401k Spotlight: An (Enlightened) Alternative to Target Date Funds

Of the approximately $12 trillion of employer-based retirement plans, over $500 billion is now in target date funds.   The opportunity to show value to a plan sponsor by analyzing asset allocation solutions may be the source of credibility that wins a plan for the 401k advisor.  Target Date Funds are based on the notion that an increasing shift to bonds over time will produce the ultimate asset allocation solution.    In fact, it is implied by the labeling of the target date fund that all one must do is select the year in which they desire to retire and plug in a computed savings level to reach the magic number.     If nothing else, give the financial institutions creative credit for deflection marketing by providing a series of product such as: 2025, 2035, 2045, and 2055.  The labeling presumes accepted strategy and steers focus toward the desired end result.

Dynamic Asset Allocation

A quick browse into the Fidelity Freedom Funds website (Fidelity’s target date series) shows a caption of “Dynamic Asset Allocation”, which is then defined as the gradual glidepath away from stocks and toward bonds and short term notes as retirement nears.  Those of us who use the phrase dynamic know it to be a little more comprehensive than a simple shift from stocks to bonds.    Further, the primary premise of target date funds is put into much different perspective by  Robert Arnott, author of “The Glidepath Illusion.”    He points out that the rebalancing within a static allocation significantly outperforms a gradual shift from stocks to bonds.  Specifically, he maintains that adjusting the risk profile within stock and bond portfolios rather than across  asset classes reins in risk more constructively than glidepath solutions.

Dorsey Wright ETF Global Growth and Dorsey Wright ETF Global Balanced Collective Funds

Fee based 401k advisors:   If you are a fee based 401k advisor charging fees on plan assets or flat fees, you may wish to consider the Church Collective funds two ETF asset allocation solutions.  It is a way to educate plan sponsors about the value of relative strength and implementing it in a unique way via an asset allocation strategy.   Not only are these great solutions to play a part in a participant’s overall portfolio, they serve as a more comprehensive option than a single selected target date fund.   There are few plan sponsors who have been explained the logic of having the asset allocation risk managed within the asset class rather than across asset classes.

The Church Capital ETF Global Growth and Church Capital ETF Global Balanced has hired Dorsey Wright & Associates as sub-advisor for these relative strength-driven ETF asset allocation funds. They are currently available on the following platforms:

Frontier Trust
TD Ameritrade
Wilmington Trust
Mass Mutual
Reliance Trust
MG Trust Company

Collective Investment Funds

CIF’s are specific to retirement plans only and registered under the banking regulations enforced by the office of Comptroller of Currency, which is part of the U.S. Treasury. CIF’s are issued cusip numbers and trade over the NSCC. CIF’s are created and administered by trust companies. The Church Capital funds use Altatrust, Denver, CO as their trust company. CIF’s are a natural fit for ETF money managers such as Dorsey Wright because they allow for unique strategy flexibility and inexpensive to create and manage.

These funds are portable to any 401k platform and Altatrust continues to complete new agreements with various 401k providers. In addition to making relative strength strategies available to any 401k plan, Church Capital and Altatrust provide a side benefit to plan sponsors of these plans by signing off as 3(38) fiduciaries for the management of these funds.

Church Capital ETF Global Growth, Global Balanced (QDIA)

By providing two different ETF asset allocation funds, the majority of 401k participant risk profiles can be met. Each fund retains a static asset class allocation, but provides the dynamic relative strength rotation management of ETF’s within the asset class allocation.

Click here to view the Church Capital brochure for more information.

A relative strength strategy is NOT a guarantee.  There may be times where all investments and strategies are unfavorable and depreciate in value.  Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Potential for profits is accompanied by possibility of loss.  Dorsey Wright & Associates is the sub-advisor for the Church Capital ETF Global Growth, Global Balanced CITs.

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