In his most recent episode, John Oliver did a great job uncovering several issues that plan sponsors and participants might find in their 401k plan.  We are proud to say our approach to advising retirement plans addresses all of these issues:

  1. Fiduciary– Many “financial advisors” do not act as a fiduciary to their clients, meaning they can act in a sales-like capacity (broker) rather than acting in their clients’ best interests.  Simply put – find someone who, both in practice and by law, must act in your best interest.  Sontag Advisory acts as a 3(38) ERISA fiduciary to our corporate retirement plan clients, and an investment adviser fiduciary to our individual clients.
  2. Fees– While fees are necessary for service, it is important to understand what you are paying for, and whether the fees commensurate with the value of service provided.  Fee transparency, benchmarking (determining current market rates) , and leveling (paying fees proportionally by participants) are all important considerations for a retirement plan.
  3. Active vs Passive– Active managers often do not outperform their market benchmarks, and are typically much higher in fees than comparable index funds.  A diverse fund lineup should contain low-cost passive options, allowing participants to remove the expense of compounding active management fees and to create a portfolio they are comfortable with.

A clip of the segment can be found below:

 

Kevin Couper, CFP®

Kevin is an advisor based in the Los Angeles, CA area.