Excessive Fees in 401(k) Plans Are Jeopardizing the Retirement Security for Millions of Americans, Author Chuck Epstein Asserts in New Book

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Every day, millions of 401(k) participants pay $164 million in fees without even knowing what they are paying for. Now, new DOL rules will force employers to disclose those fees, which will raise questions about conflicts-of-interest, product selection, fiduciary responsibility and whose interests are being served best. In short, these new rules will change many 401(k) relationships between employers and employees and give investors more choices to secure their retirement futures.

The historic new U.S. Department of Labor regulations mandating that 401(k) plans disclose fees and expenses covering participants marks the first time millions of investors will be able to see the actual costs of their 401(k) plans. But, for many investors, this new information will be shocking.

As presented in this new book, How 401(k) Fees Destroy Wealth and What Investors Can do To Protect Themselves, by Chuck Epstein, 401(k) participants pay about $164 million in fees daily to the financial services industry, according to The Week Magazine (April 12, 2012). Even worse, most participants do not even know what services they are paying for or the conflicts-of-interest taint many 401(k) plans.

This incisive new book presents the less-known practices in the 401(k) and mutual fund industries and how they directly reduce investor returns. The book makes these points:

  •     The new DOL 401(k) fee disclosure regulations, enacted July 2012 after over a decade of heated debate, are historic and benefit millions of individual investors;
  •      $9.5 billion in revenue sharing and 12b-1 fees annually, which create irreconcilable conflicts-of-interest between investors and investment professionals;
  •     The profound wealth destruction in the housing market and investment portfolios will hurt investors and their families for at least a decade;
  •     Employers have shifted retirement planning risk to ill-equipped employees, so it is no wonder millions are failing in meeting their future financial goals;
  •     Investors must learn to identify conflicts-of-interest in financial relationships or face serious losses;
  •     Key groups in the financial services industry oppose adopting the fiduciary standard since it would jeopardize the sales process and reduce their profitability;
  •     Financial services lobbying and some media act against investors to perpetuate the buy-and-hold myth;
  •     Containing and managing fees and expenses is the most important factor under investor’s direct control and must be managed for long-term financial success;
  •     The mutual fund industry needs to adopt a new business model to really meet the financial needs of its own customers;
  •     Target-date and multi-manager mutual funds look good at first glance, but investors should be very wary of their supposed benefits.

This book is based on the first-hand experiences of Seattle-based author and financial professional Chuck Epstein, who spent over 25 years in the financial services industry, including holding senior editor positions at two major mutual fund firms. “The mutual fund industry has evaded the deeper customer disclosure provisions and consumer protections found in many other industries,” Epstein said. “The new DOL regulations, which were only enacted in July 2012 after years of delays, should finally allow investors to see how the industry is working against their long-term interests and jeopardizing their retirement security.”

The book is available on Amazon for $15.95 and Kindle for $9.95. It is 287 pages, with six charts, and 280 footnotes. ISBN 978-1477657997

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