401(k)

Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

You Wouldn’t Represent Yourself in Court, So Why Are You Trying to Invest Your Own 401(k)?

13 October, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
The root cause of all the problems with defined contribution retirement plans is the absence of any fiduciary duty on the part of most plan providers.  In the recent deluge of TV documentaries, news articles, think tank papers, and government reports about excessive 401(k) fees, this point gets ... read more...

‘Managed Account’ 401(k) Plans are often Plan Providers’ Solution to a Problem of their own Making

11 September, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
One increasingly popular feature in 401(k) plans is a so-called managed account option.  The way this option typically works is that a 401(k) plan’s participants will have their retirement assets invested automatically in their plan’s fund options by a computer algorithm that makes ... read more...

The Biggest Problem with 401(k) Plans is the Do-it-Yourself Fund Picking Model

There’s lots of discussion in the financial press about excessive 401(k) fees, which we at O’Brien Greene like to see, since our professionally managed 401(k) plans are much less costly to retirement investors than the conventional plan.  The new attention to fees helps plan ... read more...

Another Problem with Target Date Funds and “Automated” Investing

3 September, 2013 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
In an earlier comment we noted a number of drawbacks with the investing strategy behind target date retirement funds.  I want to highlight an additional problem: many different target date funds with the same target date have drastically different asset allocations, while many funds with ... read more...

High 401(k) Fees: News is Getting Out

5 June, 2013 by Mark O'Brien in Commentary
A recent Wall Street Journal article called attention to high 401(k) fees, a theme that has drawn increasing coverage in the financial media since the government required 401(k) plans to disclose previously hidden fee arrangements last year. The article mentions financial planning software that ... read more...