Frequently Asked Questions

How is my 401(k) advisor compensated?

An advisor can be paid from fees charged directly to the plan participants or plan sponsor, or from a portion of the investment management or servicing fee built into the pricing structure of a packaged product. Sometimes, a combination of these methods may be used. Your advisor should explain in detail how he or she is compensated and what functions will be performed. We fully disclose our fees, and may be able to simply take over for your current representative, broke, advisor or agent.

Are the fees higher if we use an advisor?

In many cases, we can use our expertise to reduce your fees (including investment management fees and recordkeeping expenses) by more than our fee, resulting in a net savings. If there is an increase, we will make sure you understand what you are paying for and the value you receive.

Can you tell me if or how much my broker, advisor, consultant or agent is being compensated under my current plan?

Typically, yes. With this information, you can compare our services with what you are currently receiving and make a decision based on what is best for you and your participants.

Can you handle a company with multiple locations?

Yes. We work with companies that have locations across the country.

What size companies do you work with?

We work with companies of all sizes.

Can you only use load funds or funds allowed by your company?

No. We are a fee-based advisor and can work with any mutual fund or recordkeeping platform. Price is part of our investment philosophy and an integral part of the services we provide.

Can I add your services without changing my current recordkeeper?

Yes. Often our compensation is already built in and is being paid to another advisor, agent, consultant or broker regardless of what services they are providing. We can review this arrangement before your company chooses to do business with us.

What is the “prudent man rule”?

According to ERISA, a person must act “with the care, skill, prudence and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of the like character and with like aims.” ERISA 404(a)(1)(B). We can help you fulfill this requirement.

Can you help us define what ERISA calls reasonable expenses?

We help compare your recordkeeper to others in the industry to define the current market for plans comparable to your size. This information makes it easier to determine if your plan is reasonable.

If we are not happy with our current plan, what are our next steps?

Sit down with us. We are willing to review your current plan and the services you are receiving. Once we understand your dissatisfaction, we can offer strategies. This may mean modifying your existing program with your current recordkeeper or finding an alternative that satisfies your needs.

Once we make the change, what is your process?

You should revise your current plan in this order: Start by selecting an advisor, then select a provider (recordkeeper), and finally select the plan provisions. If you select us as your advisor, we can help you handle the entire RFP process to find a provider, and walk you through the various provisions to potentially improve your retirement plan. We will aim to significantly reduce the time you will be investing to make changes, potentially increase the expertise and the probability of making a knowledgeable decision, oversee the conversion process, and provide ongoing monitoring and revisions.

What types of plans do you work with?

Any investment-related plan for corporations, nonprofits, foundations or endowments including: 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b), profit sharing money purchase, defined benefit and non-qualified deferred compensation.

What other services can Raymond James provide?

Raymond James has a full-service investment bank that can assist business owners with transition issues, an insurance division to help with key man and succession planning, and a host of other programs to address nearly any financial need that may arise.



In a fee-based account clients pay a quarterly fee, based on the level of assets in the account, for the services of a financial advisor as part of an advisory relationship. In deciding to pay a fee rather than commissions, clients should understand that the fee may be higher than a commission alternative during periods of lower trading. Advisory fees are in addition to the internal expenses charged by mutual funds and other investment company securities. To the extent that clients intend to hold these securities, the internal expenses should be included when evaluating the costs of a fee-based account. Clients should periodically re-evaluate whether the use of an asset-based fee continues to be appropriate in servicing their needs. A list of additional considerations, as well as the fee schedule, is available in the firm’s Form ADV Part II as well as the client agreement.