Wage Inflation Puts Additional Pressure on the Federal Reserve

Inflation remains a closely watched topic in financial markets. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased +6.6% year-over-year during September. It was the fastest annual pace since August 1982 and signals inflation’s persistence. Early inflation pressures were attributed to clogged supply chains and strong demand overwhelming limited supply, but a new source of inflation is gaining attention as supply chains normalize – wage inflation.

Figure 1 shows hourly wages increased +5% year-over-year during September. The growth rate, which is significantly above the pre-pandemic trend, indicates labor demand is outpacing labor supply and employers are paying more to attract and retain workers. What is causing the labor supply / demand imbalance? Data shows millions of workers left the labor market during the pandemic and have not returned.

Figure 2 graphs the number of people not in the labor force, which is defined as persons who are neither employed nor unemployed. This category includes retired persons, students, individuals taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work. The chart shows 95 million individuals were not in the labor force at the end of February 2020. The number spiked to 103.5 million at the end of April 2020 as workers left the labor market due to virus and health concerns, childcare responsibilities, and early retirements. While some of those individuals returned to the labor market, there are nearly 5 million more people not in the labor force at the end of September 2022.

Wage inflation is yet another factor complicating the Federal Reserve’s goal to bring under inflation control. Bringing the labor market back into equilibrium could ease wage inflation, but it could also significantly increase unemployment. Despite the near-term employment risk, the Fed views the risk of inflation becoming entrenched as a bigger long-term risk. All eyes will be on the labor market in coming months.

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.   Investing   involves   risk,   including   the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS   SHOULD   VERIFY   ALL   CLAIMS   AND   COMPLETE    THEIR    OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS. PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

Consumers Turn to Credit Cards as Inflation Pressures Finances

This month’s charts examine the trend of increasing consumer credit usage. Figure 1 charts the amount of outstanding revolving consumer credit, and Figure 2 charts the year-over-year percentage growth of revolving credit. Revolving credit, such as a credit card, allows the accountholder to borrow money repeatedly up to a set credit limit while making monthly payments. The charts show credit usage initially decreased during the pandemic as consumers used government stimulus checks and savings from fewer discretionary purchases to pay down debt.

After declining during the pandemic, data shows consumer credit usage is rising again and now back above pre-pandemic levels. The increase in credit usage started during 2021 as the effect of stimulus checks faded and the economic reopening released a wave of pent-up demand. Credit usage continues to increase during 2022 as inflation increases the price of everyday necessities, such as gas, groceries, and housing.

The increase in consumer credit usage raises an important point. Credit cards are an easy and common way to borrow money, but they are also one of the most expensive forms of borrowing. Most credit cards charge a variable interest rate tied to the prime rate, which is linked to the federal funds rate. This year’s interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve are intended to ease inflation pressures, but they also make carrying a credit card balance more expensive. An increase in the federal funds rate increases the prime rate, which in turn increases the interest rate charged on credit cards. According to a recent survey by Bankrate.com, the average credit card interest rate reached 17.96% at the end of August, which marks the highest level since 1996.

The increase in mortgage and auto loan rates is getting all the attention this year, but the increase in credit card interest rates is more impactful to everyday life. Credit cards are a valuable tool to manage your personal finances, such as building up a credit score, increasing your purchasing power, and earning rewards. However, credit cards can also create negative issues, such as overspending, high balances, and high interest expenses, when misused and mismanaged. Now is an important time to review your financial plan and make sure you’re sticking to it.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.   Investing   involves   risk,   including   the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS   SHOULD   VERIFY   ALL   CLAIMS   AND   COMPLETE    THEIR    OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS. PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

Providing Context on Recent Market Volatility

Monthly Market Summary

  • The S&P 500 Index returned -4.1% during August, underperforming the Russell 2000 Index (-2.0%) for a second consecutive month.
  • Energy (+2.7%) was the top-performing S&P 500 sector during August despite oil prices falling -9.7%. Utilities (+0.5%) was the only other sector to produce a positive return. Technology (-6.2%) was the worst performing sector as interest rates rose, followed closely by Health Care (-5.8%) and Real Estate (-5.6%).
  • Corporate investment grade bonds generated a -4.4% total return, slightly underperforming corporate high yield bonds’ -4.3% total return.
  • The MSCI EAFE Index of global developed market stocks returned -6.1% during August, underperforming the MSCI Emerging Market Index’s -1.3% return.

Stock & Bond Markets Endure a Bumpy August After July’s Gains

The S&P 500 produced a -4.1% return during August, but the headline number doesn’t tell the full story. Equity markets initially rallied during the first half of the month, with the S&P 500 gaining +4.2% through August 16th as July’s market rally continued. However, the second half of August marked a sharp reversal as the S&P 500’s gave back all its gains plus more. Credit markets also experienced a reversal during August as interest rates reversed higher and bonds produced negative returns. The increased volatility across stock and bond markets is being attributed to a wide range of investor views creating a tug of war effect in markets, as well as uncertainty regarding how long the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates.

Federal Reserve Chair Pushes Back Against Hopes for Policy Pivot

The Federal Reserve held its annual August Jackson Hole meeting, and Chair Powell used his speech to forcefully push back against the notion the Fed will pivot and cut interest rates if economic data starts to weaken. Powell emphasized the central bank’s “overarching focus right now is to bring inflation back down to our 2 percent goal” and cautioned, “Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth … [and] will also bring some pain to households and businesses.”

Investor hopes for a Fed pivot were one of the primary catalysts that propelled the stock market higher during July and August. Chair Powell’s speech dashed those hopes and sent the S&P 500 down more than -3% on the day of his speech. Why? Two lines from Chair Powell’s speech underscore the Fed’s goal, “There is clearly a job to do in moderating demand to better align with supply. We are committed to doing that job.” This focus on lowering demand for goods and services may increase portfolio volatility during the months ahead as investors debate how long it will take the Fed to achieve its goal and the impact tighter policy will have on the economy.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.   Investing   involves   risk,   including   the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS   SHOULD   VERIFY   ALL   CLAIMS   AND   COMPLETE    THEIR    OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

Ep 26: How To Process A Rollover

On This Episode

Last episode we talked about the different items to take into account if you are thinking about doing a rollover. John and Nick will discuss how to actually process a rollover and some common mistakes to avoid.

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More Episodes

Check out all the episodes by clicking here.

 

Disclaimer:

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:

 

Marc: Thanks for tuning in to Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. We appreciate you tuning back into the podcast. We’re following up with our prior session on rollovers, if it’s right for you, having the conversation and this session is going to be a little bit more about how to kind of go through that. Some of the differences, some of the biggest mistakes sometimes that people might get themselves into when attempting to do this. So we’re going to dive in and get started. We’re just going to just hop right in.

 

Marc: Nick, differences between rollovers and transfers. Let’s just start there, kind of break it down a little bit for us.

 

Nick: Yeah, I would say, the reality is, is that this space from the standpoint or the perspective of the process of taking your money from one place in a retirement account and putting it into another place in a retirement account, the jargon or the terminology gets intermingled quite a bit. And some of those terms that get intermingled are rollovers and transfers, and we’ll talk about it a little bit more, but from the perspective of a direct rollover versus the 60 day rollover.

 

Nick: Just to kind of back up a quick second, when we are discussing or having this conversation we kind of preface it from the standpoint of the money that we’re talking about is money that is held in a retirement plan of either a former employer, so maybe it’s 401(k) or 403(b), and you are looking to move that money elsewhere.

 

Nick: Your options are typically you can take that money and you can do a direct rollover into either traditional individually held of IRA. Or if the funds are Roth funds, you can move it into a individually held Roth IRA. Or if you are employed with a new employer and you are eligible, you have to check with them, you may be able to move the money into the new plan at work and do it that way.

 

Nick: When you are doing that, usually when you are executing kind of this process, it either has to be done via a form, or via a phone call. Some places require a form and we’ve seen a lot of people make mistakes on completing the form correctly, so oftentimes we’ll help clients with it. And then if it’s a phone call, the issue is that you’re dealing with somebody and I will say the level of service probably over the last few years at companies has gotten better, but we still see a lot of mistakes.

 

Nick: Oftentimes you are working with somebody that’s working in a call center and although it is their job, mistakes happen. When you are kind of doing this process, understanding that the terminology of executing a rollover is when you are moving that money from that retirement account into an IRA or a new plan. A transfer is when you have an existing account that is an IRA or a Roth IRA, and you are moving it from one custodian to another custodian.

 

Nick: I’ll use an example just to try to make it a little bit more easily understandable. A direct rollover example is, okay, Mrs. Client, she just got done working at her company and their 401(k) was held at Fidelity. And now Mrs. Client would like to move the money from Fidelity into the IRA that she opened up at Vanguard. She’s able to call up and get the process going of processing that roll over from Fidelity, the 401(k) to the IRA at Vanguard. A transfer is you already have an IRA or somebody already has an IRA. We can say at T. Rowe Price and they have a new IRA, they no longer like T. Rowe Price, they have a new IRA at Fidelity, and they want to move that money from T. Rowe Price to Fidelity. That is a custodian to custodian transfer. And the reason that we mentioned that is because there are some limitations on what are technically rollovers.

 

Nick: John, can you give a little bit of an example of exactly what a 60 day roll over it?

 

John: Yeah. There actually kind of two ways to do it where if it’s coming from a plan. Let’s say if it’s coming to you directly. So John Teixeira gets a check from the plan, I have 60 days to put that into my IRA. Or if let’s say I have money in my IRA, and for whatever reason, I might need the funds and I pull it out, I have 60 days to put it back into the plan, and that would be a kind of a 60 day rollover period.

 

John: Important if you are processing it that way, definitely keep good records. You want to keep the records of when the money was distributed when you received it, and then when you deposit it, because if you ever were audited, you have to prove that the money went back in within 60 days or else everything is taxable.

 

Nick: And the issue with that 60 day rollover and what kind of give an example of kind of one of the most common ways that we’ll see it as a mistake is that you are only eligible to execute I believe it’s one of those per calendar year. Is that correct, John?

 

John: Yeah, that is correct.

 

Nick: So if somebody is making a mistake or even doing it on purpose, if they by mistake execute more than one of those in a year, there’s some pretty significant penalties that are involved in that, and that’s really something that you want to avoid. What we always like to see is the money moving directly from one custodian to the other custodian. And when that happens, the check is made payable from the old custodian to the new custodian. And we’ll kind of talk about that in a little bit more detail, but I wanted to give a kind of a quick example of where we see this mistake happen the most often.

 

Nick: The reality is that the majority of the people that are listening to this with how things are set up currently, they may not run into this too often, but where we have seen this issue come up quite a bit is if they are helping their parents with finances. Maybe their parents are in their 70s or 80s. And oftentimes that age demographic loves CDs and they love chasing rates at banks. And there will be confusion from the standpoint of, hey mom has a CD at BB&T Bank, and the CD is actually inside of an IRA. And she goes into the branch to move the CD from BB&T bank over to Bank of America because Bank of America is offering an extra 0.2%. And so she’s working with the teller at the bank and she says, “Hey, I want to take out my money because I’m moving it to another bank.”

 

Nick: What we’ve seen happen is that teller will sometimes have that check made payable to the client, to mom, in her name. And at that point it’s considered that starts at 60 day window. The reality is that we want that check made payable to the new institution for the benefit of mom. This is where we’ve seen issues kind of pop up and arise where mom might try to do this a couple of times a year. Now she has done more than one 60 day rollover in a year because it was done incorrectly. It wasn’t necessarily her fault and it just creates this total kind of quagmire and tax nightmare.

 

Nick: We always like to kind of bring that up to make sure that people understand that that’s an issue. And again, because the terminology is oftentimes intermingled and not done correctly, having that done the proper way is really important. I know John does a good job of explaining the best way that people can make sure that they execute that properly.

 

John: Thank you, Nick. I do a very good job at explaining that, actually. So I appreciate that. So yeah, just kind of walk you through the process of doing a direct rollover. First step is contacting the investment provider for the retirement plan and you need to determine, can they do this over the phone or is it a form as Nick mentioned earlier? Let’s just assume it’s over the phone and you’re putting your money into, let’s say TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade is the custodian, they’re the ones holding the funds. They’re like a Fidelity or Vanguard. So you want to make sure that check is made payable to the custodian, and that way you’re not the one getting the receipt of the funds, it’s the custodian, and that’s the main reason why it doesn’t kind of execute that 60 day rollover kind of window.

 

John: It’s a direct transfer to the custodian and the checks going to be written out to in this example, TD Ameritrade for benefit of you. So if I’m doing it, it’s going to be check’s going to be made out to the TD Ameritrade for Benefit of John Teixeria. Now, once you receive that check, we were going to say it now, do not sign the check, because it’s actually not written out to you, it’s written out to the custodian. We do have some people that will say, “Do I sign it?” Or, “I signed it. What do I do?” Don’t sign it. There’s no need to.

 

John: Once you receive the check, the next step is now it needs to get deposited into your IRA. And if you’re working with an advisor, typically you pass it off to him or her. And if you’re just working directly with an investment company, you’re going to want to go ahead and get it to the investment company and have them deposit into the IRA for you. If you are mailing checks, just some people like to be cautious and kind of make sure it has some type of a tracking number which is something you can request from the retirement provider, not necessarily, but some people just prefer that so they can kind of keep track of where it’s at.

 

Marc: Okay. So obviously there’s a lot that can go into this and there’s mistakes that are going to happen as you just alluded to. So what are some things to maybe avoid, just kind of some simple things to check off for folks?

 

Nick: I would say the first one and we talk about this whole process in the class that we teach. And I have a slide that I bring up and it’s a huge picture of a train fire. The biggest mistake to avoid again, is to do a lump sum distribution when the money’s paid directly to you. That is the number one. And I know we’ve kind of harped on it quite a bit, but it can be confusing because especially on some of the forms that companies use. They say, “Hey, I want to take all my money out, because I’m going to move it to this new place. So that’s a lump sum distribution, right?”

 

Nick: Well, depending upon where it is, that might mean that that money is coming directly to you, which it enters you into that 60 day window, which is what we want to avoid. Making sure that you do a direct rollover versus a lump sum distribution is really important. That’s probably the number one mistake.

 

John: Yeah, and if we see the lump sum, what the 401(k) or whatever, 403(b) provider will have to automatically do. If I were to receive the money directly to me, they would have to withhold 20% automatically. 20% is going to uncle Sam, so that could create an issue if you’re trying to get all your money back into another IRA within 60 days.

 

Marc: Well you mentioned 401(k), and then you said another. I would assume that this is kind of the same for several of those alphabet soups, right? Whether it’s a 403(b) or TSP, is that same kind of process in general?

 

John: Yes. Yeah.

 

Marc: Okay.

 

John: I mean, yeah, exactly. Employer retirement plans, it’s-

 

Marc: Gotcha, okay. Because sometimes people-

 

John: … across the board.

 

Marc: … get confused by that, right. They’ll think, “Oh, well I don’t have a 401(k). I have a 403(b) or whatever.”

 

John: Yeah, 401(k), 403(b), 457-

 

Marc: Right.

 

John: [crosstalk 00:11:41] plans.

 

Marc: Right. Yeah.

 

John: All of them.

 

Marc: All of them. Yeah, the whole alphabet soup. Exactly.

 

John: Yeah.

 

Marc: Nick, any other mistakes to avoid anything too that we might’ve missed as we’re kind of winding down here?

 

Nick: I know it’s come up a couple of times, but sometimes people will worry about timing. From the perspective of there’s… As an example, the last five months really kind of post-Corona market drops, et cetera, et cetera. And people will say, “Hey I’ve lost a bunch of money in my account, is now the time to move it? Should I wait for it to bounce back?” And the reality is that you want to take a broader perspective and look at it from the standpoint of that you’re moving it from market to market. So the goal is to do it as quickly as possible, but the perspective of, hey, should I let this bounce back before I move it? Isn’t necessarily always valid because as long as you’re in a similar allocation and maybe even a better allocation with a higher level of management, the reality is, is your bounce back could be quicker and/or better potentially by making a change the sooner the better. It all depends, but that’s usually a pretty low priority variable in the whole conversation is time.

 

Marc: Okay. All right. Well, there you go, folks. So as always, there could be some moving parts here, it’s not always very too complicated, I suppose, maybe is a good word, but it can be, especially if you’re not focusing. The best way to do it is to avoid some of those mistakes by reaching out and talking with a qualified professional before you take any action, getting some helpful tips, getting some advice, whatever the case might be. But before you take action, reach out to someone who does this on the regular. So call John, call Nick, give them a jingle at (813) 286-7776, that’s (813) 286-7776. When you’re talking about doing a rollover and if it’s right for you, there’s just a lot of questions that they can help you walk through and get you some advice going in the right direction. Also, stop by the website at pfgprivatewealth.com, that is pfgprivatewealth.com.

 

Marc: While you’re there, subscribe to the podcast, Retirement Planning Redefined, you can find them on Apple, Google, Spotify, whatever platform you choose. So there you go, that’s going to do it for the series here on rollovers guys. Thanks for your time as always. I appreciate it. Obviously, there’s so much that goes on in the financial world. It’s good to just do these since you’re not doing classes right now, doing a lot of things online or podcasts. It’s good to go through and kind of get this information out for folks.

 

Nick: Thanks, Marc.

 

John: Thank you.

 

Marc: Appreciate your time. We’ll talk to you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick of PFG Private Wealth, and we’ll see you next time.

Ep 25: Is A Rollover Right For You?

On This Episode

Company retirement plans can be expensive and many people are considering to rollover their account. But what considerations should be thought about before you take any action? Today John and Nick discuss the fee structures, investment options, and a few more factors when deciding if a rollover is right for you.

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More Episodes

Check out all the episodes by clicking here.

 

Disclaimer:

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:

 

Marc Killian: Hey, welcome into the podcast folks. Thanks for tuning in here as we talk about retirement planning redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. What’s going on, guys? How you been, Nick? What’s up buddy?

 

Nick: Doing pretty well, doing pretty well. Just kind of getting settled back in over the last couple of weeks. With the lockdown going on as long as it’s been going on, I decided to take a little bit of a road trip. So I drove up north and stayed up north for about six weeks total.

 

Marc Killian: Oh, wow.

 

Nick: Yeah. So it was pretty cool. The virus situation in my hometown is a little bit better, which is Rochester, New York. Once we knew that we weren’t going to be meeting face to face with any clients here anytime soon as the numbers got worse here locally, I decided I needed to take care of my cabin fever and get out of Dodge a little bit.

 

Nick: So I drove up, made some stops. Stopped in Savannah and Pittsburgh on the way up, and then outside of Philadelphia and DC on the way down. Stayed with friends and family and had a good time. It was good to get away.

 

Marc Killian: You couldn’t get any more diverse than saying Savannah and Pittsburgh in the same sentence.

 

Nick: Yes, yes, definitely. But I’ll tell you what, I was pretty impressed with Pittsburgh.

 

Marc Killian: Oh no, it’s actually a nice town. They’ve made a lot of changes. I used to live not far from there, back in the late 70s, early 80s. I was just a kid, but yeah, I’ve definitely made a lot of changes.

 

Nick: Yeah. Yeah, it was my first time there so I’ll be back.

 

Marc Killian: Very cool. Well, nice extended holiday. John, what about you buddy? I know you got the little one there. Did you do anything with the little baby?

 

John: Yeah, so we normally, the last couple of years, we’ve gone up to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg area and rented a house there. But this time, after that last drive with a seven month old for 11 hours, I decided I didn’t want to do that again until she was facing front because she doesn’t like being in a car. We decided to change and go to Sanibel Island here in Florida.

 

John: So that was nice, actually. I’m not normally a like sit around the beach type person, but we had nothing to do. So it was about a week of just nothing to do where normally on vacation I’m either going up to Boston where I’m from and I’m seeing a bunch of people and doing all this other stuff, or going to Pigeon Forge and just trying to do as much as we can within a week period. But this time it was actually pretty relaxing where we’d wake up and we wouldn’t figure out our day until about 10, 11:00. It was a change of pace for me, so it was actually pretty nice.

 

Marc Killian: Very cool, yeah. Well, we’re going to talk today about rollovers. Actually, we’re going to do a two part series on rollovers and things to know and think about. But I want to ask you real fast, this kind of bit of an extended vacation, did she put the phone down a little bit? Because I got to say for my wife and I, when we can put the digital leash away for a little bit, you just feel so better. Did you get a chance to do that at all?

 

John: I did at Sanibel and it wasn’t because I wanted to, I was kind of forced to with the service. Where we were at, the service where we stayed, it wasn’t the best. So it kind of forced us to do that, and the wifi was terrible. So, it was nice.

 

Marc Killian: But you wound up saying that you really had actually a great time. I think your words were, “Yeah, I actually really enjoyed it.” So that might’ve been part of it, having that digital lease put away. What about you, Nick? Did you put it down?

 

Nick: So, the first week that I got up to Rochester, I kind of used that as a vacation time and I was a little bit more unplugged. It was really the week of the fourth so it was pretty easy. But then the rest of the time I was still working. It was just that working remote up north versus down here.

 

Marc Killian: That’s okay.

 

Nick: Summertime’s always a little bit slower, so I would take my time in the morning to knock stuff out and definitely used it less than I normally do, which is normally like a 24/7 schedule. So it was good.

 

Marc Killian: I mean, even a week. So that’s my public service announcement to our podcast listeners is even if you can give yourself just a few days from time to time just to put that digital leash away, it does wonders for how you feel. Sometimes we just have to kind of set it down and step away from it. But anyway, I’m glad you guys had a good time. Good, safe, little bit of a holiday break there.

 

Marc Killian: So let’s get back to work and let’s talk about rollovers. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, we’re going to do a two part-er here on some things to know. Deciding on a rollover for your retirement funds, if it’s the right thing for you. That’s pretty much the first step, right John? Determining if it’s in your best interest.

 

John: Yeah. And that will happen. We’re getting a lot of questions right now. “Hey, I have a 401k plan at a previous employer or a job change,” and the question is, “Should I roll it out and what’s the process?” Which next week, Nick will go into details on what the process is.

 

John: There’s definitely some factors that you need to kind of go through. I’ll say one of the main ones is the investment options in your current plan. So, we work with a lot of different people and we’ve seen some plans where it’s really limited as far as what you can go into. They might only have 15 different options and the selections really aren’t that good. We’ve also seen some other plans where there’s 20 or 30 options and there are some good tools within the platform to use.

 

John: So to me, that’s the first step is really evaluating, what am I options within this 401k plan or retirement plan at work? And is it enough for me to be efficient and actually build a quality portfolio? Especially in this kind of volatile time period that we’re in.

 

Nick: If I were to jump on that a little bit from the perspective of not a lot of people realize that really the size of the plan that they are in is the determining factor for what the fee structure is in the funds that they use. So, sometimes they can be in a fund that costs much more inside of the plan than it would even outside of the plan. So there’s a lot of different variables to take into consideration on that investment selection process.

 

Marc Killian: Well, are they limited more so in those types of plans? When you’re talking about that, you mentioned the investment options. A lot of times, I do think people feel that they are a bit more limited, and I know advisors think that. Is that how you see it as well?

 

John: Yeah, you’re limited to what they are for you, and then also some plans actually limit how many exchanges you can do per year. I’d say nowadays, that might be rare, but it’s still out there. So that’s something you want to look into where if you’re thinking about rolling it over, let’s say you go into just an individual retirement account, IRA, really have unlimited investment choices. It’s kind of an open architecture platform and there’s no limitations and you can almost invest in anything you want to. When you have that open architecture plan, that’s where you can really be creative and efficient on your portfolio and making sure that you have the right choices to weather some volatile markets.

 

Marc Killian: Yeah. Well, Nick, you mentioned fees. So let’s dive into that a little bit because often that becomes the case for people. When you get down to all the different nuts and bolts, it’s the fees that they tend to be most interested in.

 

Nick: Yeah. I mean, we find on a pretty consistent basis that when we tally up the aggregate fee that they’re paying inside of the 401k plan and we compare it to what we can do outside of the plan, especially with how prevalent exchange traded funds are these days and with how much lower the costs are, that oftentimes, even if we combine the expenses on the underlying holdings in the portfolios that we manage and add in our investment management fee, they’re coming in either equal or under what they were paying fees before. The fees are now more transparent than they were before because oftentimes, as many have come to find out over the years, they don’t really understand what fees they’re paying in their 401k plans. So many times we’re able to reduce the fee and then add on a much higher level of management, as well as roll in additional services like the planning services, et cetera, et cetera. So, quite often you can get a lot more for the money.

 

John: And to go with that, a lot of people don’t realize within a 401K plan, there’s a lot that goes into it. I mean, there’s the advisor that’s on the plans getting compensated. There’s typically a third party administrator, which basically helps out with the construction of the plan and the filings and stuff like that that gets compensated. The fund company are using. So that’s why we see, just to reference what Nick said, the fees can add up in there as important to understand what type of plan you have and what your fees are.

 

Marc Killian: Yeah, definitely. And is this consolidation of accounts, can that help kind of bring all that into, I guess, better focus?

 

Nick: I would say absolutely. So there’s a couple of things that I’ve seen pretty much on a consistent basis from the standpoint of experience working with clients are that number one, obviously, when you consolidate it’s a little bit easier to have a good grasp on what your overall allocation is from the underlying investments.

 

Nick: But quite frankly, what I would say is the bigger benefit is that when people have their accounts scattered in multiple places, they tend to just be more anxious about their overall situation in general. They feel like they don’t necessarily have a good grip on what they have and what’s going on. They don’t have a full understanding of what their overall strategy is. There’s usually not a plan in place, which is a big indicator of anxiousness and anxiety when it comes to the whole retirement planning conversation. Really what that ends up then leading to are just poor decisions. So, non-coordinated decisions, maybe making a rash decision when we were going through what we were going through a few months ago when the market initially dropped.

 

Nick: So it’s really kind of a trickle down, snowball effect where consolidating accounts, building a plan, having a concise roadmap for where you’re trying to go with how your investments are managed and making sure that they correlate to your overall plan really helps with your decision making process and peace of mind.

 

Marc Killian: If people want to have someone do this for them, they want to kind of delegate that out, what’s some steps to think about? What’s some stuff they should be working towards? Things of that nature.

 

John: Yeah, so all the factors we’ve already gone through is part of that and what we find that when people are near retirement or in retirement, they really don’t want to do it themselves anymore or have to check on it on the 401K platform. So what they’re looking for is to work with an advisor and have them do it for them in retirement so they don’t have to worry about it. It’s just kind of something else where it’s off their to do list and it provides some peace of mind.

 

John: So we’ve seen a lot of that where clients and prospects are… No one’s monitoring this for me and I definitely need some help and I don’t want to do it so I need to hire someone. So that’s another reason to consider rolling it out.

 

Marc Killian: For a lot of people. I talk to guys all across the country, guys and gals, and it seems like the level of service sometimes from the providers or from the companies gets pretty frustrating. I mean, even prior to COVID, same kind of thing, right? You feel as though you got to go through this process and it’s automated a lot of times, or you’re just not getting the answers you want.

 

Nick: Yeah. I would say, because the reality is that inside when the funds are inside of your 401k, it’s still your responsibility and your obligation as the account holder to make any investments, decisions and changes. From the standpoint of needing or requiring any sort of guidance, if you’re calling a 1-800 number and you’re talking to people in a call center, oftentimes those people don’t have a good grasp and understanding of your overall situation. If you have gotten to that point where you’re looking to make those sorts of changes, you’re probably under some sort of stress or duress and having guidance and having somebody that understands what you have going on is a pretty big deal.

 

Nick: We saw that quite evident during the end of quarter one when the market was tanking with COVID and just being able to have conversations with clients, them knowing that, hey, we understand their situation and what’s going on, we understand the longterm planning. And them knowing that, as part of our services and when we’re managing assets for them, the changes that we make inside of a portfolio are proactive. We’re going to automatically make those changes for all of our clients at once versus on a one-to-one, or one off basis, makes for a much more efficient process and a lot more peace of mind.

 

Nick: So it’s a much higher level of service. I mean, sometimes we refer to it as, if you use a sports analogy, going from the minor leagues to the major leagues where it’s just a whole different service level and engagement level, which we think is really, really important, especially as people get closer to or are in retirement.

 

John: Some other things to consider are, we have seen some people get aggravated with the 401k plan moving to a different company where all of a sudden it might’ve been Vanguard and they’re changing to Fidelity and that requires blackout periods and stuff like that. Some people just don’t enjoy that process because now it’s time to really keep track of it.

 

John: Or if you move, it’s your responsibility to tell basically the human resource where you moved to so they could start sending all the notifications to you. So there’s just kind of just some inconveniences with keeping the money yet a retirement plan that you may or may not be aware of.

 

John: I’ve actually seen one plan where they got audited and no one could touch the funds for a couple of months because they were doing an audit investigation of the plan itself. So it’s your money, but at the same time they were auditing so some people’s funds were frozen. They weren’t happy campers for that month period.

 

Marc Killian: I bet not. That definitely can be a pretty frustrating situation. So hopefully that’ll help you out a little bit here, folks on the first part of our series on deciding on rollovers, if it’s the right for your retirement funds. Nick, anything you want to add before we sign off for this week? I know we’re going to talk more about some things next week.

 

Nick: No, I think this was a good overview and I think the reality is that, in our session next week, we’ll get into the details a little bit more of how you actually process these and the things to look out for and that sort of thing.

 

Marc Killian: Fantastic. All right. Well, I’ll tell you what, for that we’re going to sign off then. So if you’ve got questions or concerns, again, about doing a rollover or if it’s right for you, reach out to John and Nick, give them a call at (813) 286-7776. That’s (813) 286-7776, or go to PFGprivatewealth.com. That’s PFGprivatewealth.com.

 

Marc Killian: While you’re there, subscribe to the podcast, click on the podcast page. You can check out past episodes, you can listen to future episodes. You can subscribe to them on various apps that are out there. Or if you’re using Apple, let’s say, just type in retirement planning redefined in the search box and you can also just like it that way. So lots of different ways you can find us, and we certainly appreciate it. We’ll see you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined. For John and Nick, I’m your host Marc Killian. We’ll talk to you next time.