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401(k) Stories


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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.

How 12(b)-1 fees and revenue sharing may be the real victims of Monday's 'narrow' Supreme Court ruling



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What happened when a Florida RIA brought DOL's Tom Perez to his local business elite



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LPL reconsiders FSI as it drops out of its board, offers own DOL stand and hires own lobbyist



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Jeff Zients and Tom Perez come out swinging for a new fiduciary era



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The White House puts its best Obamacare minds behind cleaning up the 401(k) business -- starting by issuing a withering memo



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