In an effort to keep clients and business partners up-to-date on emerging trends and developments relating to 401k investments and investing for retirement, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC suggests the following resources.

Resources: 401k Investments

401k Investment Menu Best Practices.
Interested in how your 401k investments menu stacks up versus the marketplace? Take a look at this article which outlines current best practices for 401k plan investment menus.

BlackRock Interview With Robert C. Lawton (PDF). Robert C. Lawton, President of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, is interviewed by former Wall Street Journal editor and current BlackRock executive Kelly Greene on how to design the best 401k plan.

Blending Active And Passive Options In Your 401k Plan. Recently the folks at BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, shared research that indicates that a blend between active and passive choices is probably best for most 401k plans.

Does Your 401k Investment Adviser Measure Up? Each year retirement plan sponsors should take time to evaluate their providers. Included in this group is your 401k investment adviser. Most plan sponsors use an investment adviser to help them with their 401k plans. This is a smart decision since many advisers are able to save plan sponsors at least as much as they charge. This post will help you learn if you are working with the right 401k investment adviser.

Eight Considerations When Reviewing Your 401k Investment Line-up (PDF). At least annually you should be reviewing your 401k investments fund line-up. Read this article for information on how to conduct a proper review.

Five Reasons To Use Active Management. Recently a number of market observers have suggested banning actively managed mutual funds from retirement plans as a way of increasing participant balances. Their logic is that actively managed funds don’t beat market averages or benchmarks often enough to justify their higher fees. However, there are good reasons for investors to embrace active management.

How 401k Plan Participants Can Beat The Market. Many studies have shown that the average 401k participant earns at least 2% to 3% less each year than the mutual funds in their plan. How can this be? This article presents suggestions n how plan sponsors can help participants do better.

How To Tell If You Are Receiving Good Investment Advice. How do 401k plan sponsors know if they are receiving good investment advice? That question is more difficult to answer for plan sponsors than it is for individual investors since plan sponsors need to be more concerned about process than performance. It is not necessary for plan sponsors to offer the best performing funds in their 401k plans. Rather, they should be more concerned that the process used to select and monitor the investment options offered is compliant and sound. Check out this article to learn if you are receiving good investment advice.

Most 401k Investors Fall Into Four Core Groups (PDF). I have done a lot of 401k participant education sessions over the years. As a result, I may know your 401k plan participants better than you do (without ever having met them!). That’s because I have found that most 401k plans have similar participant investor groups.

Should 401k Plans Offer Only Index Funds? Is it a good idea to remove all of the actively managed funds from your 401k plan? Why would a plan sponsor do that? A number of large plan sponsors have dumped all of their actively managed funds, for the reasons outlined in this article.

Should Your 401k Plan Offer ESG Investment Options? At the very least, your Investment Committee should have a discussion about the topic. This post explains why.

Socially Responsible Investing Ratings Can Boost Your 401k’s Value. Recently Morningstar, creator of the Morningstar Star Ratings for mutual funds, introduced Sustainability Ratings to gauge an investment’s adherence to SRI principles. 401k plan participants, millennials especially, have become interested in socially conscious and impact investing. A recent U.S. Trust survey found SRI factors are important to 93% of millennials when making an investment decision. Your 401k plan can have greater value to your employees if you begin sharing Morningstar’s Sustainability Ratings for your 401k investment options.

The Worst Investment Anyone Could Possibly Make. What is the worst investment you could possibly make? You might be surprised at the answer!

True Active Management Works (PDF). Many experts believe that it doesn’t make sense to invest in actively managed mutual funds. They say there is not a substantial enough difference between the returns that index and actively managed funds generate to justify active management’s higher fees. I believe that true active management still works. It is just a matter of screening out those actively managed funds masquerading as index funds – the closet indexers.

What To Look For In A Top 401k Investment Adviser. Most employer plan sponsors use an investment advisor to help them with their 401k plans. This is a smart decision since most advisors are able to save plan sponsors at least as much as they charge. How can you tell if you are working with a good investment advisor? This article provides some tips.

What Plan Sponsors Need To Do NOW In Response To 401k Money Market Fund Rules. Given the October 14, 2016 implementation date of the new rules, your investment committee should have a safe haven investment fund strategy in place as soon as possible.

White-Labeling 401k Investment Funds A Bad Idea. I don’t believe that white-labeling makes sense, for the reasons outlined in this article.

Why Every 401k Plan Needs An Updated IPS. Does your 401k plan have an updated Investment Policy Statement (IPS)? Although you aren’t required by law to have one, the IPS is one of your plan’s most important documents. Take a look at this article to learn why having an updated IPS is so important.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Custom TDFs In Your 401k. Custom TDFs can be expensive and constructed based upon dubious assumptions. You may want to think twice about using them in your plan.

Why TDFs Are The Best Professionally Managed 401k Investment Option. Target date funds (TDFs) have certain advantages over other professionally managed options that you can offer in your 401k plan. Find out why TDFs are better in this article.

Why Target-Risk Funds Are Wrong For 401k Plans. Are target-risk funds appropriate for 401k plans? I don’t think so. This article tells you why.

DoL Resources: 401k Investments

Department of Labor Target Date Retirement Funds: Tips for ERISA Fiduciaries 
(PDF). A helpful, short, three-page guide from the U. S. Department of Labor on selecting target date funds for your 401k plan.


Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC
342 North Water Street
Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI 53130
(414) 828-401k (4015)