401(k) Self Directed Brokerage Accounts: Trending or Trouble?


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This week we take our first glimpse into self directed brokerage or brokerage accounts linked to workplace retirement plans. Historically this has been a confusing and polarizing topic amongst retirement plan sponsors and the retirement industry. To help with the conversation, I have Nathan Voris, Managing Director for Business Strategy of Charles Schwab Retirement Plan Services. During our conversation, we tackle a statement popularized in a movie classic that probably applies to how some people view these accounts, we discuss the basics and mechanics of self-directed brokerage accounts, some creative things that plan sponsors are doing with them and trends to keep an eye out for in the future. This episode focuses mostly on the operational side, my conversation with Nathan also has inspired me to bring back to popular podcast guests to discuss the fiduciary and regulatory side of the conversation in the near future.

Guest Bio

Nathan Voris joined Schwab Retirement Plan Services in 2016. He is responsible for leading the client experience, platform, and product development strategy to help retirement sponsors, consultants, and participants meet their goals.

Mr. Voris previously worked at Morningstar, where he held several roles within Morningstar Investment Management, including portfolio management and asset allocation responsibilities. His most recent focus there was on product development and strategy for the retirement solutions, including wellness, advice and managed accounts, and target date solutions. He was also a consultant with R.V. Kuhns & Associates, where he worked with defined contribution plan sponsors to help improve asset allocation and solve other needs of plan participants. In that role, Mr. Voris was responsible for all aspects of portfolio construction, including asset allocation and manager selection/due diligence for plan sponsors, retirement plan providers, and asset managers. He began his career working for defined contribution plans, including Wal-Mart and the Ohio Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Mr. Voris has earned a bachelor’s in education from the Ohio State University.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 150 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

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