Investment Firm Ensures Financial Wellness for Plan Participants

 

Investment Firm Ensures Financial Wellness for Plan Participants

For plan participants, access to an RPA to help navigate their retirement plan is assured through their plan sponsor.  RPA’s provide education to help participants improve their chances of a successful retirement.  It goes without saying that this is a huge piece of the puzzle to an employee’s overall financial health and wellness, but the remaining pieces can often become lost.  Upon the conclusion of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) Fiduciary Education Program held at The College of New Jersey, Founder and CEO Fred Barstein spoke with adjunct lecturer Jason Gabriele, Founder of HFM Investment Advisors, a firm that offers both 401(k) retirement plans for company benefit plans and individual wealth management for families, individuals, etc.  Jason explained the value in one-on-one coaching for plan participants. “We’ve found that being there is very important,” Jason said simply.  Participants are benefitting greatly from having a constant presence of HFM on their work site.  They’re able to sign up for webinars, attend workshops and ask questions to increase financial literacy and awareness.  Questions involving not just retirement plans, but advice on mortgages, student loans, investments, and more.  These employees are being given the tools to help complete the rest of their financial wellness puzzle.

Read the Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:

Greetings. This is Fred Barstein, founder and CEO at TPSU 401K TV, and [inaudible] just completed a program at the College of New Jersey, and I’m here with one of our adjunct lectures, Jason Gabrieli. Welcome Jason.

Jason Gabrieli:

Hey, Fred. Had a great time with you guys today. Great, great, great program.

Fred Barstein:

Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Jason Gabrieli:

Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:

So Jason, tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey.

Jason Gabrieli:

Absolutely. So HFM Investment Advisors was founded by myself and my partner Michael Pelosi, almost 10 years ago now. And we offer both 401K retirement plans for company benefit plans, and then we also offer individual wealth management for families, individuals, people like that.

Fred Barstein:

Okay.

So we’re seeing the convergence, a wealth for retirement and benefits that were, what is the value that you see for your clients and their employees about having both strong disciplines, I guess they’re equally strong in your firm.

Jason Gabrieli:

Absolutely. So I would say one of the biggest things that we heard from even our own wealth management clients is that in many cases, up until the time that they came to speak to us, the only advisor they’ve ever spoken to has been the person or the 1-800 number or whatever that is affiliated with their 401K plan and with their retirement plan. So we saw this opportunity to build a wealth management piece of our business that works directly with the participants in our 401K plans. So everything from a financial wellness platform where they can call us and schedule right online to speak to a CFP advisor about the questions they have with their 401K plan, or with their mortgage or their student loan, and get some feedback. All the way up to things like buying a planning session so that they can put time with their spouse to talk about something specific, or open investment account outside of the retirement plan, or even do full financial planning and investment management, where we get into some of those upper tiers of employees who need that type of support.

We want to be that full scale firm that can handle all of your participants’ needs from the 401K plan up from there.

Fred Barstein:

And so you do a lot of one-on-one coaching with your employee and participants, and you’re finding good engagement with that? Because that’s always hard to get.

Jason Gabrieli:

Yeah. We’ve found that being there is very important. So a lot of giant plans, big Fortune 500 companies, a lot of our clients on the wealth management side are part of those plans. And the ironic part is they’re dirt cheap, but they get nothing from those plans. And some of these people make a lot of money and have a lot of money in their 401K plans and they get no help. They get no feedback, they get nothing. And so we feel like our value proposition is being there for the participants, and of course for the plan sponsor when they’re setting up their plan and when they’re managing their plan. But for the participants to be in person, in the lunchroom of the company, giving those workshops. To have regular webinar opportunities to learn different things about what’s going on in the world, how it affects them, and constantly having that opportunity to schedule an appointment.

We have an appointment scheduling link that we distribute widely to all of our plan sponsors, to all of our plan participants. They don’t have to wait for that one day a quarter or that one day a year that we’re going to be there if they have a question for us. They just schedule that thing. Because the other thing we hear from plan sponsors is that when participants come to them, they don’t know where to send them with questions. And so we literally have a one sheet PDF and we say, Give them this. And it has, Here’s all the things to talk to us about. Here’s the members of our team who are dedicated to 401K, and here’s the link to scheduling. And they could talk to us about whatever they want.

Fred Barstein:

So final question. This is your first PSU. How do you think plan sponsors would benefit from a program like that?

Jason Gabrieli:

I think that this was our first, and hopefully the first with many, because I was very impressed, even as an outsider looking in for our first time, that there is pure education here. There is no sales pitch. Obviously anybody here who’s a sponsor, ourselves included, we’ll be happy to help you with whatever you need. But there’s no inherent underlying expectation that that’s going to happen. It is education. It’s part of our mission statement. We believe in it. Clearly, the folks at TPSU believe in it, and all the sponsors that helped us put this on today believe in it. So the really nice part, I thought, was there were planned sponsors here who really care about learning how they should be managing their plan, and how can they have a better benefit for their employees, which is awesome.

Fred Barstein:

Right.

Well thanks for your time. Thanks for all the work you do on supporting TPSU. And thank you for watching 401K TV. Stay tuned.

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