May 17, 2017
Contributing regularly to an individual retirement account helps your investments grow in a tax-advantaged way, but it's possible to have too much of a good thing.
May 11, 2017
I met Ed Dressel, CEO of the firm that makes TRAK retirement planning software for financial advisors, through a mutual acquaintance. I have since taken a deep dive into the financial planning software and listened to Ed tell his story a couple times. What he says makes a ton of sense to me, so I invited him to record a Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry interview.
April 21, 2017
Trust Builders has launched the Maximum Allowable Contribution (MAC) module for the TRAK-Online retirement readiness portal. MAC allows advisers to gauge clients’ maximum annual contribution to 403(b), and 457 accounts including the 402(g)(7) limit and double-up options.
April 20, 2017
Trust Builders, Inc. is announcing the release of the Maximum Allowable Contribution (MAC) module for the TRAK-Online retirement readiness portal. The MAC module allows advisors to calculate the maximum annual contribution to a 403(b) account and a 457 account, including the 402(g)(7) limit and double-up options.
Your dream of early retirement is on the horizon, and you are not even 50 years old. You have worked hard, saved and invested, and avoided or overcome major financial setbacks. But if all your money is in retirement accounts, you might have a problem accessing the funds you need to retire without paying penalties.
March 28, 2017
If there’s one thing research in behavior finance reveals it’s that inexperienced investors often zig when they should be zagging and zag when they should be zigging. In other words, when it comes to saving for retirement, they often focus on the precisely the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time. Have you seen people do this? Have you done this yourself? Behavior researchers will tell you you’ve probably seen other people make this error but fail to see yourself making it even when you do.
March 25, 2017
We’re leading 401k participants to water, and yet they’re dying of thirst. Why? Ed Dressel helps us figure it out. (Interview with 401(k) Specialist Magazine)
March 10, 2017
Registered investment advisers are under increased pressure to grow their business and deepen client relationships, which forces them to sell their full spectrum of services to as many clients as possible. Thus, RIAs have become masters of the cross-sell.
March 6, 2017
Last month, nearly 600 people, including those representing 76 vendor sponsors, gathered at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Los Angeles for the 12th annual Technology Tools for Today (T3) advisor technology conference, chaired by advisor technology guru Joel Bruckenstein. With a comparable turnout to its recent year highs, the conference continues to maintain its place as the best dedicated FinTech event specifically for financial advisors.
February 20, 2017
After the frantic pace of day one, T3 became more reflective during its second day. A range of key industry thought leaders provided challenge and analysis that put many of the previous day's announcements in suitable context. What follows is a summary of just a few of the key messages and insights shared.
February 14, 2017
Many new tools that fintech firms are unveiling as the T3 conference opens this week are aimed at helping financial advisers meet requirements of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, which was due to take effect in less than two months but is now in limbo as President Donald J. Trump delayed implementation by six months.
February 14, 2017
Trust Builders, Inc. is at the T3 Advisor Conference this week announcing the release of two features to help advisors serve clients in a fiduciary capacity. The two newest features complement the retirement readiness solutions in The Retirement Analysis Kit (TRAK) by integrating an annuity illustration into the Sequence of Returns analysis and allowing advisors to document their advice to clients.
February 13, 2017
Trust Builders announced the release of two features to help retirement specialist advisers serve clients in a fiduciary capacity. The two newest features complement the retirement readiness solutions in The Retirement Analysis Kit (TRAK) by integrating an annuity illustration into the sequence of returns analysis and allowing advisers to document their advice to clients, the firm explains.
February 9, 2017
Joel Bruckenstein and a select group of industry thought leaders will gather February 14-17, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Orange County, California, to dialog about seismic challenges and opportunities within the financial services industry. This annual gathering is specifically designed for financial advisory firms (both the staff and the principals) interested in learning about the latest and greatest tech-ops solutions for their firms.
January 31, 2017
From the point of view of a 401k plan sponsor, it’s often better if former employees take their retirement savings with them when they leave the firm. But what about from the perspective of the employee? This is an ongoing debate that may intensify as we move toward a de facto Fiduciary Rule. A survey of financial professionals reveals ten reasons it’s better to rollover your 401k account at a former employer into your own personal IRA.
January 31, 2017
Savvy 401k advisors know the importance of talking about the three Fs: funds, fiduciary and fees. These three interrelated topics should be front-and-center in client meetings, your website and social media...While the three Fs tend to be the focus of conversations between advisors and clients, here’s the rub: if everyone is talking about the three Fs, how can advisors differentiate themselves? If advisor conversations, especially with clients, revolve around only the three Fs, what added value does an advisor bring? What can one advisor do that other advisors don’t? (Article by Edward Dressel)
December 20, 2016
Changing jobs – whether it's to pursue a different career path or snag a higher salary – is something most people do at some point. Young adults are particularly receptive to the idea of switching things up, with 21 percent saying they've changed jobs in the last year, according to Gallup's "How Millennials Want to Work and Live" report. That's three times the rate of non-millennials.
December 19, 2016
Trust Builders, Inc. has been in business for thirty years, yet it is relatively unknown in the independent advisory space. Perhaps that is because for much of their existence, the firm specialized in the 403(b) market. More recently, however, Trust Builders has extended into other markets including financial planning software, retirement software, Social Security software, and financial calculators. Perhaps their most interesting offering, however, is the one for the 401(k) space.
December 14, 2016
The old Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times,” may be more true than ever before. With this in mind, here are three key Social Security-related questions that advisers must be prepared to answer when speaking with clients ahead of President-elect Donald Trump taking office next month.
1. How will baby boomers’ Social Security benefits be affected?
2. What about Social Security for younger generations?
3. What strategies might the administration consider in the short-, mid- and long-term to fix Social Security? (Article by Edward Dressel)
December 13, 2016
In such a competitive playing field, how can 401k advisors or advisory firms differentiate themselves? Think about it, over the past 20 years, the number of 401k plans has increased dramatically—and so has the number of advisors seeking to provide advisory services to plan sponsors. With so many 401k advisors offering services, plan sponsors have the luxury of being more discerning as they select their plan advisor. Below are five ways in which advisors and advisory firms can provide additional value to plan sponsors and differentiate themselves from the competition. (Article by Edward Dressel)
November 29, 2016
Trust Builders has released its new batch processing module for the TRAK-Online retirement readiness portal; the tool is designed to help advisers provide interactive retirement readiness illustrations to plan sponsors and plan participants. For example, advisers can import participant census data into the batch processing module to generate a personalized, one-page gap analysis report for each participant.
November 29, 2016
Trust Builders, Inc. has announced the release of its new Batch Processing module for the TRAK-Online retirement readiness portal. The Batch Processing module helps advisors provide engaging retirement readiness illustrations to plan participants and plan sponsors. Advisors can quickly import participant census data into the Batch Processing module to generate a personalized, one-page Gap Analysis report for each participant. This easy-to-understand report grabs the attention of participants, who see a re-creation of their own paycheck and the contribution needed to retire successfully. “I believe our Batch Gap report is the most exciting 401(k) participant engagement solution in the industry,” said Edward Dressel, President of Trust Builders. “It is making a big difference for participants, advisors and plan sponsors.”
November 4, 2016
The Sequence of Returns calculator augments TRAK’s suite of solutions that engage clients in the retirement planning process. TRAK presents advisors with a technological solution that satisfies the DOL fiduciary rule requirements for interactive investment materials. TRAK also allows advisors to incorporate multiple assets and income streams, thereby improving projections of clients’ retirement income. “At Trust Builders, we have been focused on retirement education for 30 years,” said Edward Dressel, President of Trust Builders, the Dallas, Oregon-based developer of TRAK. “While other fintech providers are changing their products to meet DOL fiduciary rule requirements, TRAK has had interactivity and education as its guiding principles since 1986. For advisors looking for fiduciary tech solutions, TRAK is ready today.”
November 4, 2016
While at the T3 Enterprise conference in Las Vegas this week, Trust Builders, Inc. announced the release of the Sequence of Returns calculator with integration in The Retirement Analysis Kit's (TRAK's) existing retirement needs analysis calculators. The Sequence of Returns analysis evaluates a client's retirement plan and assesses the likelihood of possible success or failure based on a historical stock index or a blend of indexes. Trust Builder president Ed Dressel also spoke at the T3 conference. Hosted by long-time industry tech guru Joel Bruckenstein, this elite conference attracted a select group of IBD, custodian and enterprise executives.
June 22, 2016
Trust Builders, Inc. has released Paycheck Calculator, a suite of three calculators to be used with its TRAK-Online retirement readiness portal. The three calculators, all designed for advisers to use with participant clients, are: Paycheck Analysis, 1040 Analysis and Projections. With TRAK-Online, advisers can easily illustrate how changes in retirement plan contributions affect clients’ take-home pay today and their retirement savings down the road.
June 21, 2016
Providing paycheck analysis has never been easier with TRAK-Online’s brand new Paycheck Calculator from Trust Builders, Inc. The Paycheck Calculator is a suite of three separate calculators that help advisors provide illustrations to clients: the Paycheck Analysis, 1040 Analysis and Projections calculators. “Helping advisors educate clients has always been our mission. And now with the addition of the Paycheck Calculator to TRAK-Online, advisors can quickly show clients their paychecks, matched to the penny, and easily illustrate how changes in retirement plan contributions affect their take-home pay today and their retirement savings down the road. This engages individuals and changes the whole conversation,” says Edward Dressel, President of Trust Builders, Inc., the Dallas, Oregon-based developer of TRAK-Online.
May 20, 2015
Trust Builders, Inc.™ introduces the online version of their flagship TRAK (The Retirement Analysis Kit), TRAK-Online. TRAK-Online provides agents and brokers with web-based touch- and tablet-ready tools and calculators to interactively model, analyze and illustrate retirement portfolios for clients. “I’ve been involved in the retirement planning software industry for almost 20 years and it is really exciting to provide my advisors with a 100% web-based, touch- and tablet-friendly retirement planning solution,” said Mr. Edward Dressel, president and owner of Trust Builders, Inc.
April 30, 2014
Retirement planning software provider Trust Builders, Inc. is partnering with employee benefits and compliance expert Kristi Cook on the next release of The Retirement Analysis Kit (TRAK) system. The TRAK software system is used by advisers working with variety of defined contribution (DC) plan clients, including 403(b)s, 457s, and 401(k)s. Ed Dressel, president of Trust Builders, says Cook is serving in an advisory capacity and lending legal and compliance expertise during the development of the TRAK update. Trust Builders hopes the partnership will help the firm provide advisers with more robust tools to address common challenges faced by DC plan clients.