In the News
MAY 11, 2016
According to an analysis of government data provided to The Wall Street Journal by BrightScope, and reported in June 2015, Americans pulled a net $11.4 billion from tax-deferred savings plans in 2013. With this migration expected to accelerate in the coming decade as more baby boomers retire, large money-management firms that rely on fees charged to employers and employees as a chief profit engine will be squeezed out.
MAY 3, 2016
Going with BarclayHedge numbers, private funds lost around $40bn in assets through the middle of 2014 before pulling in around $20bn to end the period down roughly $19bn. Meanwhile, their liquid Alternative Mutual Funds showed a slow but consistent growth of around $13bn over two years (amazingly, AQR was about $7.5bn of that amount according to BrightScope
). All in all, the managed futures mutual funds in the Morningstar managed futures mutual fund category outgrew private funds by $33bn.
MAY 1, 2016
According to BrightScope, a website that rates 401(k) plans, fees have been on a multiyear downward slide. The average plan participant paid a total cost of 0.89 percent of assets in 2013, down from 1.02 percent in 2009.
APR 28, 2016
Mike Alfred, co-founder of BrightScope, says it is all too common for advisors to get dings on their records but it is crucial to learn more about each case – particularly the complaints.
APR 28, 2016
Figures from other sources look even lower: The average account balance for 401(k) plans in 2009 was about $51,000 — compared to about $76,000 in 2014, according to Department of Labor data provided to CNBC by retirement plan research firm BrightScope.
APR 19, 2016
Because there are so many ways fees can be charged, there's no single location you can go to track down this information. In your plan's annual report (Form 5500) you may see administrative expenses expressed as a dollar amount; you can then divide that dollar amount by the total assets in the plan to arrive at a percentage. BrightScope.com also provides some comparative information on 401(k) plan expenses.
APR 13, 2016
The average fees for the lowest-cost share class in target-date funds in 2014 was 0.65 percent, down from 0.72 percent in 2011, according to Bright Scope. If you’re paying much more than that, start shopping around for another fund. “Paying high fees can really start to eat into your returns,” says Katie Giampietro Burke, a financial planner with Wealth By Empowerment in Jacksonville, Fla.
APR 6, 2016
Rollovers make sense if you are in a bad 401(k) plan with mediocre investment options or high costs. The best plans tend to be the large ones offered by major corporations. In 2013, plans with more than $1 billion had total participant-weighted costs of 0.29 percent of assets, compared with 1.17 percent for plans smaller than $10 million, according a study by BrightScope and the ICI.
APR 1, 2016
If you're considering a specific advisor, use Brightscope.com to see if that individual has any disclosures with regulators, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). After clicking on the advisor's name, hit "licenses." A red flag icon indicates disclosures.
MAR 31, 2016
... the average expense ratio for a TSP fund, including target-date funds, stock funds and bond funds, was 0.029 percent in 2015, or 29 cents for every $1,000 invested. In contrast, the average 401(k) investor pays an expense ratio of 0.89 percent, or $8.90 for every $1,000 invested, according to a report by BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute.
MAR 30, 2016
The Wall Street Journal, using data from BrightScope in an article published last year, had investors pulling a net $11.4 billion from tax deferred savings plans back in 2013. Severity of the outflows is estimated to peak as high as $40 billion with outflows lasting until 2030, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing an analysis from J.P. Morgan.
MAR 29, 2016
“I don’t know whether retirement is working yet or not,” says Mike Alfred, co-founder of fund tracker BrightScope Inc.. “I don’t think it even matters if it’s a huge win. What matters is they’re making the case that they are the modern Schwab or Fidelity. Part of that is playing in all verticals. They’ve got RIAs, retirement and mass market consumers — just like Schwab and Fidelity. They don’t have to become a big winner in retirement, they just have to show people they’re not afraid of it.”
MAR 25, 2016
According to recent data from the Investment Company Institute and BrightScope, the average 401(k) plan offers participants 25 distinct investment choices. If yours offers only a handful, then that's probably not a good sign, especially if your choices come with high fees. The average 401(k) plan's fees equal approximately 1% of assets managed, so anything above that should raise a red flag.
MAR 24, 2016
More than 50 401(k) plans hold Sequoia, according to BrightScope, which cited 2014 data from the Department of Labor. The biggest plans include Disney, which held more than $500 million in the fund as of 2014, and the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary National Indemnity Co., which had more than $100 million invested in Sequoia out of its total $236 million in assets, according to BrightScope.
MAR 23, 2016
The company's employee profit-sharing plan, which includes the 401(k), has $1.7 billion in assets, 24,000 participants and an average balance per employee of $77,000 as of last year, according to BrightScope data.
MAR 22, 2016
Workers at companies from Walt Disney Co. to National Indemnity Co. may be experiencing the downside of membership in an exclusive investing club.
More than 50 companies have offered Sequoia Fund Inc. as an investment option in their employee savings plans, according to 2014 data from research firm BrightScope.
MAR 21, 2016
Target-date funds have become a standard retirement vehicle offered by a majority of plan sponsors. Roughly seven in 10 plans offer a suite of TDFs, according to research conducted by BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute, which analyzed more than 35,000 defined contribution plans — mostly 401(k)s — that have between four and 100 investment options.
MAR 21, 2016
The financial terms of the Goldman deal were not disclosed, so Honest Dollar’s current valuation is anyone’s guess, but Mike Alfred, co-founder and CEO of BrightScope Inc., suspects its cost was lower than some estimates being floated.
“Goldman does not overpay so I would not be surprised if the purchase price is significantly lower than the big headlines imply,” the head of the La Jolla, Calif.-based 401(k) tracker said, in an email.
MAR 20, 2016
“Just raising the bar on that standard may make advisers reach out and say we need an extra level of care, a fiduciary level of care,” said Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope Inc. “One avenue to do that is through these 3(21), 3(38) providers.”
MAR 19, 2016
You will want to know whether a financial advisor has ever been disciplined by a regulatory agency. If the advisor isn't forthcoming, you can do your own homework using FINRA's Broker Check site, BrightScope , or the CFP board's site if the advisor holds that designation.