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5 Things To Consider When Choosing An Investment Consulting Firm

By Expert Author: Jim Parker

Today, more and more plan sponsors use the services of an investment consulting firm and its team of participation education plan advisor, endowment plan consultant, defined benefit plan consultant, pension plan consultant, 403(b) plan consultant, and 401(k) plan consultant. If you are looking for such an advisor - or if you have outgrown the one you have right now and you are looking to have a new one - finding the best fit may a daunting task.


Before you go ahead and find an investment consulting firm that can help you with your pension plan and your employees’ - there are some things that you need to consider:


1. Not all advisors are qualified as fiduciaries.

There have been many concerns about fiduciary because not all advisors are ready for any co-fiduciary roles. It would be best not to assume that all advisors are qualified to serve as co-fiduciary. However, if your chosen 401(k) plan advisor, 403(k) plan advisor, pension plan advisor, defined benefit plan advisor, endowment plan consultant, or participant education plan advisor is qualified, you should put that into writing.


2. Check if its a specialist or generalist advisor.

In the investment consulting industry, advisors can be either two things: generalists or specialists. What make specialists more advantageous for you is that not only can they help you round out your investment needs, but also provide you ideas on trends, best practices. More importantly, specialists can offer retirement expertise that generalists may not be able to bring to the table.


3. Find out if there are potential conflicts of interest.

Do the participant education plan advisor, endowment plan consultant, defined benefit plan consultant, pension plan consultant, 403(b) plan consultant, and 401(k) plan advisor in the investment consulting firm have any affiliations with broker dealers? Does the investment consulting firm work with all kinds of fiduciary clients? How does the firm deal with gifts they receive from companies and vendors they do business with? These are some questions you need to clear out to make sure that the firm’s sole allegiance is to their clients.


4. Ask about their service model.

When a participation education plan advisor, endowment plan consultant, defined benefit plan consultant, pension plan consultant, 403(b) plan consultant, or 401(k) plan consultant works for a firm that has a thousand employees - that does not automatically mean that they have available professionals for your plan. It would be advisable to learn how many advisors will be dedicated to your plan. From there, take a closer look at each of the advisor’s credentials and expertise.

5. Carefully choose your candidates.

There are two sides of an advisor’s qualifications you need to look into: the technical, and communication skills. For you to make informed decisions, the participant education plan advisor, endowment plan consultant, defined benefit plan consultant, pension plan consultant, 403(b) plan consultant, and 401(k) plan advisor you choose must be knowledgeable yet could still communicate to you in plain English.

Jim Parker is the author of this article on Pension plan advisor.
Jim Parker is the author of this article on Pension plan conultant.

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