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Simplifying 401(k) Choices Doesn’t Help Employees Enroll

Simplifying 401(k) plan choices doesn’t help enrollment, new apps help Latinos boost financial literacy and 994 Group launches using the Kolbe Concept.

Simplifying choices related to 401(k)s doesn’t seem to help employees enroll in a plan or improve the amount they contribute, according to a recent IZA Institute of Labor Economics study, titled Less Is Not More: Information Presentation Complexity and 401(k) Planning Choices. Data from the study “suggest that simplifying the presentation of retirement-plan information to employees is unlikely to result in vastly improved retirement-planning choices,” contrary to what some believe would help employees. Large numbers of Americans don’t save enough for retirement—about 45 percent of U.S. households with heads aged 25 to 64 lack sufficient retirement savings and, for working households about to retire, the median household’s retirement savings is just $12,000.

New Apps Bridge Financial Literacy Gap for Latinos

Copyright Carl Court, Getty Images

New mobile apps focused on helping Latinos invest and manage their finances are proving successful in tapping into an underserved market in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. For example, Carlos Garcia, the founder of Finhabits, a bilingual digital platform designed to make savings and investment accessible for Latinos, said he worked at Merrill Lynch for three years before he began contributing to a 401(k) that matched contributions. Like others, Garcia said finances weren’t something that was talked about or that his parents shared knowledge about with him. A 2014 Prudential Research study showed just 19 percent of Latinos had individual retirement accounts and less than 10 percent had investments in individual stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

New Firm Will Use Kolbe Concept to Engage Clients


new Texas-based RIA founded by a husband and wife plans to use the Kolbe Concept—an observation and measurement of each person’s unique method of operation, or their modus operadi—to evaluate and interact with clients. Ted and Kristin LeClair are both Kolbe Certified Consultants and have backgrounds in financial services. Ted LeClair also spent years as a member of the U.S. Navy and had a stint “building and running a multi-million-dollar family cranberry business.” The 994 Group is named after the first ship co-founder Ted LeClair served on while he was in the Navy.


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