Should 401(k) investors choose growth or value? Small-cap, mid-cap or large-cap? Active or passive? Equity, bonds or balance? And what about commodities, real estate and alternative investments?

For many 401(k) investors, these are the types of questions they first ask. Indeed, 401(k) plan sponsors often provide free education seminars offering investment guidance that emphasizes the differences and similarities among all these choices. But for most 401(k) investors, this may not be the first and most important to ask. It might not even make the top three.

This is where 401(k) plan sponsors can help. The plan sponsor is a fiduciary to the plan, and therefore all the employees of the plan. As a result, the plan sponsor is in a position to influence 401(k) investors decision making process (see "A Better Way to Help 401(k) Investors Choose Among Options," November 6, 2012).

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (