree clients, making it more challenging for fund companies and... Read More
BY John Ortman | 1/6/2014
Morningstar announced the nominees for its 2013 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year awards on Jan. 6. Nominees are selected in five strategies: domestic stock, international stock, fixed income,... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 1/2/2014
A recent Russell Investments paper, “Guidelines for Investing In Stable Value Post-2008,” provides a comprehensive overview and an excellent picture of what the stable value landscape looks like... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 12/24/2013
The distribution of possible events looks like a bell curve, with many everyday events in the middle and far fewer events in the tails. While these tail events occur infrequently, they can have a... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 12/18/2013
In a recent post on Alliance Bernstein's blog on investing, the author discusses “The Marriage of QDIAs and Managed Volatility in US DC Plans.” The post is mostly focused on controlling market risk... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 12/17/2013
While the U.S. may be a leader in helping people in DC plans accumulate assets, the investigative office of Congress believes that we can learn a lot from the rest of the world about how to help... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 12/12/2013
A recent Wall Street Journal article addressed revenue sharing, dealing mostly with the important issue of the “uneven” impact that revenue sharing can have on DC investors’ fund expenses. There is,... Read More
BY John Ortman | 12/5/2013
Many employees make sub-optimal decisions when it comes to savings rates, asset allocations, in-service withdrawals and retirement distribution options. The result: Many of them are not even on the... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 12/4/2013
The Financial Times Lexicon defines “smart beta” as “an umbrella term for rules-based investment strategies that do not use the conventional market capitalization weights that have been criticized... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 11/27/2013
Many people predict that mobile technology will change the DC industry, but very few have specific, breakthrough ideas. Leave it to UCLA professor Shlomo Benartzi — who’s credited along with... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 11/21/2013
According to a recent report by Brightscope, small cap funds account for 3.76% of DC plan assets. As with many asset classes in DC plans, index funds top the list, with T. Rowe Price and Vanguard’s... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 11/19/2013
Along with the long-anticipated release of a “forward looking” mutual fund rating system to supplement its current methodology, Morningstar’s CEO Joe Mansueto commented that his firm is looking at a... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 11/19/2013
In a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called for more generous CPI calculations to boost Social Security benefits. Warren's speech was reported here by Washington... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 11/14/2013
At a time when countless surveys point to the lack of retirement security and confidence among American workers, and anti-401(k) pundits claim that the 401(k) plan is a failed experiment, it’s... Read More
BY Jerry Bramlett | 11/11/2013
Today there is a widely held belief that, given loose monetary policies and continuing high federal deficits, at some point the U.S. economy is likely to experience hyperinflation. Consider this... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 11/4/2013
The Pew Research Center estimates that 31% of the workforce will be Hispanic in 20 years. The Hispanic population offers challenges and opportunities that will not be met just by translating... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/30/2013
Conventional wisdom says that interest rates will rise, so it makes sense to move away from long-duration bonds and into equities. That wisdom has played out this year, with flows into stock mutual... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/29/2013
As DC plans move full steam ahead in adopting DB-like features for their participants in the accumulation phase of planning for retirement, they have hit the pause button when it comes to retirement... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/28/2013
Are alternatives in your future? Should they be? While many advisors are reluctant to recommend them, alternative mutual funds are growing at a propitious rate. And with returns from traditional... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/16/2013
Perhaps the reality that participants are ultimately responsible for saving for their own retirement is changing their attitudes about revisions to plan design focused on improving outcomes,... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/15/2013
According to a Reuters report, Vanguard is threatening to impose a ban on trading in three of its funds in the Southwest Airlines pilots’ 401(k) plan due to what it claims is unexpected and excessive... Read More
BY NAPA Net Staff | 10/10/2013
Cogent Reports recently released their “DC Participant Planscape” report, which provides an in-depth look at the DC participant experience. Plan participants represent two areas of significant growth... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/9/2013
The highly anticipated debut of Schwab’s all-ETF platform has been delayed due to what company spokespeople are calling regulatory issues. The firm’s all-index platform, which launched in 2012, has... Read More