Pension Consultants, Inc., Founder and Chairman, Brian Allen, CFP® recently contributed to InvestmentNews on RPA Convergence, a leading online news source for retirement plan advisers. In his article, “The strange truth about wine and advice,” Brian provides an interesting allegorical comparison between wine critiquing and retirement plan suppliers. They may be separate worlds, but they share this critical similarity – the desire to influence.
Much like wine producers that depend on their critics to give them a high score (swaying their supply chain reputation and product pricing), investment firms, broker-dealers, record keepers, and financial product suppliers use incentives to leverage relationships and influence advisers. This has the trickledown effect to their clients and, ultimately, to their participants. In our industry this usually looks like all-expenses-paid vacations, gourmet meals, and top-notch entertainment – offered as part of due diligence and research trips – to generate goodwill.
For analyst, speaking to a mutual fund management team is an important way to gather insight and understand portfolio strategy. Fund managers, looking to gather assets, and increase the profile of their funds often provide that access. However, the context in which the access is provided may create a potential conflict of interest and could impact investment performance. For investors, it is important to understand the due diligence that goes into each recommendation an advisor makes. When selecting investments, sticking to objective performance standards, and measuring performance relative to a meaningful benchmark should be the primary focus.
At PCI, our team does not earn commissions, revenue-sharing, or kickbacks from vendors, so all the decisions we make for our clients’ plans are truly in the best interest of the participants. We believe being objective, independent, and removing potential conflict of interest is the future of the industry!
To learn more about the strange conundrum between wine and plan advice, check out Brian’s full-length article here: https://www.rpaconvergence.com/wine-retirement-plan-advisers/