We've all experienced it – anyone who's ever advised a 401(k) plan. There's always one employee who knows it all. He's the guy (and, yes, I'm not being sexist, but it usually is a guy) who thinks he could school Warren Buffet. He is, after all, the only person who believes some obscure fund with only $100,000 in assets is about to explode. It usually does, except not "explode" as in "ever higher growth," but "explode" as in "blow up."

See also: I failed my 401(k) 

Many times, a 401(k) plan sponsor will create a special "self-directed brokerage account" to appease these employees (who may, in fact, be owners or high level executives of the firm). These plan sponsors may be under the impression that giving these employees free range both solves the problem of their vociferousness and leaves the plan sponsor off the hook in terms of liability. 

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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 FiduciaryNews.com 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 (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).