Steps to De-Risk Your Plan Advisory Practice During 2019
If you have been in the industry as long as we have, you’ve experienced the effects of a market downturn. Historical bear markets, the disastrous financial crisis of 2008, and the recent swings of volatility causing severe panic among investors. Although institutional business is slightly more insulated, plan sponsors and participants are starting to feel anxious about their 401(k) plan.
Advisors charging asset-based fees may be first to feel tremors: annual plan revenue is directly affected by severe market fluctuation. When the stock market is on the rise, everything is great; your revenue also experiences the uptick. However, if the stock market rapidly declines, your annual plan revenue will too. Assuming a typical plan asset allocation, we estimate that for every 10% of stock market value lost, asset-based advisor fees could decline by around 6% – not inconsequential when considering the actual experiences … Read More
Prospecting for 401(k) Clients
Whether you are starting out in the 401(k) industry or a seasoned professional – it all starts with an accurate prospect list. Who are the key decision makers that you can connect with so that you can share your story and earn their company’s retirement plan business?
Thankfully, in our industry, we have a huge advantage: the Form 5500. As you may know, the Department of Labor (DOL) requires plan administrators to file this annual form by July 31st. It is available to anyone looking for plan information and can add value to your prospect list. The form holds crucial contact information such as decision makers names, addresses, and phone numbers as well as valuable prospecting data points such as total plan assets, annual contributions, number of participants, and much more.
To get started, you will want to identify your target market. Start with the familiar and work outwards. Below are … Read More
“Shouldn’t the Fiduciary Reg (“The Reg”) debate be about more than costs and workflow changes?”
The media coverage of the final release of the Fiduciary Regulation has been nothing short of extraordinary. Media outlets, law firms and service providers are providing daily interpretations of “The Reg” — how service providers should respond to it; what elements were missed or should be changed; calls for delays in implementation and estimates of the cost impacts and more.
The issue that has not received enough coverage (in my opinion) is how much impact The Reg will have on helping participants/investors achieve improved retirement outcomes. The story that follows refocused me on the “endgame” — Why we are involved in retirement industry in the first place. I can only hope that it does the same for others that read this blog.
Several weeks ago I attended a retirement party for a former boss that I had worked … Read More
March is a month with many milestones – the start of Spring, the countdown to tax season and most importantly “March Madness.” For those of you that don’t know “March Madness” or the “Big Dance” as it is sometimes called, it is the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament. 68 teams compete in a single elimination tournament culminating with a national championship game. It is a fantastic sporting event that takes place over two weeks and comes with both the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat.” The reason it is “must watch tv” is because you have larger, well-known schools playing smaller, often unheard of schools and the outcomes are not always as predictable as you might think. In addition, you have college players whose next stop will be the NBA playing against other students whose next stop will be a full time job, and again the outcomes … Read More