Helping Hand
U.S. News & World Report (10/21/02) Vol. 133, No. 15 p.45; Lim, Paul J.

Although traditionally touted as self-directed retirement plans, a growing number of companies are opting to provide investors with expert financial advice and management of their 401(k) plans. Recently released Department of Labor advice says that companies are allowed to provide advisory services for workers' 401(k) plans through independent firms without conflicts of interest, and experts say they expect the number of companies offering such advice to skyrocket in the next couple of years. Today's bear market has affected investors' confidence, and some experts say that investors may not have adequate knowledge and resources to manage their own 401(k) plans. Investors' wariness about managing their own investments is made apparent by statistics that show that 24 percent of workers, up from 19 percent a year ago, would prefer access to a traditional pension.

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