We Applaud the Department of Labor’s Effort to Promote Non-Conflicted Investment Advice

iStock_000005391518_LargeEarlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its proposed rule to require individuals and firms offering retirement investment advice to serve as fiduciaries that are legally required to put the best interests of their clients ahead of their own.

Many people are not aware that a large number of financial advisers are not required to serve as fiduciaries, and may put their own interests first at the expense of their clients. Only fiduciaries are legally required by law to put their clients’ interests first.

Financial Engines strongly believes that Americans deserve a fair deal when it comes to investment advice.

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Financial Engines Market Watch Q1: Starting 2015 on the Bright Side

chris-jonesThe year began on a bright note, with continuing positive economic news in the U.S. driving up equity prices. Once again, the S&P 500 set new all-time highs during the quarter, finishing up 1.0% by the end of March. Smaller company stocks in the S&P Small Cap 600 index had another strong quarter gaining 4.0%.

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Celebrate Financial Literacy Month by Learning Something New

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.42.51 PMDid you have a personal finance course in high school? College? Most people didn’t.

A recent RICP® Retirement Income Literacy Survey from The American College of Financial Services found that “just 20% of retirement-age Americans can pass a basic quiz on how to make their nest egg last through retirement.” That means four out of five American’s can’t pass the test. Uh oh.

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Wall Street Journal Notes a Late Start to Saving Can Cost You Real Money

Wall-Street-Journal-ProcrasIn a study we released yesterday, we reported the consequences of delaying your retirement savings. The Wall Street Journal picked up the story and author Anne Turgesen does a great job of explaining why this decision can really end up costing you in the long run.

According to the article, “It turns out that making up for lost time isn’t easy. In fact, according to Financial Engines, which provides professional management for 401(k) accounts and individual retirement accounts, someone who saves 6% of a $36,000 salary (that grows by 1.5% a year) starting at age 25 will have close to $500,000 by age 65, assuming a 3% employer matching contribution and a 5% annual return.”

Continue reading Wall Street Journal Notes a Late Start to Saving Can Cost You Real Money

The Cost of Financial Procrastination [Infographic]

FinancialEngines_Infographic_D8“Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” You’ve probably heard this before, perhaps accompanied by a finger wag or two. It’s great advice… in theory. Putting it into practice is another story.

Procrastination affects all of us at some time or another. Especially when it comes to financial matters. Are your taxes done? Do you have an ever-growing stack of papers on your desk that you’ve been meaning to go through? Rolled over that 401(k) from your last job yet? We all do it, but there are some good reasons not to procrastinate (no, we did not just wag a finger!).

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Here’s Why Saving for Retirement at 30 is Brilliant

ParentsI admit it. Writing about retirement can sometimes be a challenge. It’s hard to relate to something that seems like a lifetime away. But writing about it has convinced me it’s important.

The more research I do, the more it becomes clear that the earlier you start, the better you’ll do. I know it’s hard when you’re just getting on your feet, but if you’re in a position to save money – especially if you work for a company that offers a 401(k) match – it’s worth making retirement saving a priority.

It’s true. Here’s the math.

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Financial Engines Advantage: Your Retirement Evaluation Tells You How You Could Do Better

Financial Engines Retirement EvaluationThe first thing you’ll get as a Financial Engines customer is a Retirement Evaluation.

It’s based on preliminary information securely passed to us from your employer so we can give you insight into your 401(k) savings.

This analysis is a great starting place, but that’s just what it is: a place to start. We need you to make it even better and relevant to your plans for your future (even if you don’t have any yet!).

Here are five things you should do with your evaluation:

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Ask an Advisor: What You Need to Know About the Debt Ceiling and Investment Trends

iStock_000044330764LargeOur clients often call us with questions generated by current events. With all of the talk about our nation’s economy, they ask, “What is the debt ceiling, and as an investor, why should I be concerned?”

The United States Treasury occasionally faces the prospect of being unable to fund the government. For example, last fall, if lawmakers in Congress had failed to act by October 17th to raise the federal borrowing limit, or “debt ceiling,” it could have caused the U.S. government to default on its obligations. In the unlikely event that a default occurs, it would most likely cause extreme uncertainty among investors and result in panic, causing markets to sell off, the dollar to lose value, and interest rates to rise overnight. Investors watch these kinds of developments daily, which can result in unnecessary fear and anxiety about their investments.

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Our Christopher Jones Talks Investing: Listen and then Take Our Quiz

CJ-on-PlanSponsor-VideoDid you know research shows those who get retirement help tend to do better than those who don’t?

Our Chief Investment Officer, Christopher Jones sat down with PLANADVISER & PLANSPONSOR’s Editor-in-Chief, Alison Cooke Mintzer, to discuss Social Security and retirement help. Watch the video and then take our quiz to see how much you know about starting to prepare for retirement.

The Quiz

  1. Christopher talks about ways to invest; what are Target Date Funds?

A) An asset mix (investment) roughly based on your age

B) Stocks that focus exclusively on bulls-eyes

C) An emergency fund

D) None of the above.

Continue reading Our Christopher Jones Talks Investing: Listen and then Take Our Quiz