History in the making… (The Problem)!
Plan Confidence™ was born out of the 2008-2009 market meltdown.
My name is Kevin T Clark, RF™. I am a Registered Fiduciary (Dalbar) and was a financial adviser for over 21 years.
I used to run a financial planning/investment firm in the suburbs of Chicago. In 2008 my clients began coming to me, as I am sure yours were to you, with concerns about the money I wasn’t handling.
They were extremely concerned about the money in their 401k plans!
My clients were wanting to know exactly where to put their money in their plans!
After hearing the same story from multiple clients, I decided that something had to be done.
As you know, every employer chooses the investment options for their plan, which made it really difficult to offer personalized investment advice to my clients.
So I rolled up my sleeves and asked my clients for their fund lineup specific to their plans. Through multiple files in Excel, Morningstar, Word, PDFs and email; I started sending my clients monthly updates on how to best manage their 401k plans, using their specific investment options within their plan.
The only problem was the “process” (research, create and send out the monthly emails) was very time consuming.
I knew I needed help!
I reached out to my friend, Mark Reddick, who developed incredible software for the second-generation iPod. I showed Mark how I created the four-page PDF that I emailed my clients monthly on how to best allocate their 401k monies. I asked Mark if he could create software to help.
Mark told me, “If you can label it, I can automate it!” And a “web” version of Plan Confidence™ was born!
In late 2011 I was at a financial conference in Jupiter, FL. I was at dinner with other advisers discussing how we market and find new clients. I explained that almost all my new clients were from referrals of clients using the 401k Confidence service.
Several advisers let me know that they would like to use the service with their clients.
The program was originally built just for one user (me). Mark and I discussed how we would need to change the software for other advisers to use. So once again, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work building “firewalls”, so I couldn’t see your clients, you couldn’t see mine, etc. We had to create a “compliance site” and an “adviser site” for you and CCOs to monitor the clients using the service.
And we have been enhancing and building on the Software as a Service (SaaS) ever since.
The Plan Confidence™ service has been designed to be compliant with the DOL, ERISA and SEC rules and regulations.
As an adviser for over 21 years (I sold my practice in late 2017), I felt it was important to create a business that would not compete with you, or try to steal your clients. I hated doing business with financial firms that competed with me. Therefore we have been registered with the SEC as an “Internet Only” company. This means (by law) we cannot speak or expand on any advice to the end user, your client.
Under SEC Investment Advisers Act Rule 203A-2(e), an “internet only” investment adviser cannot have personnel elaborate or expand upon the investment advice provided by its interactive website.
I also set up our RIA with only one revenue stream. The sale of advice for a nominal fee.
We do not custody any assets! We will not compete with you for the future rollover!!
We “brand” you on our site with your picture, website, email, address and phone number in the upper right hand corner. We want to make sure that every time your clients think about, or have questions about their work sponsored retirement plans, they think of you!
You have the ability to use your Asset Allocation models or you can use ours. We are model agnostic!
We will let your clients know when they cannot properly diversify their assets due to missing Morningstar categories. It’s important for your clients to know when their plan allows for the diversification recommended and when their plan falls short.
We also have the ability to let you know the exact date your client will become eligible for an “In Service” withdrawal.
Our success is in you offering Plan Confidence™ to as many as your clients as possible.
You will have confidence knowing that we are only interested in helping your client position the money within their employer’s retirement plan. Your clients will have the confidence in knowing they are getting professional advice in how to manage their employer sponsored retirement plans.
We built a WIN (your client)-WIN (you) -WIN (us) solution for you to use.
We are dedicated to making sure that your clients get the advice that they desire for their plan from you and not from someone else!