Founder & CEO
Timothy Baker, CFP® is the founder and CEO of WealthShape, an independent wealth management firm dedicated to fiduciary advice and evidence based investment management.
He spent over a decade developing a new client investment experience to specifically address the major problems facing today's financial services industry.
Throughout his career he’s held positions as an advisor, consultant, portfolio manager, and vice president for institutional money management firms with billions of dollars in assets under management. These experiences led to a new way of thinking about personal finance based on a combination of three critical elements: digital age financial planning, low cost factor-based investment management and fiduciary advice delivered by CFP® professionals.
WealthShape works with clients in Connecticut and throughout the country to deliver evidence based investment solutions and high quality advice at a low cost. Clients receive access to all investments, goals and progress in one easy to understand, secure location. The company operates under the belief that financial planning shouldn’t be static but rather vibrant and ongoing all while upholding the highest level of fiduciary responsibility.
Tim’s regularly appears as a guest on SiriusXM Business Radio and frequently contributes to media outlets including Investopedia, The Wall Street Journal, Investment News, US News & World Report, Financial Advisor IQ and AdvisorHUB. He holds a MBA with a concentration in Finance, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and an active member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). He guest lecturers on personal finance via electronic media and at various locations throughout the northeast U.S. including his home state of Connecticut where he resides with his wife Danielle and their daughter Ripley.
BS, Business Administration, Southern Connecticut State University
MBA, Southern Connecticut State University
WealthShape, LLC provides this communication as a matter of general information. No one should assume that any discussion or information contained in this material serves as a receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment, tax or legal advice.
Advice and Investment Design Should Rely on Reason. Not Speculation.
Timothy Baker CFP® Advisor Insights
Due to all the business mergers and plan provider changes, finding old 401(k) funds can sometimes be difficult. The first thing to do would be to call your old company or the current company that owns the old company and speak with the HR department.
If you’ve already been down that road, I would suggest searching for the old plan at Free ERISA. Plans are required to file a form 5500. You may be able to find information under the old plans name. The DOL also has a place where you can search for old abandoned profit sharing plans: http://askebsa.dol.gov/AbandonedPlanSearch/.
The short explanation:
Both mutual funds and ETF’s hold large diversified baskets of securities. Generally speaking, ETF’s are index-tracking products, similar to index-based mutual funds. They just trade throughout the day like a stock, tend to be lower cost, and potentially more tax efficient than their mutual fund counterparts.
They do have limitations:
Things like trading volume, the reconstitution effect and the drawbacks from an inability to deviate from the index are worth noting. The Anatomy of Exchange Traded Funds takes a deeper dive into how ETF’s really work.
Yes, 2% is high. The industry average is much closer to 1%.
You should also take into account the internal expenses of the mutual funds being managed as well as any charges associated with buying and selling them. Being a CPA isn’t as relevant considering asset management and accounting services are independent of each other.
I’ll try to shorten this up a bit. 3 types of advisors:
- Broker - Derives compensation solely from commissions on products sold. Not a Fiduciary. Adheres to the suitability standard only.
- Fee-Based Advisor - Derives compensation from BOTH commissions and fees for ongoing investment management, advice, planning. Adheres to the suitability standard when selling products and the fiduciary standard when providing advice.
- Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor - Derives compensation from fees for ongoing investment management, advice, planning. Required by law to act in the client’s best interest 100% of the time as a fiduciary.
How will you know the difference? Simple, if an advisor has an affiliation with a Broker Dealer (check the disclosure on their website) they do not act in a fiduciary capacity 100% of the time. Obvious background checks such as being a CFP®, checking FINRA Broker Check and clearly understanding how they invest are also important.
The answer is “it depends”. It sounds like these are both older employer retirement accounts, perhaps 401(k)’s or Cash Balance Pensions. At some stage of the game consolidation of multiple retirement accounts is often beneficial. There will be different considerations depending on the reason for needing to pull the money out whether it be for spending purposes or due to a required minimum distribution.