June 2009

Picking a “Winner”

One of the most daunting—and yet most essential—duties a plan sponsor has is to ensure that the firms chosen to provide support and service to your plan are worthy of the trust you place in them.

College Bound

In just a couple of months, I will find myself in the unenviable financial position of having two children in college at the same time.

June 2009

PLANSPONSOR.com news articles that also appeared in the Upfront section of the June issue.

Silver Linings

2008 a tough year for ETFs, but new launches spur growth

June 2009

We all have them: those front-line experiences that are -inevitable when one deals with the variety—and sensitivity—of issues associated with human beings and critical life events. Sometimes those stories are tragic, sometimes they are bizarre, and sometimes—admit it—they are just plain funny.

Are You Plugged In with a Social Network?

I've been experimenting recently with Twitter and, based on the uptick in ­followers, it looks like many of you have as well. I recently asked readers if they had an "active" social networking account (or two)—and which one(s).

bPrepared: Obstacle Courses

As plan sponsors consider and implement provider changes with an eye toward the new blueprint provided by the 403(b) regulations, they may encounter some unexpected obstacles in bringing together accounts from prior vendor relationships.

A Clean Slate

Even though hedge funds as a group lost 19% in 2008, they beat equities by a far sight (recall that the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index was off 37% last year). However, the hedge fund industry is going through a major retrenchment nonetheless: Hedge Fund Research (HFR) reports that investors withdrew $300 billion of assets last year, about twice what they lost in market value.

The Human Touch

From its beginning in 1792, commissions for trading on the New York Stock Exchange were enormous, and fixed to a Byzantine rate card of quantities, rates, and values. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, threats of anti-trust action prompted negotiated commissions and, since 1975, the costs of buying stocks in the U.S. markets have been in a steady downtrend, with institutional rates falling to just pennies per share by 2008.

So Yesterday

What's going on with 401(k) policy?

Failed Safe?

The history of proposals to make the types of changes offered by some to the current retirement savings system is a long one