TAVARES, Fla., June 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — What if you could assign a financial wellness coach to employees in your 401(k) plan, without adding hard-dollar costs? That question is at the heart of a new book recently published by financial industry veterans Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP® and Michael Case Smith.
“We wrote the book after participating in years of enrollment meetings, and realizing the traditional way of reaching out to employees – with glossy brochures and videos – has done little to actually engage them and get them involved in preparing for their retirement,” said Ruggie, Edge 401(k) Funds President, who, in his role as CEO of Ruggie Wealth Management was recognized among Barron’s 2015 Top 1200 Financial Advisors.
“In the US, 94 percent of companies offer a 401(k), yet, retirement savings continue to fall way short,” said Ruggie, who is also president of Asset Advisors of America (AAA), a 401(k) company affiliated with Insurance Office of America (IOA). AAA serves as consultants for a Fortune 1000 company as well as several major sports franchises.
“Study after study has shown how coaching employees on the things that could make them financially healthier, such as budgeting, debt management, and planning for life’s little surprises, can reduce their overall stress. A financially-healthy workforce can decrease absenteeism, healthcare costs, and turnover. This is beneficial to employees and employers.”
In 2014, Ruggie and Smith partnered with Alta Trust to create the Edge Collective Fund Series, one of two cornerstones of their innovative retirement plan concept called Edge 401(k) Funds, (a dba of RWM Asset Management). Alta Trust is trustee of the Collective Funds.
Edge 401(k) Funds is the first firm of its kind to offer an array of financial wellness services to participants who choose to invest in these Funds, at no additional hard-dollar cost to them or their employers.
“Existing Employee Assistance Programs provide seminars, research, and take inbound calls for a hard-dollar cost – often as much as $50-150/head. Other options require investments on the part of the employees,” said Smith, who has testified at US Senate, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Labor hearings on Wall Street conflicts of interest.
“Our book explains our new twist on the old concept of 401(k)s, in which we assign a wellness coach to employees who select our funds. These coaches pro-actively reach out individually to employees at least three times a year to talk about any financial issue on their minds – from reducing debt to financing a home or a child’s college education, paying off student loans to saving for a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Smith, who Is also affiliated with AAA.
“While everyone understands the benefit of a traditional wellness benefit, our new book explains the many advantages of adding a financial wellness component to a firm’s benefits.”
The Funds have already been made available on more than 20 platforms including many large insurance companies, Charles Schwab Trust, Fidelity Trust, and TD Ameritrade Trust, and can be added to an existing plan or included as part of a new 401(k) plan.
About Edge 401(k) Funds
Edge 401(k) Funds is a dba of RWM Asset Management, an SEC registered investment advisor headed up by professionals who have worked with more than 700 retirement plans nationwide. The RWM Asset Management Collective Trust was created by Alta Trust and contains the Edge Conservative, Edge Moderate and Edge Growth Funds. A copy of the firm’s current disclosure statement is available upon request. For more information, please visit http://edge401kfunds.com.
About Alta Trust Company
Alta Trust Company is a South Dakota chartered trust company that partners with investment managers such as RWM to offer unique collective investment fund solutions to the retirement plan marketplace. Alta Trust is not associated with the additional wellness benefits offered through Edge 401k Funds.
Rankings and/or recognition by unaffiliated rating services and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Ruggie Wealth Management is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services, nor should it be construed as a current or past endorsement of Ruggie Wealth Management by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines, and others, may base their selections on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized adviser.
Sheryl Garelick: PRfect Creative