This week, I asked readers how they would respond to the question that served as the committee hearing topic: Are hidden 401(k) fees undermining retirement security?
A couple of things that perhaps bear stating up front: First, clearly 401(k) fees, hidden or not, have the potential to diminish retirement savings balances – though that does not necessarily constitute undermining retirement security, IMO (certainly not if they are reasonable in view of services received). Second, one perhaps should distinguish between fees “hidden” from (or at least, not obvious to) plan participants – and those that remain “hidden” from plan sponsors. Finally, whatever your sense of what is going on with your plan – or the plans you work with – it is hard to believe that some participants somewhere are, in fact, paying more than they should for the services they receive, and that some number of plan sponsors have no idea what they are paying, or whether what they are paying is reasonable. As one reader noted, “In my 20+ years in the 401k field, I am still astounded to hear the answer from a plan sponsor when they say, ‘I do not know our total 401k fees’ when asked the question. It goes to show you that we put so much emphasis on employee education, yet the employer/sponsor is often not even aware of what or how the fees are assessed.”
Still, asked if fees were putting retirement security at risk, nearly 31% of this week’s respondents answered in the affirmative – and most of those responses were adamant and unequivocal. “Plan sponsors are deluded into thinking that they obtain investment advice, administration, plan documents, and plan design at bargain prices or ‘for free’ because the true costs are hidden. The end result is often poor investments, poor quality administration, a plan that doesn’t fit their needs, IRS penalties, and disgusted plan sponsors abandoning their qualified plans altogether. Hidden fees are the bane of our industry,” noted one.
“Without using words like ‘a legalized form of theft by a large corporation,’ no one will ever be able to explain to me why my 401(k) fees for having an account with a large insurance company were over 220 basis points higher than the same assets invested in a self-directed Keogh profit-sharing plan with a large mutual fund provider,” exclaimed another. “If you have nothing to hide, why not lay it all out for everyone to see?” asked a reader.
“Yes, fees are hurting our security, but the damage that some have incurred may never be made up. With transparency becoming more common, I think we are all seeing a clearer picture of what we have had taken out of our accounts,” observed another.
One plan sponsor noted, “401k fees definitely erode employee proceeds. That is why we have the plan fees billed to us on a quarterly basis, instead of having the expenses deducted from the individual employee accounts.”
Having said that, most of this week's respondents (the remaining 69% ) said that fees weren't the real issue: As one reader said, "When the average 401(k) account balance is $60,000, I don't blame hidden or obvious fees--it's a failure to save, enough or at all, that undermines retirement security." Another noted, "What does undermine retirement security is the people's need to buy 'stuff' and carry thousands of dollars of credit card debt."
Not that this group wasn't worried about retirement security - but many thought the real culprit was Congress, not fees: "Hidden 401K fees are not undermining the retirement security of most participating employees; it is the unwillingness of our elected officials to deal with the Social Security and Medicare deficit that is much more of a threat to most people's retirement security," noted one. "If Congress is really serious about protecting the interests of 401(k) plan participants, they should be investigating 'financial advisers' and brokers who convince former employees to roll over their 401(k) balances to IRAs with expensive mutual fund loads and retail share classes," cautioned another.
"If hearings are to be held on what factors are undermining retirement security, the focus should be on the total cost to operate the plan, including government imposed limits that keep workers from saving additional amounts (aggregate contribution limits (415), individual limits (410(b)), and testing limits (ADP & ACP). We could also look at the costs imposed by federal (ERISA) mandated requirements/actions on plan sponsors," explained another.
"Maybe the smaller guys are messing up," said one mid-size plan sponsor, "but if the feds come in and legislate fee disclosure language, and how and when to mail it, and CFA's must certify the info, etc., etc., we'll be starting out on the road to the demise of 401(k) plansâ€¦.Our participants can't handle any more legislated reading materialâ€¦."
A number cautioned that a focus on fees could be misplaced (see also SURVEY SAYS: Are Your Fees Fair?
"When they switch from a product with a stellar Web site, excellent participant education and communication, and intelligent, helpful, local representatives to one with a hard-to-navigate Web site and no local support, have they done themselves and their participants any favors? I think not," opined one. Another said simply "It's the cost to operate the plan that matters."
"I lost a client last year to a competitor that offered them a plan at no cost to them," noted one. "They, of course, thought that was a pretty sweet deal, as they were paying us $7,800 a year for bundled service. In January, they brought their plan back to us. The free lunch gave them indigestionâ€¦.By moving their plan, they saved their business $7,800 a year, but cost their plan participants an additional $16,863."
Still others were worried about the unintended consequences:
"While the intentions of this expanded fee disclosure are noble, long term, it may have the unintentional result of increasing fees for participants," observed one. "If we get to the point where hard-dollar fees are disclosed at the fund level to participants rather than basis points, we will see many participants leave plans believing they cannot afford the fees. This could get ugly," worried another.
One reader offered a solution to the issue: "Take the CEOs salary, cut it in half, give half to the CEO, take the other half and deposit it into the NHCE's accounts in a DC plan based on comp to comp, take out some fees, andÂ—tra-laÂ—we have retirement security."
Still another offered, "If, by now, a sponsor has not obtained full disclosure of its fees, the sponsor is undermining its participants retirement security. The carrier is merely playing its industry version of the military policy of don't ask...don't tell."
But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who wisely observed that "The challenge is disclosure without discouragement."
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
When Congress, et al, consider whether 401(k) fees are "undermining" employees' retirement security, they should also consider whether reduction in those fees could "undermine" the 401(k) provider industry. Commoditization of administration fees has already dislocated dozens of administration firms and hundreds of their employees. It is not clear that this dislocation has been to the benefit of (their customers') employees' retirement security.
When the average 401(k) account balance is $60,000, I don't blame hidden or obvious fees--it's a failure to save, enough or at all, that undermines retirement security.
The fees charged in 401(k) plans have absolutely not held back or reduced retirement results. Based on all the surveys we conduct, fees are almost never mentioned by the participant instead it is the complexity of the investment line-up or the difficulty in understanding benefit programs established by their employer - designs created not to drive participant outcomes but reduce risk or expense to the employer.
No. While I do believe there are some 401(k) providers that use expensive share classes in their bundled products, the goal generally is to produce enough revenue from the investments so that sponsors can afford to offer retirement plans.
Many of the existing plans would need to be terminated if the expenses had to be paid by plan sponsors -- or worse yet -- charged as hard dollar fees to participants. Today's participants are not sensitized to the fees and remain blissfully ignorant of what the expenses total when investing in mutual funds.
If we get to the point where hard dollar fees are disclosed at the fund level to participants rather than basis points, we will see many participants leave plans believing they cannot afford the fees. This could get ugly.
I think that retirement security is actually undermined by steroid use.
To further expand on "I think that retirement security is actually undermined by steroid use:"
Is it something the gov should worry aboutâ€¦are they actually going to do somethingâ€¦is it going to result in any benefitâ€¦are they wasting everyone's time and tax dollars (hence the steroid "joke")â€¦or are they just beating their breasts to say they are doing something to win friends and influence people. I guess I'm just super cynical about our government and their motivesâ€¦
No matter what fees are associated with a plan, the primary undermining of retirement security was identified in today's News Dash:
"Despite employers' ongoing efforts to educate workers on the need to save for retirement, the bottom line is that voluntary participation in these types of plans doesn't work well for everyone, even high earners," said Mark Warshawsky, director of retirement research at Watson Wyatt, in the news release. "It's one thing to know how much to save for retirement; it is quite another to do it."
Yes, fees are hurting our security, but the damage that some have incurred may never be made up. With Transparency becoming more common, I think we are all seeing a clearer picture of what we have had taken out of our accounts. I know our TPA "reduced fees" conveniently after mainstream articles on erroneous fees started to be prevalent.
I believe deferral rates and asset allocations have the primary impact on retirement security. Fees, while important play a lesser role. If participants would focus and take a more active role in increasing their deferral rates and managing their asset allocation wisely (instead of letting it sit year after year with no adjustments) this would have a much larger impact on their retirement accounts than worrying if their fee structure is 1.3% or 1.5%.
While the intentions of this expanded fee disclosure are noble, long term, it may have the unintentional result of increasing fees for participants. As participants and plan sponsors discover the true cost of asset management (mutual fund expenses) along with administrative-recordkeeping and compliance services, the revenue sharing to help cover these costs, there would likely be quite a frenzied pace of plans switching carriers on a pace never seen in the past. I would guess many smaller providers would be priced out of the market and we would see a large consolidation in the industry--at least on the recordkeeping/compliance side. With fewer providers (competition) and the way our industry has been evolving, I would expect the remaining carriers would have no choice but to increase fees. Another example of the feds, trying to do the right thing but the unintended result just might be increased fees.
In response to your survey question about fees: I find it interesting that this has become such a prominent issue recently and that lawsuits have been filed about it. No, I don't think that fees are undermining retirement security. What does undermine retirement security is the people's need to buy "stuff" and carry thousands of dollars of credit card debt.
I do not think fees are undermining 401k plans!
I believe that if fees or revenue for 401k plans were "standardized" and/or transparent to the Plan Sponsors they would be in a better position to evaluate the Plans.
A salesperson who sells a group annuity product has their commissions reported via 5500 Sch A. A stock broker who sells his firms' product to a Plan has no disclosure of commissions. Is that fair?
Should one broker be allowed to "charge" a 3% or 4 % commission on deposits vs a broker who believes that a "trail only" of .25% or .50% is sufficient? This is an industry or regulatory dilemma due to the fact that unfortunately, the sales side will not regulate itself.
Stricter, or narrower or fixed commission ranges are the answer for everyone. Transparency on the investment provider side is required also.
Let the buyer determine who will give the best SERVICE for the same commission dollars. Something they are unable to determine now.
If by now a sponsor has not obtained full disclosure of its fees, the sponsor is undermining its participants retirement security. The carrier is merely playing its industry version of the military policy of don't ask...don't tell.
I would agree that hidden 401k fees that you typically find in a group annuity do undermine the retirement security of plan participants. Hidden fees are many times not reflected in investment performance and can lead plan sponsors to think the funds are better than they appear. Mutual fund expense ratios that are fully disclosed and even billable fees to employers allow them to make a rational judgment about their plan fees and service provider. It also helps plan sponsors meet their fiduciary responsibility to understand plan costs and appropriately monitor the investment options.
In some cases I think they are. How does a plan sponsor define "reasonable"? I think improving 401(k) fee transparency is vital to the industry, especially considering the press it is receiving. If you have nothing to hide, why not lay it all out for everyone to see. But I can see a warehouse employee or a factory worker miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. They may focus on the plan expense and miss the benefit of tax-deferred contributions, tax-deferred growth and company match. Actually, I've seen that from an IT Project Manager as well!! The challenge is disclosure without discouragement. (I hope that makes sense.)
It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
Hidden 401K fees are not undermining the retirement security of most participating employees; it is the unwillingness of our elected officials to deal with the Social Security and Medicare deficit that is much more of a threat to most peoples retirement security.
I think we should all stop furthering the line that 401(k) fees are somehow "hidden." Most 401(k) plans have mutual fund investment options for which the fees are fully disclosed in the mutual fund prospectuses. The fees are not hidden. Now, it's true that employees are generally unaware of how mutual fund 12b-1 fees are used. I think that in most cases 12b-1 and other such fees are paid by the mutual funds to the plans' record keepers and trustees as offsets to their charges for operating the plans. It is a good idea to disclose such "revenue sharing" arrangements to plan participants. It should also be noted that in many cases 401(k) plans have mutual fund share classes that charge lower fees than their retail counterparts. A participant needs to be aware of this as well so s/he can make an informed decision whether to roll over her/his 401(k) balance to an IRA or stay in the 401(k) plan upon leaving the company. In fact, if Congress is really serious about protecting the interests of 401(k) plan participants, they should be investigating "financial advisors" and brokers who convince former employees to roll over their 401(k) balances to IRAs with expensive mutual fund loads and retail share classes.
Someone has to say it, the question really is "are fees a drag on investment performance and thus benefit distributions to retirees?" The investment management community that promotes active trading of securities claim that employers and their participants should not be looking at fees but overall performance, of course that is past performance, as if they can guarantee future performance numbers. As long as retirement industry providers, investment management firms and employers promote this story, hidden fees are as they claim not an issue. Academic studies done by Fema/French and others clearly show that fees are a drag on investment returns. Therefore all involved government, investment management, providers and employers should if they want to play in the game of ERISA protect the security of employees and their beneficiaries. All fees of any kind should be disclosed by all parties involved.
Being a Client Retention Coordinator for my company, investment management fees are a big issue, commonly because of the term "hidden fees". We run into issues with fees that seem to have the capability of snowballing out of control. On occasion a client will question their fees, or they will have a competing advisor in their door expounding about how "Expensive" we are and how they can give them a plan for "nothing". Now, we all know that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Our solution to combat these types of competition, we provide a Department of Labor Fee Disclosure which outlines ALL costs of the plan (unless the service is unbundled or they have a broker/advisor that works on a fee paid basis). That is where some other issues can come up. A lot of smaller clients aren't aware of the big picture and they don't understand the difference between explicit (administrative) and implicit (investment management fees, etc) fees. The DOL fee disclosure provides all this info and can sometimes be a shock to a client. Now, in doing this, we also provide the client with a blank DOL fee disclosure to have the competing advisor fill out so that they can have an apples to apples comparison. 90% of the time, the competing advisor does NOT fill out this DOL Fee disclosure correctly. Since they aren't the current recordkeep/administrator, they use multiple loopholes to under state what their total cost is going to be. Common practices are leaving out broker comp, TPA fees, testing fees for special compliance testing, stating their best rate class even though this client might be on the highest, etc.
The biggest thing most 401(k) clients need to understand is Total Cost. They need to look at the whole picture, because there are lots of providers out their that will appear to offer the so called free lunch. I lost a client last year to a competitor that offered them a plan at no cost to them. They of course thought that was a pretty sweet deal, as they were paying us $7800 a year for bundled service. In January they brought their plan back to us. The free lunch gave them indigestion. Our total cost for their plan (which included the $7800 in administrative fees) was $34, 512 on a plan with 3.8 million in assets. With the competitor, they didn't have to write a check for $7800 a year, so it was saving them money, right? Wrong, the competitor's investment management fees based on the scale for this client were $51,375. By moving their plan, they saved their business $7800 a year, but cost their plan participants an additional $16863. When they figured this out (and discovered I'd been telling them the truth last year), the brought their plan back to my employer.
Fees will always be a big issue, explicit, implicit, hidden, stated, disclosed, or otherwise. I am interested to see how our government is going to handle the situation.
There's a saying by Winston Churchill that "Democracy is the worst form of government...except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." Are fees undermining retirement security? Yes, in the sense that taking out fees reduces balances, and therefore reduces someone's financial resources. But what alternative is there that makes more sense, except perhaps in an ideal world?
As a TPA, I see various investment products with different fee levels, and as a plan sponsor I think you get what you pay for.
We have had clients leave us to go with a "fully bundled" product that they "don't have to pay for." Well, they ARE paying the hidden fees. Those extra asset charges can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars NOT in participants' accounts come retirement age. In that way, hidden fees ARE sapping our retirement dollars.
On the other hand, I have also seen plan sponsors who are more aware of the hidden charges switch to an investment product with smaller fees. Is this the prudent thing to do? It depends. When they switch from a product with a stellar website, excellent participant education and communication, and intelligent, helpful local representatives to one with a hard-to-navigate website and no local support, have they done themselves and their participants any favors? I think not. Perhaps the increased participation the more involved investment provider can facilitate outweighs the smaller fees at the new provider.
I think ALL fees need to be transparent, and plan sponsors have to weigh what they're getting in light of those fees. Cheaper is not always better.
Without using words like "a legalized form of theft by a large corporation," no one will ever be able to explain to me why my 401(k) fees for having an account with a large insurance company were over 220 basis points higher than the same assets invested in a self-directed Keogh profit sharing plan with a large mutual fund provider.
No, they didn't provide me with the information, but I'm a professional and could use indexes and trade dates to get real close to what they were taking out.
I don't think the hidden fees are undermining retirement security but I do agree that the fees need to be disclosed. If we ever want employees to trust their employers, everything should be transparent. The participant has a right to know when it is their money that is being paid out for the fees. More education is ALWAYS a good thing!!
Happy almost Spring and, an interesting question given all the media coverage of lateâ€¦.
In my 20+ years in the 401k field, I am still astounded to hear the answer from a plan sponsor when they say, "I do not know our total 401k fees" when asked the question. It goes to show you that we put so much emphasis on employee education yet the employer/sponsor is often not even aware of what or how the fees are assessed. That is my 2 cents, 50 basis points, or what-have-you.
We are a mid-size employer with a name-brand company as our investment provider, so the answer is "no". Maybe the smaller guys are messing up, but if the feds come in and legislate fee disclosure language and how and when to mail it and CFA's must certify the info, etc, etc, we'll be starting out on the road to the demise of 401(k) plans. They've already run DB plans into the ground. Our participants can't handle any more legislated reading material - they already have prospectus', SARs, SPDs, SMMs, Notice to Interested Parties â€¦ if participants don't like it they can always elect 0% deferral!
1) I'm not sure this really is a yes/no question. Some people will make the right fund choices even without the information. Some still will not make it with the information. But it would be useful to have for most people so "yes".
2) However, one result may be so much outrage over the fees once the amount becomes known that it will impact the whole retirement/investment industry's profitability. Or cause participants not to invest in plans where they have no control over the fees in the belief that they can cut better deals on their own. And maybe they can.
No, I think they're just plum pickins' that legislators can grab to try to show they care about people's retirement security. Investment fees are not what's threatening retirement security, it's much more complicated than that, including not participating in 401(k) plans, employees over-using the loan feature and thus hurting future investment results, employees not educated enough in investment funds and strategies to make wise decisions for allocating their investments, people in general overextending themselves in financial matters so that they don't put money away today for later use but would rather spend it today to keep up with the Jones', and the impact of employers offering too many investment options that have an adverse effect by essentially freezing a participant's allocation decision when they're unable to choose and they instead leave it in the low interest-earning default fund.
I think there are many similarities between the retirement security threat and the health care crisis - legislators picking and choosing little items to attack while ignoring the big picture and developing plans to truly rectify the significant issues.
As someone who works with plan sponsors and service providers, we are involved with retirement plan fee issues on a daily basis. We are always seeking to identify all revenue sharing agreements and the underlying costs of providing retirement plan services. But the real issue is the total cost to operate the plan, not the revenue being shared between the associated parties. Reduce the costs, and the fee savings improve the net returns to participants. Over time, these cost savings and corresponding increased earnings have the most significant impact on retirement security.
If hearings are to be held on what factors are undermining retirement security, the focus should be on the total cost to operate the plan, including government imposed limits that keep workers from saving additional amounts (aggregate contribution limits (415), individual limits (410(b)), and testing limits (ADP & ACP). We could also look at the costs imposed by federal (ERISA) mandated requirements/actions on plan sponsors.
While revenue transparency is a good step and important fiduciary tool, it does not aid in improving worker retirement security. If a large mutual fund company provides a bundled service package using strictly proprietary mutual funds for investments that results in no revenue sharing between any third parties, how helpful will this revenue sharing information be to providing participant financial security? If an unbundled service provider service package discloses complete revenue sharing details and charges the same fees as the large mutual fund service provider, how have we helped participants improve their financial security?
It's the cost to operate the plan that matters. Reduce the costs, take action to actively enroll all employees, and remove federal barriers to increased savings in retirement plans and we will have significantly improved the ability of plan participants to secure their financial futures. Revenue transparency, although a good fiduciary tool, does nothing to improve the financial security of
No, I do not believe so called "hidden" fees are compromising retirement security. The costs paid by participants are far less than they would pay to non-company sponsored programs. In addition, there are many programs and other positive attributes companies offer and don't charge a dime.
Yes, Exorbitant 401(k) Fees Undermine Employment Security. We support full fee disclosure. It will be interesting to see if the brokers who are personally pocketing high, undisclosed fees will be able to prevent sunlight and transparency on fees.
Not "undermining" it, no.. but people do not consider them i don't think in making choices or questioning the size of them because they do not see them.. transparency of the fees is all that should change .. let the people make their own decision.
What a lot of blather about nada. Let the market take its course. The public is not stupid. High risk funds are generally going to have high fees. Foreign Funds are generally going to have higher fees. There is no free lunch. History will repeat itself as folks get greedy, don't diversify and expect the only way it up. This is a fiasco just like the S&L snafu of a decade ago or soâ€¦ people flocked to the S&Ls with a quoted "higher rate of interest"â€¦ they lost and then wanted the Feds and State Gov. to bail them out. There is no free lunch. Sales folks and the education folks have to get paidâ€¦ they don't get a free lunch eitherâ€¦
Everyone wants something for nothingâ€¦ and they expect Uncle Sugar to get it for themâ€¦ then when their taxes go up to fund the bureaucracy created by the slugs at the Federal and State level, giving their constituents make work jobs (20 hours of work for 40 hours of pay) they hear their wallets squeal in pain.
And you know the rest: A bureaucracy created can't be removed.
Duh, is the oval office undermining retirement security? I think the fees are, generally speaking, not as big a problem as current government economic policies.
Take the CEOs salary, cut it in half, give half to the CEO, take the other half and deposit it into the NHCE's accounts in a DC plan based on comp to comp, take out some fees, and "tra-la" we have retirement security.
Yes - 401k fees definitely erode employee proceeds. That is why we have the plan fees billed to us on a quarterly basis, instead of having the expenses deducted from the individual employee accounts. These fees are quite substantial. Spread them out among the participants, and their income would take a big hit.
A definite yes. Plan sponsors are deluded into thinking that they obtain investment advice, administration, plan documents and plan design at bargain prices or "for free" because the true costs are hidden. The end result is often poor investments, poor quality administration, a plan that doesn't fit their needs, IRS penalties, and disgusted plan sponsors abandoning their qualified plans altogether.
Hidden fees are the bane of our industry.
The supposition is borderline idiotic. While there needs t be much greater fee transparency, no one is going to reduce their lifestyle because of a 50 bps or even 300 bps fee. Even the cumulative effect of fees has no significant impact on the growth of a retirement account Are retirement accounts growing or are fees keeping them static or reducing balances?
The "big-box" major vendors make if seem as thought there is a hidden fee conspiracy by their refusal to disclose specific numbers associated with 12b-1 fee and other revenue sharing arrangements. We are a plan vendor and our voluntary fee disclosure matches almost exactly the proposal made by the GAO at yesterday's hearing.
Yes. We run across plans all the time that have hidden charges, especially insurance platforms. We use a completely open architectural structure approach that discloses our fee as well as all management fees.
In addition we do a complete disclosure as to whether the fees should be paid by participants or by the Plan Sponsor. Since fees subtracted from Plan participants could affect their participation, we are finding employers more willing to pay the fees themselves, thereby removing the fees from the participants. As a sideline, if a TPA is involved and they receive TPA fees from the fund we demand those funds be remitted to the participants accounts. TPA fees for administration should be the responsibility of the plan sponsor.
Additionally, by the employer paying the fee they get to take a tax deduction for those fees. That includes our investment advisor fees. We also insist there must be an investment committee as well as an IPS. We hold once a year Mandatory training meetings on investing for all employees whether they are participating or not.
The only fee then allocated to participants is the fund investment management fee and those are readily available from our Morningstar reports.
My response to your 'informal poll' on whether 401(k) fees are eroding retirement security is as follows:
"WHAT retirement security? Are we TRYING to stall the penetration rate of 401ks to Americans at 60%? Due to low fee incentives, no one can get anyone to properly and profitably sell or service the things for small employers who make up the majority of our workforce. Period. But the 'those fees I can't see must be high!' crowd seems to be raising the pitchforks for the annual retirement witch hunt. So, like the pristine government and corporate D.B. crowd who went before, perhaps I'll simply fold my tent and open a tackle shop and sell fishing rods to the 40% of will-be retirees who are left uncovered. They'll need them to try to catch their own dinner from age 65-90. "Look, ma, no fees!! Wheeee!"
P.S. the real answer to your question of retirement security is in the context of a +/- 60% take rate on 401(k) availability to self or spouse in the U.S. due to low FEE incentives to sell them. Its in the context of government failing to get its financial house in order by underfunding social security and looking for a cheap industry fallguy ploy in an election year, and it is in the context of corporations dropping DB plans in the greatest risk transfer ever hoisted on a nation. Quite obviously the answer is 'no.' But that's never stopped anyone who sells public policy planks or printed generalized advice from reporting it as gospel to an unsuspecting public! Most myopics and cynics fail to contemplate the alternatives to fees when they ask and answer the question, "Are 401(k) plan fees undermining our retirement security?." So exactly how myopic would you like to be? At the moment, I don't have enough fishing rods to go around. Shop's closed. Come back next decade.