Tag Archives: risk management

Fiduciary Risk Management and Liability-Driven 401(k) Plan Design

by James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP®, AWMA® I have written several posts on this blog critiquing the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Smith v. CommonSpirit Health (CommonSpirit). The decision, particularly the court’s “apples and oranges” argument is inconsistent with the … Continue reading

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Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, 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, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan sponsors, prudence, risk management, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Conversation Every 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Needs to Have: The Plan Sponsor Liability Circle™

James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP®, AWMA® Whenever plan sponsors and plan advisers talk about 401(k) litigation, they always point the finger at those bad ‘ol ERISA plaintiff attorneys. Since I am one of those bad folks, I respectfully disagree … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, best interest, 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, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan sponsors, prudence, Reg BI, retirement planning, retirement plans, risk management, securities compliance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plan Sponsor Special Report: 401(k) Fiduciary Liability Risk Management in a Post-Brotherston World

My firm, InvestSense, provides fiduciary oversight services to pension plans, trust, and other investment fiduciaries. One of the most requested services is a fiduciary audit, including a forensic fiduciary prudence analysis of the entity’s investments. After a recent audit, the … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 404c, 404c compliance, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, pension plans, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

3 Cases Every Financial Adviser, Investment Adviser and Plan Sponsor Should Know

Back in my compliance days, I was known for running a tight and tough house. But many of the brokers came to realize that that was my job, and in doing my job I was protecting them as well. As … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, 404c, 404c compliance, asset allocation, closet index funds, compliance, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, pension plans, prudence, RIA, RIA Compliance, risk management, securities compliance, wealth management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Fair Dealing”-The Key to Navigating the Suitability, Best Interest and Fiduciary Standards

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. – Albert Einstein With FINRA’s recent announcement that it will keep its suitability rule and … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, 404c compliance, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, best interest, closet index funds, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost-efficiency, DOL fiduciary standard, ERISA, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary standard, pension plans, Reg BI, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Think Different” – The Often Overlooked Key Fiduciary Liability “Gotcha” Question

What is the first thing you consider when selecting investments? There is a familiar saying in the investment industry – “amateur investors focus on investment returns; professional investors focus on investment risk. Studies have shown that three out of four … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, 404c, 404c compliance, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, evidence based investing, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, pension plans, prudence, Reg BI, retirement plans, SEC, securities compliance, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Hidden” Message in Reg BI

Like many others, I was eager to review the final version of the SEC’s Reg BI. As an attorney, I was anxious to see whether “prudence” was still expressly set out in Reg BI’s Care Obligation. As many had predicted, … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, best interest, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, evidence based investing, fiduciary compliance, Fiduciary prudence, investment advisers, investments, Reg BI, SEC, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Designing a “Win-Win” 401(k)/403(b) Defined Contribution Plan

As a forensic ERISA attorney. I use forensic analysis to demonstrate effective risk management strategies to pension plans. I also design liability-driven, “win-win,” 401(k) and 403(b) plans (hereinafter “401(k) plans”). “Win-win” 401(k) plans are plans that provide plan participants with … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, 404c, 404c compliance, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary standard, pension plans, prudence, retirement plans, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The First Circuit’s Putnam Decision – Where Does ERISA 401(k)/403(b) Litigation Go Now?

The First Circuit Court of Appeals (First Circuit) recently handed down its decision in Brotherston v. Putnam Investments, LLC. The First Circuit vacated the lower court’s decision in which the court had dismissed the plaintiff’s ERISA excessive fees/breach of fiduciary … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, 404c, 404c compliance, closet index funds, cost consciousness, cost efficient, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, pension plans, prudence, retirement plans, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

May It Please the Court: Vanguard Funds As ERISA Benchmarks Study

InvestSense – The art of combining sound, proven investment strategies with common sense. I recently posted an article on one of my blogs discussing my concerns over some of the reasons given by some courts for dismissing actions against 401(k) … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 403b, 404c, 404c compliance, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, ERISA, ERISA litigation, evidence based investing, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary law, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary standard, pension plans, prudence, retirement plans, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment