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How about a slice of 401(cake)?

It began with all the excitement of a three-ring circus (almost literally, you can read about it in “How Investment Theory Explains 401(k) Plan Sponsors’ Evolving Fiduciary Duties,” FiduciaryNews.com, Sept. 17, 2013). At the outset, 401(k) plans generally had just the minimum three options required to meet 404(c) standards. This seemed like a lot compared to the usual profit sharing plans offered then. It was enough to give us the control we thought we needed. We didn’t need to change our allocations more than once a quarter. We didn’t need to see our valuation more than once a year. 401(k) plans were easy. We went to bed happy.

What made 401(k) plans get so hard? I blame three things (and I know a lot of people – including some of my close friends – will get angry at me for saying this, but…): Employees, mutual funds and the Morningstar style box.

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