1. How do I access the tools? There are two options to get the help you seek. The 401k Optimizer® program sends quarterly investment allocations conveniently to your email so you can go into your plan and make the necessary adjustments. The 401k Direct Assist program allows us to directly manage the assets in your active employer-sponsored retirement plan and saves you the trouble of having to make the changes yourself. 
  2. What kinds of employer plans are included? Most employer-sponsored retirement plans are covered and include 401k, 403b, 457, TSP, to name a few. Give us a call if you have any questions.
  3. Am I taking the funds out of my plan? Absolutely not. For the Optimizer program we are simply sending you allocation suggestions based on the funds that are available within your investment menu of choices. The funds remain 100% within the active plan. For the Direct Assist program, again, the funds remain 100% within the active plan. We are simply putting some portion of your account assets through the brokerage window, which allows us to directly manage those funds based on a wider range of investment choices.
  4. What if my company is not listed on the Optimizer site?  Not to worry. If you do not see your company in the list, simply send us a copy of your plan summary that lists your investment choices. Once we have this information, we can manually input this information into the tool and provide the allocation guidance for your plan.
  5. Are there tax penalties? Absolutely not. We are not making any early withdrawals from your plan. We are simply giving you access to advice on how to best allocate your investments within your plan based on your age, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Because the funds remain within the plan, neither the Optimizer nor the Direct Assist options trigger any taxable events.
  6. How do I know if I have a brokerage window option? If you are interested in the Direct Assist program to get professional full-time management of your retirement plan assets, it is best to give us a call. These are the custodians most commonly offering this option: Fidelity, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Pershing, and Hewitt. Even if your plan is with one of these custodians, the presence of the brokerage window option is dependent on your specific company plan. If you do not see your plan provider listed, give us a call and we can help you do some investigation to find out more. It is possible that the Optimizer option may be best for you.
  7. How do you charge for these Retirement Assist services? For the Optimizer program it costs $80 per year (less than 0.25 per day). We make no revenue from this option as the subscription goes to Howard Capital Management. For the Direct Assist program, we will charge a fee from your account as a percentage of assets under management (AUM). These fees will vary based on how your specific company plan is set up. We will fully disclose this information to you before you decide whether to participate or not.