Q1 Newsletter: Fiduciary Plan Governance

  • Bjork Group

Bjork Group-Sean Bjork-Fiduciary Governance

The workforce is changing as we know it, and efforts like DEI, sustainable ESG investing and proactive preparation for DOL audits can help employers like you keep up with this transformative period.

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Video: Get to Know Your Retirement Plan Committee

  • Bjork Group

BJORKG~2-2If you think you’re alone in managing your 401(k) plan, think again! A Retirement Plan Committee is a dedicated group that manages investment options, oversees retirement plan administration and provides fiduciary oversight and accountability.

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Live Your Best Life: Now and in Retirement

  • Bjork Group

BJORKG~2-1Americans are living longer than ever before. Life expectancy is now at 79 years old, and many employees will need to save enough to live 17+ years in retirement.1 How financially prepared are your employees to enter into this next stage of life?

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Who’s on Your Retirement Plan Committee?

  • Bjork Group

BJORKG~2Retirement plan committees are super important; they set the direction and priorities of the company’s retirement plan. These actions (or inactions) can have a huge impact on how successful employees are at preparing for retirement.

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2022 Contribution Limits for Retirement Plans

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BJORK_Annual Contribution Limits_Headline Image-1

The new Retirement Plan Contribution Limits are official!

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You Can’t Talk About That at Work: Tackling Financial FAQs

  • Bjork Group

Bjork Group_Sean Bjork_Financial FAQs (1)Talking about money is tricky, especially at work. While it may seem too personal for work and easier to avoid the conversation, the effects can have a lasting effect on a company.

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Q4 Newsletter: Strategic Thinking Edition

  • Bjork Group

Bjork Group_401k Advisor (1)As we begin to say goodbye to 2021, let’s look forward to the new year by addressing employee financial habits after COVID, how a K-shape economy is impacting your workplace and how your retirement plan committee plays an important role in helping employees pursue retirement plan goals.

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Employee Infographic | Seeking, Finding and Consolidating Your Accounts

  • Bjork Group

Headline Image - Seeking Finding and Consolidating Your Accounts

The average person has 12 jobs during the course of their career.[1] That’s a lot of jobs — and a lot of 401(k) accounts!

Around 25 million Americans have left money behind in an old 401(k) when leaving a job.[2] It’s possible that your current employees have missing 401(k) accounts. However, you can guide and help them with consolidating their accounts.

Help make your employees lives a little easier by sharing this useful infographic about seeking, finding and consolidating their accounts!

Download the Infographic

 

Sean C. Bjork, CIMA®, AIF®

Vice President

Bjork Group

1033 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 210

Northbrook, IL. 60062

p.312.464.7082

seanbjork@bjorkgroup.com

www.bjorkgroup.com

 

Employee benefit consulting offered through The Bjork Group, Inc. Securities and Retirement Plan Consulting Program advisory services provided by Bjork Asset Management, Inc. offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Other advisory services offered through Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a registered investment advisor. IFP, Bjork Asset Management, Inc. and The Bjork Group, Inc. are separate entities from LPL Financial.

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics. Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth: Results from a National Longitudinal Survey. Press Release. August 22, 2019.

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Staying the Course Through Volatile Markets

  • Bjork Group

Headline Image - Staying th e Course Through Volatile Markets

Turbulent times can bring turbulent markets. Many factors cause chaotic swings in the investing world including housing bubbles, political elections, international instability, and as we have seen recently, a global health pandemic.

Despite the financial queasiness this can have, experts consistently have one piece of advice for investors: stay calm and stay the course. Maintaining a long-term investment strategy can help weather the storm of a volatile stock market, whereas reacting irrationally, or panicking, is the last thing investors should do.

 

History Tends to Repeat

There are a few ways to keep nerves at bay amidst a sea of daunting headlines.

First, a historical review shows that market fluctuations are normal. This should serve as a comforting reminder during unstable conditions. According to Fidelity, “...while market downturns may be unsettling, history shows stocks have recovered and delivered long-term gains.”[1]

From 1995 to 2019 (a period that includes major drops due to the tech bubble burst, the 2008 market crash and the Great Recession), the average growth rate of the S&P 500 (which tracks the stock performance of 500 large companies on U.S. stock exchanges) was 11.9 percent (including dividends).[2]

While no one can predict the stock market with absolute certainty, the significant crashes of the last century all saw periods of recovery. For example, after the 2008 market crash, the recovery began almost immediately and achieved an eventual increase of 178% in 5-year returns.[3]

These past events reinforce the importance of focusing on long-term financial strategies and goals, not short-term fluctuations. The markets will have bull and bear runs which need time to play out without trying to anticipate short-term trends.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

 

Don’t Try to Catch a Falling Knife

Another potential mistake that investors can make is to stop saving during a market downturn. On the heels of the 2008 crash, one study found that more than a quarter of respondents either stopped saving for retirement or stopped adding to their 401(k).[4]

However, had they stayed put, their returns would have likely had substantial gains.

Fidelity Investments reports that the average 401(k) retirement plan balance rose by 466% to $297,700 between 2009 and 2019. Furthermore, the average retirement savings of millennials, many of whom would have been at the early stages of their work career, would have experienced an upward portfolio shift of 1,762% from $7,000 in Q1 of 2009 to just under $130,000 in 2019.[5] While past results are no guarantee of future results, it’s important to point out in this example that when participants stay the course, it can really pay off.

A popular way to continue savings momentum when nerves are being tested is dollar-cost averaging, or in other words, investing a fixed amount on a regular schedule (e.g. per pay period) that generally results in buying more shares when prices are low and less shares when they are high.

Dollar-cost averaging is a stabilizing approach. It can take away some of the fear of timing risk and become less of a system shock than lump sum investing. Dollar-cost averaging does not ensure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.

 

You Need Lemons to Make Lemonade

Downturns are a perfect time to consult with a financial professional to review different strategies and also rebalance your portfolio. It might be time to look at investments that have lost value. This can help to manage risk exposure and could be an opportunity to reposition the portfolio for a potential recovery.

Another possibility is to consider a Roth conversion. If your plan allows for a Roth conversion — moving money from a 401(k) to a Roth 401(k) account — then a downturn could help. A conversion in a downturn might result in a lower tax bill for the same number of shares sold, and then the participant can experience the benefits of a Roth account, allowing qualified distributions of future growth to be tax free.[6]

Market downturns are a part of any investing lifecycle so it’s best to keep a steady hand, consult with your advisor and consider all options so you can weather through this market cycle - and the next one.

Information provided herein is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation. Investing involves risk, including potential loss of principal.

 

 

Sean C. Bjork, CIMA®, AIF®

Vice President

Bjork Group

1033 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 210

Northbrook, IL. 60062

p.312.464.7082

seanbjork@bjorkgroup.com

www.bjorkgroup.com

 

Employee benefit consulting offered through The Bjork Group, Inc. Securities and Retirement Plan Consulting Program advisory services provided by Bjork Asset Management, Inc. offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Other advisory services offered through Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a registered investment advisor. IFP, Bjork Asset Management, Inc. and The Bjork Group, Inc. are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Information provided herein is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation. Investing involves risk, including potential loss of principal.

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax/legal advice. Each plan has unique requirements, and you should consult your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.

©401(k) Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved. Proprietary and confidential. Do not copy or distribute outside original intent.

[1] Fidelity Viewpoints. “6 Tips to Navigate Volatile Markets.” Fidelity. July 2020.

[2] Moneychimp. “Compound Annual Growth Rate (Annualized Return).” July 2020.

[3] Fidelity Viewpoints. “6 Tips to Navigate Volatile Markets.” Fidelity. July 2020.

[4] Betterment. “Betterment’s Consumer Financial Perspectives Report:10 Years After the Crash.” Sept 2018.

[5] Fidelity. “Q1 2019 Retirement Analysis.” May 2019.

[6] Fidelity Viewpoints. “6 Tips to Navigate Volatile Markets.” Fidelity. July 2020.

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Video – 3 Fiduciary Action Items During Turbulent Times

  • Bjork Group

Headline Image - 3 Fiduciary Actions During Turbulent Times

COVID-19 has brought many updates, changes, and challenges, and we know the stress this can place on a plan sponsor.

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