Articles

Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the Director of Retirement Plans and works directly with our 401(k) trustees and participants. Bruce is also the CFO and Chief Compliance Officer at Premier.
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Recent Posts

Should Your Small Business Offer 401(k) Retirement Plans?

By Bruce Smith | July 02, 2018

As pensions go extinct, more Americans turn to individual retirement accounts to prepare for their golden years. One of the most popular is the 401(k), an employer-sponsored plan that allows workers to save a percentage of pre-tax dollars from paychecks. 

As of 2014, 401(k) plans were the most popular type of retirement savings, representing about 18 percent of the retirement plan holdings in the U.S., according to the ICI.  But while 89 percent of workers at large companies (500+ employees) have access to employer-sponsored 401(k) plans, only 45 percent of businesses with <100 employees offer 401(k) plans, and only 16 percent of business with <10 employees offer 401(k)s. Overall, that translates into only about half of Americans with access to workplace retirement plans.

Here's how small businesses can benefit from offering 401(k) plans to their employees. 

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Retirement Plan Advisors Share 9 Ways to Save

By Bruce Smith | May 27, 2018

If you're like most Americans, you know you need to save more for retirement... but you may not be sure exactly how to go about it. It's a common issue; in fact, a study from the National Institute on Retirement Security found that the median retirement account balance for all households of working age is just $3,000. Of these, 45 percent don't have any retirement savings at all.

Regardless of where your own retirement readiness may fall on the spectrum, you can still reap the benefits by shoring up your nest egg and bulking up your retirement savings efforts. 

Here are 10 ways to give your nest egg a boost.

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Aggressive Financial Advisors vs Passive Investors: Who Wins?

By Bruce Smith | April 15, 2018

Our clients often have questions about the success rates of "Aggressive" versus "Passive" investing. Some investors feel that those who use the services of a highly active investment firm tend to earn higher returns. Is this true?

We certainly understand these questions; after all, the debate between proponents of active and passive investment strategies has been ongoing for almost half a century. But decades of empirical evidence support our firm's conviction that aggressive, active-management strategies employed by many investment professionals don’t work for most investors. Here’s why. 

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401(k) Advisors Share 9 Ways to Shore Up Your Retirement

By Bruce Smith | April 03, 2018

Is your 401(k) in good shape? Is it properly allocated? Does your plan mitigate your tax burden? Do you have the right blend of growth and income?

For many investors, a 401(k) retirement plan is easy to simply set and forget. It's not difficult to see why; managing a 401(k) plan with the proper knowledge or time can be intimidating. However, your retirement depends on this important account's performance, so it's important to maximize your 401(k)'s potential for returns. 

Read on to discover 9 ways to strengthen your 401(k).

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8 Biggest Retirement Planning Blunders

By Bruce Smith | March 22, 2018

If you've ever felt a bit stressed (or overwhelmed, or worried, or downright anxious) about retirement planning, you're definitely not alone. Many studies, like the 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (ERBI), indicate that only 22 percent of workers are very confident about their financial well-being during retirement. 

But the news isn't all bad; though retirement worries may keep a quarter of Americans up at night, confidence in retirement readiness is actually on the rise. Since2013

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Retirement Plan Advisors on the 4% Withdrawal Rule

By Bruce Smith | March 04, 2018

Ever heard of the "4 percent withdrawal rule"? For years, this "common wisdom" has served as rule of thumb for retirees, guiding them on the amount they can safely withdraw from their savings each year in order to fund a 30-year retirement. 

But is this rule  really the standard that all retirees should follow? Not all retirement plan advisors agree that the 4 percent withdrawal rule applies universally. Some retirement investment advisors believe it's too low - others suggest that it's too high - still others suggest it should be evaluated Read More

The Rational Investor: Evaluating Your 401k

By Bruce Smith | February 20, 2018

For many, a 401k account is an important part of their comprehensive financial plan. Since employers usually sponsor 401k plans, it can be easy to "set it and forget it"... but like any other retirement plan, 401k plans require regular evaluation to ensure they're working hard for you. 

Our retirement plan advisors share tips on evaluating your 401k.

Financial Strategies: Always Know What You're Paying in Fees

How much are you paying in 401k fees? If

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How Much Investment Risk Should You Plan For?

By Bruce Smith | December 16, 2017

The market goes up, the market goes down. Stocks tumble, stocks recover. Bonds fall, bonds rise. 

Though the ups and downs of investing are often compared to a rollercoaster ride, we prefer to think of it as a long drive — and we encourage investors to do the same.

When you take a long-term perspective, the hill (or valley) you happen to be passing through at the moment is simply another part of the trip, terrain you must pass through on your way toward your long-term destination. More importantly,

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How to Introduce Chaos into the Wealth Management Process

By Bruce Smith | November 28, 2017

At Premier, our wealth advisors often field questions about market timing: Should I act on that hot stock tip I saw on TV this morning? What about the advice of the latest investment guru in the financial media? Is that financial pundit's approach right for me?

Though we understand why market timing might be appealing — after all, the financial media and many investment professionals alike push an active investment approach relentlessly — the reality is that years of quantitative

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The Rational Investor: When Should I Claim Social Security?

By Bruce Smith | October 23, 2017

When will you start claiming social security? For most Americans, the answer is "as soon as I can..." but that choice may cost them thousands of dollars per year in retirement income. 

Research from the U.S. Government Accountability Office indicates that most workers claim Social Security at the earliest possible age, 62 years. But while it may be tempting, claiming at this early stage locks in a reduced benefit rate for the rest of your retirement.... which translates into a significant amount over time. 

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