• "Pointing the Way to Retirement Income Security"
  • "Breaking Through the Investment Return Barrier"

Compass Investors in the News

On TV

Real Money, Al Jazeera America--
401(k) Trades

December 2, 2003--Compass Investors is featured on the Real Money nightly show focusing on "real financial issues and actionable solutions."  In a 5 minute spot the show explores the pros and cons of taking an active role in trading a 401(k) plan.  While over 5 hours of interviews was boiled down into a few minutes of focus, the fact that national attention is now being paid to taking an active role, versus the traditional passive one, is compelling.  Click here to watch.

Publications


Breaking the Rules to Reach Retirement Goals

NOVEMBER 17, 2015 – A Compass Investors' subscriber was interviewed in an article that appears in Black Enterprise magazine in their Wealth for Life section. In the interview, the subscriber describes her and her husband's disappointment with traditional investing guidance and their success story after having started with Compass Investors. Through the normal unexpected ups-and-downs of life, she outlines in specific detail how Compass Investors ultimately gave her "the peace of mind that comes from knowing that whatever the future holds, they are financially secure."

As Compass Investors' president and founder states in the article, "When you look at the social and economic realities of the day, particularly the fact that we are living so much longer, you could do everything ‘right’ and still not be able to save enough for retirement...I want to be able to provide income forever, if possible, and you can do that by growing your accounts large enough and then putting them into guaranteed vehicles that will pay you interest —everything that you would have been getting from your salary.”

Click to see the complete article.

Is Your Target-Date Fund Missing the Target?

JULY 15, 2015 – Compass Investors' president was recently interviewed and quoted in an article that appears today in the Personal Finance section of US News & World Report.  During an interview with Joanne Cleaver, a noted freelance financial reporter, Mr. Coppola highlights the increasing need for plan participants to set proper expectations regarding the results of any form of any set-it-and-forget-it style of investing, such as the very popular Target Date Funds. He further encourages retirees to maintain market exposure in some portion of their investments to provide for their financially secure retirement.

“If you want a passive investment, understand that the results may not be what you need,” Coppola says. “Autopilot comes with a cost, and it may be more than you have been led to believe. If you still want to use a target-date fund, then put some of your money into it, and also take a portion of your portfolio and invest it responsively to what the market is doing. Create your own safety net that will break through the investment return barrier that you’ll be locked into in the fund.”

Click to see the complete article

Helping to Cure Analysis Paralysis

JANUARY 9, 2015 – Compass Investors was features in the Business & Finance section of the January 2015 issue of The Suit magazine.  During an interview with Compass Investors' president Kevin Coppola, Mr. Coppola highlights the increasing need for plan participants to take back control of their 401(k) and other retirement savings vehicles and cautions the reader about assuming they can "save their way to retirement income security."

When subscribers receive each Horizon Action Report, Coppola says it takes just a few minutes to adjust their portfolio. The program is targeted at people “who want to be more involved in managing their assets and provide retirement income security for themselves and their families,” he said. “Because Horizon is self-managed,” Coppola added, “the customer is always in control of the investment decision. We don't manage the account for them and we don’t collect any sensitive financial information. This isn’t about maximizing “money under management.” We are providing the analysis, tools and instructions as aids for anyone looking for real financial security.”

Click to see the complete article.  (Click here for the digital print edition)


Trading Your 401(k) Account:
How Bright Can It Be?

SEPTEMBER 7-8, 2013 – Mentioned on the front page of the Business & Finance section of the Wall Street Journal, highlights several services available and designed to help investors prepare for the several decades of retirement providing the "buyer beware" caution necessary for individuals to consider prior to deciding to use one of the services.

Of the 3 firms mentions, Compass Investors received the majority of the discussion and research, concluding "There seems to be little doubt about how well subscribers to the 401(k) trading service from Compass Investors have fared."  Mr. Zweig's thorough analysis of the information provided on the HORIZON website has resulted in a vastly improved and more transparent discussion of how the service works and how performance is reported.

Click to see the complete article.


Not Your Dad’s Retirement Plan—
Or at least it better not be

NOVEMBER 6, 2012, Chicago, IL – Appearing in the November/December 2012 issue of PSCA's national magazine, Insights, this article discusses the dangers of a reliance on Modern Portfolio Theory and what plan sponsors and plan participants can do about it. A quantifiable definition of "true" Retirement Income Security (RIS) is presented as the "new standard" when planning for a successful retirement. Benchmark and actual result comparisons are provided between a traditional asset allocation approach and an Adaptive Asset Allocation™ approach.

 

 


Articles written and innovations by the Compass Institute have appeared in several publications as noted below.
NOTE: Click the publication's icon to access the article.

                     

              

          

Press Releases

Kenilworth Research Group Offers YOUR COMPASS—New Comprehensive Retirement Outlook Calculator

OCTOBER 12, 2016, Kenilworth, IL – On October 1, Investment Strategy Research Group, The Compass Institute, released to the public a comprehensive retirement outlook calculator, named YOUR COMPASS, free of charge. Many such calculators have recently appeared as the crisis in retirement savings has received more news coverage. Fidelity, which hosts more 401(k) accounts than any other brokerage service, has recently introduced a comprehensive retirement planning suite for its clients, but according to The Institute's president Kevin Coppola, "our new calculator contains the full array of components of Fidelity's multi-page calculator in a compact and more user-friendly interface."

YOUR COMPASS (www.YourCompass.Compass-Institute.org) adds to the traditional array of inputs (current salary, savings balance, and investment return) a number of preferences missing from standard interview-style calculators. Specifically, it makes clear the impact of investment return on overall retirement savings. While Fidelity's interview includes a tab to estimate performance according to unspecified market conditions (e.g. "average"), the Compass Institute calculator includes specific inputs for pre- and post-retirement expectations of investment return, rate of inflation, desired replacement percentage of final salary. Most important, users can apply all these inputs to select a variety of investment styles, from Target Date funds to Compass's Adaptive Asset Allocation™ strategy..

Click to see the complete article.


Chicagoland Firm Compass Investors Expands Services to Include Commission-Free Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

MAY 1, 2014, Kenilworth, IL – Compass Investors, an investment analysis and research firm providing fund reallocation model portfolios to maximize performance for 401(k) retirement plan participants at more than 40 major corporations and mutual fund investors at 11 mutual fund families, has now expanded its services to support investors in ETFs.

The six different ETF plans offered—for investors at Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab (2), E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade—employ the identical Adaptive Asset Allocation formula used in Compass's products for 401(k) participants. Because the Compass model encourages adjustments to asset allocation every five weeks, trading costs had cut into its performance for those investors using the product for mutual fund investments outside of 401(k) or single-fund family IRA accounts. Its new plans, designed specifically around commission-free ETFs now offered at the major brokerages, offer investors all the advantages of mutual funds without additional fees, minimum purchase restrictions or the withdrawal limitations imposed on 401(k) or IRA accounts.

Click to see the complete article.


Adaptive Asset Allocation™ Offers Forward-Thinking, Alternative Strategy for Retirement Plan Sponsors

FEBRUARY 13, 2013, Kenilworth, IL – A recent article published in the Plan Sponsor Council of America's (PSCA) national publication, Defined Contribution Insights, outlines a proactive, market-driven approach to 401K/IRA/mutual fund portfolio management.

Compass Investors "raises the bar" for retirement income replacement from the traditional 40-60% to a more realistic 100%. In doing so, they highlight that today's popular asset allocation strategies  (Lifecycle, Target Date, Managed Accounts) will never generate the returns necessary to create this kind of nest egg. The Compass Institute challenges plan sponsors and plan participants to consider four simple recommendations that have been shown to mitigate the Retirement Income Security risk. Performance of Compass Investors' products has been demonstrated through independently audited back-testing against actual market results, not projections.

Click to see the complete article.


Qualified Default Investment Rules May Spark Legal Action

OCTOBER 3, 2007, Chicago, IL – U.S. workers will have legal recourse against plan sponsors when, at retirement, they are left with insufficient balances in their 401(k)s because their Plans were defaulted into Formulaic Asset Allocation (FAA) funds, (Lifecycle, Target Date, Managed Accounts).

As a result of the rule change last year, plan sponsors are now at risk for litigation if retirees ask why their 401(k) funds were defaulted, guided or had advice made available that was doomed to fail them based on publicly available research. Participants will also want to know why plan sponsors did not guide them to successful alternatives that were known to be available. In the past, these kinds of disagreements would not have been played out in a court of law.

Click to see the complete article.


Ticking Fiduciary Time Bombs

SEPTEMBER 1, 2007, Chicago, IL – Does the fact that all Formulaic Asset Allocation (FAA) approaches, e.g., Lifecycle, Target Date and etc., lead typical Plan Participants to an impoverished retirement expose Plan Fiduciaries to non-defensible liability?

As it is now a matter of public record that FAA is a failed approach that does not prudently serve the Plan Participant’s best interest, Plan fiduciaries will not be able to claim they “did not know.” This reality, when combined with the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006—which provide that a “complaining participant” can challenge in a court of law the quality of advice the Plan Sponsor made available to the Plan—creates a ticking fiduciary liability “time bomb.”

Click to see the complete article.

Free copies of this 42-page Report, 37-page Appendix and/or a 15-page Abstract and Report Overview are available upon request by sending an email to [email protected].


Retirement Plan Participants Using Any Formulaic Asset Allocation (FAA) Approach—Lifecycle, Target Date, Balanced Funds, Managed Accounts and Monte Carlo Simulation—Are Exposed to the Largest Risks and Assured of Not Having Nearly Enough Money to Retire

AUGUST 1, 2007, Chicago, IL – The Compass Institute report—The Paradox of Asset Allocation for Retirement Plan Participants: a Blessing or a Curse™—proves that unless an Adaptive Asset Allocation™ (AAA) Approach is used, Plan Participants can never achieve anywhere near the returns needed over Market Cycles to provide them with Retirement Income Security. That despite the promises of safe harbor and 403 (c) protections, plan sponsors will have a nearly impossible task defending in a court room having directed complaining Participants to any FAA approach.

Click to see the complete Press Release.

Free copies of this 42-page Report, 37-page Appendix and/or a 15-page Abstract and Report Overview are available upon request by sending an email to [email protected].


The Fiduciary Trap™ – Plan Participants and The 4th Metric

SEPTEMBER 17, 2004, Chicago, IL – The Compass Institute study—The Fiduciary Trap™ – Plan Participants and The 4th Metric™—reveals that expected returns from Managed and/or Life Cycle/Life Style/Target Date Retirement fund investment approaches will not allow most Plan Participants to reach needed Retirement Plan value goals. Even if a Plan is 404(c) compliant, Fiduciaries must consider serious new questions given the ERISA standard that plan sponsors provide investment assistance appropriate to Participants’ needs. 

Click to see the complete Press Release.

For a free copies of this 50-page report and/or a one-page abstract, send an email to:
[email protected].

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