Financial Advisor Magazine, May '10
In this month’s F-A Magazine, BeManaged was featured in the article titled “Better Laid Plans,” which is focused on how companies around the nation are answering the call for 401(k) advice. It was a privilege to be included in the article, but there is a key point we would like to correct about how we operate.
We do NOT control the investor’s contributions. The participant is ALWAYS in complete control, we simply provide encouragement and strategies for how to increase those contributions.
One advisor working in this space, Chad Griffeth, markets 401(k) advice through his company BeManaged in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Bemanagednow.com). The company was four years old on Valentine’s Day.
“I used to be a broker,” says Griffeth, who does the marketing while his partner, John Whaley, a CFA, does the research on investment options and determines asset allocations. “The first thing people would ask is if I could manage their 401(k) plans for them.” He and Whaley set up their company hoping to give investors with just $30,000 in their accounts an institutional level of service.
Companies that seek 401(k) advice for employees tend to be paternalistic, to want the best for their workers and to offer a good plan with well-thought-out options, Griffeth says. In its pursuit of such business, BeManaged has won the contract to work with the 4,600 401(k) plan participants at health and beauty products marketer Amway, whose headquarters are located near where BeManaged is based.
Amway performed a five-year due diligence search to find advisors for their employees before settling on BeManaged. “Other vendors wanted to sell products or move the 401(k) somewhere else,” Griffeth says. The way the firm works is to set up its consulting site at Amway’s offices, sometimes for three weeks at a time. The firm is happy to use the funds in the company’s plan, which Griffeth says are good ones.
“We don’t have clients come to us,” he says. “We have a very humble office and that allows us to be efficient.” Employees have a choice to either simply be advised on their plan or to be managed. Most choose the latter.
When BeManaged sets up at the company’s headquarters, Amway employees can go to the 401(k) Web site and schedule a Web consultation and then come to one of the spots where BeManaged advisors are waiting. “Consultations are free,” Griffeth says. “We can control risk, control the contribution and control their behavior.”
BeManaged charges a standard fee of 15 basis points, which is capped at $125 per quarter. The company is growing slowly and the Amway account was a big break. “Amway is very well known for its culture and a lot of other employers took notice,” Griffeth says.
Read the Article “Better Laid Plans“