To identify plans in your market that may be candidates for fee-based advice, start with FreeERISA's 5500 data base and follow these steps:

  1. Screen for plans with zip codes in your market area. You can screen for several zip codes by leaving off the last one or two digits. For example, if you wanted to screen for zip codes around Little Rock, AR, you could enter as a zip code 722. This finds all plans in any zip code beginning with these three digits. To narrow the search, add a fourth digit.
  2. Focus on larger participant-directed plans. You can identify large plans by the number of total participants or active participants, shown on lines 6 and 7a, respectively, of the Form 5500. If you are trying to sell investments, you want plans with a large amount of assets to take over. But if you want to provide financial advice, the active participant count is more important. You can identify participant-directed plans by the codes 2G or 2H on line 8a of Form 5500.
  3. Once you have narrowed your list to the best plan candidates, use FreeERISA to identify and contact their decision-makers.Refer to my April 2003 article for ideas. You'll find the article here:

    Are You Working as Your Clients' Investment Cost Manager?

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