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The days when RIAs were the outsiders at the 401(k) party are fast coming to a close. What's new is that the mass of 401(k) assets is getting critical at about $3 trillion; fiduciary advisors are getting appreciated; fat fees and questionable kickbacks are getting exposed and stepping out of line is getting dicier as the Department of Labor tightens the regulatory screws.

The old reasons why the 401(k) business is attractive are still in place: there are fresh assets pouring in every month and when employees leave jobs or retire, they produce rollovers that build up IRA accounts for financial advisors. The drawbacks of getting into the 401(k) business are still in place, too. Dealing with retirement assets is really a second line of business and it remains -- unless you overcharge with hidden fees -- a low margin business with high potential fiduciary liabilities.

Still, the outsourcers, infrastructure and accumulated knowledge for RIAs to capitalize on is growing daily and a the mega-shift of assets away from brokers is making the 401(k) business riskier and riskier -- to ignore.

Personal Capital gets $75 million investment and an ex-Schwab retail chief in Jeff Carney

The Bill Harris-founded call-center RIA, which manages $2.4 billion in assets, hits it $500-million bogey for valuation

Thursday 5.19.16 by Lisa Shidler

Personal Capital gets $75 million investment and an ex-Schwab retail chief in Jeff Carney

The Bill Harris-founded call-center RIA, which manages $2.4 billion in assets, hits it $500-million bogey for valuation

Thursday 5.19.16 by Lisa Shidler

Personal Capital gets $75 million investment and an ex-Schwab retail chief in Jeff Carney

The Bill Harris-founded call-center RIA, which manages $2.4 billion in assets, hits it $500-million bogey for valuation

Thursday 5.19.16 by Lisa Shidler
1 Comment  
1 Comment  

Why luring 401(k) assets to IRA rollovers in a post-DOL-rule world remains child's play, which keeps $7.6 trillion in the IRA game and growing

Clients still hate 401(k) inflexibility around withdrawals and the DOL granted advisors the upper hand in getting clients to sign away protections with regard to pricier products

Wednesday 4.20.16 by Lisa Shidler

Why luring 401(k) assets to IRA rollovers in a post-DOL-rule world remains child's play, which k

Clients still hate 401(k) inflexibility around withdrawals and the DOL granted advisors the upper hand in getting clients to sign away protections with regard to pricier products

Wednesday 4.20.16 by Lisa Shidler

Why luring 401(k) assets to IRA rollovers in a post-DOL-rule world remains child's play, which k

Clients still hate 401(k) inflexibility around withdrawals and the DOL granted advisors the upper hand in getting clients to sign away protections with regard to pricier products

Wednesday 4.20.16 by Lisa Shidler
0 Comments  
0 Comments  

The exit of CalPERS' turnaround CEO Anne Stausboll raises the question of whether the pension Goliath's changes are too little, too late and mostly superficial

Stausboll made a big showing of cutting hedge funds and other active managers but her last big act was to pay up for a New York office tower, funded by the sale of a diversified real estate portfolio

Monday 4.18.16 by Irwin Stein

The exit of CalPERS' turnaround CEO Anne Stausboll raises the question of whether the pension Go

Stausboll made a big showing of cutting hedge funds and other active managers but her last big act was to pay up for a New York office tower, funded by the sale of a diversified real estate portfolio

Monday 4.18.16 by Irwin Stein

The exit of CalPERS' turnaround CEO Anne Stausboll raises the question of whether the pension Go

Stausboll made a big showing of cutting hedge funds and other active managers but her last big act was to pay up for a New York office tower, funded by the sale of a diversified real estate portfolio

Monday 4.18.16 by Irwin Stein
0 Comments  
0 Comments  

Robo-deal catapults Goldman Sachs into defined contribution business that's as downmarket as it gets

The Wall Street giant buys Honest Dollar, which makes SEP IRAs easy for 1099-receiving workers

Monday 3.21.16 by Sanders Wommack

Robo-deal catapults Goldman Sachs into defined contribution business that's as downmarket as it

The Wall Street giant buys Honest Dollar, which makes SEP IRAs easy for 1099-receiving workers

Monday 3.21.16 by Sanders Wommack

Robo-deal catapults Goldman Sachs into defined contribution business that's as downmarket as it

The Wall Street giant buys Honest Dollar, which makes SEP IRAs easy for 1099-receiving workers

Monday 3.21.16 by Sanders Wommack
1 Comment  
1 Comment  

As Pershing struggles to get a robo firmly fixed in the RIA frame, NextCapital rushes in to blur the picture

The Chicago 401(k) robo will use Pershing custody to go after the retail market and Pershing has hopes it'll work with its mega-RIAs

Tuesday 2.23.16 by Lisa Shidler

As Pershing struggles to get a robo firmly fixed in the RIA frame, NextCapital rushes in to blur the

The Chicago 401(k) robo will use Pershing custody to go after the retail market and Pershing has hopes it'll work with its mega-RIAs

Tuesday 2.23.16 by Lisa Shidler

As Pershing struggles to get a robo firmly fixed in the RIA frame, NextCapital rushes in to blur the

The Chicago 401(k) robo will use Pershing custody to go after the retail market and Pershing has hopes it'll work with its mega-RIAs

Tuesday 2.23.16 by Lisa Shidler
3 Comments  
3 Comments  

Betterment adds 50 firms to its new 401(k) plan -- and IBM and Marcia Wagner connections

Smaller companies with Betterment-ish-sounding names like Earnest Operations and Boxed are the early guinea pigs but big dogs are on the robo's 401(k) board of directors

Wednesday 1.27.16 by Lisa Shidler

Betterment adds 50 firms to its new 401(k) plan -- and IBM and Marcia Wagner connections

Smaller companies with Betterment-ish-sounding names like Earnest Operations and Boxed are the early guinea pigs but big dogs are on the robo's 401(k) board of directors

Wednesday 1.27.16 by Lisa Shidler

Betterment adds 50 firms to its new 401(k) plan -- and IBM and Marcia Wagner connections

Smaller companies with Betterment-ish-sounding names like Earnest Operations and Boxed are the early guinea pigs but big dogs are on the robo's 401(k) board of directors

Wednesday 1.27.16 by Lisa Shidler
3 Comments  
3 Comments  

Snakes and ladders: What to expect in the unexpectedly triumphant final DOL fiduciary rule

Whether converted or just plain exhausted, the staunchest opponents are standing down to make way for the new rule that will go into effect in 2017

Thursday 12.17.15 by Guest Columnist Duane Thompson

Snakes and ladders: What to expect in the unexpectedly triumphant final DOL fiduciary rule

Whether converted or just plain exhausted, the staunchest opponents are standing down to make way for the new rule that will go into effect in 2017

Thursday 12.17.15 by Guest Columnist Duane Thompson

Snakes and ladders: What to expect in the unexpectedly triumphant final DOL fiduciary rule

Whether converted or just plain exhausted, the staunchest opponents are standing down to make way for the new rule that will go into effect in 2017

Thursday 12.17.15 by Guest Columnist Duane Thompson
1 Comment  
1 Comment  

401(k) industry howls as DOL lets state governments become DC providers with advantageous exemptions

Multiple employer plans' under states will have economies of scale, fewer rules, while ERISA bars private firms from banding together

Thursday 12.10.15 by Lisa Shidler

401(k) industry howls as DOL lets state governments become DC providers with advantageous exemptions

Multiple employer plans' under states will have economies of scale, fewer rules, while ERISA bars private firms from banding together

Thursday 12.10.15 by Lisa Shidler

401(k) industry howls as DOL lets state governments become DC providers with advantageous exemptions

Multiple employer plans' under states will have economies of scale, fewer rules, while ERISA bars private firms from banding together

Thursday 12.10.15 by Lisa Shidler
2 Comments  
2 Comments  

Will the alternative assets Intel added to its 401(k) plan backfire legally as well as financially?

New lawsuit alleges that spicing the DC plans with $2.5 billion of bets on de facto dark pools of 'shudder'-worthy alternatives cost participants hundreds of millions of dollars

Thursday 11.12.15 by Lisa Shidler

Will the alternative assets Intel added to its 401(k) plan backfire legally as well as financially?

New lawsuit alleges that spicing the DC plans with $2.5 billion of bets on de facto dark pools of 'shudder'-worthy alternatives cost participants hundreds of millions of dollars

Thursday 11.12.15 by Lisa Shidler

Will the alternative assets Intel added to its 401(k) plan backfire legally as well as financially?

New lawsuit alleges that spicing the DC plans with $2.5 billion of bets on de facto dark pools of 'shudder'-worthy alternatives cost participants hundreds of millions of dollars

Thursday 11.12.15 by Lisa Shidler
0 Comments  
0 Comments  

'Bristling' at 'pink-it-and-shrink-it' pitfalls, Sallie Krawcheck files an ADV

Ex-Merrill Lynch chief's Ellevest will charge double the Betterment rate but with hopes of better investing for women

Monday 11.9.15 by Lisa Shidler

'Bristling' at 'pink-it-and-shrink-it' pitfalls, Sallie Krawcheck files an ADV

Ex-Merrill Lynch chief's Ellevest will charge double the Betterment rate but with hopes of better investing for women

Monday 11.9.15 by Lisa Shidler

'Bristling' at 'pink-it-and-shrink-it' pitfalls, Sallie Krawcheck files an ADV

Ex-Merrill Lynch chief's Ellevest will charge double the Betterment rate but with hopes of better investing for women

Monday 11.9.15 by Lisa Shidler
3 Comments  
3 Comments