Your 401(k) Manager

The average 401(k) or 403(b) participant has neither the time nor the expertise to manage their retirement plan. Now, more than ever, investors are beginning to understand the need for an active approach to managing their retirement assets. Providing individual 401(k) and 403(b) participants with fee-based asset management advice represents an opportunity for individuals to potentially maximize their retirement income.

The FundTraderPro is a computer based, dynamic management program which enables our advisors to offer any individual 401(k) or 403(b) participant a fee-based asset management alternative, regardless of where the plan assets are held. FundTraderPro can be a valuable tool in managing risk and maximizing returns for retirement plan participants.

FundTraderPro is a computer based, dynamic management program which enables our advisors to offer any individual 401(k) or 403(b) participant a fee-based asset management alternative, regardless of where the plan assets are held. FundTraderPro can be a valuable tool in managing risk and maximizing returns for retirement plan participants.

Our Strategy

Most retirement plans offer “advice” via a risk questionnaire. Participants are asked to answer a series of questions regarding their views on risk. Studies show that we are risk averse – meaning we want to avoid risk. At FundTraderPro we feel these questionnaires are counterproductive in preparing investors for retirement. You can read more about the dangers of risk questionnaires at the U S News web site's "The Smarter Investor" section.

The conundrum investors’ face is that we all want to maximize our long term return…but no one likes the short term volatility (aka portfolio losses) that we can see on our statements during short term market turmoil. Short term risk avoidance is accomplished by diversifying a portfolio away from stocks and into more stable investments like cash, money market accounts or bonds. However, according to Jeremy J. Siegel, professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book Stocks for the Long Run, that despite the annual volatility of stocks, over the long run, stocks will and always have, produced superior returns to more conservative asset classes like treasury bills or bonds. Specifically he states:  “No other asset class-bonds, commodities, or the dollar-displays the stability of long term returns as do stocks. In the short run, however, stock returns are very volatile…Yet these short term swings in the market, which so preoccupy investors and the financial press, are insignificant compared with the broad upward movement in stock returns.”

“Insignificant” is a pretty powerful choice of words. Seigel, by the way, goes back to 1802 for his analysis. Below is a chart showing asset class returns since 1926.

Chart of asset class returns since 1926.

Using 20 year rolling periods from 1802 – 2012 the best and worst return for a single 20 year period was 8.3% and -3.0% for Treasury Bills. Not bad. But stock returns were 12.6% and a worst case positive 1% respectively. In other words as Professor Seigel points out, stocks actually demonstrate less risk and more return over longer (20 years) periods.

Note: These are buy and hold returns – in other words holding on and suffering through the great depression, stagflation of the 1970’s, the tech wreck and the financial crisis.

The FundTraderPro Alternative

Stock analysts have long recognized the momentum anomaly in investing. An anomaly is an investment strategy that provides superior returns and less risk. In fact FundTraderPro’s investment strategy won the prestigious Charles H. Dow Award from the Market Technicians Association. Simply put, a momentum strategy puts your funds into investments that have demonstrated the strongest relative return compared to other options. Or in plain English – we recommend funds to you that are working now, and rotate out of funds that are underperforming. For more information, view our short video at the top of this page.

Is it Risky?

There are two types of risk to your portfolio. While we are aware of short term volatility, the second risk is that you fall short of your retirement goal. Our momentum based system, designed for your specific investment choices addresses both risks. In our momentum model we buy what is working now. In volatile or down trending markets the “best” performer might be a money market account or short term bond fund. We will keep you investments in these low risk investments until the stock funds regain their momentum. In the long run, being fully invested in the stock market strongest asset classes efficiently builds your account balance.

There can be no guarantee that signals produced by models used by Fund Trader Pro are accurate indicators of market valuation or that the use of models or recommendations will produce future results that are as profitable as, or equal to, performance produced in the past or shown in hypothetical models. Investment return and principal will fluctuate so that an investor’s account, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the original cost.

Why Fund Trader Pro?

Chief Investment Officer, Bill Deshurko, explains the "why" behind FundTraderPro.com in this Investopedia "Advisor Insights" interview.