A Guide to Your 401(k) Fees

401(k) jarA complete understanding of annual company 401(k) fees and expenses is a very important part of your investment management strategy. It is one of the first things I discuss with my individual company 401(k) investment advice prospects. My company 401(k) advice clients are completely comfortable with their annual fees and expenses. They realize that their company 401(k) retirement plan participation is not free. Why pay annual fees and expenses for a mutual fund that underperforms the overall stock market averages? I found a great article earlier this week in TIME Magazine that summarizes the company 401(k) retirement plan fee and expense confusion. “Nearly half of full-time employed Baby Boomers believe they pay zero investment costs in their retirement accounts, while 19% think their fees are less than 0.5%, according to a new survey by investment firm Rebalance IRA. Truth is, everyone who has a 401(k), or an IRA, pays fees. The average 401(k) investor has 1.5% each year deducted from his or her account for various fees. But those expenses vary widely. If you work for a large company, which can spread costs over thousands of employees, you’ll likely pay just 1% or less. Smaller 401(k) plans, those with only a few hundred employees, tend to cost more—2.5% on average and as much as 3.86%.” Thank goodness there are some high quality company retirement plans out there. But you don’t know if you have one until you completely understand the annual fees and expenses of your options. Don’t pay a mutual fund manager to underperform. There are cheaper and better mutual funds available to you. Ric Lager Lager & Company, Inc.

In Memory of the Last Great Stock Market Decline


Buy-and-hold investing is a relevant option for all individual investors. But you have to be very aware of the risk involved in that investment management strategy. The last great stock market decline was from the July of 2008 to March 2009. Many … [Continue reading]

It’s Time to Understand Your 401(k) Investment Risk


Company 401(k) retirement plan providers are not required to disclose information to individual company 401(k) retirement plan participants on many different levels. Nowhere is that more evident than when investment performance numbers are reported … [Continue reading]

Take Your Small 401(k) Stock Market Losses Now


The recent stock market decline is a good time to remind all Minnesota stock market investors of a common stock market investor ailment. Investors feel more emotional pain from an investment loss than they feel joy from an investment gain. This … [Continue reading]

3 Questions About 401(k) Advice

Three Fingers

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Your Two Biggest 401(k) Management Problems

glasses and numbers

The financial media has an endless supply of articles about how individual Minnesota company 401(k) retirement plan participants can fix their investment management woes. Quick fix company 401(k) investment management articles fall into the same … [Continue reading]

401(k) and IRA Fee Summary

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I found a great article yesterday on marketwatch.com titled, “What You’re Really Paying in 401(k) and IRA Fees.” I am not shocked by the AARP survey quoted in the article. In my experience, the percentage of 401(k) company retirement plan … [Continue reading]

100% Invested Buy-and-Hold Does Not Work


The financial media has historically encouraged individual Minnesota stock market investors to stubbornly cling to these two main investment management concepts. First, any extra money that you have should be invested in the stock market … [Continue reading]