Survey Reveals 89% of 401k Investors Want Asset Allocation Help

A survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that investors find retirement planning is confusing and 89% want help creating their ‘investment recipe’ (aka asset allocation). Here are the other findings of the 2,600 investors surveyed:

84% want help calculating and/or creating retirement income
79% would like an annual review “to set and measure their progress”
48% feel they are “in consult of their retirement plan investments”

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5 Participant Success Features to Add to Your 401k Plan

Last month, we brought on a new client that was going through a provider change. During our interaction with their employees, we were shocked to find what their old 401k provider DIDN’T offer compared with what their new provider DID. For the sake of full disclosure, we tend to be a little naive in assuming that certain features are a given when it comes to the capabilities of 401k provider websites. That being said, it’s 2011. I can order a burrito from my phone. Thus, if your provider offers any of these functions, the following are some basic online tools (in our naive minds) that we have found participants enjoy, and quite frankly expect in today’s digital age:

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Don’t Get Burned – Put More Focus on the Recipe Than the Ingredients

A few months ago, I made a big pot of chili. I have made my Mom’s recipe my own, and always enjoy how it turns out. However, I incorporated a few new ingredients that time, and the initial result was quite interesting. I discovered an important lesson – I have some learning to do when cooking with cayenne pepper. When I checked it after it had been cooking for a couple of hours, I found it to look and smell like chili. After tasting it however, it was so spicy that I thought it was molten lava going down my throat.

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Are You an Investor or a Collector?

Our friend Carl Richards of and the Bucks blog has done a great job of illustrating how the ‘over diversification’ of portfolios can simply be ‘buying more’ instead of ‘buying different.’

Over- or under-diversifying your investments remains one of the classic behavioral mistakes.

Over-diversification happens when we become collectors of investments instead of simply being investors. Think of the people who buy the mutual funds they read about in Smart Money magazine. Next year they buy the Top 10 Funds recommended by Money magazine. A year later they buy two or three new international funds because that’s what’s on the home page of Forbes.

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Annual Dalbar Study Shows Investors Are Still Behaving Badly

Dalbar releases an annual study gauging the impact of investor behavior on investors’ long term portfolio returns. Our friend Carl Richards of, writing for the Bucks blog, illustrates the impact of investors’ decisions on their long term portfolio performance via the findings of this year’s study.

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