Plan Sponsors Smile: Hooray for the 401k!

If properly managed the 401(k) plan can become a valuable retirement saving vehicle for your employees and yourself. Plan participants need a disciplined savings strategy, utilize a professionally managed, globally diversified risk adjusted portfolio and avoid market timing to succeed. Investors fail when they make emtional decsions regarding their investments.

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Finally, Clarence, a bit of an old-fogey, decides to take the Twentieth Century Limited to Chicago, where he meets up with famed fee-only financial adviser Roger Wohlner, CFP®. Wohlner reveals to Clarence, “I have several clients who over the years have accumulated 7 figure (or close to it) balances in their 401k plans.  None of these clients were senior executives or even high earners.  Rather they saved and invested on a regular basis over the course of their working lives and were able to accumulate the funds needed for them to enjoy retirement.” With no 401k, these workers would never have had the chance to amass million dollar retirement portfolios. They would have been more likely to depend solely on Social Security or a potentially meager company pension plan. Thanks to the 401k, though, these folks can live independently through their own means. This is what a 401k success story looks like.Of course, not all believe the 401k has been a positive, but many of these negative stories stem from either employees failing to take advantage of their 401k or plan sponsors failing to follow-through on their fiduciary duty (see “Time Magazine is Wrong!” FiduciaryNews, October 8, 2009). For many, however, their 401k savings have been a boon to their net worth, despite the ups and downs of the market. Perchance it’s best if, on his next trip, Mr. Clarence goes to Washington. It’ll be a shame if Congress tries to “fix” what ain’t broke and penalize working Americans in the name of atoning for its own mistakes.

After all, through these last nearly forty years, the 401k plan has allowed many to live a wonderful life. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

It takes a disciplined savings strategy and a globally diversified risk adjusted portfolio to successfully retire. Plan sponsors have the fiduciary responsibility to ensure their plan is prudent.

Please comment or call to discuss how you can have your employees telling success stories.

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