Did You Hire The Right 401k Investment Adviser?

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

As a 401k plan sponsor, you are probably aware that there are some new fiduciary regulations going into effect in April of 2017. You probably have spent some time wondering (worrying?) whether these regulations affect your relationship with the investment adviser or investment advisor who works with your 401k plan. They might. Here’s how to tell. [Read more…]

How To Hire A 401k Investment Adviser

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15

By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Employer plan sponsors often ask me which investment adviser credentials are most important to look for when hiring a 401k investment adviser. As a 401k investment adviser myself, I have observed a number of plan sponsors hiring the wrong advisers because they aren’t looking at the right investment adviser credentials and are using an incorrect set of criteria to judge who is best.

Following are some universal, common sense criteria that plan sponsors can apply when hiring a 401k investment adviser along with important investment adviser credentials to evaluate. The information is divided into what I would consider the three major categories plan sponsors should evaluate: Fiduciary Responsibility, Firm and Background. [Read more…]

Four Things You Should Know About Your Broker

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend and a happy May Day!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Four Things You Should Know About Your Broker” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Investment Advisor Magazine. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

LRPC is a RIA which is much different from a brokerage firm. In the article below, the author, who also works for a RIA, outlines some of the differences between the two types of firms. I think you will find the differences surprising.

Have a wonderful week!

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Four Things You Should Know About Your Broker

By Bob Clark, Investment Advisor Magazine

As I’ve written many times, I’ve come to believe that a financial advisor’s job is to protect clients from themselves (succumbing to greed and fear in their investment decisions, and procrastination in their saving decisions), from the financial service industry and the financial media, by extension. Once again, I’m not saying that everyone in the financial services industry is a bad actor; but, as we all know, there are powerful financial incentives to put their own interests ahead of their clients’, and some folks can’t seem to be able to resist the temptation.

Now, the traditional client/advisor communications are usually effective in saving clients from their inclination to buy high and sell low. But in my experience, the biggest reason that retail investors need to be protected from the financial services industry is because they don’t understand how it really works.

And while most advisors do (I say “most” because it’s my observation that it takes an advisor between 5 years and 10 years of industry experience to figure out what’s really going on), they rarely make a formal effort to transfer this insight to their clients — which is a shame, as this understanding is the real key to financial success.

Here’s what I tell my clients these days: [Read more…]

Does Your 401k Investment Adviser Measure Up?

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

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. How can you tell if you are working with the right 401k investment adviser?

Top advisers: [Read more…]

How To Tell If You Are Receiving Good Investment Advice

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

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. With that in mind, outlined below are some ways plan sponsors can tell whether they are receiving good investment advice. [Read more…]

Eight Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor

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I hope you had a great weekend. The leaves are starting to turn!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, Eight Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Financial Advice and Advisors. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can get through in less than 60 seconds.

Thinking about hiring a new financial advisor? Wondering if your existing advisor is providing you with the services he/she should? Take a look at the questions below. You may wish to  pose some of them to your advisor.

Have a wonderful week!

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Eight Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor

From Financial Advice & Advisors

Many times I am asked what the best questions are to ask when shopping for a financial advisor. Over time, I have developed the following list: [Read more…]

The Five Real Reasons To Hire A Financial Advisor

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope that you had a great weekend!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week,“The Five Real Reasons To Hire A Financial Advisor” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Ms. Sallie Krawcheck. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. This is a very short piece which I believe anyone can get through in less than 60 seconds.

Sallie Krawcheck, is the former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM) division of Bank of America. GWIM includes Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust, the largest wealth management business in the world with $2.3 trillion in client assets. Ms. Krawcheck has turned around a number of troubled businesses in her career through eliminating conflicts of interests, namely Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and has been known as one of the most senior women on Wall Street.

Forbes named Ms. Krawcheck as number seven in its list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2005. In 2008, she was named to Investment Advisor magazine’s IA 25, the list of the 25 most influential people in and around the investment advisory business. She was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders, is a past recipient of CNBC’s “Business Leader of the Future” Award and has been credited by a number of publications as one of the “rare honest voices on Wall Street.”

I had the pleasure of working for Ms. Krawcheck at Citigroup and am one of many who can speak to her integrity. I hope you enjoy her thoughts.

Have a wonderful week!

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The Five Real Reasons To Hire A Financial Advisor

By Sallie Krawcheck

If you believe much of the media, you hire a Financial Advisor to try to outperform the stock market. Never mind that this can have very little bearing on whether you can live or retire as you would like. Never mind that research has shown that even the hottest hedge fund managers struggle to outperform the markets. (Ok, they don’t struggle to; they don’t.)

The better reasons to hire one are to:

[Read more…]

Five Ways To Tell If You Are Getting Great Advice

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15
I hope that you had a great weekend!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week,“Five Ways To Tell If You Are Getting Great Advice” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Steve Tobak. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. This week’s piece is short and something I believe can be read in less than a minute.

Steve Tobak is a management consultant, executive coach and former senior technology industry executive. He’s managing partner of Invisor Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based strategy consulting firm. Mr. Tobak writes on management consulting for Inc. magazine and appears often on Fox Business. I hope you are getting great advice. Read on below to learn how to tell if you are.

Have a wonderful week!

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Five Ways To Tell If You Are Getting Great Advice

By Steve Tobak

When you hear it, advice is just that, advice. You only know if it’s great after the fact. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew in advance?

The father of my college girlfriend once told me that digital electronics–semiconductors, to be specific–was going to be huge. That was in 1978. I had nothing better going on at the time so I went back to school, got a masters degree in electrical engineering, got into the high-tech industry, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Great advice can be priceless. The only problem is, when you hear it, it’s just plain advice. You only know if it’s great after the fact. Sometimes, as in the case of my college story, a very long time after the fact. Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell if the advice you’re getting is good or not? Well, you can. There are just certain factors I’ve learned to pay attention to. Some are logical; others are instinctive.

[Read more…]