We Believe ...

  1. Target date funds (TDFs) are a reasonably good idea but with pathetic execution, at least so far.
  2. TDFs should end at the target date – a “To” fund – entirely in safe inflation-protected assets.
  3. “Through” funds that target death rather than retirement date are sold, not bought. They’re good for fund companies but awful for beneficiaries.
  4. Recordkeepers keep records. Financial engineers design Safe Landing Glide PathsTM.
  5. The Hippocratic oath of TDFs is “First, lose no money, especially as the target date approaches.”
  6. Common practices in TDFs are currently far from best practices.
  7. Fiduciaries choose TDFs, not plan participants.
  8. Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs) should emphasize safety as retirement approaches.
  9. The transition period, from five years before retirement to five years after, is the most critical for maintaining lifestyle in the long run.
  10. Longevity risk cannot be managed with a glide path. Annuities and managed payout funds might work. Saving enough is the best approach. “You have to use the right tools for the job.” – Bob the Builder
  11. The date in the target date fund name should mean something.
  12. “Through” funds have been concocted as (1) an excuse for the 2008 failure and (2) a grab at keeping assets longer. Participant behavior defies the retention objective because most withdraw accounts at retirement.
  13. “One size fits all” is a legitimate criticism. TDFs are not “right” for everyone, but properly constructed they can be better than participant choices. “Set it and forget it” can serve beneficiaries well.
  14. Enlightened fiduciaries choose the Safe Landing Glide PathTM provided by Target Date Solutions.
– Ron Surz, Founder, Target Date Solutions
Read about the
Four Pillars of Smart Investing: Game-Changing Tools That Prevent Stupid Mistakes
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Fiduciary Handbook for Understanding and Selecting Target Date Funds
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Graphic includes descriptions of the components of the patented SLGP

Elephant in Room 401(k)

Patent Awarded 01/08/2013