Tag Archives: compliance

“The Lie of the Pie”: Mutual Fund Marketing “Trickeration”

by James W. Watkins, III The financial services industry likes to use charts…a lot of charts. Attorneys do not like charts. Charts can be confusing and misleading, sometimes deliberately so. One judge told me that after I had argued the … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, asset allocation, closet index funds, clsoet index funds, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA, evidence based investing, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan sponsors, prudence, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Redefining Fiduciary Prudence for 401(k) Plan Sponsors

by James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP®, AWMA® The legal requirement for prudence, as defined in ERISA Section 404(a)(1)(B), is for a fiduciary to discharge his or her duties with: “the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent man acting in a … Continue reading

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Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, closet index funds, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, DOL fiduciary rule, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, investment advisers, investments, pension plans, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At What Cost?: Annuities, Cryptocurrency, and Fiduciary Law

A [fiduciary] is held to something stricter than the morals of the market place.  Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is the standard of behavior….1 Fiduciary law is a combination of three types of … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, Annuities, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA litigation, evidence based investing, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, pension plans, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, securities compliance, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CommonSense 401(k) Prudence and Risk Management

Whenever I perform a forensic fiduciary advice on a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, I invariably find myself asking the plan sponsor and/or the plan’s investment committee the same two questions: Why do you have so many investment options? Why did … Continue reading

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Connecting the Dots: Correlation of Returns and Fiduciary Prudence

With SCOTUS’ recent decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University1, we now have what I like to refer to as the “fiduciary responsibility trinity” (Trinity). The Trinity consists of the Tibble v. Edison International2 (Tibble), Brotherston v. Putnam Investments, LLC3(Brotherston), and … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, closet index funds, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, pension plans, prudence, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Fiduciary Prudence Trinity”: A Blueprint for Evaluating the Prudence of Fiduciary Investments

In my last post, I discussed the significance of three ERISA related decisions-Tibble, Hughes/Northwestern and Brotherston. I like to refer to these three cases as the “fiduciary responsibility trinity,” because I believe that, collectively, they will shape the future of … Continue reading

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4Q 2021 AMVR “Cheat Sheet”

At the end of each calendar quarter, InvestSense publishes the 5 and 10-year Active Management Value Ratio (AMVR) scores of the non-index funds in “Pensions & Investments” annual survey of the most used mutual funds in U.S. defined contribution plans. … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, cost-efficiency, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plan Sponsor Alert: The Hidden Message in the #Northwestern403b Hearing

There were two issues properly before SCOTUS in the recent #Northwestern403b hearing: (1) the sufficiency of the plan participants’ complaint, and (2) the legal merits of the 7th Circuit’s rationale for dismissing the plan participants’ complaint, the “menu of options” … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, cost consciousness, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, pension plans, prudence, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Non-Commission Annuities: The “New” Fiduciary Annuity Trap

“Equity abhors a windfall.” Fiduciary law is largely based on trust, agency and equity law, with an emphasis on fundamental fairness. Any situation in which a fiduciary benefits at a beneficiary’s expense is a potential breach of the fiduciary’s duties. … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, Annuities, compliance, consumer protection, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, investment advisers, prudence, Reg BI, RIA Compliance, RIA marketing, securities compliance, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CommonSense InvestSense ERISA 401(k)/403(b) Litigation

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. – Father Theodore Hesburgh, University of Notre Dame Over twenty years ago, I registered the domain name “investsense.com.” Since then, I … Continue reading

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