As a 401k Plan Sponsor, there is a lot riding on the decisions you make.

ASK YOURSELF:
  • Are your employees receiving the qualified plan services they deserve and require to achieve their retirement goals?
  • When they call to check the status of their benefits plans, does a human answer the phone?
  • When was the last time you updated your company’s retirement plan? Is it out of date, or even out of compliance with the new Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule? Did you know you are legally liable if it is?
  • Does your preferred retirement services provider act in the best interests of your retirement plan and those of your employees? Do they manage the underlying investments on a fiduciary basis?

 

If Your Retirement Plan Is Out Of Date Or In Non‑Compliance, You Are At Risk.

 

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401k Plan Sponsor Information

Learn more about the benefits of switching your 401k and Retirement Plan Services to 4Thought Financial Group in this overview for plan sponsors.

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It’s Time To Switch Your Retirement Plan Services

We are a “Level Fee Fiduciary” Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) specializing in formulaic, data-driven strategies designed to achieve clients’ financial goals. Our Retirement Plan Services encompass Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Plans, and provide Managed Account investment options and allocation approaches designed to match each plan participant’s investment portfolio with their individual profile.

4Thought Retirement Plan Services Offers Your Employees Versatile Retirement Options

Fiduciary Responsibility

4Thought Financial Group is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), and as fiduciaries we are required to place our clients’ interests before our own. But under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), businesses that install and sponsor a retirement plan for their employees are also required to similarly act as fiduciaries for their own plan participants. This can place a heavy mental, legal, and operational burden on a business. To aid you in shouldering this burden, 4Thought assumes the responsibility of an ERISA 3(38) Fiduciary in our Retirement Plan Services program, which allows you to transfer the bulk of your own fiduciary responsibility and liability for the selection and management of investments within the plan to us, leaving you free to run your business.

Bundled Services 

Investment Advisory Services, Recordkeeping, Custody, and Brokerage In One Package

Keeping things simple and cost effective for you and your employees is important to us, so we offer our investment advisory services as a single asset-based wrap fee bundled with the services of third party firms that will provide your retirement plan recordkeeping, securities custody, and brokerage services.

We’ve pre-selected these providers as partners based on quality and cost effectiveness and also pre-negotiated their pricing for you. Each component of the total asset based wrap fee (which is deducted directly from plan participant accounts) is disclosed to you and your participants in writing.

4Thought’s compensation for services is derived solely from this percentage-of-assets wrap fee, an arrangement which we believe provides the best alignment of our incentives with your interests and those of your plan participants. Third Party Administration (TPA) services are unbundled and charged separately from the remainder of the above-mentioned asset-based fee costs, and are generally billed directly to you as the plan sponsor. This allows you the flexibility to use either a TPA that we refer you to, or a TPA of your choosing (if you have a preference). 4Thought does not accept any fees for referring plan sponsors to TPAs.

Unique Investment Methodology

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Bear

Characterized by investor fear and declining asset prices, a Bear market will be best attacked using Liability-Driven Investing.

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Bull

Characterized by investor confidence and rising asset prices, a Bull market will be best attacked using Strategic Asset Allocation.

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Wolf

Characterized by investor uncertainty and volatile or sideways asset prices, a Wolf market will be best attacked using Opportunistic Investing.

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Eagle

Characterized by investor exuberance and soaring asset prices, an Eagle Market will be best attacked using Selective / Concentrated Investing.

Multi-Method Investing for Bear, Bull, Wolf, and Eagle Markets

The uniqueness of the 4Thought Retirement Plan Services program is in our Multi-Method Investing approach. When we look at the world of investment management, we can break it down into 4 primary categories of investment method that can be used by an investor to attempt to achieve his or her goals. We’ve found through both proprietary and third-party research that no single one of these methods is effective in all scenarios, but instead that each approach tends to have a particular market environment or part of the market cycle to which it is very well adapted. Our conclusion is that in order to achieve one’s life goals, one should diversify at the level of investment method, applying the most effective aspects of multiple completely divergent methods of investing, and not be dogmatic about using a single method.

The broad categories of investment methods can be seen as four pillars of a complete investment portfolio management methodology:
  • Liability-Driven Investing—For Bear Markets
  • Strategic Asset Allocation—For Bull Markets
  • Opportunistic Investing—For Wolf Markets
  • Selective/Concentrated Investing—For Eagle Markets

Multiple Account Management Options

Three Options for Account Management With One Level Fee

Your plan participants will be able to choose from three options that determine 4Thought’s degree of involvement in the management of their retirement plan portfolio. Assets managed via all three options are charged the same level percentage asset-based fee to ensure that advisors and 4Thought have no incentive to recommend the use of one option over another.

1. Age-Based Allocation Using Multiple SMA Strategies (Qualified Default Investment Alternative):

The highest level of service and management that 4Thought provides is the default account management option for plan participants - and it’s provided at the same level cost as the other two options.

The “Qualified Default Investment Alternative” (QDIA) offered within the plan is a comprehensively and continuously managed portfolio of multiple separately managed account strategies. Each multi-SMA portfolio is customized to the individual plan participant based on their age and assumed future retirement date. 4Thought takes responsibility not just for managing the underlying portfolios of each individual SMA strategy, but also for allocating and transferring assets between the various SMA strategies contained in each participant portfolio.

As part of this service 4Thought automatically reviews the participant’s time to retirement each year and adapts the portfolio to become more conservative as the retirement date approaches. Because of the way that we’ve structured our Retirement Plan Services program, we’re now able to provide this multi-SMA approach to all participants (even those that’ve just started investing), whereas the same approach has historically only been feasible for very large initial investments when implemented outside of a corporate retirement plan.

Specialized method-specific SMA strategies will be used in appropriate combinations for the participant, each of which is managed by an algorithmic process designed to achieve a certain risk exposure. In addition to more traditional equity and fixed income strategies, these will also include liquid low-cost alternatives to hedge funds and private equity – risk exposures that are normally not made available within company retirement plans and are usually only available to accredited investors when found outside plans. Each SMA strategy houses a professionally managed underlying portfolio of multiple exchange traded funds and/or individual securities.

2. Questionnaire-Based Allocation Using Single SMA Strategies:

4Thought offers a selection of professionally managed separate account strategies to the plan, each of which is managed by an algorithmic process designed to achieve a certain investment objective, risk profile, or exposure.

With the completion of a questionnaire, 4Thought directs plan participants to an appropriate diversified turnkey allocation separately managed account option for their situation. Each turnkey portfolio is managed by an algorithmic process designed to achieve a certain investment objective or risk profile. This approach allows participants to customize how they want us to manage their account for them based on factors beyond age alone.

3. Self-Guided Allocation Using ETFs, SMAs, and Other Options:

In this option the do-it-yourself participant may take direct control to create and manage their own portfolio using all of the investment options available within the plan. They may select from both the Managed Accounts and an “Exchange Traded Funds and Other Options” list in any percentage combination they choose. 4Thought will curate the plan’s list of available investment options and will periodically add or remove investments to ensure it continues to satisfy the needs of the retirement plan as a whole.

For Plan Participants


For Questionnaire-Based Allocation Only

Learn More About 4Thought Retirement Plan Services

Whether you're a plan sponsor or participant, 4Thought has the retirement solution to achieve your goals.

4Thought Financial Group utilizes the most effective aspects of technology and human interaction to create the retirement plan best aligned with achieving your financial goals and life dreams. Plan sponsors and participants both benefit from 4Thought's unique investment methodology, experience, and commitment to clients.

4Thought Retirement Plan Services' versatile solution includes:

  • Fiduciary ResponsibilityAs an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) and ERISA 3(38) Fiduciary Investment Manager, we not only act in our clients' best interests, but also assume the bulk of this responsibility for plan sponsors.
  • Bundled Services: Investment advisory, portfolio management, securities custody, recordkeeping, brokerage services, and more—we do it all for a single asset-based wrap fee.
  • Unique Investment Methodology: We apply the most effective aspects of four divergent strategies to maximize efficiencies and accomplish objectives.
  • Multiple Account Management Options: We offer three levels of service and management dependent upon your desired degree of involvement, featuring aged-based, questionnaire-based, and self-guided allocations.

Contact Us for More Information on Retirement Plan Services