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Five Questions About Your Retirement Plan

Do You Know the Answers?

After doing business with the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) for over 20 years, we were recently endorsed by the AFSA Board of Directors to provide unbiased advice to members about their retirement plan benefits. Much like how AFSA members are entitled to a free legal consultation, your membership with AFSA entitles you to a free consultation with our team of investment professionals that have been advising retirement plans and families for over 35 years. We are committed to providing AFSA members with unbiased, fiduciary advice and superior service.

“We encourage you to call Allan and his team to take advantage of this complimentary benefit to AFSA members. Members who have utilized Allan’s team have dramatically cut their costs and improved service,” comments Wayne Weisz, AFSA Chairman of the Board.“If nothing else, Allan’s team can give you the peace of mind that your 401(k) plan is operating at current market standards.”

It’s extremely important to know how your 401(k) works and what options are available to you since a 401(k) is the primary vehicle to save for retirement for most Americans. Pensions are becoming scarce, and Social Security is only a supplement to your income source after you quit working.

Not all plans are created equal, so it is important to us that you know how to answer the following questions regarding your 401(k) plan.

For Business Owners:
1. Is my advisor operating as a fiduciary?
2. Does my plan have any conflicts of interest?
3. What are my fees?
4. Do I offer low-cost index investment options?
5. Do I have the right plan structure in place?

For Participants:
1. Does my employer match contributions?
2. How much should I contribute?
3. Should I contribute pre-tax or Roth?
4. Do I have access to investment advice?
5. What are my investment and advisory costs?

If you do not know the answers to these questions, we are here to help.

What We Can Provide

Affordability through a competitive fee structure based on your membership to AFSA. 

Every investment has a cost, even if you don’t realize you are paying it. Investment costs may not seem like a big deal, but they can eat away at your investments over time. All AFSA members receive reduced pricing based on their membership to AFSA. (See Figure 1: This hypothetical illustration doesn’t represent any particular investment nor does it account for inflation. “What you lose to costs” represents both the amount paid in expenses as well as the “opportunity costs” – the amount you lose because the costs you paid are no longer invested. There may be other material differences between investment products that must be considered prior to investing. Numbers are rounded. Source: Vanguard.)

Transparency on all costs.

401(k)s are notorious for having hidden costs that make it hard for employers and participants to know exactly what they are paying. We can provide an analysis to show your current costs an what hidden costs may be lurking in your plan.

• Fiduciary advice with no conflicts.

The responsibilities and risks 401(k) plan sponsors face are daunting. We share this risk alongside you and serve as a contractual fiduciary. This means that we are legally obligated to put your best interest ahead of our own.

Flexibility to choose the plan structure and investments to fit your specific needs.

We do not provide “one-size-fits-all” advice. Every employer has a different employee base and every participant has his or her own individualized needs. A 401(k) may be costlier than a simple IRA for a small employer. We get to know each employer and participant in order to provide the best advice for each specific situation.

Reliability that comes from working with our deep, experienced team.

We have worked with the AFSA organization for over 20 years and have a strong track record with the organization. This relationship is extremely important to us, and we take our commitment to the Board and to the organization very seriously.

Investment advice to all employees of member organizations.

Our group is available to all employers and employees to provide unbiased investment and financial planning advice. When you do business with our team, you have our direct phone numbers and email addresses – you will never need to call an 800 number!

“Our organization has enjoyed a long, successful partnership with Allan and his team,” says Jack Medovich, AFSA Second Vice Chairman. “As a trusted partner of AFSA, the Board encourages all members to reach out to Allan and his team with any questions or concerns about their company retirement plan.”

We are pleased to be offering retirement plan consulting service to all AFSA members, and we look forward to getting to know you all. We hope to be able to provide you with value-added information and services that can improve the quality of your retirement plan benefits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allan H. Strange is executive vice president of investments and leads The Strange Group at Janney Montgomery Scott in the firm’s Richmond, Virginia branch office. He has been advising clients on their investments for nearly 40 years. An Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, he has been a member of Janney’s premier CEO Roundtable since joining the firm in 2009 and was honored as the firm’s Financial Advisor of the Year in 2015.  Strange was recognized by the Financial Times in its 2018 list of “401 Top Retirement Advisors.”

EDITOR’S NOTE:

AFSA has endorsed Allan Strange and The Strange Group at Janney Montgomery Scott as its 401(k) retirement plan consultant. AFSA has a long-standing relationship with Allan Strange and his team, who have been managing the association’s assets for over 20 years. In addition to managing assets for associations and families, The Strange Group partners with employers to provide fiduciary retirement plan management. For more information, visit AFSA’s website at firesprinkler.org and click on Business Solutions’ under “Membership.”

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