Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein, founder and CEO of The Retirement Advisor University and The Plan Sponsor University, offers insights on the business of retirement plan advisers.


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Dangers advisers may face due to record-keeper consolidation

The larger providers produced by consolidation will cater to larger RPA groups like aggregators and major broker-dealers at the expense of smaller, independent RPAs.


Outsourcing firm is helping RIAs mine 401(k) plans

A significant impediment is that experienced retirement plan advisers do not want to work with smaller or start-up plans, because they can't afford the minimum fees these RPAs need to charge.


Will RIAs or RPAs benefit more as retirement, wealth converge at workplace?

RPA firms are selling at record profits, with deals flow expected to double in 2021, but it pales in comparison to the RIA market. So far, we have not seen any RIA aggregators, other than Captrust, show interest in the DC space.


Consolidation, wellness and micro market top of mind for record keepers

Looming over the RPA Record Keeper Roundtable and Think Tank was the convergence of wealth, retirement and health at work.


What drives value for RPA firms?

RPAs with strong wealth management businesses and leadership will command a premium price, among other factors.


Why financial wellness is a dismal failure and a huge success

The DC industry must be realistic and admit that financial wellness is largely a failure, an acknowledgment that's a key step on the road to success. Because we cannot afford to fail.


Fight over DC participants tests advisers’ partnerships with providers

Providers cannot hope to create a sales force that competes with the 25,000 RPA specialists and hundreds of thousands of RIAs that dabble. But once the plan is sold, who has the right and ability to monetize the participants?


A student loan crisis is looming. RPAs can help clients prepare

Plan sponsors are clamoring for solutions to help employees with their financial issues. Student loans and emergency savings programs are two easy, simple and impactful ways that the DC industry can help.


How 401(k) record keepers not part of the Fab Five can survive

There are more than 40 national record keepers, with plenty of capacity for all. And some providers are uniquely positioned.


Do RPAs need wealth management to survive?

Few have figured out how to serve the participants who cannot afford traditional advice. Managed accounts are just a start.

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